Who We Are

The Watercolor Society of Oregon (WSO) is a 501(c)(7) organization dedicated to supporting its members and anyone who appreciates and is interested in watercolor and water media. WSO was founded in 1966 with 85 artists. Currently, WSO is an exciting and vibrant organization of more than 600 members, committed to sharing the beauty and adventure of watercolor.

The first weekends of April and of October find hundreds of WSO members and non-members coming together to for a convention and the opening of an exhibition of 80 paintings chosen from members’ work by nationally and internationally known jurors. The conventions are very exciting as old friends and new connect around our love of painting. Classes, lectures and critiques increase our understanding of water media including composition, new techniques, and various painting approaches. We watch as the juror critiques slides of members’ paintings, seeing what works and what might make a painting better. We see why the juror chose the award winners as he comments on each. A four (4) to five (5) day workshop follows the convention for up to 25 lucky artists.

In addition to the convention workshop, WSO sponsors other workshops. Two workshops are held at the beautiful Menucha Retreat and Conference Center above the Columbia Gorge. WSO supports critique groups around the state for members and non-members alike. Critique groups provide opportunities for us to share our work and get feedback from our fellow artists on what they like and how our paintings might be improved. WSO also gives grants for workshops organized by members throughout the Oregon.  Another learning opportunity provided to our members are videos from our large Slide and Video Collection.