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.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Now I'm not talking about the type of holidays which involve masses of running around, sightseeing, rushing from place to place - I'm talking about the chill out at home - away from work - doing the things that you love in a relaxed way.
This year is the first time, in several years, that I have had a "real" holiday. I am self employed - which anyone who is self employed will be able to identify with - taking a holiday is often logistically impossible (who will take over), it can be financially difficult (not bringing in any income) and for me personally - I feel guilt ridden.
What?? you may ask - why would you feel guilty? I have this problem. I constantly think about work 24/7 - I wake up thinking about work, I go to bed thinking about work, I dream about work - I strategise, plan, write, organise all the time. I feel that if I'm not working then I'm letting people down in some way ..... But in actual fact by living like this I am letting myself down.
The NZ Art Guild has only ever closed over the Christmas/New Year period for the statutory holidays. This year we (my good friend and colleague Tanya Dann) made the decision to close. As two workaholics, we actually agreed that the world would not stop spinning if we both had a true break from work for 11 days!! And wow!! Guess what - the world kept on spinning - nothing drastic happened and I feel great!!!
It's been really hard to ignore the guilt, to ignore the work emails, ignore the work thoughts and consciously push them aside every time they creep in. But it has been soooooo worth it. I've taken time to sit and chat with friends and family, to have a drink on the deck with my man, enjoy the holidays with my kids, go to bed early, sleep in (have 10 hours of sleep a night rather than 6!) watch dvd's, read and write my first blog post for 3 months!! Sheer bliss!!
For the first time in several months I feel the creative spark coming back into my life - I have cooked gourmet food, spent 3 days gardening (after 4 years of none at all!) and have started 3 artworks - with so many wonderful ideas flooding in. I have missed this wonderful feeling - it almost feels like a lifetime ago that I felt this good - and now I'm wondering why on earth I never allowed myself this time in order to receive this gift of feeling this wonderful.
In fact I'm enjoying my break so much that I have extended it for another week - and I will not feel guilty! I will enjoy it, embrace it and know that I will be able to give so much more when I do go back to work.
Now I need to make sure that I actually allow myself down time through out the year so that I can keep that creative spark alive - give myself time to write, paint, cook, garden - share my time with family and friends and actually have a more balanced life! ...... oh and catch up on my blog posts!! ;-)
Monday, September 20, 2010
The rest of the beautiful artwork you see in this article is done by Mike Galvin (another wonderful friend!)
Thursday, September 9, 2010
I have to say the thought of teaching groups of children art for a whole day terrified me - trying to think of an activity they could complete in an hour - and of course having never taught children art in my life! arghhh! What was I going to do - aside form freak out and have anxiety attacks?
Anyway - once the panic subsided I thought about the things my kids liked doing - and one was when we did a mini collaborative project artwork like the NZ Art Guild does each year. Perfect - that's what I was going to do. Only thing was I didn't want to use paints (my medium) because of the mess and time constraints. So I decided a dry medium would be better.
I nearly died when they sent home the form telling the kids I was teaching drawing skills - what the ...? Anyone who know me and my art knows that I do abstract - drawing is well and truly out of my sphere of things I do. And as my kids put it - "mum does abstract cos she can't draw real stuff" Thanks guys! lol
The day was a great success - the kids were an absolute delight - and I have a renewed admiration for teachers - man what an exhausting day - I really don't know how they do it - thank you to all the wonderful teachers out there!!
All the children had the same image and colours to work with and were given the same set of instruction s and theme to create to. I really wanted to see how they all interpreted it and I wasn't disappointed with the results - they let their creativity and imaginations go.
Many of you have asked what the finished artworks were like so I have added them here. The best thing about it was hearing them go "wow, awesome, amazing etc" once they saw it all put together. They really were gobsmacked at what they had all managed to achieve together.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Today 15 artists are doing a RAK - they have donated artworks to be auctioned to raise funds for the North Shore Women's Centre. (See event details below for "Inner Strength" What a perfect day to have this event too! And of course as with many events it's reliant on volunteers so they are all performing RAK's today too ...
Already heard one lovely story today from a friend who's 11 year old did an RAK for her ... yay!!!
To read more about RAK day - www.rak.co.nz
The NZ Art Guild and North Shore Womens Centre (NSWC) are proud to join together to raise funds and awareness for the NSWC with the Inner Strength Charity Art Auction and Exhibition.
The NSWC are the only holistic service for women, by women on the North Shore. The funds raised from the charity auction will assist in the administration of their core services: low-cost counseling, family support service, free legal clinic, clothing exchange, low-cost courses and support groups and the Go Girl Youth programme. Donations enable NSWC to continue to offer their services at little or no cost to women.
Please join us on September 2nd 6:30pm at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna Auckland where the month long exhibition "Inner Strength" will open with a fantastic charity art auction. Our guest speaker is Catherine Livingstone who has inspired many women over the years and was recently the last woman standing in the NZ Apprentice
Top NZ artists - Jess Foote, Lisz Bodsworth, Angela Laby, Sophia Elise, Rachel Olsen, Sharlene Scmidt, Nancy Frazer, Michele Courage, Merle Bishop, Lorraine Beattie, Liz de King, Lauryne Hart, Jane Santos, Beate Minderjahn, and Amy Walker have also generously donated artworks to be auctioned on the night. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to NSWC.
The theme of this exhibition is "Celebrating and Strengthening Women" and it brings together 33 very, talented NZ female artists from around NZ.
We would like to thank the following sponsors:
Tony Laugharn - Barfoot and Thompson
Tineswari Maruthamuthu - Graphic Designer
Kip Brook - Word of Mouth Media
For more information about the NSWC of NZ go to www.nswomenscentre.co.nz
To view the Online Auction Catalogue -
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Get the fantasy-adventure novel that is delighting readers and reviewers everywhere with its tale of magic and mystery in legendary Atlantis - Elffolk and the Crystal Caves of Atlantis.
