Watercolour in Valencia

By Chris Dennison

 

“Watercolour is a swim in the metaphysics of life…. A mirror of one’s own character.” (Anonymous)

I was chatting the other day with Jose Galarzo, president of the Agrupacion de Acuarelistas Valencianos (Valencian Watercolourists’ Group), another of the very good things Valencia has to offer on a cultural level. This what he told me.

jose-galarzo

  • What exactly is the Valencian Watercolourists’ Group, Jose?

It’s an association of people who love watercolour. We meet and paint together and share experiences.

  • Tell me a little about the history of the Group.

It was formed by a bunch of friends who had been painting together for some time and decided, one day, to formalise the group and put it on an official basis. It was something that was missing in Valencia but which had been working well in many other parts of Spain. It was obviously something that needed doing because since the Group was formed, watercolour in the Valencian Community has become much better known both nationally and internationally. We now communicate with all the other Groups in Spain and are represented in almost all the meetings around the country. Last year (2015) was our 10th anniversary.

  • How many members are there in the Group?

There are 110 of us at the moment. Since we organised the First Open Meeting in Valencia last year, the number has risen.

  • What kind of activities do you organise?

Painting, painting and more painting. There are groups of members who go out painting virtually every day of the week around the city. Valencia is a great place for watercolour, the weather is usually very reliable so we can paint virtually all year round. The city itself has a lot to offer and getting around it is easy and cheap. There are even buses to nearby beauty spots like the Albufera Nature Park and the Dehesa (parkland) of El Saler.

We also organise longer outings, often in a coach, once a month to places further away. We try to make sure that the destinations are different each time. We set off fairly early in the morning to visit a different town, have breakfast and then get to know the old centre, the parks, the buildings of interest, both old and new, and generally get a feel for the place. After painting for the rest of the morning we find the place we have previously booked for lunch so that we can try out the local cuisine.

And as well as that, approximately every three months we have a guided visit to one of the city museums.

And finally, we organise an exhibition of our members work each year as well as demonstrations of watercolour techniques and talks about watercolour in general at least twice a year.

 

  • Are foreigners allowed in the Group?

Yes, of course they are and, what’s more, they are very welcome to join us. We currently have members from The United States, The United Kingdom and France.

  • What does watercolour mean to you, Jose?

It is a very important part of my life. At the moment almost everything I do is centred on watercolour; my work, my friends, my free time, everything. Since I was about 11 years old and was given my first box of watercolours, I haven’t stopped painting.

  • Do you organise exhibitions?

Yes, as I mentioned before we have one every year and would like to have more. The problem is, though, that we need to plane at least a year in advance in order to find suitable places to hold them. We usually use municipal buildings as they are free.

 

  • Are you on the social media?

Yes, we have a webpage

http://acuarelistasvalencianos.com/

This is our shop window and information centre. Here you can find our members with their works and personal URLs. There is also information about Group outings, painting competitions and meetings.

Then there is our blog

http://acuarelistasvalencianos.blogspot.com.es/

Here you will find images of recent outings and news.

And, finally there is our FaceBook page.

https://www.facebook.com/acuarelistasvalencianos/

Here we post more immediate news and happenings.

 

  • How can I become a member?

You can do that from our blog.

http://acuarelistasvalencianos.blogspot.com.es/

Click on the tab labelled “Para ser socio”, download the form and print it out. Fill in all your details and send the form together with two passport sized photographs to this address:

Agrupación de Acuarelistas Valencianos

C/ Trinquet de Cavallers, 9

46003 Valencia

And that’s it. Later, if you want to, you can send some images of your work to publish on our webpage and a personal URL if you feel like it.

Our annual membership fee is very cheap compared to other similar groups: Just 65€.

 

  • And you mentioned happenings, Jose; what’s happening this October?

On the weekend of 21st, 22nd and 23rd of October we are holding our second national meeting of watercolourists “Ciutat de València”. Last year’s inaugural meeting was very successful with participants coming from all over Spain. The degree of satisfaction was very high and so we have high hopes that this year’s event will be both bigger and better. So far people from Andalucía, The Basque Country, Aragón, Cataluña and Ceuta have registered. It’s looking good!

We would like to thank the Centro del Carmen for their wonderful support in allowing us the use of their premises for the Sunday session.

If you want more information about the event it’s all on our blog. You can also sign up as a participant there. It’s free!

  • Thanks very much for your time Jose.

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