To view more of Sophia's art go to or

to purchase prints and cards of her artwork go to

If you see an artwork on this website that you like but it's already sold - please contact Sophia as she does commissions.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Letting Go - why do people find this so hard

As you know I love different quotes and phrases - and amongst my surfing on the net I stumbled accross this - not my words - but put it so eloquently I just had to share. Heres the website link and the passage is copied below

Letting go is one of the hardest lessons in life. Here's a collection of letting go quotes that will give you some hope and words of encouragement during those challenging times.

In life, there's many things that we have to learn to let go. We have to let go of situations, things, memories, people and even ourselves.

It's easy to form an attachment to people and things. When you've formed an attachment to people and things, it can be a very painful experience and feeling when you realized that it's time to let go. Even the mere thought of not having that person or thing in your life just squeezes your heart in pain.

However, there are times where you or that person has changed to the extent that it's necessary to let go of the relationship or friendship, so that each of you can fulfill your life path.

Letting go of your past and memories are also extremely hard. Even though old memories can be tormenting, yet you might hold on to the past and refuse to move forward. However, by refusing to let go of the painful past, it'll serve as a roadblock to love.

Letting go of your old self and the process of letting the new you emerge can be one of the scariest experiences in your life. But by leaving behind your old self and taking a leap of faith into the unknown, it might just reveal what you are truly capable of becoming.

I thought I would share three of the quotes I found that I liked that related to this ....

“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.”

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.”

"You never leave someone behind, you take a part of them with you and leave a part of yourself behind."

Sunday, March 30, 2008

"On my mind" for the NZ Art Guild Collaborative Project 2008 - Reach out

Each year NZ Art Guild members from around New Zealand join together to create one artwork made up of multiple pieces - no one knows what anyone else is creating - or what the finished design will be (well except the people that are co-ordinating it! lol) This years project was devised by Sophia Elise (me) and Melissa Muirhead (one of the NZ Art Guild Moderators)

This year we have 88 artists contributing to it!! More than the previous projects!

Members are given the materials to create their art on with some instructions - and of course a theme. This year the completed artwork is called "Reach Out" - the theme is "On Your Mind"

"Reach Out" will be exhibited at the members exhibition "Make it Memorable" in July at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland.

Above is my contribution to the project. Always on my mind is the opportunity to paint more .. and where we are going in life - therefore this is a piece from my journey of life series ...

Thought of the day - love

The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it’s in the being. When I need love from others or need to give love to others I’m caught in an unstable situation. Being in love rather than giving or taking love is the only thing that provides stability. --Ram Dass

A dear friend sent this to me today to ponder ... I'm not so sure about this one .. .what do you think??

Friday, March 28, 2008

Hope - one of the most important emotions

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Never stop believing ...

I want to thank a new friend of mine who sent me a brief email tonight which reminded me that even it feels hopeless - there is someone out there who believes in you - dont let them down by not believing in yourself - once you stop self belief - its all over .....

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.” Gail Devers

This person had no idea that their small message would have such an effect .... we all need to remember ...

No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted - Aesop

Mother Theresa said it well
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

We must all remember this - we tend to be quick to criticise and leave the praise unsaid

Helen Keller - one of the most inspirational people who ever lived

I truly believe that Helen Keller has to be one of the most inspiring people ever ....

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved - Helen Keller

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Back Street Art Gallery - Grand opening - everyones invited!

The Back Street Art Gallery is in an industrial warehouse with steel beams, natural light and high stud concrete walls creating a contemporary atmosphere. The walls are adorned with a range of inspirational paintings, clay and steel sculpture, concrete garden art, mosaics, handmade jewellery and photography all created by local artists. Angie Moncur is an artist and the gallery owner. If you're looking for a specific piece for your home then she can help you - she has a great eye for fashion and decor and is passionate about the arts.

There are 9 of my pieces being exhibited - so please come along and check it out

The Back Street Art Gallery

2 David Sidwell Place
(via Karepiro Dr)


Grand Opening
12th April 10-4pm

Friday, March 21, 2008

Monique Rhodes - NZ singer / songwriter - WOW!!

Last night I had the absolute honour of seeing Monique Rhodes sing live at the Honey Bar in Auckland.

Not only is her voice fantastic - but she has such a presence about her that she mesmerizes everyone in the room. Her songs are soulful - the words inspirational - and I just had to buy her cd Awakening.

Even though Monique is a New Zealander she will only be in NZ til May. She will then be returning to France where she lives for half the year. If you get the chance to see her in person then grab it with both hands - you won't be disapointed!!

I first met Monique when she was accepting the Second Prize at the NZAG Art Awards in Feb on behalf of her sister - Artist Kelly Gatchell Hartley. These are two sisters with amazing talents!!!

