Jamaican-born artist Sonia Lewis considers herself a late bloomer.
Throughout her award-winning career in catering and gourmet cuisine as a restaurateur, as well as a designer of cut-work garments and table linen for local consumption and export, the artist satisfied her lingering appetite for art spending more than just a few vacations at the Louvre in Paris, quietly absorbing the works of her favorite artists Rembrandt and Vermeer, whose attention to detail, extraordinary precision and masterful treatment of light and shadow in their work, had a strong appeal for her.
Born July 6, 1949 in the suburbs of St. Andrew and schooled in the island’s capital, Kingston, Lewis recalls with delight the blissful summers of her childhood spent in the family-owned Great House nestled in the salubrious hills of Mandeville in the island’s interior. However, it is the images of the old coal stove, intricate hand crafted table linen, the watergoblets, antique pitchers, coffee beans, berries, blooms, and the undulating hills that remain indelibly etched in her mind .
In 2008, faced with her pending retirement, Lewis entertained thoughts of realizing her dream of becoming an artist, but was beseiged by thoughts that it could not financially sustain her.
“I knew I had to spend time in quiet prayer and meditation to find an answer,” she muses.
Not long after, and through intensive research on the internet, Lewis located an intensive course offered by modern-day Dutch master Jos van der Veer, schooled in the work of Rembrandt and Vermeer as well as the technique of underpainting and glazing, and knew instantly that this was the answer she was waiting for. She enrolled in the course and immediately set off for Brittany in France, to spend time mastering the technique that now hallmarks her winning style.
Lewis’ oil paintings and objets d’art reflect the memories of the verdant hills of Mandeville, Jamaica’s Blue Mountains and the domestic implements of her middle class Great House upbringing, and brings to mind the graciousness of a gentler and kinder era.
It is these that she seeks to reproduce on canvas.
The artist has gone global, showcasing both her Fine Art and Objets d’Art in various galleries throughout Jamaica, with private exhibitions in the US and the UK, and has been contracted by resorts to not only provide art for their executive suites, but also to produce utilitarian lines from her Objets d’Art collection for their fine dining areas.
Sonia Lewis resides in Miramar Florida. You may check out her works at her web site http://www.soniasfinecaribbean.com