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, July 13, 2010

Glass Balls

30 Second Speech by Bryan Dyson Former CEO of Coca Cola

"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

What makes people get involved?

We had a couple of friends around last night and the conversation turned to what makes people get involved in other peoples fights - ie. standing up for someone that you think is being treated unfairly.

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

What makes someone inspirational?

Just lately I've been thinking about this a lot - what is it that makes someone inspirational?

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

Tanya Dann
Sophia Elise
Tash Shackleton
Mike Greenwood
Amy Walker
Lei Wen
Lorraine Beattie
Melodie Joseph
Chris Cruickshank
Amanda Cass
Peter Augustin
Sofia Spirtova
Sue McPhee
Suzanne Carter
Marimba Powley
Stan Blanch
Ron Esplin
Pam Tapp
Jac Connelly
Tama Florentina
Amahlia Wolf
Pam Tapp
Cath Sheard
Michele Courage

Collette Fergus
Irene Joseph
Sandra Adams
Soo Lee
Ryan van Heerden
Peter Viesnik
Bobby Shen
Jill Shackleton
Diane Schnarr
Virginia O'Dear
Barbara Bullock
Jane Sussmilch
Lisa-Jane Harvey
Holly Budge
Sudhir Duppati Kumar
Isla Osborne

Bloom revealed ...

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 ( 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).

- 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:
- 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
or by email

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS (from left to right)
Row 1:
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

Row 2:
9) Marilyn Andrews
10) Bill Rutledge
11) Wendy Matthews
12) Cath Sheard
13) Silver Dunlop
14) Angela Laby
15) Sheryl Eustace
16) Neala Glass

Row 3:
17) Nancy Frazer
18) Natasha Wheeler
19) Gail Boyle
20) Melissa Muirhead
21) Anni Morris
22) Tracy MacDonald
23) Chris Cruickshank
24) Melodie Joseph

Row 4:
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

Row 5:
33) Chavah Kinloch
34) Sharlene Schmidt
35) Jane Bold
36) Helen Sherrock
37) Ronda Turk
38) Theresa Rodger
39) Christine Dempster
40) Paulette Shepherd

Row 6:
41) Lei Wen
42) Victoria Anderson
43) Jo Mallinger
44) Cheryl Irwin
45) Lyn Hurring
46) Linda Paul
47) Stan Blanch
48) Shaun Hedley

Row 7:
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

Row 8:
57) Pam Tapp
58) Ron Esplin
59) Natalie Makeef
60) Rachael Inch
61) Tanya Dann
62) Pam Buffery
63) Sofia Spirtova
64) Tama Florentina

Allan McIntosh - Buildology - the Art of Design and Build
Mike Thornton - Giclee Print Limited
Michael Woods - Photographer
Brendon and Lesley - Lesley's Picture Framing