Elffolk takes young readers into a world of intrigue and wonder with its page-turning story and positive message. An empowering novel for children ages 7 to 10, it reveals the power of our thoughts, expectations and beliefs. A fast-paced, easy read, it tells the story of Enna and Nissa in the mysterious crystal caves of mystical Atlantis.
“Thousands of years ago, on the island of Atlantis, there were signs of a coming disaster. The very first omens were the earthquakes.... When an earthquake strikes the village of Elffolk, an elderly elf becomes trapped in the crystal caves. Two young elves, Enna and Nissa, must save her. But their rescue mission won't be easy. A dark magic lurks within the caves, stirring up danger at every turn and leaving nothing as it seems.”
Order your copy today: http://www.elffolk.com
Order today and you’ll receive FREE gifts from parenting coaches, children’s authors and more.
Friday, August 20, 2010
You can now buy prints and greeting cards of Sophia Elise original artworks online at my new website www.sophia-elise.artistwebsites.com
The prints come in a variety of sizes and start from as low as $19 They are available in stretched canvas, framed or standard (unframed) If you want them framed you get to select the mat colour, style and frame. Lots of fun playing around on the site with this to get just the right look.
Cards - Greeting cards
The cards can be bought as single cards or in multiple packs. They are priced from $4.95 - the more you buy the cheaper they get. The cards are great because you can even choose to have a personalised message inside not to mention you can also select how large you want the image to be on the front of the card.
Original Art For Purchase
All the artwork on this site is organised into galleries - certain series of artworks and a special gallery of art currently available for purchase - more to be added as soon as I get some time to paint!
If there is an artwork of mine that you really love but isn't listed on my print and greeting card pages please let me know and I will add it just for you firstname.lastname@example.org
If your a member of facebook - friend me - and you will also be able to purchase art, cards and prints via my Facebook shop
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Boy for sale, any reasonable offer considered!
He's got LOTS of energy, and would make a great guard boy...could easily scare off any child-unfriendly visitors you may have, along with birds, mice or other small animals. Eats almost anything you put in front of him, especially if it's previously been refused and is deemed destined for the rubbish bin. Doesn't need much sleep. Good at making train tracks, mud pies, noise and messes. Doesn't need minor accessories like tissues, as has developed an effective "self- cleaning" method (a.k.a. "sharing the slime"). Great at waking babies, cats, neighbours or the dead.
Only minor functional defects, in that the "off" button is missing and the volume control seems stuck on "loud". But I'm sure these could be easily remedied with lots of open space, or alternatively, rubber walls and/or soundproofing. Patience and caregiver-energy might also work, but I haven't got any of that to try at present and the local hardware store seems to have run out.
PLUS, if you get in fast I'll also throw in a bonus Girl for no extra cost! She's great for self-esteem, as she is always in the mood for cuddles and being carried - doubles as a great workout partner, and will tone and strengthen arms, back and stomach if used correctly. Presently also has a self-lubricating face for those extra sloppy kisses. Has an infectious laugh, but the snot isn't similarly contagious. Runs almost entirely on mother's milk still, but is happy to supplement her diet with paper, books, shoes and cat fur so weaning probably wouldn't be a problem if the right foods are chosen. Good at waking those late night partying neighbours early the next morning. Also doesn't need much sleep.
If full-time child(ren) purchase isn't possible for you, I am willing to negotiate part-time or job-share opportunities.
Free shipping available!
Please contact the manager if you'd like to arrange a viewing or trial period.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Media: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 25cm x 25cm
For Sale: contact email@example.com
Following on from my post yesterday about "what is worthwhile art?" - I started this same conversation on my facebook wall (by the way if you haven't connected with me on facebook already please do! :-))
I really wanted to share some of the thoughts that came through - some from artists - some from art admirers - some very interesting thoughts and some wise words ...
Pamela - "I don't think anyone has the right to sit on a pedestal and judge other peoples artwork. Because we may not like or value or have some kind of prejudice over a particular style or person does not mean the piece of work itself is not worthwhile. I think there are too many people out there who value their own opinions. I think we seek way to much validation for our art externally instead of believing in our own talent and skill and its easy to lose sight of ones path, and get caught up in what you think you should be doing rather than what you want to do."
Bernice - "Opinion is the worst yardstick one can react to in a creative endeavour. Along those lines ..... Does not having a fine arts degree make one less of an artist or an artist of note? This has been a... continuous struggle I have faced in my art career. Could I get an art degree... Yes. Do I want to... No. Am I an artist.... Yes. Do I create worthwhile art.... Yes. For many years now I have refused to placate certain factions of the 'art community' who have repeatedly recommended I do the degree in order to prove my artistic worth. It makes it harder to be taken seriously, for sure (in my experience), but i will keep on doing what I do, regardless of whether other's view my work as worthwhile or not. I have a voice. You have a voice. Every single creative person has a voice. It won't be silenced by anything as linear as an opinion."
Denita - "passion, talent, and love makes worthwhile art and art worthwhile"
Ross - "I'm always asked this by my school students. We live in an age of Post Modernist who's-to-say mentality. They are always trying to pin it down to $ signs. Like "what's the most you've sold a work for sir?". That's because they have been taught that this is a way to value stuff (we are now doing that more and more in dear old NZ. I reckon there are a whole host of questions like - Is there an honest voice there? Is there some good mark making going on? (I mean that in a 3d and 2d sense) Is the person demonstrating some sort of control of their media? In contrast to these and there are heaps more, that we could go on about, we have unmade beds, beer crates, piles of rubbish, all winning prizes. So the ideas (and some of them are quite clever, whilst others are plain grandstanding like Damien Hurst's over hyped, over priced nonsense. I reckon the best guy to read on the subject is Robert Hughes. "Shock of the New" is a goody but it's a bit old. I would love to know what sort of spirit Bazaleel and Aholiab had in the Old Testament"
John - "Many things in this world are subjective. Movies, books, music, art, likes, dislikes etc. It is a combination of ignorance and arrogance for one person (often from their own perception of academic superiority) to suggest one thing is worthwhile and suggest that your particular taste is not. All these subjective likes and dislikes come from the heart, they can't be and shouldn't be found in books, internet or otherwise."
