Local Artist: Sophie Gralton
Updated: Feb 14
Introducing this month's talented cover artist, Sophie Gralton of Fairlight
How long have you lived on the Northern Beaches? Since 2013 with a break in between.
What’s your favourite beach?
Fairlight Beach, and off the rocks with the dog
Where’s your favourite place to eat, drink, hang out? Skiffies, Pavillion, Little Viet Kitchen, Busta and Belgrave Cartel.
What’s the best thing about the Northern Beaches? I find people less aggressive on the roads, less stressed, less pretentious and very dog friendly. I also love the ferry culture and the way people ride bikes to the ferry in their thongs, their work shoes in their bag. It's very country town-ish.
If you had to live anywhere else in the world, where would that second-best place be? Oooh that’s hard. If I had wads of cash; New York, San Francisco or somewhere remote in Spain but a train ride from Madrid so I could go to the Prado all the time.
What inspired your cover artwork, 'The Space Between'?
The coastal, holiday vibe of the Pensinsula.
Tell us about the theme of your current art series. I started doing animals and children when I saw a catalogue for an exhibition of Dutch 17th century portraits of children which I really loved, and was inspired to do in an Australian way. I often crop them, or have them from behind because I don't want them to be portraits, they're every child.
Do you use models? Does Colin (Sophie's studio dog) feature in your work? He has! But I'm actually doing all these French Bulldogs and Dachshunds because I love their shapes and their quirkiness. I get friends of my kids to model. My kids used to model for a long time before they got too big.
What else inspires your art? Hurling lots of paint around and making abstract marks that read figuratively.
How would you describe your art? I’m a figurative painter but I love paint and its ability to be very thin or highly impasto. The less it takes me to arrive at a successful painting the better. When less visual information describes more the happier I am.
How did you discover you had a gift for art?
I won the Parish Picnic Poster Competition for four years running, Grade Prep to Grade 3 at St Joseph’s Cobram Convent School. The rest is history.
Did you study art?
I did Fashion and Textile Design at what is UTS now when I left school and at age 26 went back to National Art School full time.
What else are you working on at the moment?
I’ve just finished a show for Anthea Polson Art on the Gold Coast and now have some commissions that I need to attend to.
Any advice for young, aspiring artists?
Go to art school, paint what you know or feel, insincerity is very obvious. Work with your strengths and unless you are really tough; have a backup plan.
Do you have a suitably pretentious quote to impart?
Just be real; nobody likes a phoney.