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.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Well actually I was tagged weeks ago but I've just been slack ... ok busy .... I was tagged by fellow artist and NZ Art Guild member Chavah Kinloch, check out her great blog -

The rules are simple, now I've been tagged I have to list 6 things you don't know about me, so here goes -

1) I actually hate dots - I know - hard to believe - but yes I''ve always hated dots .... however I love my dotty art ...

2) They say patience is a virtue - it's just not one of mine - but I'm working on it - however people seem to think I must have enormous patience to do all the dotty paintings .... hmmmmm

3) I go through fads with my creativity - so long as I have an outlet I'm happy - over the years I have focussed for various periods on writing poetry, cross stitch, paper tole, latch hook, cooking, gardening, belly dancing, costume making, sewing (which I also hated prior to doing it) now I found my niche - painting ......

4) I was a bit of a geek at school - entered Australian Maths competitions for fun and got a prize each year. Came top of my school for school cert English and got accepted to Uni at 16. I decided to do nursing instead and graduated top 5 in my year for nursing and was the youngest registered nurse in NZ.

5) I was a red head for 16 years. Mum said that I could dye my hair when I left school - so the very day I left I dyed it red. My hair is naturally curly (completely wild but tameable with GHD straighteners - gotta love them!)

6) I hate mushrooms (uggghhhh!) - which is apparantly unheard of with vegetarians!

Now I'm tagging these fantastic NZ artists -
Ronda Turk -
Maria Hartley -
Jen Longshaw -
Tony Brown -
Kay de Lautour Scott -

And one non NZ artist who is just as fab!
Derek McCrea-

The rules:
1. Link to the person or persons who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Saturday, November 22, 2008

What's on your bucket list?

Last year the movie "The Bucket List"sparked a lot of conversation, lists and even websites. For those not familiar with it it was a movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman who have nothing in common except terminal illness. They hit to road to complete their "bucket lists" - things to do before they die.

People all over the world have been writing lists which include outrageous things like searching for extraterrestrials, to sky diving, to visiting the South Pole to reconciling with estranged family.

My best friend was very ill a few months ago and we started to write a list for her of the things she wanted to do - they were sooo simple ... walk on a beach with white sand, have a day spa and be pampered and to see friends and family. One was harder due to finances - to go on a cruise - we now have an agreement - whoever wins lotto pays for the cruise ... keep your fingers crossed.

I've never written one - I tend to live in the now - (makes life a lot let stressful! lol) but it did get me thinking ... if I were to write one - what would be on it? .... really only a couple of things.

Mine is definitely simple - friends, family, laughter, food, sing and dance. There were two specifics which are very personal and I suddenly realised they shouldn't be on a bucket list ..... if they made it there - they are important enough to deal with here and now surely? Regarding material things - I find that hard since I've never been a person that wanted the next xyz, or the best or expensive things, - it's just has never been my focus in life.

What's on your bucket list?

I think that is one of the secrets to happiness. To have a short bucket list with only simple things on it. It's a reflection that you are really happy with life - with where you are and what you have. This was a good exercise for me - writing a bucket list made me feel gratitude.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thought of the day

Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name. - Robert Louis Stevenson

My dear friend sent this to me - so true - so many people are being very courageous in hard times - with the current economy and job market - redundancies everywhere you look - in fact the friend that send me this was made redundant this week after 21 years with the company - I was made redundant yesterday (from the same company) and another friend of mine (from a different company) was also made redundant. These times call for inner strength and courage - and to have faith that there will be something better round the corner. To remember that it's not personal - that it's not a rejection of you - or you that's redundant - but simply a business decision and your job that's redundant.

We always have to look on the bright side of life - and although I'm looking for work straight away - if it doesn't appear - I will embrace the positive. The upside for me as a single parent - school holidays with my kids!! yay!! I won't have to farm them out to my sister and mum - I can actually spend the time with them myself. Finally I will also have a little time to myself too - time to paint - to create - to get back to my passions - after working such long hours with no breaks - holidays or days off - this is going to be quite a novel experience.

