Hi, I'm Sophie.
I live to be creative.
I’m a Brit now living in the Perth Hills, Western Australia with my partner Nigel, our 2 cats and 2 part-time dogs. I landed here ‘accidentally’ after a few years travelling with my online business and am now very excited to call this home. I’m also mother to my 2 beautiful grown-up daughters, one of whom works with me.
My life is super full and rewarding with running what I like to call my ‘double business’. One half is made up of my own semi-abstract paintings, prints and products and the other is my personal brand site sophiemahir.com – where we help artists to also make a living from their art and creativity by building a profitable business.
“In my spare time, I love to walk in nature, travel to new places, take photographs, weave, paint up old furniture and cook raw, keto and ‘free-from’ foods. I’m passionate about organic food, a healthy lifestyle and learning new things every day.”
My Art Journey
From as early as I can remember I hung out in my mother’s art studio. She was a watercolour painter and I loved to watch her work. Very quickly I started to copy what she did and by the time I got to school, it was obvious I was going the creative route.
At 18 I found myself designing and making my own knitwear and specialised in hand-made original jumpers. I just couldn’t get enough wool, exploring different textures, colours and patterns (you should have seen my house). I created my first Solo Show with each piece of knitwear displayed on large painted backgrounds that I made for each piece, as well as some watercolour and pen and ink drawings.
I went on to study colour, painting and teaching, and qualified as a Waldorf Art Teacher, via a special course put on for a few of us at Tobias School Of Art in Sussex, England.
At first, I loved teaching art and by then I was also bringing up my 2 daughters on my own, but 8 years on I wanted to focus back on my own work. I left my ‘job’ in 2003 and never looked back. Happy to become reunited with business and entrepreneurship I set up as a full-time professional artist.
Still inspired by colour, shape and texture, I built a career with painting boats, harbours and harbour houses and beach huts around the English coast. I first became known for my blue and orange pieces, but eventually broke out and went more into browns, pinks and turquoise.
By 2008 I had painted myself into a hole, creatively, having to supply my galleries, open studios, solo shows, art fairs and my agent…so I decided to take a big break. I went into coaching and training (see my other site) and now some 12 years later I have re-connected to my passion and am loving the new take on my work.
- March 2008 – The Affordable Art Fair, with Carina Haslam Art, Battersea, London.
- Sep 2007 – The Brighton Art Fair, Corn Exchange, Brighton, Sussex.
- June 2007 – Solo Show at The Fishing Quarter Gallery, Brighton, Sussex
- April 2007 – The Lennox Gallery, with Carina Haslam Art, Fulham, London.
- March 2007 – Islington Contemporary Art Fair, Islington, London.
- Nov 2006 – Battersea Art Fair, Battersea Arts Centre, London.
- Oct 2006 – ‘Beyond the Visible’, Group Exhibition, Kidbrooke Park, Forest Row.
- Sep 2006 – Brighton Art Fair, Corn Exchange, Brighton, Sussex.
- July 2006 – Solo Show at the Fishing Quarter Gallery, Brighton, Sussex.
- March 2006 – Contemporary Art Fair, Chelsea Town Hall, London.
- Jan 2006 – Solo show at The Heart Gallery, Bexhill, Sussex.
- Sep 2005 – ‘Art in Music, Music in Art’ Group Exhibition, Forest Row.
- Dec 2004 – Group Show in Dieppe, France.
- Oct 2004 – Solo show at The Crypt Gallery, Seaford, Sussex.
- Sep 2004 – ‘Art in Action’ Group Exhibition, Kidbrooke Park, Sussex.
- July 2004 – Solo show at The Ark Pub, Quayside, Newhaven.
- March 2004 – Solo Show at The Gallery, Riverside, Lewes, Sussex.
- Feb 2004 – ‘Eye and Image’ Group Exhibition, Forest Row, Sussex.
Sep 2001 – Sep 2007: ‘The House of Colour’.
3 Saxon Road, Newhaven, Sussex, UK. (Open 3/4 times a year – Including The Brighton Festival; Lewes Artwave Festival; Christmas Open House).
SERENA HALL GALLERY, Southwold, Suffolk.
WEBBS Gallery, Battersea, London.
WHITESPACE GALLERY, Greenwich, London.