East Hamptonite and our September 27, 2019 Dan’s Papers cover artist Frank Sofo got his start as a children’s book illustrator and cover artist, but has since developed a more impressionistic style. Inspired by legendary artists and the beautiful environment around him, Sofo continues to hone his work within the East End art community.
What was the inspiration for this piece?
My main means of transportation when I first arrived out here was my bike. Whenever I see bikes parked at the beach it brings back warm memories.
Describe your artistic process and style.
I am inspired by many things, especially the natural beauty on the East End. I see paintings wherever I go. I often say I’m painting even when I’m not painting. My style presently has been more impressionistic, influenced by artists like Van Gogh and Monet.
How has your art evolved over the years?
I started out years ago as an illustrator doing children’s books, and book covers for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. My style needed to be very tight and realistic. When I moved out to the East End, I was inspired to paint the natural beauty out here. I was one of the founders of the Wednesday Group of Plein Air Painters of the East End, and that opened me up to plein air painting, which allowed me to loosen up to a more impressionistic approach
What has drawn you to doing children’s books?
Well, since that was how I made a living years ago, I still have a place in my heart for children’s book illustration, and decided to illustrate and write my own. I have since done five books and presently I’m working on a new one. It’s a lot of work, but fun to do.
How do you feel about the end of summer on the East End?
I love the fall season out here, but yes, I’m a little sad to see the summer end, since many of my paintings are inspired by people enjoying a day at the beach. For sure, I will not miss the traffic in town!
As we move into the fall, what do you look forward to on the East End?
As I said, I love the fall season on the East End, the beautiful burst of color display that nature gives us before it shuts down for the winter. Also the Wednesday Group of Plein Air Painters will still be at it, hopefully, well into November.
Where else can your work be seen?
I had a very busy summer being involved in many shows. Right now no new shows are planned. I will be spending time on my new children’s book, Starry Night Child, based on Vincent Van Gogh. I post paintings every day on Facebook and Instagram, as well as my website, franksofo.com.