This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

Sophie Perez On The Endless Possibilities Of Paint

Studio Visit

Today we head south-east of Melbourne to gain an inspiring insight into the thriving artistic community emerging on the Mornington Peninsula.

British-born local Sophie Perez juggles her artistic practice with motherhood, and her role as Gallery Coordinator for Mornington’s artist-run Southern Buoy Studios.

While the painter evidently has her hands full creating, she took a few moments out to show us around and reflect on what’s propelled her art career.

30th July, 2019

Mornington-based artist Sophie Perez. Photo – Willow Creative. Styling and Art Direction – Rachel Doyle.

An artwork by Sophie entitled: Candy Tree. Photo – Willow Creative.

The British-born artist paints on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Photo – Willow Creative. Styling and Art Direction – Rachel Doyle.

Sophie is also the Gallery Coordinator for Mornington’s artist-run Southern Buoy Studios. Photo – Willow Creative. Styling and Art Direction – Rachel Doyle.

Artwork by Sophie, Day Dreamer. Photo – Willow Creative.

(left to right) Time Will Return and Dream Home.Photo – Willow Creative.

She credits Instagram with propelling her art practice. Photo – Willow Creative. Styling and Art Direction – Rachel Doyle.

Magic Shadows. Photo – Willow Creative.

Lifeguards. Photo – Willow Creative.

Sophie is known for her painterly depictions of her home and distinctive, romantic colour palette. Photo – Willow Creative. Styling and Art Direction – Rachel Doyle.

Rachel Doyle
Tuesday 30th July 2019

‘I attempt to create a new way of looking at a familiar landscape’ – Sophie Perez.

Meeting Sophie Perez for the first time, there is no doubt she lives and breathes her work. Hands covered in paint, warm and inviting, you can’t help but immediately be charmed by her quick smile and cheeky laugh.

Sophie’s passion is painting landscapes. ‘Through colour and composition I hope to explore the endless possibilities that paint can create… I attempt to create a new way of looking at a familiar landscape’ she shares. ‘I love the freedom and freshness paint can bring to a landscape I have visited over and over again.’

The Peninsula-based painter is a devoted advocate of artist-managed spaces. Working at Southern Buoy Studios, she loves being able to provide a space to engage with the community, and to encourage and challenge perceptions of the arts.

Sophie’s own paintings have also featured in another well known artist-run gallery, Flinders-based, Cook Street Collective. ‘I was approached by the owner not long after my family and I had moved over to the Peninsula. I loved the location and the variety of talented painters, makers, sculptor and jewelers that also are part of the collective,’ she explains.

The artist is overjoyed to have her art practice growing in profile, with works exhibited in a number of different galleries across Australia over the past few years, including Moree Gallery, Purplenoon Gallery and Studio Direct at Michael Reid Murrurundi, curated by Amber Creswell Bell.  ‘I was keen to see how my predominately Peninsula-based oil landscapes would be received in parts of Australia with a very different audience’ the artist enthuses.

When asked what inspires her work, Sophie reflects on the vast, interwoven sources of inspiration. ‘I see my craft as life, and life my practice. The every day of my surroundings inform my ideas and painting,’ she tells, highlighting artists such as Richard Diebenkorn, David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg, Pierre Bonnard and Andre Derain as key sources of inspiration. ‘Today, I find inspiration through artists I have found on Instagram such as Richard Claremont, Elizabeth Barnett, Johnny Kovacevic and Jane Guthleben.’ Sophie is also a huge fan of Maria Stoljar’s podcast, Talking With Painters, through which she has been introduced to ‘so many painters I relate to and somehow validate how I think about my own practice’ –  recent interviews with Neil Frazer and Luke Scibberas are not-to-be-missed!

In the age of vast influences and opportunities for comparison (constructive or otherwise), what does success look like for this working artist? ‘Success is a funny one and so subjective. Of course, being able to make a career of doing something I love is fantastic. But knowing my paintings relate to people, and invite them into the space I have created through paint is very rewarding,’ she explains.

She is also eternally grateful for the ‘game-changer’ that is social media. ‘In 2003, freshly graduated from the RCA MA, I had a very limited website and no other social media. The process of traipsing around and approaching galleries with slides and a physical portfolio was hard work, and only really allowed you to connect to a very limited audience,’ she recalls. ‘I feel Instagram has been the most influential platform for my growth.’

