Painters 2015

Sophie Walbeoffe

Sophie Walbeoffe was born in the UK and lives in Nairobi, Kenya. As a child she visited the home of an American collector in South Devon, where she was inspired by the seascape paintings of the 19th century American landscape painter Winslow Homer. Mesmerized by the outdoor scenery, Walbeoffe was moved to paint beautiful sights. Always a traveller, she paints at extraordinary stations across the planet. From the salty city of Lamu to the historical wonder of Jerusalem, where she has been living these last two and half years, she chooses old-world hamlets, reminiscent of a simpler time and a better life. “I always think one’s studio is wherever one is at that exact moment when you start to make a painting, whether it’s the steps on a busy street, a boat, or an open landscape.”

Sophie loves painting in Lamu and has visited the island on multiple occasions. It is one of her many homes in the world. “Lamu feels safe”, she says, “and it is always an exciting place to work. I love the lack of commercialism and no cars, only donkeys. This keeps a close human contact with animals, something that is fast being lost all over the world; the world is a sadder place for it.”

Walbeoffe studied at the Wimbledon School of Art and later with world renowned British painter Cecil Collins at the Central School of Art in London. It was there that she began to paint using both hands at once. Walbeoffe works in several mediums, but she is most noted for her brilliant watercolour palette and buoyant strokes.