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.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Thought for the day .....
The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. -- William James
This one - I think would have to be one of the most important things to learn - and something that I have really come to see and understand this year - it is totally amazing what influence our thoughts have over our attitude - for example - believe you will succeed and you will .... positive self talk has an enormous flow on effect to every aspect of your life.
I met a motivational speaker earlier this year who said that whenever he was asked how he was he would reply with "unbelievable" - now he said this could be interpreted either as unbelievably good or unbelievably bad - most people though who hear it interpret it as good - even saying it to yourself can have a positive effect. You are making a conscious decision to be unbelievably good everyday.
If we stop focusing on the negative and look to the positive - then you will feel happier and more content - and then those things that you were complaining about before wont seem as overwhelming ...
Once you change the inner mind attitude you will become happier - and happier people outwardly are more sucessful in every aspect of their lives.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
August 26, 2008
"If you think you're outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise.
You've got to be sure of yourself,
Before you can win the prize."
During the recent Olympics the term "unconscious confidence" was bandied about. Interviewers lauded those who had it and lamented those who didn't. Winners won with it and losers lost for the want of it.
How do people get to this state of inner strength? How does unconscious confidence apply to fields like ours?
Training: Serious folks need to train so hard that the skills get into their bones. In art, there's no net, bar, distance or time to which all comers must apply. Goals need to be self-set and training must be done on one's own. This takes character, and like any athlete, it takes some hard work. Coaches may be the guides, but it's the trainees themselves who need to take measure--small gains are the makings of medal-material.
Focus: Focus is the conscious removal of distractions--from a sore toe to the roar of the crowd. The world is a noisy stadium that contrives for us to go off the track. Cutting out ambient hysteria is a learned skill. It means a total concentration on the job at hand. Focus can be understood as a kind of self anointed me-ism--and it's okay to feel that way when the action is needed. In the artist's world, personal mannerisms, processes, techniques and stylistic tendencies are sacrosanct, a mind-state similar to common belief. While artists may be wildly exploratory, the winners need to run like they've already won.
Pressure: Pressure means expectations and competition. Without competition, bars are blurred, standards are sullied and mediocrity triumphs. While individualism is key, "I just paint for me," the artistic catchword of our times, doesn't cut it if you're looking for transcendent quality. To get to the gold, artists need to look over their shoulders and see what's out there. They need to marry desire with effort. Like the pressure to shave a fraction off a second, the artist feels the need for nuance, flair and creative signature. In our game it's a tough order because the whole team generally resides within one body. Pressure allows self-trained focus to score.
PS: "Nothing builds confidence like accomplishment." Thomas Carlyle
Esoterica: Reinventing daily, artists build muscles yet unknown to themselves. With self-training, focus and pressure we gain unconscious confidence. Gradually and inevitably, we achieve our personal best. We begin to take liberties with stride and stroke. Work becomes play, and the process becomes its own reward. We keep stroking. We look over our shoulders. We smile at the crowd.
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Monday, August 25, 2008
“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena… who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory or defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt
Media: Mixed Media - Flax weave and acrylic on canvas
Size: 90cm x 60cm
The dot part is from my journey of life series and represents the different paths that we take in life - the twists and turns, the branches ....
Life is harder for some - that's the reality - and we all need to realise that every person we meet in life may be bearing some kind of load that we cannot see ... treat everyone with love, sensitivity and understanding.
New Zealand Health Industry Awards and Benefit Gala Dinner 2008
Bruce Mason Centre Takapuna, Auckland
Saturday 11th October
6:00pm to Midnight
In 1997, the inaugural NZ Health Industry Awards was held to honour and acknowledge pioneers and practitioners for their many years of work, research and dedication in the field of natural health, wellbeing and education.
This year the prestigious NZ Health Industry Awards and Benefit Gala Dinner will be a grand celebration and is being held in conjunction with UNICEF to fund raise and support the work they are doing in Papua New Guinea to help the women and children living with HIV and AIDS.
