WHEN Scottish artist Sophie Robb put out a request on Twitter this week asking for requests to paint famous football moments, she thought she’d perhaps get a few responses.
But what Inverness-based Sophie didn’t expect were the torrent of replies to her account, with requests to paint hundreds of favourite Scottish football moments, past and present, flooding in.
“I thought I’d get a few people asking,” said the 28-year-old. “But I’ve honestly lost count of how many people have been putting in requests. There’s a constant stream of messages – every time I check my phone I’ve got so many more.”
— Sophie (@sophierobbart) February 2, 2018
Sophie, who has been painting Scottish football scenes for a number of years, puts the popularity of her artworks down to the fact it’s a different way of celebrating a team and more expressive than a photograph.
“I think for a lot of people, they want to commemorate football, and it’s really special to put up a painting of their favourite moments – more unique than a photo.
“Also for a lot of households with massive football supporters, for other family members who aren’t as in to football, I think they would be happier to have that up in their living rooms than a poster!”
Sophie has supported her local football club Inverness Caley Thistle since she was a child and her first football inspired paintings were of the stadium and the team.
“My granda took me and my brother to the matches when we were young and I’ve just always loved them because of that I think.”
“After Caley Thistle won the Scottish Cup I thought I should make something to remember the moment. That’s sort of how all the football painting began really.”
Caley Thistle’s chairman, Graham Rae has called Sophie’s paintings “inspirational,” and two of her artworks now hang in the team’s club house, including a depiction of them winning the Irn Bru cup last year and one of the stadium itself.
“They’ve [Caley Thistle] been absolutely brilliant and so nice – one of my paintings is in reception at the club and they asked me to paint another one for them which is in the room the fans go to get their pies after matches,” said Sophie.
But it’s not all been plain sailing for the artist. Just a year after leaving school at 16 thanks to glandular fever, Sophie was sadly told she had ME.
— Sophie (@sophierobbart) January 7, 2019
The chronic condition can leaves its sufferers with muscle pain, intense physical or mental exhaustion, relapses, and specific cognitive disabilities.
But, Sophie says, art and football are the perfect hobbies for someone suffering from the illness.
“Even when I’ve been unwell, I can still go to the stadium, or watch the matches. It’s not a difficult thing to do for me, which is a positive.”
Although Caley Thistle is where Sophie’s love for painting football began, her artworks have since expanded into depictions of other historic moments in Scottish football, from Hearts to Hibernian, Rangers to Celtic.
“It’s nice being able to bring that happiness to so many different football fans,” said Sophie.
“Although Caley Thistle is my favourite team to paint for obvious reasons, I really love painting other teams as well. The strips are all so beautiful and colourful when you translate them in to a painting.
“And I think I’d get a bit bored if I was just painting blue and red all the time!”
See more of Sophie’s artwork here.