Featured: International Youth Winner

Old Town

The International Youth Winner of our ‘150 Ways to Celebrate’ online watercolour contest is Mrinal Banik, of Bangladesh.  At the age of 24, he is a graduate of the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, having studied Drawing and Painting.  He is currently doing post-graduate studies in Painting at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, India.
We are sure to see more of Mrinal’s work in the future!

Featured: National Youth Winner

Blossoming Dreams

The National Youth Winner of our online watercolour contest ‘150 Ways to Celebrate’ is Canadian Iris Lee.  Born in 1999,  Iris possesses an ardent passion for fine art and has aspired to become a professional artist since she was in kindergarten.  With support from her family, she began to learn pencil sketching, watercolor, and calligraphy at the age of eight.  Later on, she also practiced other fine art mediums such as oil, acrylic, soft pastel, and traditional Chinese painting.  In addition, she started to learn digital painting when she was fourteen, granting her another perspective of art.

Gifted with mesmerizing scenery, British Columbia’s environment played a pivotal role in Iris’ paintings.  Interestingly, she often sought inspiration at a local town in Richmond- Steveston.  She prefers to delineate the beauty of nature; however, the subject of her paintings varies.  To elucidate, she has the propensity to challenge herself with different themes and experiment with different executions of the overall atmosphere.  Through the variations of colors and compositions, Iris hopes to lead the viewers to see the world through her eyes.

Although she had applied and been accepted to three universities in Canada – Emily Carr University of Art + Design,  Alberta College of Art and Design, and OCAD University, Iris decided to study abroad in Taiwan.  Pursuing her dream of becoming a professional artist and enriching her skills, she is now a first year fine art student at one of the best universities in Taiwan-National Taiwan Normal University, majoring in western painting.

Featured: 3rd Place National Winner


Gail Sutherland

“Expressing myself visually has always come naturally and my preferred medium is watercolour. This medium requires me to respond as much to it, as to my subject and best reflects my artistic pursuits and nature. I am an avid hiker and the rugged beauty of the Maritimes and the people who reside here have been an endless source of inspiration for my work. Art and the act of its creation have provided me with numerous gifts, insights and enrich my life immeasurably. My hope is that by sharing my work and passion, it will somehow do the same for others.”

Gail Sutherland is originally from Montreal and moved to Nova Scotia in the spring of 1990. She obtained her Fine Arts degree at John Abbott College then completed her BFA at Concordia University, with a specialization in graphic design. While working as a graphic designer Gail pursued her love for painting in watercolour, studying with various artists including Helmut Gerth, Judy Garfin, Alvaro Castagnet and Brian Atyeo. In 2011, Gail became an elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour.

“ To simplify, to focus, to balance the seen with the unseen,
to capture the spirit, heart & soul the painting’s reason for being. ”

Bedford Eye Care, Bedford, NS Crouchers Pt. Gallery Glen Haven, NS Dunes Studio Gallery Brackley Beach, PE Lyghtesome Art Gallery, Antigonish, NS Teichert Gallery, Halifax, NS

Watercolour workshops; Brian Atyeo, Alvaro Castagnet, Judy Garfin and Helmut Gerth NSCAD University Halifax, NS – Certificate in Computer Graphics Concordia University Montreal, QC – BFA, Specialization in Graphic Design Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal – classes in life drawing and watercolour
John Abbott College Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC – DEC, Fine Arts Degree