This elaborate evening is to be hosted by Petra Bagust and will consist of a sumptuous dinner followed by the NZ Health Industry Awards presentation and spectacular entertainment provided by an impressive line up of local and international artists including Fiona Pears, virtuoso violinist and composer returning to NZ from London and Caleb Bartolo, dancer extraordinaire from Australia.
Alison Mau, a New Zealand UNICEF Ambassador, will provide a presentation of the work they are involved with in Papua New Guinea.
During the evening there is to be a charity auction including artwork from top New Zealand artists - Sofia Minson, Vjekoslav Nemesh, Lee Ralph, Sally Blyth, Tony Brown, Julia Dungan, Sophia Elise, Sharlene Ngatapuna, Natasha Wheeler and one amazing artwork which is being kept under wraps until auction night.
There will also be a variety of other items up for auction that have been donated by other companies and the opportunity to pledge to UNICEF during the evening.
Please circle this date immediately – you will want to be there!
We look forward to your participation and attendance.
Nomination Forms for the awards are available on the website
Tickets are available through www.ticketmaster.co.nz
Every ticket purchased will also give you a chance to
win a car valued at $50,000 on the night
Organised by - Synergy Events
Phone: 09 414 5517 or 021 413 961
Sunday, August 24, 2008
On way to develop strength of character is to teach them respect for others. This is based on self-respect and is summed up in the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. This value is what makes the world a better, kinder place.
You can show respect in many ways; by speaking and acting in a civil manner, avoiding insults and cruel remarks, being courteous and considerate of others (this includes family members), caring about other peoples rights, beliefs and well-being, treating other people fairly and as individuals (regardless of sex, age, race, religion etc), showing tolerance for people who don't share their same beliefs and likes (so long as those people aren't doing any harm to other)
The best way for a child to learn how to respect other people is to be shown respect themselves. It is so important to lead by example.
Encourage and teach your children how to solve conflicts non violently by following these steps
1) Find out what the conflict is about
2) Suggest different ways they might resolve the conflict.
3) Get your child to agree to one of the choices.
4) Have them make a plan to check whether the solution is working.
Self-respect means being satisfied with your behavior and accomplishments. People with self-respect also respect others. They don't need to put others down with nasty comments or build themselves up by bragging or over exaggerating their abilities or talents. Nor do they need lots of money or power to feel good about themselves.
People who respect themselves see selfishness, loss of self-discipline, recklessness, cowardice and dishonesty as wrong and not worthy of them. They have inner strength and are unwilling to let others use or manipulate them. They also know that showing patience or tolerance does not mean allowing others to mistreat them.
People with self-respect don't dissolve in a heap when they fail. They accept mistakes as a normal part of life. We often help our children to set high standards for themselves but we also need to let them know that that their is no need to be embarrassed if they failed when they have done their best.
Teaching children self-respect doesn't mean complimenting everything they do. They need to have honest/accurate feedback from time to time. When criticising - always sandwich it with positive comments and love and focus on what they have done - not them.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
With the new website and new look comes a new logo!! We're sure you will agree that the new logo is sleek - sophisticated - arty - and of course uniquely NZ!
Members are welcome to use this logo on their website/business cards etc.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So, don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
'Always be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'
Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
I know that doesn't sound like a lot - but it's all you need. From that point on it fascinated me to see what artworks were memorable for me - and for others when visiting exhibitions, art events etc. The ones that were most memorable - weren't the high priced ones, or necessarily even the best - they were ones that emotionally moved me in some way. It s a bit like love - an irrational feeling beyond explanation that you have no control over.
When people buy art - three things happen - firstly you get their attention, secondly they become emotionally involved and thirdly they retain what they feel - and all of this happens in the blink of an eye.
That is why making it memorable when you are creating art is so important. People don't usually buy a painting that they don't connect with and can't remember.
This is why my goal as an artist is to emotionally and spiritually touch a viewer. When that happens I know I have succeeded - and it is a fantastic feeling.
"Make it Memorable"
The Lewis Invitation Art Exhibition opened on Friday 15th August at the Cambridge Town Hall. Over the past 3 years this event has become a popular fixture in the Waikato arts calendar.
The exhibition is a chance for Lewis Barristers and Solicitors to provide the community with accessible art, to support local artists and to thank their clients for their support.
