Categories: Light is Sweet


Stephen Quirke


Categories: Light is Sweet


Stephen Quirke


Light is Sweet

Some news from SJQ Watercolour

December 2021 – well – some Jan 2022 as well

Welcome to everyone who signed up for Light is Sweet since the November edition.  And for all of you who signed up in Radloff Park – thank you and it has been fun to meet with you in our slice of beauty.

You can read this note on my blog.

Well 2021 is over and 2022 has begun.  The year ended with much to complete.  Which is why this newsletter is coming through now.  On the afternoon of the 31st a friend invited us to join their group to see the year out.  So we joined them at the newly reopened Route 44 market on Audacia Farm.

The shacks, sheds dirt-paths and farm-gates have been replaced by an imposing double story building with a smart entrance and manicured lawns.  This will probably be a good venue for the market – mmm – maybe.  Perhaps over time the soul will return.

Off the Board

I took the opportunity to walk down to the bridge at the end of the Parkrun.  Here is the view up to the stone pines on the hill.  It just felt good to be there after all this time.

Watercolour painting of vineyards at Root44

There is now a big shed constructed at the top corner of the stone pines – it is hidden in the shade on the painting.

The next day being the first of the year, I took what has now become a customary drive out along Clarence Drive to sit and do my first painting of the year.  I walked up the rocky coastline from the Puddle Rock site.  But then decided to head back.  I returned to my usual spot and set up a comfortable seat for painting.

OK – it was eventually quite luxurious sitting on that little ledge.  I really like to have my feet resting on a step when I paint.  Especially as I sit with a board on my lap.  The Winter storms in the Cape raise waves that sometimes sweep across this place so I will see how long my throne lasts.

There was a light rain falling as I worked.  Eventually I realised, rather than adding sweet effects to my washes, the rain was washing everything off the page.  Which is why my board is upside down in the photo.  So I packed up and headed home where I touched up to create this view:

Watercolour painting of seascape at Puddle Rock R44

I know I say this often.  But I love the jagged shales and rounded quartzite boulders.  One of the rules for composition is repetition and discord.   And there it is.  The mountains in the background reflect the jagged shales.  Notice the “jointing” in the shales causing the angular shapes.    Also the round shapes in the boulders are reflected in the rounded outcrops in the shallows in the middle ground.  This is such a cool place to paint watercolour.  Shortly after my pencil sketch was done these mountains faded fast in the weather.

So there it is – painting #1 2022

Oh Yes!  I also finished by Spring Apple Tree commission.  A work of which I am well pleased.

Zer cool nê?

Bread on the Water

Well here in 2022 some interesting projects are presenting themselves.

There is the possibility of an apple orchard calendar for 2023 and my friends in the local surf shop are keen on a calendar of the local surf spots.

And the Lourens River project is coming together.  Still some details to iron out but I was up in Vergelegen Farm yesterday afternoon to do a watercolour on the river:

What a special place.  Having access to this deeply relaxing area is just such a special gift to us in Somerset West.  I thought I had to be out at 16:00 so I hurried out just in time.  But the man at the gate told me I could stay till 19:00 so went back to finish this sketch.

I also drew another version which I will complete next time I head up there.  Then I sat with my back to a tree and nodded off in the late afternoon sun.

I post each of these paintings on Instagram as SJQWatercolour

So there it is.  The year is on!  Maybe as we work I will be able to start posting these newsletters to deadline.

Have a great start to your year.

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