Bibliographical abstraction refraction


For this piece I gathered about 300 pictures from the client. The idea was to use different aspects of these pictures from their travels to create a layered, clean, abstracted painting that was biographical but not so literal. One obstacle was that the painting was very large, I was somewhat past a loose Christmas deadline (my personal deadline for the project) and I honestly didn't have any money to go purchase new materials. So I set up what I had, stapled a huge raw canvas to the wall and got to work. The painting was to be shipped across the country so this seemed like an effective way to work. I added paper and texture collage and a great start for the background. However, working on raw canvas and getting a clean line is basically impossible unless you use a LOT of paint, not budget friendly and not paintbrush or time friendly. I wasn't getting paid enough to justify working for tons of hours to get the clean, flat look we were going for. I drew a really cool sketch from looking at their photos and got to work. I had a field, the Golden Gate Bridge, some of their looking down at their feet photos, flowers they liked, woods they walked in, the Great Wall of China, architectural aspects, sunset, a huge oak tree with Spanish moss, and their little baby at different stages perched throughout along with bicycles and toys and things from their life. 12 hours of work into the project I finally conceded: I needed to start over. The cool sketch looked really interesting and effective as a small drawing, but expanded? Well, it had nothing going for it except intense colors and some trippy looking floating babies that once painted were basically terrifying. I bought Masonite and gessoed it with four layers and sanded them for a smooth finish. I'm just going to have to start over in the right direction with the right materials. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with this huge odd painting but I don't think anyone would want it in their house, let alone their bedroom! C'est la vie. Can't be attached, gotta just keep going!

Size of piece 50”x80”


About the artist:

Artist Sophie Howell double majored in Art and psychology at the university of Georgia. She has always loved combining the psycho spiritual with artistic endeavors. Her core values are authenticity, fun, and a holistic creative life with her 2 year old son Muffin. She loves adventures, experimenting with new materials, and collaborating with clients. She recently launched a new line of headdresses called SpiritCrowns. You can see her work at