Check out her website

On Fire - textured abstract painting

TITLE: On Fire
MEDIA: Mixed Media with Acrylic (to have resin applied still)
SIZE: 45cm x 45cm

“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” - Bruce Lee

Down To Earth - textured abstract painting

TITLE: Down To Earth

MEDIA: Mixed Media - Fabric and Acrylic on canvas

SIZE: 30cm x 80cm

FOR SALE: Contact

This piece is painted in earthy tones (looks more red in the photo) with metallic bronze circles on fabric which gives it a unique texture.

Down to Earth - is about feeling grounded - emotionally - being balanced - hence the 4 circles

“In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don't try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.” Tao Te Ching

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Royal Easter Show Art Awards 2008

Last night I attended the opening of these fantastic art awards. With over 800 artworks on display there was certainly something there for everyone.

NZ Art Guild Members Win Top Art Awards Royal Easter Show Art Awards, March 2008

Was awarded to Ingrid Boot
This is the major award of the show and is awarded by the judges to the artwork that they feel is the best in the entire exhibition / competition. An artist can only win this once in their career.

1st Prize was awarded to Ingrid Boot

OPEN SECTION - The Royal Easter Shows theme for this year was "Natures Harmony"to highlight the diversity of our country
1st Prize was awarded to Gail Boyle
3rd Prize was awarded to Elspeth Alix Batt
4th Prize - was awarded to Sally Blyth

1st prize awarded to the best watercolour
This was awarded to Elspbeth Alix Batt

A beginner with up to 4 years experience
1st Prize - was awarded to Helen McNamara
2nd Prize - was awarded to Anne Lengauer

2nd Prize - was awarded to Sally Blyth
3rd Prize - was awarded to Sally Blyth

CONGRATULATIONS to eveyone on an outstanding achievement!!

Please check out the home page of the NZ Art Guild site next week to see photos of these award winning artworks.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beauty Tips from Audrey Hepburn

Below is a wonderful poem Audrey Hepburn wrote when asked to share her 'beauty tips.' It was read at her funeral years later.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness...

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone...

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Innocence - mixed media, textured, abstract painting

My first painting in about 5 months!!! YAY!!

TITLE: - Innocence
MEDIA:- mixed media - Heavily textured using flax mat, garnet gel, modelling paste and acrylic paint
SIZE:- 91cm x 61cm

NOT FOR SALE:- This was done as a very special commission for one of my closest and dearest friends. She has always been there for me through good and bad times. Thank you!! (although she does tell me I'm one of the most naive people she's ever met ;) lol)

SYMBOLISM:- The colours symbolise innocence - green as in fresh/new- white as in purity - black is the innocence gone - gold the preciousness of innocence.

This was completed for the NZ Art Guild's fortnightly theme challenge where members are given a subject to paint to and technique to include. This weeks challenge was "Innocence"and the technique was dry brushing. This whole piece (apart from the metallic gold circles) are all done by dry brushing.

Check out the NZ Art Guild website to see the winners on Wednesday

Thought of the day

Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Green Dog - have no idea why it was called this!

1. I love you not because of who you are, but because of who I am when I am with you..
2. No man or woman is worth your tears, and the one who is, won't make you cry.
3. Just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to, doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
4. A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.
5. The worst way to miss someone is to be sitting right beside them knowing you can't have them.
6. Never frown, even when you are sad, because you never know who is falling in love with your smile.
7. To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.
8. Don't waste your time on a man/woman, who isn't willing to waste their time on you.
9. Maybe God wants us to meet a few wrong people before meeting the right one, so that when we finally meet the person, we will know how to be grateful.
10. Don't cry because it is over, smile because it happened.
11. There's always going to be people that hurt you so what you have to do is keep on trusting and just be more careful about who you trust next time around.
12. Make yourself a better person and know who you are before you try and know someone else and expect them to know you.
13. Don't try so hard, the best things come when you least expect them to.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

I Believe ....

I received this many years ago - I can't remember where from - but these words have stayed with me through the years - some of them I didnt believe when I first received it - but through lifes experiences it made me realise just how true they are - and how important they are to remember....

