'He was a born painter, if there ever was one, and from a child upwards nothing ever turned him from that pursuit' (Phipps Jackson, 'Joseph Farquharson', Art Journal, 1893, p. 153, pp. 153-157).
Farquharson's father's own thwarted artistic ambitions led him to encourage his son, who exhibited his first picture, A Study from Nature, at the age of 13. The Farquharsons lived at Finzean in Deeside, which remains the family estate. The young artist painted the landscape he loved in all seasons and at various times of the day. Shepherds returning home with their flock at the end of the day became a recurring theme in many of his works.