Jacksons Open Painting Prize 2018

Oil painting of Gemma Green-Hope by Sarah Hope
‘Memory’s Scent’ an oil painting of Gemma Green-Hope by Sarah Hope


I’m delighted to say that my oil painting ‘Memory’s Scent’ has made it to the Jacksons Open Painting Prize 2018.  If you’d like to vote for me in the ‘People’s Choice Award’ I’d be very grateful.  Here is a link to the longlist, after registering to vote you’ll find me on page 8 or search category ‘portrait/figure’ and I’m on the first page.  www.jacksonspaintingprize.com/longlist-3

Voting ends 29th April.

Many thanks for your support.

Info about the painting….

This is a portrait of my daughter, the animator, illustrator and designer Gemma Green-Hope.  Over the years I have drawn and painted my daughter many times, she continually inspires me.  In this image she is dressed in both her deceased Grandmother’s clothes and is wearing some of her jewellery.  In the background I’ve painted black and white photos of both her Grandmothers.  Gemma is smelling her maternal Grandmother’s favourite perfume.  This painting celebrates the enduring love and connection between a Granddaughter and her Grandmothers.


Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2018

Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2018

Oil Painting of Fiona Shaw by Artist Sarah Hope after Sky Arts Artist of the Year 2018
Oil Painting of Fiona Shaw by Artist Sarah Hope painted back home in her studio after Sky Arts Artist of the Year 2018

I’m not sure if the programme tonight showed what a great time I had taking part.  Yes it was very intense, but also inspiring and it was very positive experience for me.  I loved having the opportunity to draw Fiona Shaw who was a brilliant model and had an lovely personality to try to capture.  I really enjoyed working alongside some fantastic artists and congratulations to Corrine Pierre who was a worthy winner of the heat.

Sarah Hope drawing Fiona Shaw at Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2018
Sarah Hope drawing Fiona Shaw at Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2018

I was a bit disappointed that Fiona didn’t choose my drawing, but the positive feedback I received from Fiona and others was really encouraging.

When I returned home to my studio in West Wales I looked at my drawing and thought I didn’t really conquer that red paper!  I decided to do an oil painting of Fiona using a photograph and the drawing I’d done.  I found this process very therapeutic as I was able to take as much time as I liked! (Top of the page is my finished painting 40cm x 50cm oil on wooden panel).  I’m very pleased with this painting, although I wish I’d been able to paint her whole figure including the lovely check trousers she was wearing!

Fiona Shaw with Sarah Hope at Sky Portrait Artist of the Year
Fiona Shaw with Sarah Hope at Sky Portrait Artist of the Year

The first time I took part in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year was in 2013, I definitely learned from that day and it helped me make the most of the experience this time.  On this occasion I had a whole team of family supporters there at the Wallace Collection giving me encouragement.  Thank you Phil Layton, Derek Hope, Gemma Green-Hope, Roberta Longoni, Judith & Roger Rackley, Paul Layton and Lucy Layton for being there.  Many thanks as well to the members of the public there on the day who gave me positive comments and smiles!

I also just wanted to say how impressed I was with the whole running of the day for my heat. Everything was well organised and ran so smoothly, all the staff were so friendly, supportive and helpful, I felt really well looked after by everyone in the team.

Overall being chosen to compete was very affirming and although my work wasn’t selected to go on in the competition, being part of Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2018 has given me a creative boost so thank you all at Story Vaultfilms Ltd and Sky Arts.

The Discerning Eye Mall Galleries London

The Discerning Eye 2017 Mall Galleries, London

Absolutely delighted that my coloured pencil drawing ‘Open or Closed?’ has been included in this years Discerning Eye Exhibition.

I had a great trip up to London for the opening it was also an opportunity to meet up and celebrate with family.  My husband accompanied me to the evening opening ceremony and it was very crowded.  I love these occasions as it’s when I get to meet fellow artists, talk together about our experiences and generally encourage each other to carry on.  The exhibition was very rich and diverse and I thought it was an excellent show.  I’m very grateful to Simon Tait for choosing my work for his section of the exhibition.  It was also gratifying to have an image of my work included in the catalogue and of course the icing on the cake was to find a red dot next my picture when I arrived!Above photo Me with Simon Tait 


Betty Schopp

Betty Schopp

Sad to hear the news that dear Betty has passed away.  I feel lucky to have had the experience of painting Betty’s portrait, she was very special.  I will always remember her and feel that her painting was one of my best.


