About Sophie

What I do

Inspired By The Past

I love how history can put things in perspective and in my research and painting I aim to celebrate the great human story we are all part of.  

I was born and grew up in The Netherlands but have lived in England for over 20 years. After I enrolled at university in Amsterdam to study architectural history and philosophy, my academic interests really got going. As I loved the research side of my university years I stayed on after my Masters to do a Ph.D in art history (English Baroque architecture and Rhetorical Theory).

During my Ph.D years I regularly travelled to the United Kingdom where I met my (now) husband. I ended up staying in this beautiful country of hobbits and Hawksmoor, Tudors and tea. Having children made me leave academia and pick up my paint brushes and things progressed from then onwards.

I have developed my art by trial and error and have been honoured to be able to show my work at prestigious exhibitions in the UK and abroad. In-person teaching  moved to online painting courses and I now run my own online art courses in 'Sophie's Art School'. 

I started blogging some 20 years ago, initially just to record my painting adventures. It has now grown into a popular blog and resource for around 15 thousand visitors a month. There are well over 250 articles on painting, art materials, art history, exhibitions and book reviews, product reviews and so much more. 

Now that my children are a bit older I am diving back into academia through an MA in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh, specialising in Roman art. I am also working on consolidating all my lace history research into an academic article.

As Seen at....

My portraiture and textile paintings have been exhibited and collected throughout Europe and the US. I have been lucky to have exhibited my work with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Pastel Society, and Manchester Art Gallery amongst many other locations (see for a more comprehensive list my CV ).

BP Travel Award

In 2013 I won the BP Travel Award at the BP Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London. I used the award to travel and research into how  lace was represented in early 17th century portraiture and created a new series of work inspired by my findings. The paintings were  subsequently exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery and many other locations throughout the UK, including a special exhibition on Self Portraiture featuring Van Dyck’s famous self portrait, at Manchester Art Gallery

Portland Series

The Harley Gallery in Nottinghamshire invited me to create an exhibition of works inspired by the historic art collection of Welbeck Abbey. Extensive research into the history of this magnificent country house and its collections resulted in an exhibition of new works in 2016/17. 

Exhibitions

Besides  judged group exhibitions with various art societies I have exhibited my work with Catto Gallery in London, Haynes Gallery in Nashville, Lime Tree Gallery in Bristol to name a few. 

My work has been extensively published in art magazines such as Artists & Illustrators MagazineAmerican Art CollectorThe Pastel Journal as well as books such as 500 Portraits: 25 Years of BP Portrait Award.  My writing has appeared in Artists & Illustrator’s Magazine, Jackson’s Blog and other publications. 

Collectors have purchased my work via galleries, exhibitions, directly via my studio or online. Please contact Sophie for enquiries.

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