Lunenburg Art Gallery / A Brush of Autumn Colour  / Plein Air / Lunenburg, NS / Sept 30th 2017
Paint Peggy’s Cove / Peggy’s Cove, NS / July 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017
Lunenburg Art Gallery / Coastal Impressions: Works by Three Nova Scotian Artists / May 30th – June 25th, 2017
​Parrsboro International Plein Air Festival / Parrsboro, NS / June 15th – June 18th, 2017
Plein Air Painters, Blue Mountain Birch Cove Wilderness Area / Group Show / Keshen Goodman Library, Halifax, NS / June 3 -30th, 2017 ​
Fabriano in Acquarello 2017 / Watercolour International Convention / Group Show/ Fabriano, Italy / April 20th – 23rd, 2017
​Teichert Gallery / Group Show / Halifax, NS / October 2016
IWS Canada / 1st International Watercolor Biennale / Juried Group Show / Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC / July 5 – 30, 2016
Crouchers Pt. Gallery /  “A Celebration of Art in Bedford” / Group Show / July 25-31, 2016
Lunenburg Art Gallery / Paint the Sea on Site / Group Show / Lunenburg, NS / July 16 & 17, 2016
SWOON at Novel Tea / Group Show / Truro, NS / February 2016
SWOON at Embassy Towers / Group Show / Halifax, NS / January 2016
Teichert Gallery / Group Show / Halifax, NS / October 2015
Crouchers Pt. Gallery / Group Show / Scott Manor House, Bedford, NS / August 24-29, 2015
SWOON Mini / Group Show / Halifax, NS / June – July 2015
Halifax Art Map / Group Show / Teichert Gallery , Halifax, NS / April 2014
SWOON Fine Art & Antiques “Farm Life”/  Group Show / Hammonds Plains, NS / July 2013
Dunes Studio Gallery / One of the Featured Artist at the Opening Reception / June 2013
Halifax Art Map / Group Show / Art Sales & Rental Gallery / May 2013
SWOON Fine Art & Antiques “Winterscene” / Group Show / Hammonds Plains, NS / 2013
Maples Gallery / Halifax, NS / 2012
Halifax Art Map FRED / Halifax, NS / 2010, 20011 & 2012
Art Sales & Rental / Halifax, NS / 2011
Visual Arts Nova Scotia “Paris Salon” / The Craig Gallery, Dartmouth, NS / 2011
Annual GAPACC Exhibit / Guysbourough, Antigonish & Pictou, NS / 2002,2003, 2004 & 2010
The Shubenacadie Art Show and Sale / Fairbanks Interpretive Centre, Dartmouth, NS / 2010
The Shubenacadie Art Connection / 2009
(Gallery 215, Tin Smith Shop Museum, Elmsdale Station, Advantage Frame and Gallery & Fairbanks Centre)
From Land and Sea / Book launch at Argyle Fine Art, Halifax, NS / 2009
Maples Decor Gallery / Featured Artist / Bedford, NS / 2009
Gallery 215 / Maitland, NS / 2009
Tatamagouche Film Festival / Tatamagouche, NS / 2006
Annual Invitational Group Show / Lyghtesome Art Gallery, Antigonish, NS / 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006
Romancing the Gallery / UCCB Art Gallery, Cape Breton, NS / 2006
Government House / Group Show / Halifax, NS / 2005
A Classic Tradition Life Drawing / Group Show / St. F.X. University Gallery, Antigonish, NS / 2005
Four Friends & a Potter / UCCB Art Gallery, Cape Breton, NS / 2004
I.O.D.E Annual Fall Art Show Featured Artist in 2001 / Sydney, NS / 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 & 2003
4th, 5th, 6th & 7th Annual Gala and Silent Auction / UCCB Art Gallery, Cape Breton, NS / 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2003
Fortress of Louisbourg Historic Site of Canada /  Louisbourg, NS / 2000
Rare Earth / Group Show / Acadia University, Wolfville, NS / 2000
In-Sight Art Gallery / Sydney Mines, NS / 2001 & 2002
Seven Sisters / UCCB Art Gallery, Cape Breton, NS / 1999
Whitney Pier Festival of Visual Arts / Group Show/ Whitney Pier, NS / 1999
2nd Annual Gala and Silent Auction / UCCB Art Gallery, Cape Breton, NS / 1998
Centre Scolaire Etoile de L’Acadie / Sydney, NS / 1998
Center Bras d’ Or / Baddeck, NS / 1998
“Kindred Spirits”/ UCCB Art Gallery, Cape Breton, NS / 1998
Inaugural Exhibition “Images and Reflections” / Group Show / UCCB Art Gallery, Cape Breton, NS / 1997
Life & Landscapes “A view of Cape Breton Island” / Gardner’s Gallery, Sydney, NS / 1997

For more about Gail Sutherland, please visit her website at www.gailsutherland.ca

Featured: 2nd Place International Winner

‘Mexico Fiesta’

The 2nd Place International Winner of our ‘150 Ways to Celebrate’ online watercolour contest, José Apaza, is originally from Arequipa, Peru but has been in Mexico for 40 years.

He was a student of the Workshop-School of Muralismo Siqueiros. London, Greater London Mexico (1977).

He received his BFA Bachelor of Fine Arts (Cum Laude) at the Instituto Allende, Gto. Mexico (1979).
He taught at the House of Culture, León, Gto. Mexico (1980-1987).

