Post Office Box 4631
Walnut Creek, CA 94596  USA

2023 Color - Subtle or Wild

CWA Member Show

California Watercolor Association Member Show

CWA Member Show - Color - Subtle or Wild 

November 1 - December 22, 2023
The City of San Ramon
City Hall Gallery

Theme of the Show:

Color - Subtle or Wild

Color theory is both the science and art of using color. It explains how humans perceive color and the visual effects of how colors mix, match or contrast with each other. Artists select complementary, analogous or triadic color combinations to communicate their message in a painting. The colors can be warm or cool with endless tints, shades, and tones. Art for this show may be of animals, landscapes, nature, abstract, or figures. Please submit artwork that highlights how you use color - muted or strong.

Open to ALL CWA Members – November 1 - December 22, 2023
ENTRY OPENING: September 4, 2023
ENTRY DEADLINE: October 14, 2023

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1st Place - $150, 2nd Place - $100, 3rd Place - $75, and 4 Honorable Mentions $25

San Ramon City Hall Gallery
7000 Bollinger Canyon Road
San Ramon, CA 94583

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Juror of Selection: TBD
Juror of Awards: TBD

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Show Calendar                   (Save these Dates)

Oct 14
Entry deadline
Oct 19
Notification to accepted artists and posted on the CWA website
Oct 27  
Deadline for receiving shipped paintings
Nov 1  
Artwork drop-off at the San Ramon City Hall Gallery
Nov 1  
Hang show
Nov 2  
Gallery show opens
Awards to artists at reception and posted on the CWA website
Dec 15
Exhibitors receive an email reminder about artwork pick-up
Dec 22
Show closes
Dec 22
Pick up paintings at the San Ramon City Hall Gallery
All shipped paintings go out by shipping carriers identified in the return shipping label provided by the artist.

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This CWA Members Show is open to ALL CWA members 18 years or older. 

Paintings must be two-dimensional and primarily watermedia on paper surfaces; Yupo, Tyvek, and Aquabord are acceptable. Pastel or collage may be used as long as watermedia is the dominant medium. Digital media, photography, prints, or reproductions are not acceptable. The source material and composition of submitted work must be wholly original and not derived from any published images. Entries must be entirely the work of the artist and not shown previously in a CWA Members Show. The work must not be shown in another show (i.e., online) while this show is open. No workshop or class work allowed. All paintings must be for sale and priced framed. All work submitted to this show must have been completed in the past two years. Subject matter that may be objectionable to the public (e.g., nudity, obscenity, and extreme political/religious views) will be disqualified.

Important Eligibility Notes:

  • Artists that fail to provide the accepted entry will be disqualified for one year from entering a CWA Members Show. 
  • Paintings shown in a previous CWA Members Show or a concurrent show will be disqualified from this show, and the member will be disqualified for one year from entering Members Shows.

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Online Entry Instructions

All entries must be submitted via our website:  Members may enter up to three digital images in jpeg format.  The resolution must be 300 dpi, with 1200 pixels on the longest side, one painting per file. The size is for the image only.  Do not include the frame in the image or measurements. The image must be without a mat or frame.

  • Log in using Member's Login from the CWA website homepage:  
  • From the Members homepage, choose Shows/Exhibitions, then Member Shows, and select Color - Subtle or Wild.
  • Confirm your information, add your painting details, and upload your images.
  • As a final step, pay for your entry.

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Entry Fees (non-refundable)

Entry fee is payable by PayPal or credit card.  It must be completed by the entry deadline of 10/14.

CWA Members: $25 for one or two images, $35 for three images.

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Accepted Entries

A maximum of 40 paintings will be chosen for this show. All accepted artists will be notified by email, and results will be posted online by 10/20.

Accepted work must match the submitted image; paintings not consistent with the submitted image will be disqualified. The acceptance email will include all instructions for shipping or delivering the accepted painting(s) to the Gallery, including an Artist Agreement to sign and return to CWA.

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Shipping Information

CWA welcomes artwork from ALL members, whether you are in California or out-of-state.  If paintings need to be shipped, the accepted artists will be provided with the detailed shipping address and requirements.  The painting must be received by the shipping address by 9/28.  Note: the Gallery will accept only hand-delivered work on 11/1.

Note: There will be a $20 handling fee for shipped paintings, and the artist must provide a prepaid shipping label for the original shipping container.

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Gallery Size Limits

The Gallery has size limitations. Minimum outside frame can be no less than 40 x 48 inches, and no less than 16 x 20 inches.

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These framing guidelines are intended to help ensure your artwork's safety, the safety of its handlers and maintain a high standard of presentation for the gallery show.  Paintings considered unsafe for hanging may not be hung at the discretion of the Gallery.  Any repairs or adjustments will result in extra charges. 

  • Use neat and sturdy metal or wood frames with square corners.  No ornate or rococo frames.
  • Use a foam core backing on the back of the painting to protect your painting.
  • Plexiglas™ (acrylic) covering is required. NO GLASS.  Floated art must not touch the plastic. 
  • Watercolor paper, Yupo paper, and Tyvek paper are all accepted. 
  • Paintings on Aquabord (or other similar surface) or cradled panels and varnished or finished with a protective coating may be displayed without an acrylic covering but must still be framed in simple, square-cornered frames with D-rings and wire for hanging.
  • Mats, if used, shall be white or off-white, clean and neatly cut.  Thin, colored liners are acceptable. 
  • Backing material should be foam board or acid-free backing materials to maintain the quality of the painting.  Do not use a cardboard backing.  Wood frames may have a paper backing (dust cover) glued to the edge of the frame.
  • Picture frame hangers MUST be flush with the frames (D-rings); NO sawtooth hooks, clamps, or eye hooks. 
  • The wire must be fastened securely, with the wire ends taped.  The center of the wire should reach two inches below the top of the frame. 

Frames MUST have a foam core backing for paintings on paper. It must clearly show the foam core when the painting is accepted at the show. If you use the type of frame with clasps that turn to close a hardboard backer in place, the frame must have a brown paper dust cover glued to (over) the back of the frame. The Masonite and hardboard backing boards that come with many store-bought frames are not acceptable. The reason for this is that if someone buys a painting at one of our shows, we want them to get a product that will not discolor with age or affect the watercolor paper or surface. 

Additional framing details may be included in instructions to accepted artists if necessary.

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CWA will handle all sales. All paintings must remain for the show's duration and cannot be shown in another concurrent show. CWA will retain a 20% commission on all work sold.  ALL paintings must be for sale.  Maximum price is $1,500.  Paintings must be priced as framed.  Price changes are not allowed once the show opens.

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Conditions and Liabilities

No work may be withdrawn before the end of the show or entered in a concurrent show. CWA and the Gallery reserve the right to photograph artwork or copy images for promotional purposes. The Gallery does not provide insurance for the artwork while it is in their possession. The submission of entries to this show shall constitute an agreement on the part of the artist to the terms and conditions as set forth in this prospectus.

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Please email:

Download the Prospectus