Artist Sophie Huddlestone’s art studio is in Leicestershire, England. I disappear from the bussel of family life, down the narrow garden path, past the trees and fish pond to the privacy of my own art studio (pictured above). Here I can be myself, allow my unusual quirks to shine and open my mind to new possibilities.
I started my painting career in 2011 in my maiden name of Sophie Appleton. Soon some big hotels began to purchase my art as well as pubs, offices and homes. The author Lynda Page purchased 7 of my paintings in August and then my first exhibition for local artists was in Hinckley.
From September 2012 a gallery in Lincolnshire (in Spalding) sold several of my paintings and a world wide site released ten of my flower paintings on to post cards in May of that year.
After two years my website had become more popular and I decided to leave the physical galleries and focus on the online customers because it was more flexible around child care. Although around fifteen of my paintings still hang on display in Vision House in Leicestershire to this day. My Facebook page www.facebook.com/SwirlySophArt also began to grow in popularity, with some lovely comments from customers worldwide.
In July 2015 I branched into embroidery again turning six of my paintings into beautiful embroidered sweatshirts and printed bags – via my husband – with our ‘Country Swirls’ range, named after my swirly style and the ‘Sophie :-)’ label because of the smile I add to paintings. www.countryswirls.com
In April 2016 I started a range of Art replicas (prints) around 20 designs. Also branching into A.C.E.O. (miniature hand painted pictures) measuring only 64mm X 89mm. Also that year I made the ‘Swirly Soph Art’ app which was intended for new and return customers, but later I updated it to also include a community for hobbyists with live chat. (2020 UPDATE – ‘Swirly Soph Art’ app will be closing down soon due to the impact of the virus causing cut backs).
After a busy few years selling 1,300 hand painted original paintings (as Sophie Appleton) things suddenly went drastically down hill.
I changed my career name to my married name of Huddlestone in April 2018 and also moved from my old sixfootsophie website to now be sophiehuddlestone. These decisions affected sales badly because not only did I seem like a new artist (no one had heard of Sophie Huddlestone) but also my past customers could no longer find me with my new website, nor spell my last name easily to remember it.
In June 2018 I began ‘Artist Sophie’ website which is my artists diary of creative ideas in progress, music lyrics muse and my latest paintings blog at www.artistsophie.com
While sales were slow I dedicated a year to learning portraiture and in March 2019 I had my first commission portrait, which was for sporting celebrity Russell Osman.
May 2019; The curators at Saatchi Art which is the world’s leading online art gallery based in Los Angeles started selling a selection of my original paintings.
Things were looking up. The popularity of my paintings had increased again. In October 2019 I started website swirlysoph.com and focused it on just the bargain paintings under £30 so customers could easily grab a painting when buying presents for friends and family. Hopefully this is a more memorable and catchy website name to remember, fingers crossed for 2020 and the SWIRLY SOPH sale.
In April 2020 Sky Arts ‘Portrait Artist Of The Week’ television show selected some of my portraits to be displayed on the floating wall gallery. My portraits were of Noel Fielding s1 ep6 and Rankin s1 ep3.
In August 2020 Portraits for NHS heroes exhibition – my portrait of ‘Hayley ICU Nurse’ was selected as a permanent record for the NHS heroes among over 700 other artists portraits. This online gallery was an incentive by the Artist Tom Croft and is Google Arts & Culture and Paintings in Hospitals.
Examples mentioned above:
Commission Portrait for celebrity Russell Osman. My husband and I really enjoyed hearing about his world wide travels, his acting roll in Escape to Victory with Sylvester Stallone and Michael Caine, commentating on the India Super League, his lovely family and lots more. This guy really should consider writing an autobiography to add to his list of talents.
View more portraits
Swirly Soph Art phone app
(2020 UPDATE – This app will be closing down soon due to the impact of the virus causing cut backs).
Sophie’s free phone app called Swirly Soph Art is for new and return customers, hobbyists, and art lovers. Have you painted something? Then contact me to feature on the app’s “you did it” section.
I was thrilled to have my app ‘Swirly Soph Art’ approved to be on the list of available phone apps on the App Store and Google Play.
Available for free on the App Store for IOS phones
and also android phones at Google Play.
New art on a live feed, occasional quiz competitions, live chat, app users art on display, discount codes on the bargains section etc. On a tablet search for it in the list of ‘phone’ apps.
Artist Sophie Appleton Huddlestone