Agrupacion de Aquirellistel de Catalunya, Catalan Association of Watercolor Painters, located in Barcelona, has a long history. Was based in 1865. Association was practicing the Catalan school of art, supporting varies styles of watercolor painting and giving it a serious attention, as before watercolor was considered to be a secondary media, used for illustrations and coloring. The Agrupacion for already one and a half centuries was uniting many artists under their roof, at some point even oil painters, sculptors and ceramists and once again finding it’s independence and dedication to watercolor.
I found this organization by luck, my friend passed it by and knowing that I am very interested in watercolor, collected all the info. I have visited them in a very next day and accepted their invitation to paint at the studios. It was very nice to meet everybody, see what they paint and how studios are organized. Studios are open 5 days a week and two times a day for 3 hours each time. Usually artists paint still lives, that are set up in few places, also if you want to paint a landscape, in two rooms there are projectors, so each time you have a choice of two different references.
I had a plan to paint Sagrada Familia there, my paper size was the biggest out of all artist’s and got a lot of attention at the beginning. When I started painting, I was able to keep the attention due to my different style of painting. On this photo you can see my setup, this is just a beginning of painting:
Every Wednesday artists of Barcelona get together to go for plein air. I was also invited and came at 10 am to the Barcelonetta metro station, close to the port and the beach. I could not believe that this large group of about 50 people was my artist group! This happens every week for already many years! Not all of the artists are watercolor painters, some work with acrylic, some with oil, but mostly all of them like to go for plein air with watercolors. Meeting is in one place, then some people go one place, others go to different. At noon we all met at a cafe-bar to show our works and talk about them.
Group is not only painting but actively exhibiting. I went to the juried watercolor show, held in the center of Barcelona, at Real Cercle Artistic (Institut Barcelones D’Art).
Second show was organized right at the separate room of the watercolor association, left for shows like that. Since organization is located on the 1st floor, anybody can easily enter to see the show and buy paintings if they wish so. One more show I visited in the close to Barcelona town, called Terrassa. This town is located in the area that was populated already 1 000 000 years ago, which makes it one of the oldest places in Europe. This show was a solo show of TERESA JORDA. Truly impressive abstract watercolors! Teresa works with thicker varieties of watercolor paper as I do, so we had a long conversation with her about papers available in Spain.
I must say everybody at the group was very helpful to me. I also had my chance to practice Spanish, as only 3 people could converse with me in English. I think I must take my Spanish classes more serious as I was invited to give a watercolor demonstration during my next return to Barcelona (hopefully in spring of next year). As a return of favors, I invited all group to my studio as well, to show my setup and demonstrate my large works.