Artist Statement – Stephen Quirke

SJQ Watercolour

I seek to paint, in watercolour, what I see of the hand of the Creator in the midst of a run-down world.

His hand is often hidden in plain sight.  Details of His care may reveal themselves only with the scrutiny required by painting.  I noticed Mia the Jack Russell had fine, white eyelashes.  The hand of a creator is also visible in the functional mundane.  Everyday articles like a paraffin-lamp,  plumbers equipment, even dishes in the sink have beauty all their own.

I like best to paint on site and from life.  My very first watercolours were painted at Olifantsbos near Cape Point.  It just seemed to be the thing to do.  I only realised decades later how much I like to absorb the scene.  As I took classes years later I still intended to paint on-site.  I was daunted by how difficult it was to create a decent finished product.  As a result I worked predominantly from photos for many years.

Then one day I decided it was time to get out there.  I gathered my kit and went down to Kogel Bay.  That day I did a painting of two cyclists smoking a joint on a nearby rock.  Since then I have had the most fun sitting out there, tuning out the passers-by and painting what I see.  I have created many messes and a few remarkable works.

And now I wonder how I can use watercolour to describe brokenness and pain in the light of the redemption of all things, won at such high cost and given so freely.  My next quest.

You can visit my website at SJQWatercolour.com