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.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Why Cassino Italy?

Commonwealth Cemmetry at Cassino

NZ Monument at Cassino Railway Station

Many of you may be wondering why I'm doing this exhibition and peace project in Cassino Italy.

Kay De Lautour Scott has explained it so eloquently - I could never have put it more perfectly than what she has said ..... I love Kay's vision - admire her determination and passion - cannot think of a better person to be working with on this fabulous project.

Take a few minutes to read through this ....

"Here, in tourist destination Italy, I live in a country that was destroyed. The battle front stayed in this area for 5 months. It is unthinkable how the people suffered, and still do live with this history in their daily lives. I see museums showing the military side of things, the strategies, the equipment, but it is the photos and stories of emotional pain and suffering that touches me most.

I work as a volunteer with visiting veterans groups, with memorial museums and as a battlefield tour guide. Many veterans share their stories, and all say sorrowfully that we must never let such events happen again. To share time with these old soldiers, and then see what is happening still all over the world, leaves me feeling that I must try to do something, however insignificant it might seem.

I see curating an exhibition with peace and commemoration as a theme as a way of passing on the message from the veterans that I meet, that war must end. I also see it as a great opportunity for NZ artists to exhibit in Italy. I appreciate that side of it as I had a similar chance in 2005, but more important to me is keeping the peace message alive.

We see Anzac Day parades growing in strength. I believe the time is right for artists to reinforce the peace messages coming from the soldiers who fought in this battle. I think that artists have a responsibility to reflect what is happening in society, and in fact they do that whether they are conscious of it or not. The immeasurable, unrecorded history is that of the returned soldiers, the waiting families, the changed lives in far away New Zealand.

How far did the events in Europe ripple through our culture, contributing to the society we have now? What effect did the trauma of battle have on the young men returning home to families who could not begin to understand what they had been through? What was the effect of the waiting, the pain of loss, on the families that remained behind? If giving artists this opportunity gets them talking to their family and friends then I think that the movement towards peace has already become stronger, and this movement will be recorded in their future works.

If we all do a tiny part in a move towards international peace we must eventually reach a tipping point where we can change nations and governments. One British veteran talks about "pax in spinus" (peace from thorns) and I see that as being appropriate here. If we let this continue, never learning, then there is no sense in sending soldiers out believing that they are contributing to peace. While I believe that no war ever brought real peace, we can't ignore what has happened either. Peace comes from a different place, but war history and commemoration is a place where we can start to talk about peace.

Cassino was completely destroyed and is recognised as a martyr city. It has a lasting place in New Zealand history, so where better place is there to call NZ artists together to work for peace? It is my hope that these artists will continue to learn more about what happened here, and in other places, and continue to produce works that further the work of peace movements throughout the world."

Kay de Lautour Scott, Italy, 2010.

When we seek to discover the best in others, we somehow bring out the best in ourselves - William Arthur Ward

House where Kiwi soldiers rested at Cassino overlooking Liri Valley

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I'm so excited!!! Italy here we come ....

It's amazing how friendships can form in this modern age - and one of these friendships I count as very special one is with a very talented artist and incredibly inspirational lady who lives half the world away in Italy. This lady Kay de Lautour Scott had a vision many years ago and never lost sight of it. This year the start of that vision is coming true.

We have been talking this week, arranging a very exciting opportunity for NZ Artists and also the larger project of spreading the message of World Peace. Yes it seems like a bit task - where to start - well start small and the small ripples will flow out and get bigger and bigger.

So what is it? Where are we starting?

With an exhibition in Cassino, Italy. The vision of this exhibition is to spread the message of world peace. The theme is "Peace" and "Remembrance" in memory of the fallen soldiers and civilians in Italy, particularly those involved at the Battle of Cassino where many New Zealanders fought and lost their lives during World War II.
The exhibition, hosted by the Cassino Comune, will be held in the Biblioteca Comunale Pietro Malatesta, Via Del Carmine, Cassino (FR), from 15th - 29th May 2010.

I will be exhibiting and attending the exhibition. The NZ Art Guild will be co-ordinating the artists from NZ.