You can connect with Sophie Perez on that very platform @sophieperezartist, or view all of her current works at sophieperezartist.com.

Similar Stories

Art

Finding Shelter With Ellie Hannon

The Newcastle based artist shares her new exhibition, showing at Marfa Gallery, in Abbotsford, Melbourne.
Miriam McGarry

Art

A Foreign Affair With Ross Taylor

The Kyneton based artist shares his bold drawings, exploring the luxury and debauchery (!) of overseas holidays.
Miriam McGarry

Creative People

A New Art Collaboration At Raes on Wategos

The iconic Byron Bay hotel launches its first Artist in Residence program, with French-Australian painter Stanislas (Stan) Piechaczek.

This Week

Creative People

How Powerhouse Designer, Yuwaalaraay Woman Lucy Simpson Is Making Waves

How the Sydney based designer weaves stories of Country and culture into her collaborations with leading brands, such as JAG and Breville.
Jirra Lulla Harvey

Shopping

Shop The Chunky, Colourful Furniture You’ve Seen All Over The Internet

Meet the tradie brothers behind FEARON, who have been making quirky, must-have furniture that blends fun with functionality!
Christina Karras

Homes

An Owner-Designed Renovation Of A 1970s South Yarra Apartment

How designers Lola Digby-Diercks and Sebastian Owen completely transformed their South Yarra apartment in just six months.

Studio Visit

Dani McKenzie’s Detailed Paintings Look Like Familiar Photographs

The Melbourne artist recreates local streetscapes and everyday scenes, filled with intimate reminders of our own inner-worlds.
Christina Karras

Sustainable Homes

An Off-Grid, Modern Country Farmhouse In Regional Victoria

Step inside a newly built farmhouse that's fully off the grid, with all the classic features of an old country home.
Christina Karras

Food

Julia's Crunchy Crumbed Fish With Cos Salad + Yoghurt Tartare

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's delicious take on a classic summer fish dinner – on high rotation for the rest of the season!
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Art

9 Unmissable Exhibitions To See In 2023!

From NGV's Alexander McQueen exhibition, to a showcase of Frida Kahlo's works, here are the must-see exhibitions of the coming year.
Christina Karras

On The Market

A Rare Robin Boyd House Is Available To Rent

You could be the next tenant of this house, designed by Australia's most famous architect.

Creative People

The New Small Business Making Mid-Century-Inspired Furniture In Australia

Culture Cush are making velvet-covered modular lounges inspired by retro designs, with the best materials of today!
Christina Karras
  4 hours ago

Homes

A Quirky Redfern Terrace With A Hidden Green Roof

The unconventional family home of designer Sacha Coles, split over 4 levels!
Lucy Feagins
  12 hours ago

Gardens

A Lush Secret Garden, Inside A Converted Melbourne Church!

This surprising garden in East Melbourne has its own lagoon pool, a natural fish pond and 10m-tall walls covered in ivy.
Christina Karras

Interiors

Before + After: A Dated Brick Home Turned Coastal Holiday Pad

Dark timber and dated tiles have been replaced with light and bright interiors in this Mornington Peninsula beach house.
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Unconventional Beach House Elevated On Steel

Steel beams elevate AB House by Office MI—JI to form an unconventional beach house in Barwon Heads.

Architecture

A Brazilian-Inspired Update Of A 1920s Brisbane Cottage

Bowen by Shaun Lockyer Architects elevates a 1920s cottage with a stunning renovation and addition.

Studio Visit

Local Artist Hannah Maskell Creates Mesmerising Grids Of Colour

The Melbourne-based artist's geometric drawings and wooden sculptures are a cross between 'colour theory and colour therapy'.
Christina Karras

Similar Stories

Art

Finding Shelter With Ellie Hannon

The Newcastle based artist shares her new exhibition, showing at Marfa Gallery.
Miriam McGarry

Art

A Foreign Affair With Ross Taylor

The Kyneton based artist shares his bold drawings, exploring the luxury and debauchery (!) of overseas holidays.
Miriam McGarry

Creative People

A New Art Collaboration At Raes on Wategos

The iconic Byron Bay hotel launches its first Artist in Residence program, with French-Australian painter Stanislas (Stan) Piechaczek.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net