Saturday, 4 April 2015

Something a bit different: artist Sophie Ploeg

One of my prized possessions is a print of a painting of a pregnant lady draped in sheer fabric. She looks pensive yet serene against a muted backdrop. The red fabric enveloping her brings to mind warmth and security, almost a 'womb like' embrace. It just so happens the lady in the picture is me! It was created by my amazingly talented friend Sophie Ploeg.
My pregnancy was such a special time and I feel very blessed to have this art work to mark that time and for me to cherish in years to come. And of course to show Baby D when she’s old enough to understand!
Sophie is a dutch artist living here in the West Country. 
Once you see her work you can tell she is fascinated by fabrics; especially lace and she portrays them so beautifully and realistically in her art. Her subjects are frequently women wearing or draped in these distinct textiles. She uses oils and pastels on the whole and has exhibited in many prestigious galleries such as the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and The National Portrait Gallery. In fact she won the BP Travel Award in 2013 with her ‘Lace Trail' proposal to explore how fashion and lace was represented in 17th century art, as well as in modern applications. She visited famous lace-making centres such as Bruges in Belgium and Honiton in Devon, modern lace makers and artists, antique lace collections and 17th century art collections, as well as doing literary research. Her final work was ten paintings inspired by her findings which were displayed in the BP Portrait Award 2014 exhibition.
The BP Travel Award paintings
I met Sophie thorough Severn Vale Art Trail. When I’m not on maternity leave or being mum I’m a photographer and have exhibited on the trail numerous times. Some years ago we got chatting and struck up a friendship. Since then I’ve modelled for her a few times. The first time she asked me as she’d got some beautiful authentic victorian lace clothes that she needed modelling for a painting she had in her mind’s eye. They were however tiny and as I’m rather small I was the logical choice. She got me to curl up in the cupboard under the stairs!

Her portrayal of women in her work is refreshing in that they are ordinary women - warts and all yet entirely beautiful. I always look forward to reading her next blog post to see what she has created next.

You can see her work in the flesh at various shows, click here for a link to her exhibits webpage. And you can visit her at her open studio during Severn Vale Art Trail on 2nd and 3rd May.

1 comment:

  1. Sophie's paintings are sensitive and moving. I enjoy following her successful career.