For any NZ Artists reading this who would like to be involved here are some more details
Artists Requirements
1) Artists need to have an association with the Battle of Cassino (ideally) or World War II.
2) Artists work needs to be of a professional high quality and artists will be selected based on their portfolios/artwork images presented.
3) Artists are invited to attend in person (self funded)
4) There is no charge to be involved with this exhibition but artists will need to be self funding for transport and insurance of artworks to Italy. (We are currently seeking sponsorship for shipping costs).
5) Artists and their families will be encouraged to visit the battlefields, war cemeteries and other places of interest in the area. Tours to the battlefields and museums will be arranged to suit individuals.

The venue, promotion and invitations will be funded by the Cassino Comune. Assistance can be available to find appropriate accommodation in or near Cassino, and with organizing travel arrangements within the region (English is not widely spoken in the Cassino area).

Please contact me by 29th Jan 2010 - (Cassino as the subject) if you are interested in being involved with this fabulous project and if you require more information.

Such an exciting project and opportunity - I look forward to updating you regularly about this. :-)

Today I am grateful for my home .....

Title: Flow of Life
Artist: Sophia Elise
Size: 20 x 20cm
Media: Acrylic
For Sale: $85 - contact

This is something that many of us just take for granted - never could imagine being homeless through natural disaster or extraordinary life circumstances.

The other night I was watching a documentary on TV where they took 5 very wealthy and famous English people and took everything from them - gave them second hand clothes and a sleeping bag (that was all) and left them on the streets for 10 days. This gave a really interesting insight into the individual human natures of the people involved but also points to reflect upon in our own life.
How many of us walk past beggars, homeless people etc without a first let alone second glance. These 5 experienced it first hand - no one knew that they weren't really homeless or that they were incredibly wealthy - all of a sudden they had become invisible to everyone. It also showed the enormous strength that some of the genuinely homeless people have and the big hearts as well.

Following on from this I saw an interesting post by artist friend Cath Sheard on Facebook. In America there has been a man buying signs off homeless people since the late 90's. He has been collecting these and finally last year had an "exhibition" of them . It involved numerous people all standing on the side of a busy road holding up one of these signs.

Now it looked pretty obvious to me that these weren't homeless people. Putting the way they were dressed aside, how often do you find that many homeless people in a row on the same street! Yet people passing by still averted their eyes and didn't want to know.

Take a look here at this mans "art" project

How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these. - George Washington Carver

Regard every contact as an opportunity to help - n sri ram

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. -Leo Buscaglia

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti Appeal

Title: Untitled
Media: Acrylic
Size: 20 x 20cm
Artist: Sophia Elise
For Sale: $85 contact

You would have to be living in the dark ages to not have heard about the absolute devastation and suffering that has hit Haiti this week. When we see events of this nature we all feel helpless and our hearts go out to the victims. We wonder what we can do to help and it's great to see people rally around and want to help in anyway they can.

On Facebook an Art Organisation in America are asking artists from all around the world to donate artworks to sell to raise money, other people are updating their status with prayers and asking for 5 mins of silence at a set time. On twitter there are many tweets on how you can help donate goods and money.

The question is - where do we start? How can we make a difference when we are so far away and might not be have much ourselves. What is the best way to help? Sometimes we can almost be paralysed with indecision with all the options presented to us.

For me I thought cold hard cash would be the best way to contribute - sending goods or artworks from NZ is logistically a nightmare, saying prayers and silence for 5mins is great on a spiritual level but I wanted to be able to do something that was tangible.

Sooooo - Red Cross in NZ has set up an automatic phone line with an automatic $20 donation to the appeal - ph 0900 733 26 - alternatively you can go to their website and make a donation via credit card, internet banking, chq etc of any amount you would like - even $5 would make a difference.

I was proud today when I heard that Kiwis had already helped raise $1,400,000 - we are a small country, who is just coming out of a recession but obviously still with a generosity of heart. Together we can make a difference.

Today I am grateful for having family, clothing, housing, food, water and money in the bank ..... I am grateful that I can make a difference in some small way and gateful that I live in a country with big hearted people.

How can I help you must be the constat query in relation to one and all - n sri ram

In the truest service the conciousness of self is forgotten - you help because you cannot do other than help - n sri ram

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin up to his nest again,
I shall not live in vain. - Emily Dickinson

Friday, January 15, 2010

Wonderful people

Title: Untitled
Size: 25cm x 25cm
Media: Acrylic on canvas
Artist: Sophia Elise
FOR SALE: Contact $85

Today I'm grateful for the wonderful, kind, generous souls we meet in everyday life.