I believe
- That no matter how good a friend is, they're going to hurt you every once in a while and you must forgive them for that.
- That true friendship continues to grow, even over the longest distance. Same goes for true love.
- That you can do something in an instant that will give you heartache for life.
- That it's taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.
- That you should always leave loved ones with loving words. It may be the last time you see them.
- That you can keep going long after you think you can't.
- That we are responsible for what we do, no matter how we feel.
- That either you control your attitude or it controls you.
- That regardless of how hot and steamy a relationship is at first, the passion fades and there had better be something else to take its place.
- That heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences.
- That money is a lousy way of keeping score.
- That my best friend and I can do anything or nothing and have the best time.
- That sometimes the people you expect to kick you when you're down, will be the ones to help you get back up.
- That sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.
- That just because someone doesn't love you the way you want them to doesn't mean they don't love you with all they have.
- That maturity has more to do with what types of experiences you've had and what you've learned from them and less to do with how manybirthdays you've celebrated.
- That it isn't always enough to be forgiven by others. Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself.
- That no matter how bad your heart is broken the world doesn't stop for your grief.
- That our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.
- That just because two people argue, it doesn't mean they don't love each other. And just because they don't argue, it doesn't mean they do
- That you shouldn't be so eager to find out a secret. It could change your life forever.
- That two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.
- That your life can be changed in a matter of hours by people who don't even know you.
- That even when you think you have no more to give, when a friend cries out to you - you will find the strength to help.
- That credentials on the wall do not make you a decent human being.
- That the people you care about most in life are taken from you too soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In times of loss

I read this a few years ago - and have always remembered it - it's something that I find comforting as well as putting things in perspective - making you thankful rather than grieving .... - if you want to read it with music and an image - otherwise - it's copied below :-)

A Reason, A Season or a Lifetime

People always come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, or to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or even spiritually. They may seem like a godsend to you, and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they just walk away. Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And like Spring turns to Summer and Summer to Fall, the season eventually ends.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person/people (anyway); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas in your life.


The most destructive habit..............................Worry
The greatest Joy.......................................Giving
The greatest loss........................Loss of self-respect
The most satisfying work.......................Helping others
The ugliest personality trait.....................Selfishness
The most endangered species.................Dedicated leaders
Our greatest natural resource.......................Our youth
The greatest "shot in the arm"..................Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome.........................Fear
The most effective sleeping pill................Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease....................Excuses
The most powerful force in life..........................Love
The most dangerous pariah..........................A gossiper
The world's most incredible computer................The brain
The worst thing to be without........................ Hope
The deadliest weapon...............................The tongue
The two most power-filled words......................."I Can"
The greatest asset......................................Faith
The most worthless emotion..........................Self-pity
The most beautiful attire..............................SMILE!
The most prized possession......................... Integrity
The most contagious spirit.........................Enthusiasm

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Everyone has something to give

Some people give time, some money, some their skills and connections, some literally give their life's blood. But everyone has something to give. --Barbara Bush

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Take charge of your time

Take charge of your time

Time management is the crucial tool in achieving this. While time is finite and something we take for granted, the truth is we all get exactly the same amount of time - 24 hours per day! From students to corporate heads - no one gets any more hours in the day.

Again, like clutter clearing, learning to manage your time will increase your productivity, allowing you to focus on your priorities. There's no need to adopt an old-fashioned one-size-fits-all mentality regarding time management. You can, and should personalise a plan that fits your needs.

Honestly ask yourself how and when are you most likely to 'waste' time, then look for ways to minimise these time traps. Resolve to block out chunks of time for specific projects and plan a realistic schedule. Experiment until you find a system that works for you, then make it part of your daily routine.

Clear Clutter

Clear Clutter

Clearing clutter is a great first therapeutic step in simplifying your life. Seriously, it’s not just for tidy freaks! Re-organise your home and work space and you will simultaneously boost your productivity while reducing your stress levels.

First, identify all the areas that need your attention, prioritise your problem areas, then commit to a clutter busting plan. A great tip, is to start with what is bothering you most, whether it's a stash of phone messages or old files. If you hate that pile of papers on your desk, start there. If it’s a junk room or cupboard threatening to explode, tackle that first.

Focus on a little bit of clutter at a time, rather than attempting a major overhaul in one sitting. Consider re-organising filing cabinets, drawers, what could be better used elsewhere, what is no longer required?

Rest assured, that after your initial clear-out, once you have set up new systems, regular maintenance won't be nearly as daunting. For example, to keep on top of everything use the well known 4 D:
(1) Do it now (if it takes less than a minute)
(2) Deal with it later (but schedule a time for this)
(3) Delegate it or
(4) Ditch or delete it. Use this trick and you will no longer have disorganised piles of paperwork threatening to topple or an out of control in-box.
Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge and dares forgive an injury -- E.H. Chapin

I wish more people would remember this - and put it into practice - wouldn't it make for a more peaceful and fulfilling life for all concerned ......
The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems, but those who learn to live with things that are less than perfect.

This is defintely my new favourite - its an extension of one of my first posts -
If you can't change the situation, you need to change the way you look at it.

Take a look around you at the people that are happy - some carry such heavy burdens but always with a smile - and time for others .... Its not that they don't have trouble, stress, pain, hurt - it's all about how they choose to look at it and live with it ...... Often we don't even know what others are going through