Sophie Ploeg was born and raised in The Netherlands, she came to the UK during her university years and never left. She is married to an Englishman, raising two boys and a dog.
My paintings involve people and textures: I have had many portrait commissions and my recent interest in painting fabrics recalls my love of fashion and theatre. I work mainly in pastel and oil and find my inspiration from contemporary artists and artists from the past. I enjoy the ‘contemporary realists’ of today (mostly in the US, but also some in Europe) and painters from the 19th century such as the Pre-Raphaelites, Sargent, Zorn and the impressionists. Old masters like Rembrandt and Vemeer are only a small selection of the huge amount of inspiration out there. Source material is all around me; most importantly my own children and friends. My work is romantic but not sentimental, warm and realistic.
Colour is an important part of my work. Oil paint gives me the opportunity to create colour with a timeless elegant luminosity that enhances the beauty I am trying to encapsulate.
In my paintings one can sometimes find traces of my years studying historic English architecture. Earth colours, children’s faces, and classical architecture are some of the things in which I find beauty, again and again. In everyday life it is so easy to pass by the most beautiful things without stopping to notice. We know it is there but find little time to see the timeless beauty in the faces of our children, the stillness in an everyday street scene, and the intriguing faces of our elders. I isolate these faces and these scenes in my art; I steal a moment in time and make it still in order to portray its beauty for all to see. The classic and rich colours of the earth, such as ochres, reds and browns provide a warm mood and with some notes to classical art or architecture a sense of timeless classical beauty.
I have exhibited my work at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the Pastel Society and the BP Portrait Award amongst many other great places. I have also published articles in Artists & Illustrator’s Magazine.