On Wednesday my son tore his karate gi - and not at a seam that I could repair but through the fabric (don't ask me how! lol) So that night I went straight onto Trademe (don't you love the beauty of second hand internet shopping) and found a gi for him.

I sent the lovely lady (Jill) a message asking if she could please put a "buy now"option on it as I needed it for next Wednesday. She not only replied straight away, put a cheap price on it, offered me free belts but was unsure of postage costs and simply said to me ..... don't worry about payment now - I will put it in the post tomorrow and let you know how much it cost - she said noone should have to repair a gi!

Such a lovely lady - living in rural Dunedin that I had never met who through a common bond of motherhood and her genoristy of spirit has taken it upon herself to help me out by getting it to Auckland asap.

These are the people who warm your spirit and reinforce your gratitude for the simple things in life. Thank you Jill for making me smile :-)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sophia Elise and Bajidoo Bangles present Journey of Life

This Bajidoo bangle is created by Bajidoo desingers using Sophia Elise original artwork. The artists were also given the taskes of choosing names for these designs. A percentage of each sale of these bangles goes to the artists.

This bangle is called Journey of Life - This Design includes flatback Pearl Rhinestone accents.

To Buy: Click Here
Price: $60 USD ($82 NZD approx at current exchange rate)
Postage: Postage to NZ is $14 USD not $80 as is currently showing. Please email Bajidoo Owner Brenda directly and she will amend this.

Sophia Elise and Bajidoo Bangles present Enlightenment

This Bajidoo bangle is created by Bajidoo desingers using Sophia Elise original artwork. The artists were also given the taskes of choosing names for these designs. A percentage of each sale of these bangles goes to the artists.

This bangle is called Enlightenment - This Design includes 1 34ss Siam Arora Borialiss Swarovski Crystal and 6 9ss Siam Swarovskis

To Buy: Click Here
Price: $65 USD ($89 NZD approx at current exchange rate)
Postage: Postage to NZ is $14 USD not $80 as is currently showing. Please email Bajidoo Owner brenda directly and she will amend this.

Sophia Elise and Bajidoo present Matauranga

This Bajidoo bangle is created by Bajidoo desingers using Sophia Elise original artwork. The artists were also given the taskes of choosing names for these designs. A percentage of each sale of these bangles goes to the artists.

The first one of mine is called Matauranga - (Maori word for Wisdom. Sophia is the Greek word for Wisdom)
You can order from (click on the images to see the bangles)
Please remember prices are in USD (current exchange rate = $80-90 NZD approx depending on bangle chosen)
Don't Panic - shipping costs at present have a glitch in them and it should be $14 not $80 for shipping to NZ. Please email the owner Brenda and she will amend manually for you.

Bajidoo Bangles are finished!

You can now view, review and purchase the finished bangles online at the Bajidoo store.

There are special pages set up for the Featured Artists they have selected. The first 4 artists selected are all fellow NZ Art Guild members and fantastic New Zealand artists.

If you like the designs please take the time to click on the button at the bottom of the profile and also select a star to place a vote for the design.

Designs on progress by Bajidoo based on artwork by Sophia Elise

Here are the designs in progress done by Bajidoo Designers - they used my original artworks to create Bajidoo bangle designs.

Original Artworks selected by Bajidoo Bangles

The two artworks that Bajidoo selected to use to create their fantastic unique designs are below. They are both form my Journey of Life sweries - all the dots are handpainted by brush.

Title: Families
Media: Mixed media - acrylic paint on flax mat
Artist: Sophia Elise
Year: 2007

Title: Contained
Media: acrylic
Artist: Sophia Elise
Year: 2008

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Original Art made into Bangles

After what I thought was a bit of a painful start to the year (breaking my ankle on Boxing Day) has ended up being a fantastic start to the year!

Bajidoo (which is a USA based jewellery company specialising in bangles) emailed me today to say they wanted to make me one of their feature artists and have selected two of my artworks to be made into bangles!

Their bangles are stunning - absolute masterpieces and a visual delight. I feel really honoured that they selected me. And an added bonus is that I actually get to own one as well as earn commission from any sales!

Take a look at this link - they will add more images as they go to show how they create the artwork into a bangle.

You are able to purchase them from their website - - but if you can't wait til they are listed then you can email them directly and place an order :-)

I'm also really excited that fellow artist and NZ Art Guild member Chavah Kinloch has also had two of her artworks selected to be featured. Take a look here