It's a happy happy Sunday because we get to introduce Sophie Bracewell!Sophie was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and earned a BFA in Studio Art from The University of Georgia. She moved to San Francisco after graduation where she worked in an art gallery for about a year before spending a decade in tech. The birth of her daughter in 2022 inspired a long anticipated career shift back to creative work. She currently resides in Marin County with her husband, daughter, and dog.⁠Sophie draws her inspiration primarily from the natural world. The access to nature and stunning landscapes are her favorite part about living in Northern California! She also draws inspiration from travel, textiles, interiors, and watching her daughter explore the world. She hopes to bring the joy of these experiences into your home with each one of her paintings. Sophie's debut Well + Wonder release is coming this Tuesday at 12pm EST but y'all can get to know this talent early by reading her responses to our latest interview Pardon Me, Sophie Bracewell? See y'all Tuesday!

What is currently on your nightstand?

A sound machine and a giant stack of books. Both function as a sleep aid. In this stage of life I’m better at finishing books in audio format... or if I’m on vacation.

Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?

Henri Matisse and Georgia O’Keefe are my all time favorites. I love the playfulness of the cutouts, and of course the florals. When I saw her work in person for the first time, it brought me to tears.

Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?

I grew up in Memphis, TN with grandparents and extended family in Oxford, where my mom lives now. We spent a lot of time outside, and were lucky enough to travel to lots of memorable places - from sailing trips in the Carribbean to ski trips out West. We spent a lot of weekends in Oxford and spent summers with cousins at Camp Greenville - one of my favorite places on Earth to this day.  All of these outdoor travels, weekends, and adventures are what stand out most about childhood - just exploring and being outside. It’s hard to pick just one, but snorkeling with my dad on sailing trips may be my most treasured memory.

If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?

Paint! It’s the most fun and versatile for sure

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.

Probably my daughter’s nursery. I have an issue with “completing” any one room my house. My husband likes to say my version of decorating is endlessly searching Facebook Marketplace! I only started to hang things on the wall when my mom came for my maternity leave and pointed out that they were empty. I think with the nursery, (probably because I had a deadline!), I was motivated to finish and found lots of special pieces - from artwork painted by my husband’s grandmother, to a vintage rug from a family friend in Nashville, an antique bamboo etagere filled with silver of mine and my mom’s, baby pictures of myself and my husband, and a hand painted babydoll crib and some artwork from one of my favorite antique markets.

What is your biggest score online?

Back to the Facebook Marketplace habit - nearly every piece of furniture in my home was found on Marketplace or Craigslist! One of my favorites is a set of Breuer cesca cane dining chairs. They were a steal because the woman I got them from in Marin was selling everything she owned to go travel! I am still on the hunt for more for my studio.

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?

I think the curated model is so helpful, especially if you are new to the art world. It’s kindof like the boutique model for buying art. There are endless amounts of art out there, and if you have trouble making decisions (like I do!) it’s great to see a curated selection. And if you have any questions, you can reach out directly to the collective or the artist themselves.

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?

I’ve been to the O’Keefe Museum in Santa Fe which was great - you can also tour her home and studio which is about an hour outside Santa Fe. I think on our next trip I’d like to go there.

What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?

Not easy to get to, but I’ll have to go with the one we stayed in for our honeymoon in Thailand - Santhiya Resort in Koh Yao Yai. We had a villa with a pool overlooking the ocean and I could have stayed there forever.

If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?

Not really a lipstick person - my go to is a Clarins gloss which is technically pink but looks clear!

I can never get on a plane without….

a blanket scarf and a book.

How did you get into the world of art?

I always loved art as a child, but I think most children do. I started to take it more seriously in high school - my school had a great program and I was able to take AP art classes junior and senior year. I decided to major in art in college, thinking I would become a teacher. I loved art school - I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. I taught for a summer and then moved to San Francisco and worked for a gallery for about a year. I then took a bit of a detour (for a decade!) and worked in tech. I kept a steady stream of creative side projects but never considered myself a working artist until my daughter was born and I did a major career pivot..

What do you do to relax?

I feel like my studio is a true retreat. I really love to go on a Saturday when I can just paint and not worry about other design or admin work. We live in a beautiful area so I try to get outside and explore as much as possible with my husband and daughter, but we tend to frequent the same beach near our house as a weekend ritual. Coffee, beach, studio is a perfect Saturday! I also love an antique market… but not with a toddler. That would not be relaxing.

When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?

Travel is of course always inspiring, cliche as it sounds - it always brings new ideas and perspectives to explore. On the opposite end of the spectrum - the glider in my daughter’s nursery. In the past year and a half I have clocked a lot of hours there. I think because it is dark, quiet, and there is nothing else to do but stare at her (or the wall), it’s when a lot of new ideas arrive. I’ve even considered keeping a sketchbook in there, but it’s dark and my hands are full!

Prediction for the Color of 2025?

I’m going to go with a deep sage or hunter green. That would certainly work for me!

What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?

Dinner and live music - both ideally outdoors!

Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.

It is almost always the one I have just finished! There is nothing like that moment knowing it’s finally complete. And then almost immediately I am on to the next idea.

 In this collection, Funky Floral II was the last piece I completed. I had painted layers and layers reconsidering the composition on that one. If you are lucky enough to see it in person, you will notice the layered texture. I added the pink petals and walked away to work on something else. When I turned back around, I realized it was done! I love how it almost reads as a pattern rather than a standalone floral. I’ll most likely be experimenting with the same composition on a larger surface... stay tuned!

One piece of advice for buying original art?

The only thing that matters is the way it makes you feel. I’ve had people ask me how to shop for art - I understand how the art world and especially gallery world can be intimidating. I look for art everywhere. Online, Instagram, Etsy, antique markets - it certainly doesn’t have to be in a gallery. I’m looking for an immediate gut reaction.

 And then of course the story is important. Where did you find it? What did it make you feel? What does it remind you of? The art takes on a new story/meaning for the collector when it leaves the artist’s studio, which is the really exciting part. I love to see artwork in it’s new surroundings, and hear what about the piece spoke to the collector.