Trip to BP Award National Portrait Gallery London

Trip to BP Award 2017 National Portrait Gallery London 

For the last 10 years I’ve made my pilgrimage to the BP Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London with my father.  We usually have a lovely time together, it’s one of the highlights of my year.  The exhibition always inspires me and I spend a long time looking at and reflecting on all of the work.  I like to pick out my favourites and then go back and spend more time with them.  I also go and look around the other collections within the gallery.

This year photographs were allowed to be taken of the BP Award exhibitors work and this portrait ‘Archipelago’ by  Brian Shields provided many ‘selfie’ opportunities for the viewing public. This exhibition always seems very popular and quite crowded.  After a very full on day, it was good to return to Wales feeling inspired and eager to get into my studio to start painting again!

Fishguard Arts Society Summer Show 2017

Fishguard Arts Society Summer Show 2017

A very rich and varied display of work at this years Summer Show.  Congratulations to Maria Motowylczyky for winning the £1000 prize.

Peter Lord presenting the prize to Maria

This year I decided to enter a lino print that I’d recently done.  I really enjoy lino printing and hope to do more in the future.

UKCPS 16th Open Annual Exhibition 2017

Highly Commended

UKCPS 16th Open Annual Exhibition 2017

25th April – 6th May 2017 Menier Gallery, London

It’s always great to take part in the UKCPS Annual exhibition, I get to meet up with members and see what they’ve been concentrating their creative energy into.  This year the standard of technique was very high and I was very pleased to have my drawing ‘Highly Commended’. I entered my drawing ‘Open or Closed?’ I produced this drawing using Caran d’ache Luminance 6901 pencils on Fabriano Tiziano black paper. I always find drawing hands a challenge and I enjoyed creating the image on a dark ground. Hands can be an expressive extension of our own inner feelings. In this portrait of my hands I considered my own attitudes, reflecting on the contrast of energy in having an open or closed stance. Do I want to give and be open to receiving or do I want to hold on to what I have and stay closed?

The UK Coloured Pencil Society welcome all levels of skills – just a keen interest in learning or using coloured pencil is enough.

‘The UK Coloured Pencil Society was founded in 2001 with three main aims in mind – to promote excellence in coloured pencils as a fine art medium, to support UK based artists who use coloured pencils, in any genre and to educate artists, and the public in general, about coloured pencils. It has enabled professional coloured pencil artists to promote their artistry within this specialisation and share their expertise with amateur members. Our website offers examples of what can be achieved with coloured pencils, links to artists who use them, and details of upcoming events and exhibitions which promote this versatile medium.’  From the Society website https://ukcps.co.uk/

I love my coloured pencils and have very happy memories as a child, sitting at my Grandmother’s table with the tin of pencils and paper, spending hours drawing.  As a member of the society, it’s great to be part of a group of people who love coloured pencils as much as I do!

So much works goes into organising and setting up the exhibition and I’m very grateful to all the people who run the society and produce the magazine ‘Talking Point’.  The Society has recently changed their logo and I think it looks great.Thanks again to everybody involved in setting up and running this years show!




Portrait of Peter Kirkup

Portrait of Peter Kirkup







This portrait was commissioned by Peter’s wife Sandra as a 70th birthday present.  The process of painting this portrait of Peter was so satisfying and rewarding for me as an artist.   I visited the couple in their home and spent the afternoon chatting to Peter getting know him a bit.  Photographs were taken and then we sat in the garden and I sketched away, making visual records of what I wanted to remember about the landscape of his face.  Things that maybe would be lost or flattened in a photograph.  After lots of cups of tea and a wonderful afternoon I returned home to play with the images I had.  A few weeks later the Kirkups came to visit me in my studio and we had another session of gathering material to work with, making sure that they were both happy with my intended composition.

I painted the portrait in my studio, mostly working from a photo and sketches.  Painting is like therapy for me and painting Peter was wonderful medicine.   During the process of painting, I feel I get to know my subject really well by being with them for hours, focusing on the details of their features, trying to capture something of the essence and depth of their character.

Peter and Sandra were really pleased with this portrait and I too feel very happy with my finished art work.


