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Sophie Melville describes herself as an unconventional watercolourist.

My Heart Is My Temple

She is a long time Wanaka local. The colours in the lakes and the moods of the mountains, and the changes of the season and the movement of the weather inspire her work. Sophie has a distinct style in everything she does and it is, without doubt, unequivocally, related to aesthetics. Sophie describes this as her strong appreciation for simplicity.

Sophie has a Fine Arts degree specialising in Painting from Elam School of Fine Arts in Auckland. She describes her approach as a loose abstract style and her best work a creation of impulse and experimentation. Sophie says, “I seek to evoke with my art a landscape of tranquillity, familiarity and simplicity.”

 ‘Truly Present’ – inspired by a tranquil and glorious sunset where the noise of the day softened into quietness.

Sophie’s blog provides fascinating backstories for the work. It is thoughtful and sincere. Her work often portrays movement, but in contrast there is also stillness; the stories is Sophie’s blog unveil this juxtaposition. Common themes are around finding quietness and calm, an understandable goal given Sophie has 3 small children, a husband and the full life that all that brings. Before she is able to paint she is looking for the calm, this excerpt says it all:

“I like to find the stillness within before starting a painting, often by meditating or just by pausing and recognising the present moment. I then feel an overwhelming sense of calm captivate me and I’m able to completely surrender to focusing just on painting and thinking of nothing else. My best works are when I feel balanced and content and that’s when the magic happens.”

In This Moment

Her latest series, the Awareness series is a limited edition, coloured fine art giclée print range and is comprised of 3 prints inspired by quiet sunsets at the beach and in the mountains. Every print is hand signed, numbered and dated with the year of release as well as the title.

From time to time we are pleased to frame Sophie’s work at The 45th Degree. Sophie is a professional and she understands the business of being an artist. Sophie has an appreciation for quality custom framing and presenting work at a high standard.

Sophie says, “I choose to frame my artworks at The 45th Degree as Tony and his team always produce framing of impeccable quality. When choosing a frame there is often a gentle banter between Tony and myself about current trends in framing and our sometimes differing opinions but he always offers me suggestions for classical, modern and on-trend options and ultimately leaves the decision with me, I really value this. Every time I pick up artwork from their showroom I am thrilled with how good they look and how beautifully the framing has been crafted and always leave filled with excitement for the customer or exhibition who will be receiving the artwork.”

 ‘Rest in that place within you’

We have enjoyed watching Sophie’s journey as a commercial artist over the years and we look forward to seeing what comes next.

View Sophie’s work at