Brian - "Good art in my opinion elicits an emotional response in the viewer"
Colin - "If the artist likes it, its worthwhile to them, if the viewer likes it, then its worthwhile to that person and if your lucky both artist and viewer like it therefore making it worthwhile to both. In some cases the artist will not be happy with the finished article and few viewers like it making it worthwhile to few. A piece of arts worth both monetary and visually is a very individual thing....Some people see arts worth in relation to monetary value (So IS a factor to them), others see art purely for the aesthetic value i.e. like the look of it, or sound of it, feel of it (Myself) and others for some perceived meaning behind it all. No one motivation or trigger for an individuals impression of a given piece or form of art is any more valid than another. With art there are no more rules to the appreciation of art than there are to the creation of it or form it should take."
Stan - "who is this person to cast a judgement on the marks of a fellow artist? Certainly no one with any academic background in the profession. From the first crude paleolithic markings on the walls of caves until the present, art is a reflection of human labour and a catharsis of the imagination. To attempt to discredit one artists work as not worthwhile is to deny individualistic creative processes."
Ross - "Again though, we're coming back to the very thing that prompts this debate. There is an opinion that if something provokes emotion then if it good. I don't think it's that simple. Like a Swastika for many people would provoke and emotion, but it is not art it is an offensive icon. So there has to be some sort of conceptual underpinning. Oh for the days when we were told what was good and what was rubbish! (that's tongue in cheek). It's not just technical ability either is it? Think about the beautifully produced kitch sold all over the world."
Leo - "it took me the standard 4 years plus a post graduate year, but that did NOT make my work art, nor did it make me an artist. That came later. What it did - and that made it worthwhile after all - was break down all my pre-conceived ideas, thanks to excellent tutors, and give me a lot of useful technical knowledge. But that was all it did. There are countless great artists who never had any formal training. And Sophia, thanks for starting this discussion!"
I think my favourite quote from all the posts though is Colins - "With art there are no more rules to the appreciation of art, than there are to the creation of it or to the form it should take."
Thanks to everyone for joining in this discussion - sharing your thoughts and feeling - opinions and insights - to follow this more go to my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/sophiaelise.artist
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Media: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 25cm x 25cm
Today I'm pondering the question - "What is worthwhile art?" This question was provoked by an email I received today. Not an email directed at my art - but a general comment about worthwhile art having a specific voice and means to be heard.
I had never thought of art being classified as "worthwhile" before - well more precisely that some art wouldn't be considered worthwhile in some peoples eyes. Ok, admittedly, some art is not be to my taste - or maybe it doesn't have the technical finesse of other artworks - but I never thought about it not being worthwhile. At the very core of it - at the very least - it is a worthwhile artwork for the person who has created it surely. It is something they have enjoyed, felt compelled to do, have expressed an emotion or shared a scene - to them it was worthwhile.
To me - It is worthwhile if that artwork has helped someone in some way - be it the creator or the viewer. If it has put a smile on someones face - made them feel something within - evoked a conversation - created a connection - then that is worthwhile to me. A child's artwork is worthwhile to the parent who receives it and the child who has created it with love. The artwork that we see as a "mistake" is worthwhile to that child that loves it and retrieves it from the junk pile to hang in their room. Or the artwork that is donated to charity to raise funds for a cause. Or simply the one that is beautiful - which of course is in the eye of the beholder.
Perhaps my art may not be termed worthwhile by academic circles but to the hundreds of people that have purchased my art and who enjoy hanging it on their walls it's worthwhile. It was worthwhile to me to be able to create it and share part of my spirit on canvas. It was worthwhile to my children who hang it on their walls and proudly tell their classmates that their mum is an artist on google (how cute is that! lol) It was worthwhile to the artists I have swapped artworks with. It is worthwhile to the charities that have benefited from the artwork donations I've made.
So - Who is the judge of what is worthwhile? What is the criteria? Is there criteria? Is it arrogance to state some art is worthwhile and other art isn't? Is it an intellectulisation born out of academia? Or is it a real life issue? What are your thoughts?
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
"Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them - work, family, health, Friends and spirit and you're keeping all of these in the Air.
You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.
But the other four Balls - Family, Health, Friends and Spirit - are made of glass. If you drop one of these; they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for it.
Work efficiently during office hours and leave on time. Give the required time to your family and friends and have a proper rest
Value has a value only if its value is valued"
We all need to be reminded of this from time to time - I am probably one of the worst people at this - I am a self confessed workaholic - if I'm not working I feel guilty - I feel lazy - like I haven't accomplished anything - I feel that all my time needs to be production - but how do we define productive?
I need to remember that rest, and time spent with family and friends is productive time too. The weekend just been we caught up with friends for a birthday - we went to bed before 11 for the first time in several months - we slept in - went to an art exhibition opening - visited the in laws - visited my family - went to dinner - to a show - bought some books - did some painting - finished a commission - had friends around for drinks. What soul food that was!! It was the best thing I could have done - I now feel more energised and ready to take on the busy week again - I need to remind myself of how important down time is - and the flow on benefits it has.
Are there any other self confessed workaholics out there who suffer from guilt when they are not working? Where does it come from? How do you deal with it?
Monday, July 12, 2010
There was a lot of discussion around this as I'm one of those people that can't stand to see any kind of injustice - I want life to be fair - ok we all get told early on that it isn't - but it doesn't stop me being idealistic or trying to help if I can. But at what point is that considered interfering - or even damaging to the person you are standing up for? My friend raised that point that by standing up for someone - fighting their battle that you can actually be dis-empowering and not allowing them personal growth. A very good point - and I hadn't looked at it that way.