Artists & Illustrators Magazine Artists of the Year 2017

Artists & Illustrators Magazine Artists of the Year 2017 Exhibition

Mall Galleries London 23-28 January 2017

I entered this drawing ‘Memory’s Scent’.  It’s a portrait of my daughter, the animator, illustrator and designer Gemma Green-Hope.  It celebrates the enduring love and connection between a Granddaughter and her Grandmothers.  (Dimensions: 59cm x 44.5 cm,  Caran d’ache Luminance 6901 Coloured pencils,  Fabriano Tiziano Dark blue paper).  I’ve been very lucky that this drawing has now won a further award, (previous prizes in UKCPS May 2016 and Drawing Prize 2016 Oriel Q ). This drawing has now won the Canson Paper Prize (£500 of Canson paper).  I’m absolutely delighted!

On the day of the opening I had a great day in London with a visit to the National Portrait Gallery with my Dad, Auntie Ingrid, Uncle John, Auntie Daphne and Uncle Cliff.  I’m very lucky to have a family that are always supportive and proud of my artistic endeavours. I had a wonderful evening at the Mall Galleries, celebrating being included in this exhibition with fellow artists.  I really enjoy meeting artists at these events, there is a great comradery between fellow exhibitors and everybody are so pleased to have been selected.  There was some fantastic work in this exhibition and I’m full of admiration for the quality of the work.

Pictured here with fellow artists Ginny Page ( on right) and Cathy Read (on left).

Drawing Exhibition Oriel Q Narberth

1st PRIZE! Drawing Exhibition

 Oriel Q Queens Hall, Narberth

17th September – 29th October 2016

This exhibition is dedicated to drawing.  I love drawing exhibitions, I can learn so much from different artists exploration of what drawing means to them.

I enter quite a few competitions and have been successful on occasions, there are always knock backs when a painting gets rejected and I’m very aware of how many talented artists are out there.  So being awarded 1st prize was a great affirmation for me.  Imagine my surprise when I was awarded the People’s Choice Prize as well! Thank you to everyone that voted for me, it  means a great deal.

Fishguard Arts Society Summer Show 2016

Highly Commended at Fishguard Arts Society Summer Show ‘Art Fest’ 2016

The exhibition was opened by the Art Historian Peter Lord.  This years judges for the £1000 prize were Rhian Kooy of the Kooywood Gallery, Cardiff, Helen Manley Jones of the Yr Oriel-The Gallery, Newport Pembs and John Mitchell, The Late November Gallery, Haverfordwest.

Congratulations to Philip Salmon Vaughan for his winning portrait ‘Eve’. Also to Ieuan Thomas for receiving the 6th Form Young Person’s Award Ysgol Bro Gwaun for his brilliant self portrait.

I was very pleased to be awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for my drawing of the ceramicist Audrey Richardson.


UKCPS 15th Annual Exhibition 2016

Highly Commended UK Coloured Pencil Society 15th Annual Exhibition 2016

Sponsored by Derwent, Menier Gallery, London

Very pleased to receive an award of ‘Highly Commended’ at this years UKCPS Open Exhibition.  It was a big exhibition this year with a broad range of subject matter.  Congratulations to all those who took part.

I entered ‘Memory’s Scent’

This is a portrait of my daughter, the animator, illustrator and designer Gemma Green-Hope. Over the years I have drawn and painted my daughter many times. She has put up with me asking her to pose for me in many of my drawings and paintings, she is a continual inspiration to me.
In this drawing she is dressed in both of her deceased Grandmother’s clothes and is wearing some of their jewellery. She is smelling her maternal Grandmother’s favourite perfume ‘Chanel’. Owning these possessions, holding, smelling and feeling them, evoke strong and treasured memories which are of great comfort. I wanted this drawing to celebrate the enduring love and connection between a Granddaughter and her Grandmothers.


Fishguard Arts Society Summer Exhibition

Fishguard Arts Society Summer Exhibition ‘Art Fest’ 2015

Tregwynt Mansion Ballroom 19th July – 15th August 2015

A lovely time was had by all at the official opening with David Alston ( Director of Arts Council of Wales).  He presented £1000 prize to Jane James, congratulations to Jane for winning.  I entered my drawing ‘Memory’s Scent’ (photo credit to Philip Clarke).


UKCPS 14th Annual Exhibition

‘Best Portrait in Show’  Coloured Pencil Society 14th Annual Exhibition 2015

Sponsored by Caran d’Ache   Menier Gallery, London

After having my self portrait receive recognition at Artists and Illustrators Magazine Artist of the Year competition, I’m delighted to say that it has just won ‘Best Portrait in Show’ at this years UKCPS Annual Exhibition.  My Dad accompanied me to the opening, it was lovely to have him there to see me receive the award.  ‘Holding Hyacinths’ is drawn from an unusual view point and the judge John Hope-Hawkins (Chairman of Society for All Artists) told me that made it stand out to him.  When I constructed the composition I tipped things slightly, I wanted to create a sense of instability.  In the drawing I’m holding on to the hyacinths, a thing of beauty to help me stay balanced.

