Wednesday, 27 August 2014

25 Days to go

 Only 25 DAYS TO GO for the BP Portrait Award in London!
It is nearly coming to an end....The BP Portrait Award 2014 will pack up and move on in 25 days. I hope you have had a chance to go and see it, or plan to see it soon. For me it has been an amazing experience.

Friday, 22 August 2014

The Shawl

New work, just off the easel

The Shawl
Oil on linen

Some details...

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Summer School

The National Portrait Gallery runs an excellent program for young people. One of their activities is to get youngsters involved in the BP Portrait Award and so the BP Portrait Next Generation is a project that runs throughout the year trying to get young people involved in portrait painting. They run ‘Taster Sessions’ (1 day) and ‘Summer Schools’ (3 days). Yesterday I was involved for one day in one of their Summer Schools. These are wonderful workshops for 14-19 year olds, which are free (!). The kids have to apply to the Summer School and of course there are many more applicants then places so a selection is taking place. The ‘kids’ then spend 3 days with BP artists and explore drawing, painting and listen to talks and watch demo’s. It is all very hands-on and they produce a lot of drawings and paintings!
Yesterday I was one of the ‘BP artists’ (cool title!) and spent the day with them. I did a little talk in front of my paintings in the gallery where I explained what I have been doing in the past year, and how I go about my paintings. We then explored the Tudor and Early Stuart Galleries in the museum and focussed on fabrics and textures - all under the expert guidance of tutors/artists Sadie Lee and Peta Taylor and a little help from me. After lunch we tackled an underpainting - which they will develop into a full-colour painting today when BP artist James Hague takes over from me. On day 1 they were joined by BP winner Thomas Ganter who shared his work process and joined them for some life drawing. What a great workshop! Find the kids on Twitter under #BPnextgen
Here are some pics of the day:
I am doing a little talk in front of my works

The kids get stuck in

I am joining in too

Sunday, 17 August 2014


I wrote a piece about my BP Travel Award works for The Jackdaw magazine, published in the Sept/Oct issue, out now.
Thank you Jackdaw.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Making a Mark

Making a Mark blog has written an extensive post and review about my BP Travel Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. I am very grateful to the author, Katherine Tyrrell, who has taken the time to write such a wonderful post. I hope you will enjoy it. And thank you Making a Mark.

Here is an extract:

Sophie Ploeg and The Lace Trail - BP Travel Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
Sophie Ploeg's BP Travel Award exhibition 'The Lace Trail" can currently be seen at the National Portrait Gallery in London - until 21 September 2014.  It then tours to Sunderland and Edinburgh in 2014-15.
Sophie Ploeg with part of The Lace Trail
the exhibition for the BP Travel Award 2013
at the National Portrait Gallery - 26 June - 21 September 2014

The exhibition follows on from Sophie winning the BP Travel Award in 2013.  Her exhibition is about Fabric and Lace in Early 17th Century Portraiture - An Interpretation in Paint. To my mind it's a bit of a masterclass in how  to portray complex fabrics in portraits - in the past and the present - as well as an academic exercise in understanding something about the art history of the portrayal of lace and how paintings from the past can inspire those of today.

What follows is:

  • a video interview with Sophie Ploeg
  • photographs of Sophie and her models - with their portraits
  • photographs of the exhibition
  • a review of her book - produced as a result of her project.

Continue reading the blog post here
content © Katherine Tyrrell

Friday, 8 August 2014

Women Painting Women

Pay It Forward

5 September - 10 October

I am delighted to, once again, join the Women Painting Women exhibitions held annually in the US and sometimes Europe. Last year I was invited to exhibit a few pieces at Art Exposure Gallery in Glasgow, and this year I am proud to join a wonderful group of artists at Principle Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, US.

The ‘movement’ describes itself as such on their blog: "Women Painting Women" explores how contemporary women painters are handling women as subjects. The blog was founded by artists Alia El-Bermani, Diane Feissel and Sadie Valeri.”

This year’s exhibition is titled ‘Pay it Forward’ and a percentage of each sale will go to a charity of the buyer’s choosing. A catalogue will be available.

My contribution to his exhibition is
Looking Back
oil on line

Artist represented in the Pay It Forward Exhibition are:

Jennifer Balkan
Mia Bergeron

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

BP Portrait Award Catalogue

BP Portrait Award 2014 catalogue. National Portrait Gallery 2014.
In the BP Portrait Award 2014 catalogue there is a 7-page essay about my work for the Travel Award, written by Richard McClure. It is a lovely honour to have such a substantial part of the catalogue devoted to my work. You can buy the catalogue in all good bookshops, amazon and the National Portrait Gallery shop.

BP Portrait Award 2014 Catalogue

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Haynes Galleries

Haynes Galleries in the US has written a very good post about my recent project The Lace Trail.

Do have a look here.

The Gallery took my work on last year and has since been exhibiting my works in various exhibitions, the most recent being ‘Celebrating the Portrait as Timeless Art’ where my paintings were hung amongst some great American artists’ work. I am proud to show with them.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014


There is an in-depth interview with me about my love of lace, my inspiration and painting practice, the addiction to dating lace, painting lace and my works for the BP Travel Award and other paintings on the blog ‘Lace News’ which me and other lace lovers follow.

Click here to read it.


Interview: Sophie Ploeg, “The Lace Trail”, National Portrait Gallery

The BP Portrait awards are given in the world’s most prestigious art competition for portraiture. Artist Sophie Ploeg won the 2013 BP Travel award, and her show ‘The Lace Trail’ opens at the National Portrait Gallery in London on June 26th. Her work is truly remarkable. LaceNews took this opportunity to have an in-depth discussion with Sophie, delving into her artistry and her love of lace.
LaceNews: You must get many questions like, “Why portraits instead of some other form,” so let’s consider something different.  “Why lace?” What attracts you to this most serious of textile arts?
Sophie: I love painting textures. I love painting (and showing) beauty. I find it important in my paintings that different surfaces and materials show their qualities. I might not always succeed, of course, but I......
see more on the the Lace News site


oil on linen
BP Travel Award
The Lace Trail

Monday, 21 July 2014


The National Portrait Gallery has started selling beautiful prints of some of my BP Travel Award work. You can see them framed and on the wall in their Print Gallery, which is downstairs, next to the book shop. Price £200. They are also available online, just follow this link:

Via my website you can buy beautiful small prints.
They are 4x6”/10x15cm on heavy quality card, with a red decorative edge. Almost all Lace Trail paintings are available.  They cost £8 each including postage to anywhere in the world. They would make lovely gifts and are perfect for framing. Please order here (just choose which image you like from the drop down menu and pay via paypal)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Lace in Box

Lace in Box
Oil on linen on board

A piece of 17th century Flemish lace. In a box.
at Beaux Arts Bath