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.

Pink Wisteria is one of Sophie’s most popular available pieces – and it’s easy to see why!

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.”

Like most of Sophie’s work, Meadowsweet is a pure statement piece in size.

“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.”

Sophie Lawrence produced the entire of the artwork – including the frame. She offers two framing options for Rosa Madame Pompadour.

Sophie’s love of bright hues and pushing colour combinations to the maximum produces distinctive works of art that demand attention from the viewer. Each canvas she paints uses impasto acrylics to create strong colour blends and to maintain a vigorous texture. While to a viewer Sophie’s work follows an undulating style, the artist herself sees a change that feels at times unfamiliar. “I know my style has developed as I am sometimes asked to repaint an older work and I have to really look at how I did it, as it seems so strange. I suppose I’m just looking for the next beautiful thing to catch my eye and then run with it.”
What makes Sophie’s work so desirable for collectors is ultimately the energy it brings to a home’s space. “I paint in the hope that collectors have a mini love affair with the paintings they buy. I often sit in a room and just look at artworks – not just my paintings – and see how they look in different lights. Bluethumb has given me a platform to show Australia and the world my art. It takes the farty out of arty! I would love to bring affordable art and colour to homes all around the world. It’s accessible to everyone. Generally when I meet people, they tend to say things like, ‘I don’t know much about art’. I always say, ‘You don’t have to, if you like it don’t try to quantify it. Yours is the only opinion that matters… Buy it because it makes you happy.'”

Sophie incorporates Pantene’s colour of the year, classic blue, into this huge piece, Alto e Blu.

Considering that Sophie has marked the halfway point of 2020 as one of our best sellers, it will be interesting to see what’s in store for her through the remainder of the year and beyond – and how she’s coped with the tumultuous start to the decade so far. “I’ve always worked from home on my kitchen table. I’ve been self-isolating for years, this is so normal for me; although I miss the option not to go out! The future holds some really big works, I hope. I may need to buy a new kitchen table…”

Sophie gave us a glimpse into her work station whilst bringing The Long and Winding Road to life!

Shop Sophie’s best selling abstracts on her Bluethumb profile.

Frankie the french bulldog in the living room
Bluethumb Testimonials from Australian Art Lovers

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *