Sophie Witter is inspired by scenes and objects of domesticity. A mother of four children and working from her home in Tasmania, she is driven to paint by the desire to escape into another world; a world where magic and mermaids still exist, a world where she draws on the remembered spaces from her colourful childhood as well as the domestic objects that surround her.
Sophie paints with a certain pace, mixing colours directly on the canvas and limits her palette to primary colours to simplify her process. This is evident in the five gorgeous new works she has created for Forman, including a light turquoise kitchen scene titled “Put it on the list.” There's a sense of nostalgia to this artwork, pastel colours suggestive of 50s decor and the clock, a reminder of passing time. The pale yellow outside the window could be a sunrise, the scene depicting the moment you wake, walk to your kitchen and make coffee. Stillness before the rest of the house wakes. It captures something we can all relate to. Sophie describes her distinctive style as expressive, colourful and varied,
“I try to respond to what I see and allow this to very subjective process, and reflective of my mood, thoughts and feelings, not just what is in front of me. I like to paint in a loose and immediate way and mix my colours as I go, often on the canvas. I do not try and plan my works too much and let the process lead the way.”
There is a naivety, or a candour, to her loose lines and scratchy brush work, some only suggestive of form with a flick of the brush, while others are representational of vases, jugs, washing machines or a fruit bowl, for example. Looking at her work, one can sense the artist creating order from the chaos of life and dispelling the notion that art and life are mutually exclusive.
“I am very interested in dual processes such as making art and raising children, making art and working as a social worker, making art and trying to work on the important relationships in my life.”
While Sophie loves to paint un-interrupted in her studio, the reality of her domestic life, home life and work life mean this is an elusive concept. Instead, she tends to paint where-ever and whenever she can – the kitchen bench while her partner cooks, for example!
“I cannot be precious about where I paint or the conditions I need as these are often unattainable. Hence the kitchen table when I am not at the studio.”
Her dream is to participate in an Artist in Residence program, where she can focus on creating a complete body of work in a beautiful, inspiring place, away from the responsibilities and distractions of daily life. When she does get to her studio, located in one of the most beautiful parts of Tasmania, Verona Sands, she enjoys immersing herself in nature and walks on the beach to nourish her creativity.
“There is something calming about getting away from home, and closer to the nature, that enables the creative process.”
Colourful, bright, optimistic and busy, Sophie’s work is process-driven and un-planned, depicting interior and exterior landscapes that we know will resonate with you! You can view all of Sophies gorgeous artwork HERE and pop into the Forman gallery to experience them in person.