Finalists announced for A Symphony in Watercolour!

Our jurors Peter Marsh CSPWC, OSA, SCA, TWS, Anne McCartney CSPWC, AWS, TWSA and Rainbow Ze (youth juror) have completed their task in choosing the paintings that will be exhibited during our ‘A Symphony in Watercolour’ exhibition this fall, September 28th to October 27th, in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada.  A huge thank you to them – it must have been really hard to choose from all of the great entries we had – a total of 320 from 32 countries!

These paintings are listed on the page entitled ‘A Symphony in Watercolour‘, which can also be viewed at the bottom of our home page.  Congratulations to all finalists!!

Also listed are paintings by the invited artists such as those who won our ‘150 Ways to Celebrate’ online contest last year, and the jurors and the presidents of our cooperating societies.

In addition to finalist paintings, there were many the jurors felt merited special mention.  These will not be physically exhibited, but will also be posted on the website during the exhibition.  They are listed below the finalist paintings.

Thank you to everyone around the world who entered our exhibition!  Your enthusiasm and talent for watercolour, and your contributions to our understanding of your perspective through art, are why we exist.  We couldn’t do this without you.

Peace and love through art!

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

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

Featured: 2nd Place National Winner

‘Night Sun’

Emily Read was born in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Emily’s work strikes a balance between realism and abstraction. Recurring themes in her art include natures’ fragility and power. This artist has exhibited her work in solo and group shows throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. Emily has had her work shown at the Louvre and projected on a building in Times Square. Most notably, her work can be seen on the covers of the Ottawa Arts Review 7.1 and Imminent Quarterly III. Emily has received many awards in International Juried Art Competitions for her watercolour series. She currently lives in Montreal, Canada and continues to exhibit and sell her work regularly. Her current watercolour series focuses on positive stories of humans saving endangered animals.

For more information about Emily, please visit her website at

Finalists announced for ‘150 Ways to Celebrate’!

We are pleased to present the 150 finalists of our online watercolour contest, chosen by four renowned jurors, from 1450 entries and over 80 different countries around the world.  Please enjoy these excellent watercolours.  You may see the beautiful video presentation  constructed by our IWS Canada President Ona Kingdon, and all the winners and finalists, here on the page devoted to the contest.  We have also announced the results on Facebook.

Congratulations to all the finalists and especially to our winners!

Thank you to all who entered our contest.

Closure and jurying of our ‘150 Ways to Celebrate’ contest

IWS Canada’s Facebook online watercolour contest opened on Canada Day and closed on August 31 at midnight EDT.


Now it is less than a month until our contest results are announced on October 1! This gives us time to make sure all entries are seen in the best, fairest, way possible.

Our way of processing the 1450 entries from over 80 countries so they were coded, means primary judging is done by vision alone, without knowledge of artist or country. We have an established set of guidelines and deadlines for the jurors to follow, and when jurying is finished, Ona Kingdon, our president, will have enough time to put together a beautiful video of the 150 finalists and the 8 winners to be ready October 1.

We can hardly wait to show you the final selections!