Let's see what's round the corner ......

Romantic Commission Finished ....

Well today I just finished a very romantic commission. One of my work friends who has come to a few of my art events is the proud owner of 3 my dot paintings already. He is off to the Philippines soon to be reunited with his bride to be and they will be making a new life together in NZ. He came up with an idea of an artwork for their new home - and we worked together for a few weeks to get the design and lettering just right (easier said than done we can both tell you!)

It's a special piece that will be seen when visitors enter their home. It embrace her culture and says "mubahay" which is welcome in Filipino.

I added my own little twist to embrace the NZ culture by putting koru designs in it. The Koru depicts new beginnings, growth, strength and harmony, taken from the symbolism of a unfurled silver fern leaf.

It was great to be painting again - and once I started I didn't want to stop - my shoulder and hand are feeling it a bit today - not to mention a bit of sleep deprivation too! But it was well worth the effort. Here's a sneak preview of the artwork.

Title: Mabuhay
Artist: Sophia Elise
Media: Tissue and Acrylic on Canvas. All the dots are hand painted by brush in black, grey and white on a red background (Same colour scheme as the other ones he owns)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fidelity - a dying moral??

This is something I have been pondering all day - and I came to the rather tongue in cheek conclusion that some people don't actually understand the part of their vows when they say - forsaking all others - they are not saying fornicating with all others - yes its an old fashioned word - but if you don't know what it means - then ask someone before you make that vow.

Seriously, I've been trying to work out why it seems that infidelity is HUGE. Is it because there is no really deep love and respect for their partner, is it arrogance that they won't get caught, or is just that it's so easy these days with the internet, cellphones, bars etc to find someone else.

I do think that the modern technology has facilitated infidelity - what starts out as an innocent email or text - can turn into light flirtation and then progress from there - people hide behind the supposed anonymity of the technology to start with - no risk of being turned down to your face ... test the waters - instant gratification even - always someone there.

Then you have bars and clubs - well we all know that alcohol helps people to loose their inhibitions - and most people when they are out seem to drink to excess - and therefore have no inhibitions left...although it does seem quite interesting that they are still inhibited enough to make sure they lie about their marital or relationship status.... hmmmmm

Being out of town, away on conference, stag nights etc - seem to make some people think they can behave in any way they like - that their misbehaviour is invisible if it's away from home town eyes - or their partner.

That's the thing - if the partner knew how they were behaving then they wouldn't behave in this manner (well you would hope not at any rate) - so that shows that they know their behaviour is morally wrong - however people still do it.

Why do it? Why get married (or into a committed relationship) if they have no intention of staying true to the one that you have pledged to love til the day you die? No one is forcing people to marry - or to be in a relationship they are unhappy in. In some cases it's just gobsmacking that only a few months after marrying a stunning women that they are out on the prowl again.

I have done a bit of market research over the last few years and spoken to many unfaithful married men (all ages and walks of life) - I've asked why they do it and how they manage to cope with guilt (surely they must have a conscience?) Well the guilt is the easy part seemingly - "You just disassociate yourself from it - its purely a physical thing" And why do it "excitement, new person, risk, fun, makes me feel good, haven't had sex for several weeks or months even" but surprisingly the most common one for serial adulterers - "I don't know"

I talked to one man the other night (who was flirting outrageously) who said that if he was going to be unfaithful he would rather pay someone - that way it becomes a business transaction for a service - and not an affair - two completely different things in his eyes...hmmmm not so sure his fiancee would agree with that?

How can we regain the morality, honesty, trust? I feel we need to do this for many reasons but first and foremost, so that we can preserve the family unit for the sake of our children going - for our society as a whole?

Do we start telling the partners? (that's if the person has been honest enough to admit to having one in the first place!) Maybe if we start telling partners then people realise the risk of being found out is great - and the repercussions (ie loss of relationship) may be enough to make sure they don't risk it. It's like children - if they have no consequences for their actions - then they will keep doing it - esp if it feels good - no ones going to stop them so why not do it? But really should imposement of negative consequences be the influencing factor for fidelity? Surely fidelity should be based in love, respect and honesty?

