Vision Through Colour: Sophie Lawrence Interview
When it comes to Bluethumb best sellers, Sophie Lawrence hardly needs an introduction. Based in Canberra, her large-scale paintings are habitually vibrant displays in various degrees of abstraction and often reveal a sense of movement. Sophie’s work has been described as an ‘intoxicating kaleidoscope of colour and energy’, and since joining the platform in January 2019, she has quickly become a favourite with Australia’s collectors.
Sophie’s ever-present interest in all things bright and beautiful has always been reflected in the place she calls home, and now creates from. Whimsical wallpaper of Chinoiserie and hand block printed designs from the likes of Cole & Son meet with an assembly of eccentric memorabilia. “The shelves are full of oddities, from butterflies to strange sculptures; I suppose I was a collector before I was a painter,” Sophie adds. “Being surrounded by beautiful things is so important to me. My father and mother are both artists so art was everyday life. A great painting, a good meal, great decor and above all else a fine bottle of wine. Why I started painting now is probably I had time for the first time in my life from the everyday grind of meaningless jobs and I thought, ‘Why not?'”
Sophie’s process of creation is definitively intuitive, from the very beginning of the piece. Consequently, subject matter can vary, as can the colour combinations. “The paintings always start with seeing a colour in the paint shop and thinking, ‘that’s it – that’s the one’. Nature is so much more intoxicating and surprising in its colour schemes and combinations than anything I can create. I always try to be bold; staying safe doesn’t change up what your doing. I can’t paint one type of thing – let’s say, beaches – I’d go mad,” Sophie jokes. “I have a butterfly mind, and so I have 5 or 6 canvases on the go all the time. What ties it altogether, hopefully, is my style: the dots. What I hope is that when you look at a piece, whether it’s a beach, a landscape, a sheep, blooms or an abstract, you always know it’s me. Why I paint like this, who knows? It just is.”
“For me, the paintings start with a gesso background, then it’s time for the pain-staking dot by dot, working out shadows and fades. I always use acrylics, though even those don’t dry fast enough for me! I start at 6 am or 5.30 am and work solidly till night, stopping only for a nice cup of tea or a dog walk,” Sophie explains as she discusses her process. “If I could, I’d probably work through the night. I’m very driven – I always have been in everything I do. My husband and I make the frames when they are sold. This is very important to me, as I don’t feel a painting is finished till it has a frame.”
Shop Sophie’s best selling abstracts on her Bluethumb profile.