But then what if that person doesn't have the knowledge or ability and you can help them learn - we all need guidance and support at various times of our lives -and how can someone who has never stood up for themselves int he past learn how to do it if no one will help them?
What about the people that take not getting involved to the extreme - their reasoning isn't like my friends - they just believe that it's none of their business and it doesn't affect their life in any way. They stay out of potential conflict at all costs - they are the ones that would walk past a women getting hit by her husband - or a child left unattended in a car crying - or stand by while someones character gets unfairly maligned.
Personally I find this level of apathy frustrating - and I actually don't think it is coming form a place of good - but a place of selfishness. Maybe I'm wrong - but it's the way I feel. I believe that if I can help then I should - and to ignore anything like that wouldn't sit right with me - I couldn't sleep at night.
My friend asked where this need of mine came from - I had never analysed it - it has always been innate within me and I accepted it as part of who I am. But this morning I had a light bulb moment and I know where it comes from. It is a core value that was instilled in me from a very young age was "protect and help those who are weaker than yourself"
I suppose at no time have I stopped to consider that I am using my subjective judgement to determine whether a person fits in this category - and what I see as someone needing help - will not bee seen that way by another - they can be seen as interfering. More food for thought.
So why is it that some people feel passionately about helping others - and others feel just as passionately that it's wrong to get involved because it's nothing to do with them - and others feel that you are robbing that person of the personal growth and life experiences?
What category do you fall into? What is your reasoning? And is there a right or wrong in this case?
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I admire people for many different reason - the lady who adopted 4 girls with Downs Syndrome - She's inspirational to me because I don't think I could ever have done that - that takes a huge amount of dedication, love and sacrifice.
The man who was on Gladiator today with a prosthetic leg who not only competed but also completed the whole course - I couldn't even do that as an able body person so to me he is inspirational.
The man on Good Sorts segment last week who fought to save lives with a new system for organ donations - and then to be the first one to actually have his body used for organ donation under the new system.
So many people giving selflessly of their time with various charities - looking after others - making peoples lives better each day.
Listening to Ray Avery talk on Thursday - that man is amazing - from simple ideas he has managed to change millions of peoples lives all over the world. Incredible to think it came out of his garage in Mt Eden - from a desire to help people.
So many different people that I find inspiring and just as many reasons - my list could go on forever. It does includes personal attributes - usually some quality that I don't see in myself and a quality that I would like to have. Seeing what these people achieve makes you want to be a better person - to give more - do more and be more grateful.
I have been told an a few occasions that I'm an inspiration to someone - and I always feels a bit gobsmacked - flattered naturally - but I do ask why? I honestly don't see myself any differently from the people that have said this to me. In fact they have sometimes even been an inspiration to me! Therefore to find out that I have in some way inspired them is very humbling.
I feel grateful that we are not only surrounded by many wonderful role models - but people who inspire us in every day lives - and they aren't necessarily the richest or most famous - they are our mums, dads, friends, children, friends, colleagues etc
I would love to hear who inspires you? Or just even what characteristics you find inspirational?
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I'm excited to be involved with this fabulous exhibition - and very lucky to have such an amazing person organising it in Dunedin - Tanya Dann. Without her vision, dedication and hardwork this just wouldn't be possible.
If you are in the area it would be great to see you at the opening of "Pocket Rockets" exhibition at ROCDA Gallery in Dunedin.
Over 40 NZ artists bring you an amazing array of artworks including, paintings, jewellery, sculpture, glass art, textile and much more!
The exhibition is for one week only - so make sure you mark it in your diary today so you don't miss out!
Where: ROCDA Gallery, 73 Princes Street, Dunedin
Opening: Monday 2nd August, 5:30pm - 8pm
Exhibition Open: Mon - Fri 11am - 6pm and Sat 11am - 3pm
PARTICIPATING NZ ART GUILD ARTISTS
PARTICIPATING NON NZ ART GUILD ARTISTS
Ryan van Heerden
Sudhir Duppati Kumar
MEDIA: Mixed media - wood frame.
SIZE: The finished artwork is 1.3m x 1.3m
(List of participating artists below)
On Friday 2nd July the NZ Art Guild unveiled their 2010 Collaborative Artwork "Bloom"
"Bloom" is a unique artwork which comprises of 64 individual artworks by 62 artists from all over NZ. The theme of this artwork is New Beginnings and Growth.
To view this stunning artwork in person visit the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland. Open Mon - Fri 9 - 5 or Sat 10 - 4. It will be exhibited there until July 30th.
This artwork will be auctioned on Trademe (www.trademe.co.nz) from July 17th with 100% of the proceeds donated to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ. (When you login to Trademe search for NZ Art Guild).
LIMITED EDITION PRINTS AVAILABLE
- Print run limited to 100 prints - all prints are numbered
- Printed on archival art paper by specialist fine art printers
- Comes un-mounted so you can select your framing
(We recommend Lesley's Picture Framing - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Size: 410 mm x 410mm. (unframed)
- Delivery will be approx 2 weeks from the date of order.
