San Diego Artist Wins Best of Theme Award

Mary McWilliams, an artist and resident of San Diego, California, won the Best of Theme award in the continuingly competitive April 2021 Member’s exhibition “Color Zone” held virtually in April 2021, on The San Diego Watercolor Society website,  McWilliams’s painting entitled “Homage” was selected by prominent local artist and juror Richard Hawk for this honor, out of more than 270 entries. Hawk said of  the painting, “Fire and ice in a floral. Van Gogh would have stroked his beard gazing at this one.”

Mary McWilliams is a native of India, having come to the United States to pursue a PhD in literature. Towards the end of her academic career when she worked part-time at Palomar College, she began taking art classes at Palomar “to learn something new.” After her retirement, Mary decided to begin a new adventure and ventured into watercolor painting for the simple reason that she was told that it was a difficult medium to work with.  She became a member of SDWS in 2018 and began submitting her self-taught art work for the Member Shows.  Her art pieces were not only accepted, but received honors and buyers.  Since 2018, she has exhibited frequently at the San Diego Watercolor Society, and has won numerous awards including First Place, Second Place, Third Place, Juror Commendation, and Best of Theme.

The Virtual Exhibit will run through Saturday April 24, 2021 on The San Diego Watercolor Society’s website at where the paintings can be both viewed and purchased from the Online Store. 


The San Diego Watercolor Society, a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1965, is dedicated to expanding the appreciation of and involvement in watermedia painting through education, exhibition and promotion.  More information can be found at

“Homage” by
Mary McWilliams
Watercolor, 14 x 12 in
Image courtesy of San Diego Watercolor Society

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