The Art Buyer is thrilled to release a new collection of paintings by Cornish artist Sophie Harding. Sophie’s work celebrates the simple joys to be found in our everyday lives.
Tell us about your background and how you got into painting?
I come from a very creative family and due to showing aptitude early on I had plenty of encouragement from my parents and teachers to paint, draw and make. I spent a lot of my childhood drawing and making. I watched a documentary on St Martins when I was around 14 years old and I knew I had to go there. Fortunately I gained a placed a few years later to study fashion design.
I’ve sold my paintings from the age of 16 when I organised a summer show of my work in my parents house and have to continued to paint ever since.
Can you share a little about your painting process and technique?
I tend to work from sketches I make in books or on pieces of loose paper. If I see something I like the look of I’ll make a sketch which will possibly result in a painting at some point. I’m inspired by a huge amount of different themes, situations and life in general so I’ll never be lost for topics. It does tend to mean I move around a bit with subjects but in the end I have collections that work together.
I go from a sketch to painting on a canvas. Sometimes layering up colours until they work together. I reuse canvass’ that haven’t worked. I paint either in my tiny studio at home or in a larger studio down the road (in Penzance). I’m quite intuitive with my use of colour and endlessly fascinated by the never ending combinations.
Your work seems to radiate joy and sunshine – do your Cornish surrounds have a part to play in this and your colour palette?
I went on a family holiday to the South of France when I was 16 and it’s this experience which has informed my work ever since. The colour of the sky, the feeling of heat and sunshine, stripes on the beach. We visited lots of art galleries and it was very inspiring to see famous painters works in the flesh. And now living in Cornwall inspires my work too. It’s a mix of both. My aim is to to bring joy with my work particularly with the hot colour and to bring feeling of calm with my more muted palettes.
What inspires you in the art world? Are there any artists you admire?
I love the work of Milton Avery, Matisse, Klass Gubbels, Ken Done, Bonnard, William Scott, Rachel Nicholson, Breton O Casey and Margaret Mellis to name a few!
My Life In Art – Sophie Harding
First art you bought —
The first art I bought was a painting by a self taught artist, Brenda Brookes. I bought it at the Battersea Art Fair around 1993. I had a little of bit of disposable income. It was £50 and depicted child ballet dancers at the barre with their teacher. I still love it! It hangs in my studio at home.
Favourite artist –
My favourite artist is Matisse.
If you could own one piece of art (even if you had to rob a bank or museum) —
I would love to own a Bonnard original. I could definitely live with ‘The Garden Door of Villa du Bosquet’.
View Sophie’s new collection of paintings ‘Cornflowers and Lemons’ here.