Categories: Light is Sweet


Stephen Quirke


Categories: Light is Sweet


Stephen Quirke


Here we are at the final edition of “Light is Sweet” for 2023.

The big news:

The 2024 False Bay Watercolour Calendar is out there for sale – if you would like to buy a calendar, please send me an email, or leave a note on my website.

Welcome to all of the people who have signed up in the last month.

The year has been long for almost all of us.  And busy.  Certainly a lot has happened here.  And this is definitely the best portfolio coming out of the SJQ Watercolour studio.   Long ago a counsellor asked me “what is on your T-shirt?”  I was not sure so he said “Almost”.   All the dreams and goals, almost done, but not!   This was occupied my consciousness as the year drew to a close.  Well, I overcame some significant almost almosts.  And here they are:

  • The 2023 watercolour portfolio is complete
  • The Calendar is OUT (and about)
  • The exhibition in the White Wine Cellar at Lanzerac Wine Estate is up and open
  • Watercolour classes have begun, are going, paused and being readied for 2024

The journey through 2023 however is not over.  But here is an opportunity to look back, around and forward.  Join me as we:

  • Pause
  • And take a deep breath and
  • Open the newsletter…

If you read this newsletter on my website you can listen to Mike the Lead Guitar playing his new piece “Zanzibar”.

Portfolio 2023

The portfolio is complete.  Here is a link to the work on my website:

Lanzerac 2023

The opening of the exhibition in the White Wine Cellar at Lanzerac Wine Estate on 30 November went off as planned.  A number of friends and associates made it to the Cellar to celebrate the opening.  And my friend James Krohn gave an opening talk looking back on a friendship of over thirty years, starting with a climbing expedition, a seedling church and infused with a quest to create art.

The work just looks great up there.

Here is the invitation that went out.  The work will be up until 15 January 2024.

2024 False Bay Calendar

The 2024 Watercolour Calendar celebrating False Bay is on the shelves for sale

The Benguela Current flows up the West Coast from the Southern Ocean.  It is icy cold.  The Cape Peninsula directs most of the flow away from False Bay.  Water circulating in the bay is bracing, but much warmer than the West Coast and the Southern Coast.   Geography, geology, fauna, flora and people together make False Bay a treasure.

If you are keen to buy a calendar please send me an email or leave a comment on the post on my website.  I have not set up a sales page for the calendar (yet maybe).

I spend some time each day selling my calendars at our local park.  Well, I lay out a table with calendars, then I sit and paint a watercolour.   People come over and chat, browse and sometimes they buy the calendar.  I like connecting with people in this way.  And I get to paint the view where I sit.

I used to sit under a big Oak Tree.  However last year it was cut down and shredded because it was attacked by the beetles destroying our trees in the basin.  It is a shame.  But now we get a really broad view of our little peak and the Friends of the Park have planted some good indigenous trees to fill the space.  Oaks are OK – but we have the most beautiful indigenous trees here in SA.

Here are three watercolours I have painted of the Helderberg in the last few selling sessions:

The last watercolour has smudges from an enthusiastic doggie jumping up to say “Hello”.  It is very precious when the dogs say hello.  I met two interesting guys who were walking and chatting and one of them had a moment looking at the mountain – so he asked if he could buy the painting – and here it is – so lets talk man!

I intend to plan and carry out a more effective marketing campaign next year.  The are companies who have bought calendars, branded with their logo to distribute to their clients and they get great feedback from the recipients.  I want to leverage on this much better in 2024.

“Light is Sweet” is the official SJQ Watercolour newsletter.

Please drop me a comment on the blog posting and share this post and email with abandon.

The 2023 False Bay project may well form the basis for a 2024 Calendar.  If you know of organisations who offer year-end gifts to their clients please let me know or show them the page about “Calendar Projects”.  And drop me a note.  The clients who gave away the 2023 calendars received positive feedback from their clients.  Thank-you

Watercolour class

I have some exciting watercolour class opportunities coming up next year.  The new class did two good start-up classes in November.  These fit into what I call “Kitting Up”.  In addition to learning how to use a brush and how to mix colours we talk about an approach to collecting the equipment you need (ie “Kitting Up”).

We all agreed to start up our classes in Late January or early February, when we have all had a chance to both rest and then build up a little momentum in the new year.

I also have some very very exciting opportunities to run an extended master class.  But more of this as these opportunities unfold.

So there it is:

“Light is Sweet” – December 2023

And – in good time

And now – 2024 here we come:

Here is wishing you all a restful close out to 2023, a blessed Christmas and an energetic start to the new year.


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