- $5 from every print sale is donated to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ
Bloom Limited Edition Print $79.00
Postage - North Island $8.00 Postage - South Island $12.00 Postage - Rural $15.00
How to order your print:
via the NZ Art Guild website http://www.nzartguild.co.nz/edit.asp?PageNo=240
or by email email@example.com
PARTICIPATING ARTISTS (from left to right)
1) Ana ter Huurne
2) Melissa Muirhead
3) Amanda Hook
4) Chelsea Davies
5) Michelle Whitehouse
6) Jacqueline Runham
7) Caroline Viesnik
8) Sophia Elise
9) Marilyn Andrews
10) Bill Rutledge
11) Wendy Matthews
12) Cath Sheard
13) Silver Dunlop
14) Angela Laby
15) Sheryl Eustace
16) Neala Glass
17) Nancy Frazer
18) Natasha Wheeler
19) Gail Boyle
20) Melissa Muirhead
21) Anni Morris
22) Tracy MacDonald
23) Chris Cruickshank
24) Melodie Joseph
25) Tessa Birks
26) Julie Sills
27) Sally Blyth
28) Beate Minderjahn
29) Sandra Toornstra
30) Michelle Whitehouse
31) Rochelle van der Werff
32) Amy Mackiewicz
33) Chavah Kinloch
34) Sharlene Schmidt
35) Jane Bold
36) Helen Sherrock
37) Ronda Turk
38) Theresa Rodger
39) Christine Dempster
40) Paulette Shepherd
41) Lei Wen
42) Victoria Anderson
43) Jo Mallinger
44) Cheryl Irwin
45) Lyn Hurring
46) Linda Paul
47) Stan Blanch
48) Shaun Hedley
49) Dennis Clark
50) Michele Courage
51) Shelly van Soest
52) Marimba Powley
53) Tineswari Maruthamuthu
54) Fiona Woods
55) Michelle Thorby
56) Helen McNamara
57) Pam Tapp
58) Ron Esplin
59) Natalie Makeef
60) Rachael Inch
61) Tanya Dann
62) Pam Buffery
63) Sofia Spirtova
64) Tama Florentina
HUGE THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS
Allan McIntosh - Buildology - the Art of Design and Build
Mike Thornton - Giclee Print Limited
Michael Woods - Photographer
Brendon and Lesley - Lesley's Picture Framing
Saturday, June 26, 2010
For the third year in a row artists from the New Zealand Art Guild are joining forces to raise money and awareness for the Mental Health Foundation through a unique charity art project and auction.
On July 2, the NZ Art Guild will unveil their 2010 collaborative project titled ‘Bloom’ during the opening night of their exhibition “Emerge”. This one of a kind project is compiled from 64 individual artworks created by 62 NZ artists who each interpreted the theme “New Beginnings and Growth” into their piece.
When combined these individual panels will create a stunning artwork measuring 1.3m x 1.3m that will then be auctioned on TradeMe with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to the Mental Health Foundation.
The opening night of ‘Emerge’ will also see 12 fantastic artworks by some of New Zealand’s top artists auctioned off to benefit the Foundation. More information on these can be found on the NZ Art Guild website (http://www.nzartguild.co.nz/Emerge-Exhibition.html). To view the auction catalogue go to www.nzartguild.blogspot.com
"We are once again thrilled to be working with the New Zealand Art Guild on such an exciting project," says Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation. “We are truly appreciative of the commitment we have received from the Guild’s members over the last three years”.
“The Mental Health Foundation relies heavily on donations to help provide resources and support to New Zealanders affected by mental health issues and it is the support of such events that not only helps us to do this but also brings us closer to our aim of making mental health everybody’s business”
“Emerge” opens on 2 July at 6:30pm at the Bruce Mason Centre, Takapuna, Auckland.
Come along and support people with experience of a mental illness, and their friends and families, by bidding on the artwork.
I've been very fortunate since the beginning of April to have sold 10 artworks and gained a couple of commissions too. Many artists will tell you that if they have artworks sitting around for months on end and they aren't making any sales then it can start to sap your creativity - you just can feel very down and question what the point is ... makes you doubt your talent ... your ability and style. So this is why the increased sales are doubly exciting.
The torso that I did for Legato has proved really popular and have had many enquiries including a couple of commissions - unfortunately the commissions for these are on the back burner while I try and clear some of my work - thank goodness for patient buyers!!! You know who you are. ;-)
It certainly has been full on with exhibitions for me this year I currently have work being exhibited in Napier and this weekend in Auckland at the Original Art Sale and then next week is the opening of our annual members exhibition in Takapuna - not to mention that I have an exhibition in Dunedin next month, Auckland again in September, October, November and December!
I will try to load the details BEFORE the events so that people can come along if they wish. :-)
Venice at day
Well it seems a distant memory now but it has been less than a month since we got back from Italy. What a fabulous trip!! It started in Roccasecca and Cassino Italy with the Legato exhibition - then we started the amazing race .. well that's what it felt like! We went from Cassino to Naples - then to Pompeii - Sorrento - Amalfi Coast - Rome - Florence - Venice - Vatican City - we didn't spend more than two night anywhere and hit the ground running every day. (ok not literally!!) such an amazing experience and one that we shared with other fabulous Kiwis at different legs of the trip. We made many very special life long friends and had a ball along the way. I took 680 photos - my wonderful man was more restrained and only took 500. I couldn't get enough of the churches, buildings, architecture and the art works in them. Really were breathtaking and despite the photos you just couldn't capture the sheer magnificence of them.
So today is brief .... I want to share two quotes ....
"Scars remind us of where we've been but don't dictate where we are going"
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen." -- Elizabeth Kubler Ross
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Thanks to all the wonderful artists who offered donations - I'm so sorry we couldn't take all the artworks - but there are two other fundraisers coming up a bit later this year where we will need more artworks. Fundraiser for the Mental Health Foundation of NZ and for North Shore Women's Centre.
Hmmm hope I don't sound too much like a dork!! ;-)
Anzac story leads to special work of art
TV3 were at Howick RSA where there was a small group of the Legato artists showed some of their artworks. Cassino Vet Watty McEwen was presented with a very special artwork done by Auckland artist Merv Appleton. Read and watch the story by following the link above.
and the North Shore Times Advertiser with fabulous fellow NZ Art Guild members and artist Gail Boyle.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The inspiration for this piece came from the Tears on Greenstone at the Army Musem - see this link http://www.armymuseum.co.nz/kiwis-at-war/remember.html
On this "greenstone wall" that I painted are the names of family members and friends that have inspired many of the artworks in the Legato exhibition - there have been many tears shed by the participapnts of this exhibition and their families. This is in recognition of the tears of remembrance and the tears of loss and a reminder to us all to not let this happen again. We need to come together and work for world peace.
