Render in watercolour – when I render a subject in watercolor it makes it intriguing

What topic do you have that would benefit from a touch of intrigue?

My Statement

I seek to reflect our yearning to return to the garden by painting what I see:

Each crag, each tree each boulder – shaped through time

Each creature, each person – created unique

I want to honour the detail in watercolour

I want to show something beautiful – perhaps something important

maybe even the hand of God Creator of heaven and earth

I prefer the vibrant, fresh immediacy of painting from life or on site

Stephen J. Quirke
Stephen J. QuirkeWatercolor Painter

My Quest

Life is an adventure.
Richness in living
is reserved
for those who set aside
the ephemeral comfort
of the safe approach
to embrace the drama
of a life lived at risk.

When we render in watercolour
fussy carefulness
creates ‘ho hum’.

Wild washes
in bold colour
have every chance of failure
Every now and then
produce remarkable work.

Render in watercolour - makes it intriguingRender in watercolour - makes it intriguingRender in watercolour - make it intriguing

My offer

My motivating intention is to produce “Fine Art”.   The term comes from Metallurgy.  Metals are refined (usually by fire which is a solemn thought) to create a better material.  In the realm of watercolour this means working to develop my skill to observe, design and apply line and colour.  It also means sitting down to paint when it is easy and when the going gets tough.

The subjects I choose may be mundane.  But when I render in watercolour the subject becomes intriguing.   Therefore the quality of the watercolour I produce is extremely important.  At the start of each work I set out to create “The finest watercolour in the history of the world”.
At the same time I believe “a thing worth doing is worth doing badly”.  Sometimes we are called to give it a go, no matter what the outcome.

Keeping these ideas in tension I push on.

This gum-tree log from the 2021 Radloff Park Calendar is one of my favourite paintings.

My materials

I use the best materials I can find.  You can still see the watercolours of JMW Turner which he created 200 years ago.  And the materials available for watercolour today are far far superior to the best he had available.

I predominately use Arches® Aquarelle paper, created by the French company since 1492.  This is 100% cotton, formed on a cylinder mould and gelatine-sized to the core to create a stable, tough surface for watercolour.  In my palette I only use Winsor & Newton Professional Watercolour.  This brand offers the widest and most balanced choice of pigments with the greatest possible permanence.  These materials contribute to work that is Archival.

I have been working in watercolour for 35 years.  I paint out in the field and I paint in my studio.  For just over five years I have been producing one watercolour a day.  In the last year I have again been working to create larger works.

Well…   So What?

So what do you get when you buy one of my watercolours?  Art communicates with us at a level beyond words.  And for intrigue, render in watercolour!  When you buy a watercolour you are buying a memory.  You are buying a reminder of what moved in you when you were first drawn to the painting.  You are also buying an heirloom.  With appropriate care this watercolour may communicate with generations to follow.  You are buying Fine Art.

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