Highly Commended Artists & Illustrators Magazine Artist of the Year 2014

Highly Commended  for Artists & Illustrators Magazine’s                               Artist of the Year 2014

Delighted to be ‘Highly Commended’ at Artist of the Year 2014.  The exhibition is at the Mall Galleries from 6.01.15 to 17.01.15.  I had a great time at the opening and many thanks to Artists & Illustrators Magazine for running this competition.

Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2013

Competing in Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2013





It was an amazing experience competing in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2013 in Cardiff.  Spent the day painting Gavin Henson in his shorts!  Great experience to meet fellow artists and work alongside such talent.  The time scale was only four hours so tried to paint in a different style.  I wish now I’d worked at my usual pace at least then I’d of been happy with what I did achieve.  Never mind I’ll do it differently next time, if I ever have the chance!

New Studio

New Studio

Moving into a new studio, a fantastic space in an old school building. I can’t wait to get set up in this light airy space.  I lucky to have help with moving all my stuff and getting my work up on the walls.

Portrait of Russell

Portrait of Russell

I’ve recently completed this portrait of Russell Hopkins.  He was a pleasure to paint, I’ve included an image of the view from his house in his glasses although it’s very tiny!  I hope I’ve captured his strong personality.

Gwanwyn Festival Art Commission

Emyrs Williams has completed his commissioned painting for the Gwanwyn Festival.   It’s very interesting to see  how the painting has developed which you can look at by following his blog.   He has a fine show of his work from the last five years at Oriel Theatr Clwyd in Mold.  I like the surreal dream-like landscapes that Emrys paints, with his recurring motifs, so that after looking at the paintings for a while, there is a sense of narrative, of an emerging mysterious story.

The completed Gwanwyn Festival Art Commission is on display at Theatr Clwyd with examples of work from the other two shortlisted artists myself and Jan Gardner.     Jan’s painting is full of vibrant colours and I especially like the turquoise and orange colours in the painting that make it feel alive.  To get a better look at her brilliant paintings visit her website.

The piece of work I have submitted for the show is a pastel drawing  ‘Lynn with Head Scarf’ (905mm x 638 mm) pictured.

The Gwanwyn Festival Art Commission is on show at Theatr Clwyd until 3rd March 2012 then it continues it’s tour to different parts of Wales.

Winter Open Exhibition

Peekaboo by Sarah HopeOriel Q – Queens Hall Gallery, High Street, Narberth, Pembrokeshire SA67 7AS

This is an open exhibition of work by local artists – a mix of drawings, paintings, and sculpture.  I have my painting ‘Peek-a-boo’ in this exhibition.  The opening takes place on 7pm Friday 9th December.

Shortlisted for ‘Artist of the Year 2011’

I’m delighted to say I have been shortlisted for the ‘Artist of the Year 2011’ for Artists & Illustrators Magazine.  Last year I was a runner up and I am really thrilled to be shortlisted  in the Portrait catagory again this year.  There are some fantastic paintings in the competition and I’m reallly pleased to be selected alongside these talented artists.  To view the work and cast your vote for this years winner click on this link VOTE scroll down the page to see the paintings and then at the bottom of the page you can select the artist you want to vote for.

I will post the results when they are announced!

Highly Commended at UKCPS Exhibition

I had a great time at the opening of the UKCPS exhibition in London.  There were 234 drawings with some amazing technical ability on show.  The organisers of the exhibition have done a fantastic job and it was great to meet some of the society members.  I was delighted to receive a Highly Commended Award for ‘Meeting Herbert’.  I was presented the award by Bernard Poulin and the actor Philip Glenister (pictured) who was there promoting the work of Shooting Star Chase (a children’s hospice service) .  It was lovely having my father, daughter (pictured next to her portrait) and her boyfriend there with me.  We also enjoyed having a drawing session with the beautiful coloured pencils that Faber-Castell provided, as they were sponsoring the event,  marking their 250th anniversary. (Gemma’s drawing pictured)

As part of my trip I also visited some other art exhibitions in London.  I really enjoyed the Jerwood Drawing Prize, I particularly liked Dave Farnham’s video and the work of Ruby Manson.  I also visited the Degas show at the Royal Academy, the Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition at the Mall Galleries and the Romantics at Tate Britain.  It was a busy but fulfilling trip and I hope to go again soon!

