Categories: Annual Projects


Stephen Quirke


Categories: Annual Projects


Stephen Quirke


Calendar 2023 – a year in the making

Lourens River rises in a spring in the Hottentots Holland Mountains. It flows . This sparkling, gift bears a message of life through nature reserves, farms and parks – through two towns then flows over the beach into False Bay

The Lourens River needs care

Most in our town don’t notice river. Some find it convenient for squatting.  To others it is an inconvenience, rather to be confined to a concrete canal.  Yet others view the river as a source to be plundered.   With these watercolours and the wanted to highlight the beauty of the river. 

The watercolours were used in the 2023 calendar to appreciate the volunteer Lourens River Conservation Society, founded in 1980 to work to preserve the Lourens River in as natural a state as possible and to clean the river, remove alien vegetation, and educate the public.

photo of a watercolour artist

Watercolours at Lourens River Mouth

Painting the source of the river from the mouth

Collecting the visual material was a significant part of the project.  There are places along the river that are magical in their beauty.  Vergelegen Estate welcomes guest who want to walk along the river.  And one of the residents at Hathersage Farm welcomed me onto the property.  But it is remarkably difficult to gain access to the upper reaches of the river.  To get material for my paintings of the source I hiked over the ridge from Jonkershoek in Stellenbosch and down the Lourens River gorge. 

Also, some areas along the river are dodgy – not places to be after dark.   In Victoria Park people sleep along the river bank.  Even the community under the bridge on Main Road in Somerset West present issues.  I have once been accosted and came close to being robbed passing the area on foot just after dark.

Here the watercolours I created:

watercolour of a river

Lourens River in Hathersage Farm

Hathersage #1 This watercolour was used for the cover of the 2023 SJQ Watercolour Calendar

watercolour of a rock pool in the mountains

Rock Pools at the Source of Lourens River

January 2023

watercolour of the beach

Hottentots Holland from the mouth of the Lourens River

January 2023

watercolour painting of a river

Lourens River in Vergelegen Estate

There is a pool and a rapid just below the River Cafe

Watercolour painting a river in wood

Walking next to Lourens River in Radloff Park

April 2023 A walk next to river in Radloff Park - my good friend Albert. (Sold)

Watercolour of a Tree next to a river

Lourens River in Hathersage Farm

May 2023

Watercolour of a bridge over a river

The Old Bridge over Lourens River

June 2023

Watercolour of a bridge

Gaaities – the informal community in the flood culverts

July 2023

Watercolour of an island in a river

Informal settlement on the gabion island in Lourens River

August 2023

watercolour of mountains

Victoria Park looking up to the source of the

September 2023

watercolour of a river

Victoria Park and Helderberg

October 2023

Watercolour of a river

The golf course, Helderberg and source of the Lourens River

November 2023

watercolour of table mountain

Table Mountain from the mouth of Lourens River

December 2023

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