Thank you to all the artists who shared the names, stories and emotions with me on this ver personal and heartfelt journey.
Title: Tears on Greenstone
Artist: Sophia Elise
Media: Acrylic and resin on canvas
Size: 38cm x 76cm
We are all joined together wtih a common goal - world peace. Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. - Vince Lombardi
We need to start wtih ourselves and our children “A babe in the house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men” - Martin Fraquhar Tupper
Nothing is more powerful than an individual acting out of his conscience, thus helping to bring the collective conscience to life. - Norman Cousins
Title: Ripple Effect
Artist: Sophia Elise
Media: Mixed Media
Size: 60cm x 50cm
One question though - Why doesn't phathlo green and blue photograph well? This is more turquoise with green and blue in the background. The light dots are metallic silver. Getting accurate photos of artworks still proves to be one of the hardest parts of creating art!
The title of this artwork says it all ....
Peace will spread like a ripple - starting small within ourselves and spreading outwards with our actions - Let every action be done with perfect gravity, humanity, freedom and justice, and perform it as though that action were your last. - Anon
It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. - Robert Kennedy
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Here is another artwork I've just finished off for this exhibition
Title: One World
Media: Mixed Media and Acrylic
Artist: Sophia Elise
Size: 40cm x 50cm
The title of this artwork says it all - much like the one below. They need no further explanation.
My man snapped this one of me deep in thought adding some finishing touches ... on the way out to my fathers brithday dinner ... hmmmm ....hope I didn't get any paint on my clothes! lol
This artwork was inspired by a small one I did earlier this week (below) and now I've decided to send this larger version - much prefer the imapct of this one - it's called "One More Is One Too Many"
Title: One More is One Too Many
Media: Mixed Media and Acrylic
Artist: Sophia Elise
Size: 30cm x 70cm
Thursday, April 8, 2010
View Artworks - http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=60002&id=1217404809&l=b8c82573de
Title: One More is one too many
Artist: Sophia Elise
Media: Mixed Media on Canvas
Size: 10cm x 30cm
I'm so excited to be part of this event - my artworks are nearly complete - OK may be a light exaggeration - but half way there! Our travel plans are taking shape - and the publicity that this event and the associated artists are receiving is very inspiring - it's great to have so much support by the Cassino Commune, NZ Artists and the public.
Here's the latest press release by Word of Mouth Media
41 artists prepare to send paintings to Kiwi exhibition in Italy to mark Kiwi involvement in the Battle of Cassino
Forty-one selected artists are preparing to send their paintings to a landmark Kiwi exhibition in Italy to commemorate New Zealand’s involvement in the Battle of Monte Cassino.
Organisers Kay de Lautour (in Cassino) and Sophia Elise (Auckland) said today the May 15 exhibition would be the biggest single New Zealand art event ever held in Italy.
Most of the artists had grandparents, uncles and relatives who fought in World War Two, or who fought in Italy and some had parents, grandparents and uncles who were at the Battle of Cassino.
Artists taking part are from Patea, Christchurch, Upper Hutt, Waipu, Whitianga, the USA, Italy, Auckland, Mt Maunganui, Napier, Opotiki, Orewa, South Otago, Whangarei, Levin, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Oban, Pokeno and Wellington. A number of them will be at the exhibition and staying at nearby Roccasecca, a town over 1000 years old where the Kiwi soldiers are well remembered.
The commemorative art event has been labelled the Legato exhibition. De Lautour said legato in Italian meant intertwined, like strands of rope, giving it strength.
``As with Italy and New Zealand, so many friendships were formed between families during WWII and maintained after the war.
``Now, two generations later, the grandchildren of the Kiwi soldiers are returning to Italy to visit these families, and young Italians are moving to New Zealand. Every year hundreds of New Zealanders visit the graves of their countrymen who remained here.
"Artists have a responsibility to reflect what is happening in society, and they do so whether they are conscious of it or not. In New Zealand we see Anzac Day parades growing in strength. World-wide there is a resurgence in interest in the history of the world wars. The time is right for artists to be proactive and take up the challenge of the old soldiers who urge us to ensure that "peace" is not an empty word," de Lautour said.
With Anzac Day just a few weeks away de Lautour said she always visited the Commonwealth Cemetery on the day to visit the graves of NZ soldiers. She said so many Kiwis still pay their respects at the cemetery every Anzac Day with new poppies, little flags, photos of soldiers and messages laminated in plastic propped against the graves.
``I think it would be nice for families to know that the tributes they leave are carefully maintained and even after bad weather are still neatly aligned against the headstones by the gardeners. Wellington College leave a tribute there every year or so and it always amazes me how long it stays there before it is replaced by the next visiting group from the school.’’
The NZ art exhibition will be held in Cassino’s public library complex in the centre of the town with a formal gala opening on May 15. Many of the artists are depicting links between New Zealand and Italy, featuring their fallen relatives and other connections to the battle.
The NZ Ambassador to Rome Laurie Markes will tour the exhibition on May 17. A souvenir programme has been produced which features a Cassino peace painting by Auckland artist Merv Appleton.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Below ia a book review by Sophia Elise
Alphatudes: The Alphabet of Gratitude
written by Michele Wahlder
Beautiful images, inspirational quotes, short narratives, affirmative statements, and an easy to read style make this small book with powerful messages a must have for everyone. Alphatudes – The Alpahbet of Gratitude by Michele Wahlder states on the cover that it contains 26 solutions for life’s challenges. I think more aptly it should read how to turn your life around with 26 letters.