This year’s theme “Faces of the Waikato” was widely interpreted by the artists and was diverse in styles. It also saw different mediums integrated into the show including metal pieces and photography. The result was 80 stunning artworks exhibited over the weekend.
An exciting feature of the opening night format is the voting for “2008 Emerging Artist”. Four artists, who are new to the arts scene and have never exhibited before, are invited to participate in the exhibition. The overall winner then has the opportunity for a solo show at the Empire Gallery in Cambridge and automatic inclusion in future Lewis Exhibitions.
The four emerging artists selected this year were Cameron Suisted, Julie Sills, Hayley Simmonds and Jane Thomson who all received a one year’s subscription to the NZ Art Guild. Pauline Tapping and Helen Frost, who were the previous winners of the emerging artists’ award in 2006 and 2007, also received a one year’s subscription to the NZ Art Guild. The overall winner this year was Cameron Suisted who is a first year architecture student.
The event was a fantastic success with several opening night sales and hundreds of people visiting it over the weekend. This is a testament to Lyn Murray who is the event coordinator. Lyn has extensive experience as a practicing artist, gallery owner, arts presenter for regional TV and a mentor/lecturer for the arts industry. She is a proud member of the NZ Art Guild and currently divides her time between the UK and NZ.
Other participating artists are
Helen Frost (Member of the NZ Art Guild)
Des Lattey (Member of the NZ Art Guild)
Margo Lee (Member of the NZ Art Guild)
Lyn Murray (Member of the NZ Art Guild)
Barry Ross Smith
Pauline Tapping (Member of the NZ Art Guild)
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
It's easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire. If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something, for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times. During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations, because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge, because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes. They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you're tired and weary, because it means you've made a difference.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. Find a way to be thankful for your troubles and they can become your blessings.
Monday, August 11, 2008
DO IT NOW - Author Unknown
If you have hard work to do,
Do it now.
Today the skies are clear and blue,
Tomorrow clouds may come in view,
Yesterday is not for you;
Do it now.
If you have a song to sing.
Sing it now.
Let the tones of gladness ring
Clear as song of bird in spring.
Let each day some music bring;
Sing it now.
If you have kind words to say,
Say them now.
Tomorrow may not come your way,
Do a kindness while you may,
Loved ones will not always stay;
Say them now.
If you have a smile to show,
Show it now.
Make hearts happy,
Let the friends around you know
The love you have before they go;
Show it now.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I received this via email and wanted to share it ....
Focus on all the wonderful things that are present in your life now.
If you find yourself stuck in traffic, don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege.
Should you have a bad day at work, think of the man who has been out of work for years.
Should you despair over a relationship gone bad, think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return.
Should you grieve the passing of another weekend, think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children.
Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance, think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.
Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror, think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine.
Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity.
Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities, remember, things could be worse. You could be one of them.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Yesterday was one of those days for me ...
Now I'm no green finger ... but I did start the day out as I have never done before - by digging two holes in the back yard to plant very special apple trees. Now these had come all the way from an artist friend (John Sargeant) in Taranaki. I'm very grateful that no one had a camera handy - gummies, pj's, raincoat made for a real sight - and not a pretty one I can tell you!
After this it was onto some computer work for the NZ Art Guild, finishing off a painting, then off to the Cross Cuts hairdressers at 10am to change their artwork over (and get my hair done at the same time).
Home again for some more computer work then down to Crown Relocation to deliver artwork that is going to London for the Charity art auction. Crown have very generously sponsored shipping for 8 artists to have their art transported to the UK. 7 of these artists are NZ Art Guild members - yay! There I happened to meet up with one of the other artists involved (Elspeth Alix Batt)
From there it was across town to meet up with Shaughan Woodcock from the Mental Health Foundation of NZ to give them the donation of $2000. Another first for me - photos with a giant cheque!
Straight after that I got lost in town trying to get back on the motorway to drive to Hamilton to deliver more artwork ... but eventually I found my way - thank goodness for map books! lol
It was a fantastic end to the day - having a glass of wine and a catch up with my very dear artist friend -Christine Dempster. :-)
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful above me.
