National & Media-based

National and Media-based Art Societies

These are national art societies focusing on the use of a particular art medium in the UK and who draw their members from all over the UK. The media highlighted below includes: watercolour, oil, acrylic, pastel, coloured pencils and miniature art.

Watercolour - Major Art Societies in the UK

The UK has a number of country or region based watercolour societies:

  • The Royal Watercolour Society 
  • Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 
  • The Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour 
  • Ulster Watercolour Society 
  • The Birmingham Watercolour Society 
You can find links to their websites in the names of the art societies below.  
You will find Amazon affiliate links in the books listed below.

The Royal Watercolour Society (RWS)

Founded in 1804, the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS) is the oldest watercolour society in the world. It is one of a few art societies in the UK to have its own gallery. The Bankside Gallery in London is on the South Bank next to Tate Modern). The Society has a Spring and Autumn Exhibition for members plus it holds an art competition each year for non-members and those who aspire to become members. It also hold joint exhibitions with the Printmakers who they share the gallery with and art education events on a regular basis. You can find news and a blog about its activities on the website. One of the unique aspects of this society is that it has produced a number of books, in part to share part of its wonderful archive of watercolours by its former members.

Watercolour Masters: Then and Now (Royal Watercolour Society)
Hardcover: 144 pages | Publisher: Cassell (September 1, 2008)
This book by the Royal Watercolour Society juxtaposes paintings by the famous and well regarded painters from the part alongside the paintings of current members at the time the book was published. The book also includes essays which consider how the new pictures reflect the old, and how both compare in terms of composition, color, tone, draftsmanship, and creating a narrative.

Paperback: 168 pages | Publisher: Bloomsbury Visual Arts (19 Jun. 2014)
This is a new book published last summer. It's received some good reviews. The book: 
    • showcases the work of individual members
    • identified sources of inspiration
    • highlights practical advice from working and professional artists

Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours

Founded in 1831 as the New Society of Painters in Water Colours in 1831 but later changed its name.
Aim: to promote the art of watercolour in Britain. From the beginning the New Society followed a policy of showing non-members' work alongside that of members.

Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour

Founded in 1876, the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour promotes the contemporary art of painting in waterbased media.

Ulster Watercolour Society Home Page

Founded in 1976 with the aim of promoting watercolour in Ulster.
Membership: represents most of the major watercolour artists working in Ulster.  There are now 90 members, 8 of whom are honorary member

The Birmingham Watercolour Society

Founded in 1907. Membership: artist members from a wide geographical spectrum. Meetings: held monthly. Exhibitions: the Society stages at least two exhibitions each year.

Oil Painting - Art Societies in the UK

Oil painting does not seem to have generated the same number of regionally oriented art societies when compared to watercolour

The Royal Institute of Oil Painters - The ROI

The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, also known as the ROI, is an association of painters in London and is the only major art society which features work done only in oil (or acrylic)

Acrylic Art Societies

Acrylic painters seem to have allied themselves to either the watercolour societies (RWS and RI) or the ROI and the subject-based societies. The Acrylic Painters society certainly doesn't seem to have the same status as the other media based societies e.g. it has no royal status

The National Acrylic Painters' Association (NAPA)

Founded in 1985 - this is an international group with members throughout the world. A non-profit making organisation organised by artists for artists. An American Division was founded in 1995.

Pastel Art Societies in the UK

Unlike the USA there are virtually no regional art societies in the UK - more's the pity! There's just two societies and that's it! If you want to find out more about pastel societies in other parts of the world click on the link to my website "Pastel Societies - Resources for Artists"

The Pastel Society

Founded in 1898 and celebrated its centenerary in 2000. The Pastel Society is a recognised charity which promotes use of pastel within the contemporary art world. It does not have local branches.

  • over fifty-five professional artist members living and working in this country and overseas. 
  • assessment for membership is via exhibition in the first instance and is granted through a strict assessment of technical skill, originality, innovation and enthusiasm.

Leicestershire Pastel Society

Leicestershire Pastel Society members are artists who live in Leicestershire and Rutland.

Coloured Pencils - Art Societies in the UK

UKCPS - UK Coloured Pencil Society

Founded in 2001 to

  • promote coloured pencils as a fine art medium, and to 
  • support UK based artists who use, or wish to use, coloured pencils. 
The UK Coloured Pencil Society is developing a network of Local Groups at a Regional Level. Workshops, Courses, Local Groups/Events are listed by geographical area starting in Scotland and moving southwards ending in Cornwall.

Miniature Art Societies in the UK

There are a number of societies for artists working in miniature across the world. In the UK there are two main art societies dedicated to the art of the miniature painting, engraving or sculpture.

Royal Society of Miniature Painters Sculptors and Gravers

Royal Society of Miniature Painters,Sculptors & Gravers - details about the society, exhibition, membership and artists. The Society's aims are to esteem, protect and practise the traditional art of miniature painting

Hilliard Society of Miniaturists

Art in miniature: contemporary miniature art; pictures, shows, artists. The declared aim of the society is to encourage greater recognition of this art form with an appreciation of its history and of its contemporary development and to bring it to th

No comments: