Collective Wisdom

Collective Wisdom in script

WSO’s Collective Wisdom is a list of watercolor resources, techniques, and materials recommended by WSO members.  This information is updated quarterly.


Novels or Non-fiction Books About Art or Artists

This topic is the theme for the November Collective Wisdom. The below recommendations are examples. Please share your recommendations with your WSO friends and fellow artists. Send the names of up to three books, the names of the authors, and up to three sentences about each book to Ilana Hoffman by October 10, 2022.

A Piece of the World  by Christina Baker Kline

After viewing Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and touring the Portland Art Museum’s exhibition The Wyeths: Three Generations, I was fascinated by this fictionalized story of the creation of Christina’s World. (The author is not the Christina in the painting.)
Ilana Hoffman, August 2022

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos  by Dominic Smith

This novel travels in time and place from Amsterdam in 1631, to Manhattan in 1957, to Sydney in 2000. The artist of the painting, the forger of that painting, and the descendent of the original owner of the painting are all embroiled in a suspenseful tale that examines the roles of chauvinism, fraud, and moral ambiguity in the art world.
Ilana Hoffman, August 2022

Online Watercolor Resources

In addition to the recommendations of online resources listed below, please keep in mind that many of our WSO members have their own websites. Check your Membership Roster & Handbook for their website links and explore the art and information they offer.

Blick Creative Community,

Access to this Facebook group is granted upon request. Group members share their artwork and exchange advice on techniques and art products. While the group spans many media, there are a good number of watercolor paintings and discussions. I find many of the shared paintings to be sources of inspiration, and the discussions to be informative and useful.
Dan Perich, August 2022

Royal Watercolour Society,

Several years ago, I purchased the book The Watercolour Expert put out by the Royal Watercolour Society in the UK. This book led me to search for their website, which I love to visit now and then. There is something about seeing how artists in other countries handle water media that can often refresh my view on what is possible.
Leslie Dugas, August 2022

Learn to Paint Podcast,

I recently learned about a wonderful podcast by Kelly Powers, the daughter of Lynn Powers, a past member of WSO. Kelly skillfully interviews accomplished artists and teachers who give tips on how artists can improve their works. Guests include such well-known water media artists as Dean Mitchell, John Salminen, Stan Kurth, and Peggi Habets.
Leslie Dugas, August 2022

My Modern Met,,,,,

This website and the weekly newsletter I receive by email supply me with joyful bursts of inspiration. I love reading about and viewing the works of extraordinary artists exploring the dazzling edges of the brave new art world.
Ilana Hoffman, August 2022

The Painter’s Keys,

I enjoy the Twice-Weekly Letters that I receive by email from this website, which contain insights, information, and encouragement about being an artist. The letters originally were written by artist Robert Genn, who “came to understand the idea of a Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Artists — a worldwide community of creative people with a lot of the same concerns.”
Leslie Dugas, May 2022

Society of Visual Storytelling, and

This website offers over 100 high quality recorded online courses covering many different topics including the business of art, as well as a very active online forum, regular live critiques, and monthly contests. You can pay for individual classes, or you can get an annual membership that gives you unlimited access to all their classes, the forum, and special events.
Terri Rottman, May 2022

John Muir Laws, and

If you are into nature journaling (or any kind of nature related art), this is a fun resource where you can learn some science and observation skills along with the art skills. Laws presents a wide range of videos and a blog that is mostly instructional content.
Terri Rottman, May 2022,

This website makes it easy to create your own website for your artwork.
Susan Escobar, May 2022

American Watercolor,

The free email newsletter, American Watercolor, features articles about a variety of well-known watercolor artists and instructors, who share their tips and techniques about painting.
Karen Kreamer, May 2022