Ian Wright


Beginning with Watercolour from a very early age, Ian’s journey in the visual arts was honed in the visual arts program at Etobicoke School of the Arts. Despite the prevailing preference for oils, Ian maintained a loose watercolour effect using Liquin, a quick-drying medium for oil and alkyd paint used as an additive in many forms of artwork.


In the late ’90s, the digital age beckoned, leading Ian to study Media Arts at Sheridan College. However, the allure of watercolour persisted, prompting him to return to solve the intricate puzzles that had frustrated him in the past. Ian embarked on a journey of exhibitions, focusing on Toronto cityscapes, where he discovered a scarcity of fellow artists who favoured water media.


The turning point came when Ian stumbled upon the Art of Watercolour magazine, leading him to Ona Kingdon and IWS Canada. Intrigued by the prospect of a dedicated group promoting the medium globally. Ian offered his services, eventually becoming the Media Manager. The role allowed him to blend his love for watercolour and media arts, revamping IWS Canada’s image with new website graphics and social media elements.


Ian’s involvement with IWS Canada expanded internationally, leading him to collaborate with artists from Holland, Mexico, and beyond. Unexpectedly thrust into a leadership role alongside Rene Lippa, Ian navigated the challenges brought on by Ona Kingdon’s resignation and the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the hurdles, Ian and the team worked diligently to enhance member experiences through virtual galleries, Zoom meetings, and a YouTube channel.


Success came in the form of the Stories in Light exhibition, rejuvenating IWS Canada’s live events. Ian, now steering the ship alongside Luan Quach, envisions a future filled with more live demonstrations, workshops, and an exciting venue in Mississauga for September 2024. Grateful for the opportunity to guide the organization and promote watercolour both locally and globally, Ian emphasizes the need for more art in the world. The zen-like nature of watercolour, he believes, contributes to a happier and more peaceful existence.


Despite the responsibilities that come with leading IWS Canada into the future, Ian finds solace in the simple joy of sitting down to sketch, test new paints and brushes, and, most importantly, watch the paint dry—a reminder of the timeless and therapeutic nature of his artistic journey.