Do we say no to even dating someone until we have done a thorough background check to ascertain that they are in fact telling the truth? (Facebook and other social networking tools do come in handy these days to check out these things) Or am I overreacting - do we not worry about it - just accept it - and maybe just aim for honesty within the relationships rather than fidelity being the focus?

Really I don't know what the answers are ... does anyone else have the answers? Is anyone else even concerned about this epidemic we have?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Why Women should vote ....

Today I had the privilege to vote in our nations general election - yes sadly it is still a privilege to vote. Not all nations have that choice, nor do all women. Not only is today an opportunity for us to have our say about who will lead our country - for me it is a humbling day as I reflect on the women before me - who I will never meet - who fought hard, sacrificed a lot so that I could walk in and place my tick on a piece of paper today. My primary reason for voting wasn't because I felt passionately about our country - I voted out of respect and gratitude to the women before me. How wrong it would feel to treat the privilege so lightly - to be apathetic - and not to pay our respects to what they have achieved for us fellow women.

I took my children with me today - and I explained that not everyone could do what we were doing today - and I went on to explain to my 7 year old daughter about the suffragettes - it moved me to tears. My children proudly wore the "I've voted today" stickers and told everyone we met that we had voted. They now understand that how lucky they will be when they turn 18 and can actually vote for themselves.
It saddens me that we still have people in our country that don't vote - that aren't on the Electoral role - that don't appreciate how lucky we are to be able to do this. I don't expect people to be passionate about politics - or to like politicians - but I think that we should all vote as a sign of gratitude - much like we get up early for the Dawn Parade on Anzac Day to remember the men who fought for our country ...
It is with enormous gratitude I thank the brave suffragettes world wide ...

My Aunt sent me this email last month as a reminder .... (if we ever needed one)
A Message for all women
This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

Remember, it was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote. (this is American history not NZ)

The women were innocent and defenseless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote.

(Lucy Burns)
And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'
They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

(Dora Le wis)

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.

Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

(Alice Paul)

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie 'Iron Jawed Angels.' It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder. All these years later, voter registration is still my passion. But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient.

My friend Wendy, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too. When she stopped by my desk to talk about it, she looked angry. She was--with herself.. 'One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie,' she said. 'What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn.' The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her 'all over again.'

HBO released the movie on video and DVD . I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum I want it shown on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather. I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.

The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.' Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know. We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party - remember to vote. History is being made.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Expectations are killers

or at very least one of the things that seems to hurt us the most ....

I think one of the things I find the hardest is having the expectation that people will treat you with the same consideration, loyalty, compassion, unselfishness, honesty, respect etc that you give them - and it always comes as a shock when they don't. Some how you don't seem to be able to shake the hope - the expectation that they will see the light and act in a moral and ethical manner. Now in reality they are not doing anything to us - its us that are doing it to ourselves - by even having this expectation.

There is one person in my life that I keep hoping against hope that they will learn to love and put their ego aside for the betterment of the children they have - however - every time they prove me wrong (or right as the case may be) Now of course - the only person that suffers (aside from the children involved) is me. The person who is perpetuating this behaviour doesn't suffer at all (well unless you believe in karma then at some stage it will come back to them)

Its a hard place to be - if you give away all your expectations of moral behaviour from other people then you risk becoming negative and cynical - however if you continue to have hope and positive expectations you risk hurt and people thinking your naiive and taking advantage of that.

So what do we do - which is better? Try and see the good - live in hope - trust that one day the expectation you have will be fulfilled? or let it go - accept it - move through it - acknowledge that the expectations is actually damaging to you - and not helping the other person act appropriately ...

hmmm I think I may have just answered my own question - if only it was that easy ......

Monday, November 3, 2008

Thought for the week

The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt. -Frederick Buechner