Before I go any further I want to take a brief moment to explain what alphatudes are. An alphatude is where you go through each letter of the alphabet naming things starting with that letter that you are grateful for and why. Sounds like a simple exercise that anyone could do and why would anyone bother to write a book about it. Well, Michele takes it a step further and opts for things which are more holistic and philosophical like being grateful for Acceptance.
Before you start rolling your eyes and thinking here we go again – another airy fairy, self help book – I want to assure you it’s not. Michele doesn’t make promises like reading this book will result in financial freedom or deliver you with everything you ever wanted. What she offers the reader is the opportunity to take control of their lives and happiness. You can increase your optimism, find hidden blessings, overcome challenges and free yourself from negativity.
Ok – now I’ve made it sound like a very labour intensive process requiring a lot of soul searching and personal growth. Don’t panic – all the homework has been done for you and the only pre-requisite to putting this into action and incorporating it into your life is that you know your alphabet. I can hear you saying now – that can’t be right – I can assure you it is.
For each letter in this book Michele has selected a stunning image and a quote. The following page starts with “I am grateful for ….” followed by a short narrative and an affirmation. The opposite page contains what Michele calls a “prayer”. These aren’t traditional prayers - they are more what I would term spiritual affirmations – they are non denominational and so long as your not a staunch atheist then this is something that can appeal to everyone. For example, When Miclele talks about being Grateful for Giving she follows it with “let generosity of heart and hand begin with me. Help me to create a better world through the giving of my unique gifts, talents and passions ….”
So now we have covered what’s in the book - You may be asking – why would I want to do this and How will it make me feel? I would like to share with you how adopting a spirit of gratitude will help improve your life and make you feel happier.
Every day things happen that are out of our control, however what we always maintain control over is how we perceive and react to them. By replacing our negative thoughts with positive affirming ones we increase our feeling of optimism and we also start to take responsibility for our own happiness.
Many of us are not only guilty of the negative self talk but of also delaying our own happiness. We put our energies into finding things that we think will make us happy. We say to ourselves I’ll be happy when I get a new house, when I loose a few kilos etc. Unfortunately often when achieve that “thing” we thought would make us happy we often find we aren’t. We immediately embark on another search, looking for the next thing that we hope will make us happy. We keep postponing our happiness and when we do this we are robbing ourselves of our opportunity to feel happy every day of our lives and in turn pass that positivity onto others.
Michele talks about gratitude being a choice available to us all. We can make a conscious decision to see the blessings instead of hardships. If you are not used to doing this you may find it morally and intellectually demanding when you start but the more we express gratitude, the more positively we perceive the world and our experiences..
I remember a few years ago I used to say that the only thing I wanted was to be happy. I knew happiness had to come from within but the question was how do you get it inside when everything around you seemed so awful. I learnt that if you focus on the positive and are grateful for even the seemingly small things in life then you start to develop this deep internal happiness that no one can take from you. Even when the negative things happen you are so practised in looking for the positive in things that you don’t dwell on the negative but immediately turn it around so that you can feel good about it. I know this may sound like Pollyanna talking but I can assure you I was very much the negative thinker, dark side of life, and have suffered from debilitating depression. I have been at the bottom I know just how low you can get but I also know the other side and what has helped turn me and my life around – and that is the simple thing of gratitude.
In fact Michele’s book turned our whole families’ attitude around in less than 2 hours. Here’s how we did it – and how you can too. Firstly – this book is a fantastically easy read. I read it in less than 90 minutes in a school hall with 30 children doing karate in the background. . My children love books and wanted to know what I was reading – in less that 5 mins I had told them and they had looked through the book Then in the car ride home we put it into practice by going through the alphabet and each taking turns to express our gratitude (another 20 mins) It not only increased the positivity but it also opened up dialogues for us as well – dialogue we may not have had otherwise. How many books have the power and potential to change so many lives in such a short space of time with so little effort?
Ok – admittedly it may not be that easy to keep the alphabet of gratitude alive and breathing all the time – we all have our moments when we can struggle to see the light. But if you can just stop for a minute during one of those difficult moments and start your aphatudes you are guaranteed to start feeling a whole lot happier. It will make you feel so good that you will actually want to make this a part of your daily life.
I knew my children 8 and 10 had bought into the alpahtudes 100% when a couple of days after they had read the book they presented me and my partner with a poster. It was a poster with all our names and a complete alphatude. My son even wrote in a school report recently Count your blessings - people in India don’t have a lot, they don’t have food, houses, school, money etc – but they are happy – we could learn a lot from them. Alphatudes is now something they use when they are having trouble getting to sleep or if they are worried about something – we don’t count sheep anymore we count our blessings. This is a much more effective way to relax and increase happiness.
And lastly – one of the things that I am grateful for is the price of this beautiful book – only $9.32USD
Robert A Emmons – “gratitude is a deep and abiding recognition and acknowledgment that goodness exists under even the worst that life offers.”
Over the coming weeks I will share some of my favourite parts from Micheles book.
Check out her website to read more about it and have a peak inside
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Firstly - that they had contacted me personally - not just in a mass produced email
Secondly - that they had chosen me because of the focus of my blog - inspiration and gratitude being two key focus points
Thirdly - with the increase in hoax and spam emails I did wonder if this is too good to be true - they will send me a copy of the book from America for FREE in exchange for me writing a review and putting it on my blog.
Fourthly - why would they want someone who isn't even a book reviewer to do this?
Anyway - I thought - I have nothing to loose by saying yes and everything to gain - and I LOVE books - Love writing - if it was a great book then I would enjoy the opportunity to help promote it and of course the title of the book sealed the deal for me ......
Alphatudes - the Alphabet of Gratitude by Michele Wahdler.
Two weeks later I have to admit to being a little surprised when this beautiful book actually arrived in my mail box. I opened it with great excitement and then proceeded to read it from cover to cover that afternoon. Yes it was that enjoyable and that easy to read! Not only that but my children who also love books leaped on it with great excitement and looked through it thoroughly sharing their favourite parts.