UKCPS 10th Open International Annual Exhibition

herbert-copyI’m looking forward to the opening of UKCPS 10th Open International Annual Exhibition.  I have two drawing on show, ‘Megabyte’ & ‘Meeting Herbert’.  ‘Meeting Herbert’ is a portrait of a lovely gentleman that I used to meet  on my walks.  We always stopped to chat with each other and our interactions were full of good humour and fun.  Sadly Herbert died earlier this year, but  I hope I was able to capture his gentle nature and the twinkle in his eye.

‘Megabyte’ is a drawing of my daughter.   Constructing the composition I found myself fascinated by our capacity as human beings, to consume and the fine line, where pleasure can become discomfort.

UKCPS is the United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society.  I joined the society recently and hope to meet some of the other artists at the opening.  There will be over 200 drawings exhibited at Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London, SW1H 9NH.  I’ll be going to the private view on Sunday 18th September, then it’s open from 19th September – 1st October 2011.  Also looking forward to visiting some galleries in London!

Tabernacle Art Competition


I have a pastel drawing in the Tabernacle Art  Competition 2011 ‘Feeling’ at Moma wales, Machynlleth 18th July to 3rd September.  The drawing is part of a dream series and is called ‘Severance’.  It is about the feelings of loss and separation I experienced when my daughter left Wales to go Uni in London.  I would like to think that other parents looking at the image would empathise with me.  I did not mean to make myself look so sad, afterall leaving home is part of a natural order of events that must happen and in fact shows that somewhere I have fullfilled my role as a parent.  If you look in the image you will see the river, which in real life eventually leads back to the sea and the coastline of  beautiful Wales where I live.  I’m hoping that one day her roots will bring her back!

Gwanwyn Festival Commission announced

The winner of the Gwanwyn Festival Commission was announced by Roy Noble programme on BBC Radio Wales on Thursday  7th July.  The commission for a major work of art to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Gwanwyn Festival (supported by the Arts Council of Wales) has been awarded to Emrys Williams. They said the decision was difficult to make with stiff competition from the other shortlisted artists;  Jan Gardner from Deganwy in North Wales and me!

Delivery of Commissions


I enjoyed the creative process of painting these portraits so much.  Starting with discussing the commissions with the clients, then spending time with the children, chasing them around with my camera and sketch book and later spending hours and hours painting! They are lovely children and it was a pleasure to paint their portraits.  Finally delivering the completed paintings to their new home.  I was pleased with the paintings, but I was even happier that the parents loved them too. The family thought the portraits were wonderful and that the work  exceded their expectations!  This was fantastic feed back for me and so satifying to hear how much they treasured them.

Society of Women Artists Exhibition 2011


I went to the opening of Society of Women Artists 150th Celebratory Exhibition 29th July.  The Mall Galleries was brimed full of people and there was a great atmosphere.  I felt really pleased to have my work  ‘Summer Glow’  included alongside such interesting and accomplished work.  It was also lovely to have my family with me to share the experience.  The exhibition was opened by Princess Michael of Kent who also presented awards.  Well done to fellow Welsh artist Andie Clay, who won the St Cuthbert’s Mill award.  The exhibition runs from 30th June to 9th July 2011 at the Mall galleries, London.

Completed Comissions

I have just finished two commissioned portraits.  The paintings are of two children commissioned by their parents.  Although it has been hard work and has taken many months, I’ve enjoyed every moment of painting these two adorable children.  I’m planning to deliver them to the clients in London when I go to the opening of the  Society of Women Artists Exhibition.

Disappointing news

The visit from the Gwanwyn Festival judges went well and I really enjoyed the experience, but unfortunately I didn’t get the commission!  I feel really pleased that they considered my work and that I made the short list.  The positive news is that when the commissioned painting is completed next year, it will tour around Wales.  Myself and the other short listed artist will have the opportunity to exhibit one of our paintings with the commissioned piece.  So that’s good!

More Good News!

Today I heard I’ve been shortlisted to the final three artists in Wales for the Gwanwyn Festival Commission!  This festival is held every May and has events all over Wales.  It celebrates creativity in people over fifty.  The commission will be a painting to celebrate five years of the festival.  Members of the judging panel will visit me to see my work and hear my ideas for the commission.  I’m feeling elated!