Are you ready for summer—looking longingly at the ocean, dreaming of being at the beach, or of riding a bicycle, or donning a new vibrantly colored sundress? Now that we’re finally in the same month as Memorial Day, we thought it was only appropriate to bring all that back onto a Dan’s Papers cover.
And who better to paint the scene than East Hampton’s Frank Sofo? In addition to being a board member of The Artists Alliance of East Hampton and President of The Wednesday Group of Plein Air Painters of The East End, Sofo is also a fine artist clearly inspired by Van Gogh and the Impressionist style as well as a children’s book illustrator, whose work has appeared extensively across the East End.
What was the inspiration for this piece?
Much of my art is inspired by the beautiful beaches on the East End. When I first arrived in East Hampton I didn’t own a car, so my bicycle became my sole means of transportation, and I would often bike to the beach. So I have a special place in my heart for beach bikes.
We know you like to work in several different media. Do you prefer working in one more than another?
Not especially. The subject matter usually determines which medium I will use and some subjects just seem to lend themselves to a certain approach.
As summer inches closer, this particular painting, with the young girl looking to the water, seems appropriate. What about summer are you most looking forward to?
Just like the young lady [in the painting], there’s a certain excitement and anticipation when you first arrive on a beautiful beach day.
As a plein air painter have you felt bottled up this winter?
This was a tough winter, but no, I can paint looking out my window, or sketching from my car is something I often do.
Where’s the strangest or most unusual place your work has appeared?
My work has appeared in so many venues, and I’m always happy and pleased to see it out in the world, but the first time I saw my first children’s book on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, that was special.
If you could sit down to coffee with any artist from history, who would it be and what would you talk about?
That’s easy, and no surprise to all who know me. It would be Vincent Van Gogh. I guess I would ask him pretty much the same questions you’re asking me.
Where can our readers see more of your work?
This will be a busy season for me, at Ashawagh Hall, Guild Hall, the Watermill Center, the East Hampton street fair, and introducing my new children’s book, Starry Night Child, at the East Hampton library’s children’s fair
See more of Frank Sofo’s work at franksofo.com.