There’s a lot more to Sophie Sachs’ paintings than meets the eye.
Beneath the deceptively simple subject (which is, in fact, a complex image of glassware and light), are layers of paint that have been painstakingly mixed from a limited palette of primary hues, a styled still-life Sophie has photographed herself in direct sunlight, and a hand-made board and frame.
This rigorous and detail-oriented process sees each piece take, on average, a full week to complete. But Sophie wouldn’t have it any other way.
She credits her background in architecture and design for this meticulous approach from start to finish, and she loves every stage of the process.
‘I particularly enjoy curating my compositions,’ Sophie explains. ‘This is an important step, as working with direct sunlight is a constantly evolving process. I’m inspired by the way sunlight interacts with glass and water, and I enjoy the challenge of capturing this sense of light.’
Glass, colour and light are the focus of her work, and her ever-increasing collection of glass vessels (now, well over 100), is a constant inspiration. ‘I prefer simple, everyday glasses that people might recognise and have in their own home,’ she says. ‘But, my favourite glass to paint would have to be my green Ikea cup.’
In order to capture the precise detail and realism of light interacting with glass and water, Sophie works with acrylic on aluminium composite panels for its smooth, flat surface. ‘Creating a painting for me also involves creating the art boards I work with, as I am quite particular about the texture I need to paint on,’ she explains.
Although she’s drawn to realism, Sophie also likes to balance her pieces with painterly qualities, resulting in work that is sharp, but soft; realistic, but dream-like.
The finishing touch in all Sophie’s paintings are the frames, which she makes herself — another task she thoroughly enjoys for its precise and exacting nature; ‘Something from my architecture background, I think’.