The answer to this question is both delightful and simple. VWS exists because we members love watercolor painting, and we adore hanging out with other artists who paint in watercolor! Technically, our watercolor includes painting with water-soluble media: watercolor, acrylic, casein, gouache, and egg tempera on paper or Yupo. We love the way the paint moves and captures light, its luminescence, and the challenges of this type of painting, with all its surprises along the way.

Just as serious as our pursuit of watermedia art, is our unwavering VWS commitment to reach out to others, educating the public about watercolor painting, supporting new art projects, and helping student artists through our scholarships!


Fostering the advancement and study of watermedia painting.


Organized in 1979 by Roanoke artists, John Will Creasy and Ernest Johnson, the Virginia Watercolor Society is a highly reputed organization of artists and non-painters which seeks to foster interest and participation in the exciting world of watercolor through its publications, demonstrations, annual juried exhibitions, and social activities. The society creates opportunities for beginners as well as established artists to advance their skills and professionalism. It also seeks ways to educate the public about the wonders of watercolor painting.

In 1988, the IRS recognized the VWS as a publicly supported 501(c)3 organization and granted it tax-exempt status. The VWS Foundation was incorporated in March 1994.

Founder, John Will Creasy, envisioned a permanent fund to use proceeds for the charitable purposes of educating and encouraging deserving artists, particularly students and beginning painters, and underwriting various educational projects of the Society.

The name of the fund was changed to Creasy/Johnson Fund in 1996 to honor both of our founders. Because VWS is incorporated, the Creasy/Johnson Fund functions as a committee within the VWS organization.

VWS members, Bev Perdue, Ellie Cox, and Chris Krupinski discussing the elements of a painting