May it be beautiful all around me.
In beauty it is finished.
~ Navajo prayer ~
This poem may be simple - but its very profound. You think about it - it's a statement of fact. We really are surrounded by beauty. As we know beauty is in the eye of the beholder but look closely - your life does have elements of beauty before, behind, above and below you - in your surroundings, in your experiences .....
And remember of course that beauty also lies within you ....
Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart ~ Kahlil Gibran
People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within ~ Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
One measure of leadership is the caliber of people who choose to follow you. - Dennis A. Peer
I've never been one to promote following or leading as such but in society the reality is that you can't get away from it - with employment, families, clubs, etc
Therefore, if you are a leader - take a look at the people following you - how do those people reflect on you/your ability - do you have a group of people that are easily led and follow the herd, that lack integrity, motivation ... or do you have people that you admire, with their own ideas, have integrity, morals and you are proud to stand with?
If the cailber of people following isn't as high as you thought or would like it to be - then look to yourself to see why that is - are you wanting followers so that no one questions you, are you simply wanting power and control over others, do you want to make yourself stand out as better than everyone else, or is it because like is drawn to like etc
As a leader you have a responsibilty to inspire others to dream more, do more, become more.
Leadership is not magnetic personality - that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not "making friends and influencing people" - that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations. - Peter Drucker
You can't be all things to all people.
You can't do all things at once.
You can't do all things equally well.
You can't do all things better than everyone else.
Your humanity is showing just like everyone else's.
You have to find out who you are, and be that.
You have to decide what comes first, and do that.
You have to discover your strengths, and use them.
You have to learn not to compete with others,Because no one else is in the contest of *being you*.
You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness.
You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions.
You will have learned to live with your limitations.
You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due
And you'll be on the path to being the best "you" that you can be.
Dare To Believe:
That you are a wonderful, unique person.
That you are a once-in-all-history event.
That it's more than a right, it's your duty, to be who you are.
That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish.
nd you'll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.
~ Author Unknown ~
Monday, August 4, 2008
Today we finalised the amount artists and the NZ Art Guild have raised for the MentalHealth Foundation of NZ.....
This is a fantastic result and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the artists that participated in this project (without you it wouldn't have happened!).
Thank you to all the helpers behind the scenes - especially to Melissa Muirhead for coordinating this project and liasing with Mental Health and Allan Muirhead for all the woodwork and framing.
An extra thank you goes to the 39 artists who donated their payment to such a worthy cause.
I'm looking forward to presenting the cheque on Friday to Shaughan Woodcock at MHF.
Matthew Kelly said - "Self-discipline is the foundation of freedom. It is the foundation of greatness, achievement, heroism, leadership, sanctity, and vibrant and flourishing communities and nations. If you examine the lives of men and women who have achieved little or nothing with their lives, people who are miserable, mean and dispassionate, you will discover that it was not other people who destroyed their lives. Destruction always comes from within."
Feeling satisfied with life often comes from meeting your most important goals. Sometimes to achieve these goals you just need to do it instead of wasting time and energy figuring out if you feel like it or not. When we dive in with out all the complaints, procrastination and whinging we are on the path to freedom. Laurence G. Boldt said you have a choice "self-discipline or dependency; boss yourself or be bossed."
Making personal commitments and keeping them can feel like a chore to some people. However, it can be liberating. Pythagoras said "Choose always the way that seems the best, however rough it may be, custom will soon render it easy and agreeable," and "No man is free who cannot command himself."
Ultimately it is all about our frame of mind. Seneca said "Let us train our minds to desire what the situation demands." and Aristotle supported this "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies," "The hardest victory is the victory over self."
Our biggest challenge in life is not to master events but to master ourselves.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
A PLACE FOR ME
There is a special place in life,
That needs my humble skill,
A certain job I'm meant to do,
Which no one else can fulfill.
The time will be demanding,
And the pay is not too good
And yet I wouldn't change it
for a moment - even if I could.
There is a special place in life,
A goal I must attain,
A dream that I must follow,
Because I won't be back again.
