About Page

Welcome to my official Artist website. I create and sell original watercolour paintings, oil paintings, mixed media & prints worldwide.

From the daft to the sensible, cute to classical, I cover all kinds of themes in my art. A lovely bunch of folks follow me on social media joining in with a chin wag and sharing opinions.

sophie huddlestone SQ500

“If the unspoken rules of how a painting should look were contained in a bottle, then I’m going to shake it, twist the lid, and let creativity burst out regardless of the consequences” Artist Sophie Huddlestone.

Painting really is my true passion. Masses of items with my art on just wouldn’t give me the joy that actual painting does. So if you prefer originals keep visiting my paintings page. 

Artist Sophie: My interest in art began at 11 years of age, but because my drawing themes were not your usual house, tree and rainbow I became embarrassed by it and bottled it away. Instead I journeyed a path towards cute, whimsical paintings. From 2011 I became a popular contemporary artist while using my maiden name of Sophie Appleton.

Whimsical Paintings: There will still be plenty of new whimsical paintings created, the only difference being that they will have the Artist Sophie Huddlestone signature. The existing art prints range will also still be available.

Swirly Soph Art app

This Giraffe logo I used for my Artists free app called ‘Swirly Soph Art’ available on  the App Store  and Google Play. It is for new & returning customers to see the new art I’m creating ready to sell, other folks join in showing their art, plus loads more. 

Secret Smile: If you look very carefully on each watercolour painting, within ink detail, you will eventually find one of my own personal secret markings. It is a small smile face :-) mixed in among all the swirls of the pen work. Some people look and look and can not find it for a long time as it is only a couple of mm in size.

Oil Paintings: My first set of oil paints arrived in the post in April 2018. Each painting has at least six months of drying time before it can be varnished and up for sale. 

Portraits: As well as trying oil paints and mixed media I will be expanding into portraits. This Brad Pitt portrait is my second attempt at a watercolour face and it had an overwhelmingly kind response from followers.  

Close up photo to show the detail on a composite self portrait copyright by Artist Sophie Huddlestone

Composite Art: My current interests and narratives are based on the complexity of human emotions and adding messages within the art. If a painting speaks to you and draws you in for a longer gaze, perhaps your subconscious has already deciphered a connection with it.

Sophie's Swirly Adventures

SOPHIE’S STORY… After 12 years of employment in embroidery digitizing, I was made redundant. It was 2006 and the bills were coming in fast. Alone, with a son about to start school, I decided to turn my different hobbies into a small business, while looking for a ‘proper job’. I had a small jar with a mixture of foreign notes, from holidays before my son was born. Taking this into a shop in Hinckley, I eagerly awaited as the shop assistant counted the different currencies. It resulted in a total of almost £120. With a determination to succeed and a small amount of money, I got straight into making my old website (sixfootsophie). Originally this was for handmade cards. In 2008 I started Little Angels Party Nails. Then using left over tester pots from home decorating I’d create basic outlines of people on to canvases. This was all bringing in the pennies but not the pounds.  

I returned to college as a mature student. Although I was qualified in Art and Ceramics (degree in industrial ceramics) I lacked the skills needed for the office jobs being advertised. It was thanks to my tutors at Hinckley College whom spotted my difficulty in reading, their referral (at age 35) diagnosed dyslexia and Irlen Syndrome. As a child I’d been affectionately called dizzy, silly, clumsy etc with “at least you can draw”. Imagine my shock when during the diagnosis I was also found to have a higher than average IQ. It made me feel like the scarecrow from the wizard of Oz finally finding a brain! (Irlen Syndrome is a problem with the brain’s ability to process visual information). In 2009 I passed all 8 exams, got my special blue tinted irlen glasses and gained employment in a payroll office. Yay !

The artistic change happened in May 2011 at age 37 when I was off work due to illness. I sat in the garden on that beautiful sunny day, picked up an old watercolour set from my college days, and painted a picture of some iris flowers. Little did I know that just one painting would start my swirly watercolour adventure. The enjoyment from painting also helped with my illness. This website soon became a gallery of paintings and the other hobbies were removed. Perhaps my blue tinted Irlen glasses are to thank for the choices of colours in my artworks. My art increased in popularity and value, so I didn’t return to my office job, and instead watercolour painting became my ‘proper job’.

The illness mentioned is bipolar disorder. I enjoy my bipolar and don’t see it as an illness; instead I see it as a gift. Some times are more challenging than others, but I actually prefer to have a rainbow of emotions rather than an average mood. These days if mania rises I channel it into something productive, for example suddenly writing several chapters of a novel ‘Sectioned Alien’ or making my artists app. On deep thoughtful days I can create emotional fine art paintings. Being happy in my career also made me happier in my personal life. Reunited (with my son’s father) Keith and I married in December 2012, at 39 I was finally off that dusty shelf! A couple of years later we have a daughter too, paintbrushes spring out sporadically now, in between child care. But come September 2018 I will be painting more often.

Continue reading Sophie’s latest adventures and about her swirly painting career so far, on the news page.