July 25, 2015

BP Travel Award – in Blog Posts

Below you will find a list of links to all the blog posts I wrote throughout my project for the BP Travel Award over the course of two years (for more on this project, please look here). They are organised by topic, such as Press, Exhibition, Paintings, Travel and Inspiration. I hope you will find them helpful.

In 2013 my Self Portrait with Lace Collar was accepted into the BP Portrait Award exhibition (see here). One of the awards in this exhibition is the Travel Award,  which I won for my proposal to research how lace is depicted in early 17th century portraiture in England and The Netherlands. ​My travel and research inspired me to create a new series of paintings. You can find the paintings, the exhibitions and the background story in this sections of my website:

 bp travel award
 read about the paintings
research & travel
press reviews
the book

Throughout my project I recorded my journey on my blog. I wrote about my research, inspiration and travels and shared the making of the costumes, the paintings and the joy of seeing the works exhibited.  Please see the categories below and do leave a comment if you like.


Larkin’s Portrait of Diana
An exploration of William Larkin’s huge portrait. The painting is a sight for sore eyes but who was Larkin and how did he paint this jewel?
In Fine Style
I visited the fabulous exhibition In Fine Style at the Queens Gallery in London. An exhibition that dazzles the eye with its display of painted silk, gold thread, jewels and lace. But what did it all mean?
The Act of the Portrait
Extensive exploration of portraiture in the early 17th century, focussing on dress, pose and the difference between English and Dutch portraits of the time.
Isaack Luttichuys and Flemish Bobbin Lace
Exploration of early 17th century bobbin lace as found in this lesser-known painting by Luttichuys which shows such delicate detail.
Verspronck’s Quiet Grandeur
Overview of the life and work of Johannes Verspronck, one of my main inspirations for The Lace Trail.  More on Verspronck in this short blog post.
Verspronck’s Style Development in his Portraiture How did Verspronck’s portraits develop over the course of his career.


An overview of Early Lace
A blog post explaining the birth and development of lace in the 16th century.
Get Ready, on your marks, Pleat!
Blog post about ruffs, how they were made and used.
Robert Peake & Charles I
Early portraits of Charles I as a child by court painter Robert Peake


Sketching Montacute
A visit to the beautiful Tudor Montacute House in Somerset provided me with plenty of inspiration.
Hunting for Jacobeans…
Early days of my project – exploring Jacobean portraiture and early 17h century lace in London.
Post about my visit to Bruges in Belgium and the general lack of authentic lace.
My visit to the small lace town of Honiton, with mind-blowingly beautiful lace!Exhibition
Honiton Lace Museum. Devon.
BP Portrait Award 2014. National Portrait Gallery, London

BP Portrait Award Exhibition

BP Portrait Award 2014  Opens
Images of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London and the Private View.
25 Days to go
Announcing the last month of the BP Portrait Award 2014 exhibition in London.
Goodbye London
Post on the last day of the BP Portrait Award 2014 exhibition in London. Looking back on an amazing 3 months.
BP Portrait Award in Scotland
Short post – but with lots of pictures-  about my visit to Edinburgh to attend the Private View of the BP Portrait Award 2014. My picture was subsequently published in The Scotsman; a major local newspaper.
BP Portrait Award in Sunderland
Images of the exhibition of the BP Portrait Award in Sunderland. With some links to press articles.
BP Portrait Award Ending
Blog post with images about the last stop of the BP Portrait Award 2014 at Aberystwyth Arts Centre.
Cool Comment
A peek inside the Guest Book of Sunderland Museum
The NPG is selling beautiful prints of some of my work: links and images here.


Summer School
I joined a BP Next Generation project trying to get teenagers involved in portrait painting. Great fun!
BP Next Generation Taster Session
Another BP Next Generation session with kids trying their hands at portrait painting.


Short post with image of The Jackdaw Magazine article I wrote for them.
What the Artist Saw
Blog post with a link to an amazing film that was made about the BP Portrait Award exhibition 2014. The film follows some of the (prize winning) artists, the judges and selection, the hanging and the prize giving.
Making a Mark
Post where I link to the widely-read blog Making a Mark which had an extensive post about my Travel Award project, a video interview with me and plenty of pictures.
BP Portrait Award Catalogue
The BP Portrait Award 2014 catalogue is out and I give you a sneak peek of it, especially the pages that cover my project.
500 Portraits Book
The publication of the second edition of the book 500 Portraits; 25 years of the BP Portrait Award includes my work.
Scottish National Gallery Blog
The Scottish National Portrait Gallery featured my work on their blog. You can find the link here.
This post is linking to an extensive online interview with me on a lace website about my love of lace, my inspiration and my BP Travel Award project. There were some great questions such as why I am attracted to painting lace and how I went about identifying pieces of lace.

The Scotsman, 28 November 2014


Images, details, and progress shots

Working Pictures
Studio shots of the preparations for the costumes.
The Four Ages of Woman
Image and info on the series.
The Lace Maker
A Fine Thread
Progress image in this blog post.
Repeating Patterns
Studio shot of me creating the ruff for the painting can be found here.
The Pearl Necklace
The Handkerchief Girl
Some progress images in this post and this one and here.
She Becomes Her
The Long Wait
Some progress images in this blog post.
Pleating Time
Photos of the ruff I created in this blog post. and this one


BP Portrait Exhibition & Travel Award
A celebratory blog post about the award ceremony and press coverage of the BP Portrait Award 2014.
The Lace Trail
Introduction to The Lace Trail
Travel Award Plans
My early ideas for The Lace Trail Project
My Year in Pictures …
A slideshow illustrating the whole project of The Lace Trail from its first concept to the exhibition and the creation of the accompanying book.
The Book
Read all about it!

The links above will take you to my current blog on this website, as well as my old blog, hosted on Blogger.  I decided to move my Blogger blog to my website to have everything in one place. I hoped it would be easier for visitors to not only read my blog posts, but also browse my work and other information.

About the author 


Sophie is an art historian, artist, art tutor, and writer. She writes on art history and painting (oils and pastel). The 17th century is probably her favourite era, although the ancient Romans are currently fighting for the lead spot. She is currently researching lace in Tudor portraiture.

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      1. It is my book set in Amsterdam over a week. It uses Count St. Germain as the protangonist and Dutch Art, Food, and culture as a tapestry woven around a mystery……..

        Only just found your reply…..4 years later!!!😂😂 I guess my internet is quite slow…….

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