There is a mark that I must leave,
However small it seems to be,
A legacy of love for those
Who follow after me.
There is a special place in life,
That only I may share,
A little path that bears my name,
Awaiting me somewhere.
There is a hand that I must hold,
A word that I must say,
A smile that I must give,
For there are tears to blow away.
There is a special place in life
that I was meant to fill.
A sunny spot where flowers grow,
upon a windy hill.
There's always a tomorrow and the
best is yet to be,
And somewhere in this world,
I know there is a place for me.
~~ Author unknown ~~
"We have, everyone of us, a role to fulfil, a work to do, a place which we alone can occupy" - Sri Aurobindo Ashram
Friday, August 1, 2008
Life has been chaotic .... managing the day yo day side of the NZ Art Guild not to mention all its events etc takes a huge amount of time and energy ... and that's where mine has been devoted to this past week ...
Our Collaborative Project Reach Out was sold successfully via auction on Trademe on Tuesday night - a nail biting finish with bids being placed in the last 4 seconds!! It sold for $3870 to the buyer of last years collaborative project - and also one of the participating artists. She is ecstatic about owning this amazing artwork.
As you know the Mental Health Foundation of NZ is receiving 20% of the sale proceeds from this. The rest of the money is being divided up and paid to the contributing artists. It was suggested that some may like the option of donating their payment to the Mental Health Foundation - and I'm proud to say that so far 36 artists have! We haven't heard back from all of them yet so that figure may rise.
At this stage it looks like the NZ Art Guild has raised nearly $2000 for the Mental Health Foundation and I'm looking forward to presenting this cheque to them very soon.
Another fantastic initiative that has emerged from this project was the Mental Health Foundation asking if they could use the image of Reach Out to promote Mental Health Awareness Week in October. This is a nationwide campaign and the image will appear on all their posters and fliers. The NZ Art Guild and its members are really excited about this as it's another way for us to help towards this very worthwhile cause. For more details about the campaign go to www.mentalhealth.org.nz
I have also been busy processing print orders - the Limited Edition Prints of Reach Out are still available - with $5 from every sale going to the Mental Health Foundation also. You can order individual prints of the artworks that compile Reach Out too. Please go to www.nzartguild.co.nz
In the past week the NZ Art Guild has also been approached to sponsor the North Shore City Art Awards. This is a nationwide Art Awards open to all NZ Artists and is a celebration of our land. The NZ Art Guild are donating one years subscriptions to each of this years prize winners. For more details on hoe to eneter this award go to www.mairangiarts.co.nz
I have also been finalising details with the NZ Society who are running the Charity Art Auction in London for the North Shore Plover.
Not to forget that the NZ Art Guild Annual Members Exhibition - Make it Memorable finished this week at the Bruce Mason Centre. Several artists sold pieces as well as gaining commissions. A great result especially for emerging artist Viv Hansen who sold both her pieces on opening night and gained a commission too - would you believe this was her first exhibition!? Way to go Viv!
In the last month we have also received 16 applications for membership to the NZ Art Guild - we aregetting bigger all the time - it's great to have so many new members - they come from different walks of life!
Add into all of the above my nursing job and two children you can probably understand why I haven't had the time let alone energy to post in the past week! lol I have to say I do miss it and hope to get back into the swing of things very soon.
People say to me frequently that the amount I work is insane and they don't know how I manage to do it. Shh don't tell them but neither do I sometimes! lol Even many years ago when I was working full time in one nursing job and part time in another nursing job with only one day off in 3 months - doesn't even come close to the amount of hours I put into work these days. Even though I don't earn a cent from all the work I do - I wouldn't give it up. Ultimately you have to love what you do - and I'm so lucky that I do. The satisfaction is enormous and makes all the hard work worthwhile.
“Success isn't measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.” - Mike Ditka
A friend of mine said to me last year - to be successful you have to "get up and work". Well success as we all know is subjective - and what it means for one person is not the same for that next. I found this quote that seems appropriate to this post -
"Success never comes to look for you while you wait around. You've got to get up and work at it to make your dreams come true" - Poh Yu Khing