Friday, 6 December 2013

Closure of Watercolour Society Africa

It is sad to see the demise of the Watercolour Society Africa, as it comes as a stark reminder of how tenuous an organisation can be, since it has only its members to keep it going. The WSA has been forced to close due to lack of member involvement in running the organisation. Below is the final  message to WSA members from 2012 Chairman Barabara Moore:
Dear Members of the WSA and ASA,

We are moving in rapidly changing times where time is precious and everything is done on the go. Even art, in many cases.

I find that even in the sketching community that I belong to, people are doing digital sketches (and pretty impressive ones at that) on iPads and even phones. I am reading a book on drawing, published in 1920, where the author complains bitterly about the rushed pace of life, so nothing has changed there. However, he also says that everyone owns a pencil that they use most of the day, and bemoans the fact that so few use the pencil to draw - just for work. I think that owning and using a pencil is more or less unheard of today, unless the person is an artist, of course.

Our Watercolour and Art Societies have joined the ranks of the victims of change. The digital, internet world has ushered in other ways for people to stay in touch with other artists and ideas. On line selling of art is becoming more and more the thing. Societies are being phased out, unless they are web-based.

So sadly, we say goodbye, not just to a Society that has served its members faithfully since 1974. We say goodbye to an era, and wait to see what change will bring us next.

I would like to add my personal thanks to all those who gave so unstintingly of their precious time, to serve us, the Members over the years. So much was done to promote and develop watercolour as an art medium, and some absolutely beautiful art has been produced over the years. Many of those who inspired us to ever greater heights in our art are gone to a better place. We must remember them and the great things that came out of their vision and their efforts.

Thank you, Zanne Bezuidenhoudt, Kerry Bekker, Wendy Prowse and Debbie Schiff for all YOUR hard work in sorting everything out and closing the Societies with grace and honour.

I shall be so sad to see it go, but I have some wonderful memories to treasure of my years in association with a wonderful group of great artists, and beautiful people.

I urge those who want to keep in touch with other artists, and have access to some pretty interesting and useful benefits, to join the Lowveld Association of Art. They are hoping to keep watercolour alive, and have some pretty energetic and dynamic artists on their committee under chairman Ilona Petzer.

Keep painting and enjoy every moment of making art.

Barbara Moore

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