Here we are in Spring.  The ‘Local Stories’ 2022 Calendar is out there and sales are moving at a cracking pace. I am still working with the team at PATCH Helderberg Child Abuse Centre.  Together we are getting the calendar into as many distribution places as possible.

The calendar was presented to our town at two pop-up exhibitions.  The first was at Sage & Thyme.  Anton was very generous in providing the space and support for a wonderful evening.  So thank you Anton and the very cool staff at Sage & Thyme.

You will find the calendar on sale at Sage & Thyme.  Anton’s “Support Local” strategy inspiring.  And purely from a business-observer perspective it has been encouraging how he has steered his business through the lockdowns and how his restaurant always seems to be full these days.

Here is Anton handing out a spot prize and the two Amandas from PATCH Helderberg Child Abuse Centre.

watercolour of Helderberg

And this is the painting sponsored in the calendar by Sage & Thyme.  All the local mountain-bikers will know this view.

I was given two hours to set up the exhibition between close of business and the arrival of the guests.  And fortunately for me I had an excellent team of friends and family to came and took over the process.  So here is a shout out to Aura, Ethan, Neil, Mike, Willie and WP.  I could not have done these exhibitions without your set-up support.

The same team (and WP) helped me with the second exhibition as at my church in Somerset West.  We completed a magnificent new building, just before the first lockdown.  The structure and the light inside this building are wonderfully designed.  Since I first saw the finished building, I have imagined suspending boards from the bottom of the central cylindrical structure.  The effect was very special.

Exhibitions are a lot of work.  In the process I have collected some useful kit, tools and experience to set up a pop-up exhibition.  Now I am looking for a venue for a more extended show for my next body of work.

So then – enough about exhibitions – time to move along.

In the last 12 weeks my One-Painting-a-Day discipline has taken a knock.  Which is OK.  Setting up a business model around watercolour was always going to be a big task.  And I have learnt many things in the year since I contracted this project with my wife.  And there are many positive indicators.  I am creating excellent work and am selling my work well.

But now I am ready to start painting again.  Here is a portrait sketch from yesterday.

It is great to get back to a-painting-a-day.  Returning to the exercise of painting portraits I realise how valuable this painting a day exercise has been.  These portraits are an excellent practice for developing my drawing skills (note how her face filled out).  It would be great to have a model to be doing this from life.  But in the short time at the end of the day this is not always practical.  Also these paintings are an great place to push my watercolour technique.  Having done some large format watercolours in the last 12 week year I realise how freeing it is to work on a small painting in which, in the event of a mess, I can dump it and start again.

That is where I am right now.  So what does the future hold in SJQ Watercolour?

I am poised to initiate a watercolour class in the park.  On the 2nd of October I am doing a workshop for the KRUX Artist Gathering and after that will be putting out the information for a class.  At the same gathering I will also be doing a short presentation on my progress in watercolour.  So that is going to be a great day.

Hit this link if you want to learn about this session.  Or please drop me a note if you would like to know more.

Finally, with Christmas on the horizon now, I am thinking about Easter.  Many years ago, I worked through Maundy Thursday night to create a series of paintings on the Passion of Christ.  I have since wanted to do this again but have been distracted by life.  Now I am beginning planning to do another project like this.  This would make a good topic for another blog post I think.