José’s solo exhibitions include:

  • Watercolor Museum, Toluca, Edo. Mex. Museum of the People, Gto. My University Museum of La Salle León, Gto. 2015
  • Mesón de los Poetas, Guanajuato 2013
  • Universidad Iberoamericana León, Gto. 2007
  • Alianza Francesa Lima and Arequipa, Peru 2006
  • Gene Byron Museum, Guanajuato 2000
  • City Museum, León, Gto. 1997
  • New Jersey, USA 1988
  • Museo del Pueblo, Guanajuato 1986
  • Teatro M. Doblado 1985
  • Exhibition and Convention Center, León, Gto. 1980
  • Teatro M. Doblado León, Gto. 1980
  • University of Guanajuato 1980
  • San Luis Potosí, Mexico 1979

Group Exhibitions he has participated in include:

  • Watercolor and Love, Vietnam, 2017
  • International Competition of Watercolor. Chihuahua 2017
  • 150 Ways to Celebrate. IWS Canada 2017
  • Heritage Art, Watercolor Exhibition, Indonesia 2017
  • 1st International Watercolor Biennale 2017, Quito, Ecuador 2017
  • Taiwan 2016
  • India 2015
  • Madrid, Spain 2015
  • Fabriano, Italy 2015
  • Mexico DF 2015, 2014, 1990, 1981
  • Toluca, Estado de México 2014
  • Ratchadamnoen, Thailand 2014
  • Shenzhen, China 2013
  • Zhujiajiao, China 2012
  • Quebec, Canada 2013, 2011, 2000
  • Czestochowa, Poland 2014, 2012, 2010, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002
  • Thailand 2014
  • Estaimpuis, Belgium 2012
  • Holland 2007
  • 2003 Museum of History, Monterrey, NL 1992
  • San Antonio, Texas, USA 1992
  • Havana, Cuba 1989
  • Spain 2015, 2008
  • Italy 2015, 2009
  • Germany 2010
  • Monterrey, Mexico 1993

Awards and Distinctions:

  • Excellence Award. International Watercolor Contest Chihuahua 2017
  • Second International Award. 150 Ways to Celebrate. Online Watercolor Contest. IWS Canada 2017
  • First International Biennale of Watercolor, Quito, Ecuador, 2017
  • Taiwan World Watercolor Competition and Exhibition Award of Excellence 2016
  • Second Prize 8th Edition Mexican Society of Watercolorists Award, National Museum de la Acuarela, Mexico, DF 2015
  • Honorable Mention, Watercolor Museum, Toluca, State of Mexico 2014
  • First International Biennial of Watercolor Estaimpuis, Belgium 2012
  • Bourse d’Excellence, Special Merit, International d’Art Miniature, Quebec, Canada 2011
  • Second Prize, VI International Biennial of Miniature Art, Czestochowa, Poland 2010
  • Honorable Mention VIII Biennial of Drawing and Print, Gto. 1998
  • First Prize of Painting, Arequipa, Peru 1969

Artwork published in Watercolor catalogs:

  • Vietnam 2017
  • Chihuahua, Mexico 2017
  • Canada 2017 (online)
  • Indonesia 2017
  • 1st Quito Watercolor Biennial 2017
  • Seoul, Korea 2015
  • Madrid, Spain 2015
  • Fabriano, Italy 2015
  • Mexico, DF. 2014
  • Naintré, France 2014
  • Ratchadamnoen, Thailand 2014
  • Shenzhen, China 2014
  • Seferihizar, Turkey 2013
  • Zhujiajiao, China 2012
  • Estaimpuis, Belgium 2012

Artwork published in catalogs of Miniature Art:

  • Czestochowa, Poland 2014, 2012,
    2010, 2004, 2002.
  • Ville Marie, Quebec, Canada 2002.

In other publications:

  • Article / Interview Watercolor Artist Magazine June 2016.
  • Article / Interview, Magazine: L’art de l’Aquarelle N ° 15 Naintré, France. June 2014.
  • Book:  100 Artists and their Works León, Gto. 2012.
  • Magazine: Pratique des Arts N ° 31 Naintré, France 2012.
  • Catalog: Din A4 Roermond, Netherlands 2010.

If you wish to see more of José Apaza’s artwork, please visit his website at www.joseapaza.com

Featured: First Place International Winner

‘Hair in the Air’

“A teacher of Fine Art, a designer, no matter what titles used to be, the best description of Richard Tiejun Chao, however, is a born artist..

Richard is a Chinese artist living in Sydney, Australia. Born in a family of artistic atmosphere in 1972, Richard initiated drawing when he was only a 5-year old boy. Inheriting his grandfather, who was an artist in 1930’s China, Richard’s talent turned up at very young age. After he consecutively finished his study in Xi’an Fine Arts College, Xi’an Fine Arts Academy, and finally obtained his Master of Art in Xi’an Jiaotong University, he was well-prepared to be a professional artist.

However, being an artist is not a paved way for Richard. He used to be a teacher of fine arts for 9 years in a Chinese university and had worked as a cartoonist and a graphic designer in a Chinese newspaper for 13 years. During this period Richard had produced lots of oil painting works. It is after his settle down in Sydney in 2013, that Richard began to focus on watercolor.

