Categories: Light is Sweet


Stephen Quirke


Categories: Light is Sweet


Stephen Quirke


Welcome to this November 2023 edition of Light is Sweet.

“Light is Sweet and it is pleasant for the eyes to see the sun” (Ecclesiastes 11:6).  This rings true after quite a long, wet Winter.

This newsletter is therefore a catch up on the work I have done since July (which I published two weeks ago) and an overview of how the SJQ Watercolour world looks for the last month in 2023.

But before you read I have some news:
The opening of my exhibition “Light is Sweet” is ON

  • The date is 30 November

  • The time is 18:00

  • The place is The White Wine Cellar at Lanzerac Estate

Please drop me a note if you would like to join the celebration.

The closing bars of 2023 begin with a quiet crescendo in SJQ Watercolour.

  • Portfolio 2023 is complete
  • I am exhibiting at Lanzerac Wine Estate,
  • I received an accolade from SASA.
  • Calendar 2024 is finally in print
  • Watercolour classes for 2023 completed and
  • I am hosting some “Out in Air” (“En Plein” to you – sniff) session during this holiday period.

As we begin let us find a quiet hideaway from the hustle of daily life.  Join me as we:

  • Stop what we are doing.
  • Shut down all the media around us.
  • Sit back.
  • And take a deep breath
  • Breath out
  • Now close your eyes.
  • And take one more deep, breath.
  • In and Out

Now open the newsletter…

You can read this newsletter on my website to the sound of my friend Mike singing his cover of the Stephen Stills song “For the Others”, recorded in his kitchen on a mobile phone and remastered by Dave Owens.

2023 Watercolour Project

The second half of the year has been taken up in an interesting intervention in my other life as a workshop facilitator.  I have visitited some of the local African states.  Always very interesting.  However this has pushed aside the watercolour.  Just a little.  But I completed my portfolio just over a week ago.  I was keen to show the last few works but it seems I have shown very few in these newsletters.  So I am going to show two and provide a link to the portfolio page which is now fully up to date.

The first is an outcrop of rock near Millers Point.  You can see Hangklip in the distance across the bay.  I always think it is so cool to see mountains across the bay.

watercolour of ocean

The next is a watercolour of the view from the top of our town.

I can’t believe I did not show this watercolour of the vineyards at Steynsrust – but I could not find it in the newsletters I have sent out this year.  So here it is:

Watercolour of a Vineyard

The 2023 collection is all complete.  These may be purchased as the original (come to the opening of the Lanzerac exhibition on 30 November) or as high resolution prints, which I will advertise on my shop.  Oh and they are also available in the 2024 calendar which I currently in print.
Click on the link below to see the full portfolio:

Lanzerac 2023

I have finally taken up the opportunity to exhibit at Lanzerac Hotel and as I write I am completing the final preparations to set up between 30 and 40 paintings from the last few years in the White Wine Cellar on the Estate.  The opening is on 30 November (in 4 days).  The invitation is still in design because it took me a while to finalise a Title for the exhibition.   The title is “Light is Sweet” which may have a familiar ring to you.  And I will post the invitation on my site and on my FB and IG pages as soon as I can.


  • The date is 30 November
  • The time is 18:00
  • The place is The White Wine Cellar at Lanzerac Estate

Please drop me a note if you are keen to join us so I can let the organisers at Lanzerac know.

SASA 2023

This year, after procrastinating for years I decided to rejoin the South African Society of Artists – Just in time to submit some work for their 116th Annual Exhibition held in the magnificent Kirstenbosch Gardens.   It was great fun to help set up the show on the day.  I was awarded “Best Watercolour” for a watercolour from my 2022 portfolio, which is a very cool accolade.  The standard was very high.

Setting up was quite hard work – some of those screens weighed a lot.  Fortunately I had a chance to walk up to where the garden borders on the Table Mountain area where I was able to have swim in the river and quiet sit on the rocks in the sun.

Calendar 2024

Calendar 2024 is currently in print.
I am finalising the pricing of the two sizes (A4 and A3).

Drop me a note if you are keen on either of these calendars.

Watercolour class

My 2023 class held their final session in the first week of November.  I had rented the room for the rest of November so I advertised a “Kitting Up” class locally and have run two great beginners sessions.

Watercolour is so easy.  But there are some basic skills to learn to make the transition from “Frustrating” to “working with joy”.  I have found “Kitting Up” to be an excellent way to begin.  How to use a brush, how to mix colours are two essential skills.  In addition to this, you can waste A LOT of money on watercolour equipment.  Therefore we take time in this class to talk through watercolour tools.

We completed to successful classes.  The intention of the clasesse has always been to prepare the participants to flourish out in the field as watercolourists.   There fore my plan is to hold one or two outdoor classes open to those who have participated in clasess.  I have wanted to do this for a while.  However, watercolour is quite a hard medium, and flourinshing in the field requires skills in drawing, composition  and the skill to launch into the void.  So the preparatory classes are valuable.

“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

Watercolours on Commission

In the last month I have also completed a few commissions for clients.  It was a bit of uphill to engage with the human face after a few years of landscapes.  But it was so good to paint people again.  Here are a couple of portraits.  I have updated my commissions page with the rest.

And that my friends covers much of what happened between this afternoon and the end of July.

I look forward to seeing you

at Lanzerac 2023

“Light is Sweet”


      1. Morgen slideshare 2024-05-29 at 7:01 pm - Reply

        Привет, я думаю, что у вашего веб-сайта могут
        быть проблемы с совместимостью браузера.
        Когда я смотрю на ваш сайт блога
        в Firefox, он выглядит нормально,
        но при открытии в Internet Explorer наблюдается некоторое
        перекрытие. Я просто хотел быстро предупредить вас!

        Кроме того, превосходный блог!

        • Stephen Quirke 2024-05-30 at 8:47 am - Reply

          Спасибо за это
          Я это проверю

          Хорошего дня

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