So now - finally - I am completing my end of the deal - writing my formal book review of this wonderful book (I have to admit that having my friend Kay de Latour Scott receive her book after me and finish her review before me was the little shove that I needed to bite the bullet and get this done)
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I read this on www.johnmaxwellonleadership.com and really wanted to share it with you - it is written so simply and if we all took the time to adopt these principles than I think it would go a long way to promoting peace and harmony.
To gain a better perspective on when to fight back and when to “let it go,” practice the following disciplines:
1. Spend time with people who are different from you. This helps you appreciate and understand how others think and work. You will be less inclined to judge or battle them.
2. In matters of personal preference or taste, give in. Keep the main thing the main thing. If you don’t save your energy for what really matters, you’ll wear yourself out and wear out your welcome with others.
3. Don’t take things too personally. In general, hurting people hurt people. And they’re also easily hurt by others. Keep that in mind when you’re on the receiving end of someone’s anger.
4. Practice the 101% Principle. Whenever possible in a difficult situation, find the 1% that you do agree on and give it 100% of your effort.
Adapted from Teamwork Makes the Dreamwork
All the principles above are things we should be teaching our children from day one if we want any hope of creating a peaceful world for them to grown old in and raise their children in.
Number 1 on this list is something we were taught as children in my family and it is something I have worked hard to instill in my children. I believe that one of our jobs as parents is to present to children a smorgasbord of life and experiences - allow them the opportunities to experience, think, react, learn and develop their own opinions and thoughts. If we only ever let them eat green jelly beans their whole life because that's all we like, then we are making them miss out on the many other wonderful colours and flavours of the other jelly beans. Of course they may experience red, orange, yellow etc and still decide that green is the one that suits them best. Or they may decide that black is their favourite. Just because our children choose a different path from ours doesn't make them wrong - we still love them. And this needs to be transferred over to other people - just because they are different for whatever reason - doesn't make them wrong. Of course it's not as simple as just learning about other people, or understanding them - its about respecting that they are different. Once we take the time to understand others, respect them for their differences then we are one big step closer to world peace.
Number 2 is a great one - I decided long ago that most things don't matter. Whether we have pizza or Indian, watch sport or the movie, wear red or black etc. These are the little things in life which really aren't going to make a huge difference to our life. Let them go - put your energy into the battles that really need it - like animal cruelty, global warming etc. On the plus side you might discover that by "giving in" on the small things, that you make some one else happy and that is a reward in itself :-)
Number 3 is soooo true!! It is very important to try not to respond from the "got at" place - where you take things so personally. Yesterday I received an email from someone on our mailing list who was very upset and almost abusive at me for a typo - I spelt Coatesville without an e. She told me that it was offensive and disrespectful for the whole community. Of course it was a simple error, completely unintentional and not one that a spell checker piskc up. I apologised and reassured her that we would rectify the error. If I had chosen to take the attack personally (which was how it was written) then it would have left me in a blubbering mess - or angry and retaliating - however I realised that there must be something bigger going on here for her and responded with kindness, understanding and appreciation for pointing the error out. Admittedly her next email was just as rude - but as my partner says - the view is always better from the high road. If we all endeavoured to take the high road in conflict, think about how the other person feels, about how we would like to be treated if situations were reversed then we would be yet another step closer to peace.
Number 4 - this one is a new one to me - and I LOVE it!! I am going to give that a go next time conflict rears it's head - find that 1% of agreement and be thankful for that and then give that part the 100% :-)
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
To practice properly the Art of Peace, you must:
Calm the spirit and return to the source.
Cleanse the body and spirit by removing all malice, selfishness, and desire.
Be ever-grateful for the gifts received from the universe, your family, Mother Nature, and your fellow human beings. - Morihei Ueshiba
The title of the exhibition I'm involved with in Italy in May is "Legato" There are 37 NZ artists who have been selected to take part in this fabulous event. 12 of them are travelling over (me included) The theme is Peace and Remembrance.
So do you want to find out why "legato was chosen for the exhibition title? Then read on ....
This explanation is copied from the "Legato" website - written by Kay de Latour Scott.
Why Legato? It is an interesting word. In music, legato is playing smoothly, but not necessarily slurring the notes together. In Italian it means "tied together". In one of my favourite songs, Non Ti Scordar Di Me, (Don't Forget Me) it is used as an adverb, and becomes "legata" as it refers to "la vita" life, which is feminine. "Tied" can have negative implications, but linked, intertwined, joined does have appeal. The strands of a rope are intertwined, giving it strength. When I first asked an Italian friend to translate the song for me he explained the word "legato" in those terms, the parts of a rope intertwined, joined together. In the context of the song that image is quite beautiful. Your life, and mine, entwined. And so it is with Italy and New Zealand.
The musical definition resonates with me. Notes are played close together, but with careful fingering are not lost in one another. Maybe that is how our cultures should be. Each has a space, there is no supremacy, but together they make beautiful music.
Italy and New Zealand are truly tied together, with so many friendships formed between families during WWII and maintained after the war. Now, two generations later, the grandchildren of the Kiwi soldiers are returning to Italy to visit these families, and young Italians are moving to New Zealand. Every year hundreds of New Zealanders visit the graves of their countrymen who remained here.
The horror of war has passed into memory, but the friendships are alive and vibrant. Nationally this connection may feel stronger in New Zealand where almost every family has a direct link to Italy, whereas in Italy there are many areas where other nations played a similar role and have these same ties. The New Zealand Division was heavily engaged in the fighting on the Gustav Line and so has a lasting place in the history of Cassino.
Legato, tied. The legacy of war is part of our common heritage. Now it is our task to make a lasting peace the focus of that heritage.
Please take the time to check out the website and see some of the fabulous artworks that will be exhibited in May and read the stories behind it.