Click Winslow! He likes it.



The Marin County Watercolor Society is a resource for artists, both new and experienced. The organization was established in 1970 and offers many opportunities in Marin County and other exciting places to paint, sketch and learn, including:

Lectures, demonstrations and workshops for all levels of watermedia;- A monthly newsletter that provides information on painting sites, member activities, upcoming group shows, and other information

Twice a month group paint-outs in Marin County locations

Painting trips with other artists to such places as Mendocino, Tahoe and Monterey (spouses welcome!)

Non-juried group shows in public venues such as Town Halls, Civic Center, Bank of Marin, Rock Hill Gallery and others;- Yearly celebrations of Winslow Homer's birthday, a summer picnic, and December holiday party

To host an exhibition of MCWS works, please email inquiry here: Inquire about having an Exhibition

The opportunity to form lasting friendships with some of the most respected artists in Marin County!

Information on upcoming events: Let us hear from you!

To join and receive our newsletter, send $20 payable to MCWS to: A new president of MCWS is being chosen, as Susan Black, our former president has moved away. Please stop back soon for the new info. Much thanks to Susan for all her great service to the MCWS.



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Winslow Homer
(our adopted 'patron saint')
"You will see in the future will live by my watercolors"

Born into a starchy New England family in 1836, Homer had a 20-year career designing for lithography and engraving. During the Civil War he tried his hand at oil paints and had immediate success with this medium. While continuing in oils, of which he produced about 300, he took up watercolor 10 years later, probably as the result of seeing an exhibition in 1873. The exhibition was sponsored by the American Watercolor Society, which had been founded in 1866. The Society, by establishing watercolor as a serious medium, gave tremendous impetus to the cause of watercolor painting in America. Among those who responded to its message was Winslow Homer.

Homer was elected to membership in AWS in 1876. In his next 30 years he executed at least 685 watercolors that are known of today. Most of his work was produced in one-week to several-month working vacation trips. Personally he was rather short and slight, and a dapper dresser who would purchase whole matching wardrobes, including walking sticks in quantity. He had many friends as a young man, loved to dance and admired pretty girls. There was one lovely redhead who captured his attention, a fellow artist who is depicted in many of his early paintings. But Homer never married. Besides his art, his interests seem to have been his two brothers' families and his eccentric father. His mother, from whom he received his earliest art training, had the pleasure of seeing her pupil's success before her death when he was 48 years old. Homer's other interests were frequent fishing and hunting expeditions, but basically he was a loner.

He won fame during his lifetime, and if his misanthropic tendencies increased with age, it was through no want of appreciation and awards. He lived alone in his home on Maine's craggy coast at Prout's Neck for many years, and devoted himself almost full-time to painting. He had a little moveable "painting house" built on runners with a big plate glass window, which could be moved to a chosen spot, like a trailer. Thus he had not only a shelter from the weather, but protection from inquisitive visitors, especially ladies, to whom he had developed an aversion. Homer died in 1910.

It is difficult to discover Winslow Homer's personality. In watercolor, this intensely private man expressed an intimate and sensual self. A crusty bachelor, he never fathered a family, unless you count all of us. Rather than a patron saint, he really is the patriarch of all watercolor artists.

---with acknowledgment to Ruth Alexander---1986



The marin county watercolor society

marin county watercolor society