Thursday, September 25, 2014

Painting Parent- Sophie M Ploeg

Painting Parent Interview with Sophie Ploeg

The Lying-in Room, oil on canvas, 92x92cm/36x36”
How many children do you have? What are their ages?

2 boys aged 7 and 9

How did your artistic career begin?

With the birth of my children! Before I had kids I did always draw and paint on the side but nothing too serious. I was working on my Ph.D in art history and getting ready for a career as an academic. But when my first child was born I realized I could not do it all at the same time. I could not be a full time mum, work as an academic, and live close to my husband’s work. So choices had to be made. I did not want to put my children into daycare so I gave up working as an historian and became a full time mum. That is when I realized I could pick up art again as you can do this from home at flexible hours.
 Softly, Softly, oil, 50x40cm

What is your Parenting/work/art situation?

I am a full time mum and a full time artist. ;)

When do you make time to do your art and do you have a regular art routine?

I paint whenever I can. With small children you quickly learn to make the most of your time and space. Do not wait for inspiration or peace and quiet because you can wait forever. My studio is what used to be the dining room in the house, and so I am in the midst of everything and keep an eye on the kids, the cooking and the dog while I paint. I paint when I can: when the children are at school, after they’ve gone to bed, when they play nicely or watch television. I can pick up a brush any time and put it down any time to do something else. 

Pleating Time, oil, 60x40cm
Do your children get involved with your art?

No not really. Sometimes they are my model and sometimes they tell me what they think of the painting on the easel. They are used to me painting around them.

Do they inspire aspects of your art?

Not particularly but of course I put my life into my work and being a mother is a huge part of my life so it inspires my work undoubtedly.

The Four Ages of Woman.
The Lacemaker, oil on linen, 50x60cm.
How does making time for artwork influence other household tasks?

Household tasks are just chores that need to be done. Then we get on with what really matters.

Have different ages of your children been more difficult to make time for artwork and in which ways?

It made a huge difference when both children started school and I had most of the day time available to paint.

How do you encourage your children to be artistic?

That would go so intuitively I would not even know exactly. I do not parent via any specific methods. Art is in the family and so no doubt they’ll pick stuff up when they are dragged to another museum or when I am yodeling along with an opera. They are encouraging me to like Star Wars.

Brabant Lace, oil on linen, 24x30cm
Do you feel extra pressure as an artist to raise your children to be artistic?

Absolutely not. Both my boys, for example, are very good at math, something I was always hopeless at.

In what ways does being an artist make being a parent harder or easier?

I don’t think it makes it easier or harder. Everyone is different...
The Long Wait, oil, 24x40”.
Do you think being a parent affects the way you are perceived as an artist?

You are perceived in the way you present yourself so it is totally up to me how I am perceived. I make no secret about the fact I have a young family and therefore have to deal with some more challenges in time and schedules than a young and single artist...

See more of Sophie's Work at

1 comment:

  1. Nice interview and having two kids myself its good to hear that other artists out there struggle to get paint on the canvas:)great work.great article