Richard is an enthusiastic watercolorist with very keen sense at colors, which was initially fully reflected in his oil paintings. He also stands out for his high techniques applied in oil paintings and watercolor paintings, especially in portraits. He vividly captures the characteristics and nature of his subjects. His paintings not only witness his exquisite techniques and coloring skills, but also the deep influence of classical art upon him.

What drives him to paint with watercolor is an FAQ. Transparent watercolor is a material that is truly difficult to control. the subject’s innermost being.

Since Richard started focusing on watercolor painting, his works have won him international reputation. 2016 and 2017 are fruitful years for Richard. “The Art of Watercolor” Issue 26 reports him and introduces his painting on 6 full pages, being entitled “Richard Chao—Understanding Our Uniqueness”; in addition, “Looking into the Sky” was selected the cover painting of Issue 26. He has very good performance in international exhibitions.”

Achievements and Prizes
Interviewed and reported by the world leading watercolor journal”The Art of Watercolor”, 2017
Cover painting of Issue 26 of ”The Art of Watercolor”, 2017
“Street Drummer”, The 2nd Place, IWS India 2017 Biennale online contst, 2017
“Tibetan Sunshine”, The 2nd Place, IWS Ecuador 2017 Biennale, Ecuador,2017
“A Wrestler King’s Roaring after His Victory”, Top 10 Portrait Artist, the 2nd Tirana International Watercolor Biennale, Albania, 2017
“Hair in The Air”, NWS 2017 Annual Members Exhibition, 2017
“Mirror Lake ”, IWS Slovakia 2017 International watercolor exhibition, Ecuador, 2017
“Dance of A Spirit ”, IWS Indonesia 2017
“In the Burning Sun”, Merit Award, The 8th Continental Watercolor Art Hwa-yang Award, Taiwan, 2016
“A Mongolian Wrestler”, Top 30, Bluethumb Prize, Australia, 2016.
“A Tibetan Girl”, The First IWS Portugal International Festival, 2017
“Lest We Forget”, Finalist, Hunter’s Hill Art Exhibition, NSW, Australia, 2017
“An Aboriginal Man”, IWS First Canada International Watercolor Biennale, Canada 2016
“A Weathered Face”, IWS HK First International Watercolor Biennale, Hong Kong, China, 2016
“The Parable of seeds”, Finalist, Watercolor Exhibition of Western China Impression, Xi’an, China, 2016
“A Little Girl from Rural Western China”, Finalist, Watercolor Exhibition of Western China Impression, Xi’an, China, 2016
Watercolor Solo Exhibition, Sydney, Australia, 2016

To see more of Richard’s art, please visit
Facebook: Richard Tiejun Chao

Featured: 1st Place National Winner

‘Lake Superior Shoreline #3’

From Antarctica to the North Pole and with great emphasis on the Canadian wilderness, artist David McEown celebrates some of the most beautiful, yet fragile, natural heritage of our planet through the creative act of painting.

After graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1992, David spent his last 2 years off campus pursuing independent studies at the Algoma School of Landscape Arts based in the remote wilderness of Northern Ontario.  After completing these studies he stayed several more years teaching and wilderness guiding.  For his body of work done in this Lake Superior region steeped in indigenous culture and Canadian landscape painting history, David was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation Grant in 1994 and again in 1999.

Also in 1999, he was elected a member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour for which he served as a director from 2002 to 2007.

David’s work has received national and international awards, in various juried shows.  His most prestigious award came in 2005 with the A.J. Casson Medal from the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour.

Since then he has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s most accomplished and travelled landscape watercolourists, represented with paintings in many public and corporate collections worldwide as well as articles published in numerous magazines.

From 2005, David has focused his art on the polar regions, a journey that led him to circumnavigate both the Arctic and Antarctica.  On board research vessels and polar class icebreakers, hiking, and even skiing to the North Pole, he continues to work on a project witnessing and recording the beauty of a world that is rapidly changing and disappearing.

Through the spontaneity of watercolour and letting the forces of nature participate in the painting process, his paintings emphasize the sense of impermanence and change.

David loves to paint on location, a way to meditate and connect with the landscape, but he also loves to share his art in the studio by teaching.  Since 2002, he has been leading workshops at the Royal Ontario Museum, and is sought after by prestigious art clubs in Canada.  Internationally, as part of various artist-in-residence programs, he has been sharing his enthusiasm and unique way of seeing with participants from all over the world.

A talented speaker and performer, David is also very keen to share his passionate multi-media presentations and watercolour demos, hoping to communicate and bring an awareness of the wonders of our planet.

To view his paintings and journeys visit his website


David is also on social media ,

Facebook at davidmceown

Instagram at  davidmceown