International Watercolor Society

...mission to promote and popularize watercolor/watermedia in every part of the world





The International Watercolor Society (IWS) is a non-profit organization which was established in January 2012 with the objective of promoting the world's oldest and most deeply rooted painting technique; the art of watercolor. IWS is founded by Mr. Atanur Dogan.  Our goal is to promote peace by the use of art; the common language of all the people of the world. Our activities involve bringing watercolor artists and art-lovers together.  Our headquarters are in the ancient city of Teos, Turkey on the eastern shores of the Aegean Sea.


About The International Watercolor Society

 Mission Statement

To bring the watercolor art to the forefront as we develop, promote and popularize watercolors / watermedia in every country.

Our  Purpose

As great aficionados of watercolor, it is our hope that watercolor practice and tradition continue and the enthusiasm for it be passed on to the next generation.  We hope to leave a great legacy behind by pioneering a global network of support for watercolor artists with the creation of international watercolor communities where race, religion, politics and distance will not be a barrier.  It is our hope that we may be able to contribute to the promotion, development and further evolution of watercolor art through the international festivals, exhibitions and activities that allow artists, academicians and experts in the field to interact and share ideas on both traditional and new approaches to watercolor.


We increase exposure and opportunities for artists so that many will be given better chances to launch and achieve successful careers in art.


While watercolor art is well received and thriving in many parts of the world, there are still countries where watercolor is yet to be recognized as an accepted medium, where outdated notions about watercolor still proliferate.  We hope to correct this and many other misconceptions about the medium so we see a need for an information drive.


As a non-profit organization, we rely on free resources and volunteerism to propel our project events and activities forward.  We are grateful for the support received from the various art institutions and sponsors who believe in our work.  We encourage the local governments and art councils to support our IWS branches and their country's artist.


Our plan of action

Use of free online resources and social media.

The International Watercolor Society recognizes the potential of using free online resources and social media to further our cause. We have used social media to share inspiring watercolor art of world watercolor artists.   Not only do we use the web to gather and disseminate information, showcase watercolor art,  it has proven itself an effective platform for launching a global network.  Since the inception of IWS in 2012, social media has been used to connect watercolor artists and supporters worldwide.  By 2014, boosted by the enthusiasm from participating international artists, the next phase, that of creating IWS country branches, commenced.  We intend to promote and popularize watercolor/watermedia in every country by setting up branches from which we can reach out to local artists, offering guidance, opportunities to interact with other artists and take part in international exhibitions facilitated or supported by the International Watercolour Society.  By the start of 2016, branch country membership is over 80 strong with more applications coming in.  It is with pride that we also want to share how IWS seems to have become a harbinger of peace between nations as we continue to promote diversity, diplomacy and respect.  Our policy of cooperation and working outside of race, politics, religion, and using art to bridge differences seems to have paid off.


Festivals, Exhibitions, Partnerships

Festivals and exhibitions are effective means to promote watercolor painting by presenting to the world exceptional watercolor art and artists.  These events also become interaction points for attending artists, collectors, academicians from various countries.  We seek and work with already established watercolor societies for mutual benefit.  We mobilize support to watercolor events by information drive and by encouraging participation of our members.



Education and our Information Drive

We give great importance to learning and in sharing knowledge and experience specially to artists showing an interest and potential in watercolor.  We strive to uplift the caliber of the watercolor medium through discussions, seminars, workshops and masterclasses held by IWS members around the world.  We also publish periodical journals of watercolor art .

 We present advancements in watercolor technology/production to dispel outdated and misleading notions about watercolors.  We work with art supply companies and authorities in the field to help disseminate information that will help bring watercolors to new light.


Welcoming help

As a non-profit organization, the success of IWS is due to the many volunteers who help by lending skills and expertise.  Our organization will always be open to people and institutions who share our values and believe in our advocacy.


Guilding us in our mission are our core values

Professionalism – We give our very best effort.  Handle projects and tasks efficiently.   It describes our approach to work, service and how we relate to one another.   It is acting with dignity and decorum.  We acknowledge and take our responsibilities seriously.


Commitment – Joining the organization requires commitment.  It is a pledge to action.  A promise to support projects by volunteering skills or labor when possible.


Teamwork – We are embarking on a monumental task and success is possible only if we work together.  We give respect and practice courtesy and diplomacy at all times.  We listen and open ourselves to new ideas and welcome innovation.   We provide support to one another’s projects or activities.  We work to achieve mutually beneficial results.


Recognition – We put great worth in initiative and people who work and give their best to the organization.  We recognize, give credit and reward contributions and efforts.


Personal Development – We pursue all opportunities to learn to become better individuals.  We welcome new creative ideas and acquire new skills.  We will welcome chances to improve by encouraging feedback, creative criticism, coaching and mentoring .



President: Atanur Dogan (Turkey/Canada)


Vice President: Amit Kapoor (India)

Chief of IWS Events & IWS Schools


Vice President: Ze Ze Lai (Hong Kong)

Chief of IWS Magazine & IWS Marketing


Honorary Director: Liu Yi (China)


Executive Director: La Fe (Thailand)


IWS Museum Director: Hong Yuchen ( China )


Media Director: Helidon Doni Haliti (Albania)


Communication Director: NB Gurung (Nepal)


Communication Director: Silvia Neiger (Switzerland)

Co-ordinator of Latin Branches










Board Member: Agus Budiyanto (Indonesia)

Board Member: Alfonso L Tejada (Canada)

Board Member: Ali Abbas Syed (Pakistan)

Board Member: António Bártolo (Portugal)

Board Member: Bea Strugo ( Argentna)

Board Member: Besnik Xhemaili (Kosovo)

Board Member: Cheryl Curnick (South Africa)

Board Member: Daniel Antonio Peña Bresciani (Peru)

Board Member: Franc Golob (Slovenia)

Board Member: Joe Dowden (United Kingdom)

Board Member: Linda Doll (United States)

Board Member: Ludmila Yaschuk (Ukraine)

Board Member: Mai Nguyen (Vietnam)

Board Member: Mauri Virtanen (Ecuador)

Board Member: Min Wae Aung (Myanmar)

Board Member: Mrinmay Sebastian (UAE)

Board Member: Pablo Rubén López Sanz (Spain)

Board Member: Sandor Szikszai (Hungary)

Board Member: Selma Селма Тодорова (Bulgaria)






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