Cabochan [painting gemstones]

Cabochan is a French word which stands for a gemstone that has been shaped and polished rather than faceted. The name is perfectly suited to this artwork that I was painted during my residency with the Great Alpine Gallery last August.

I was collecting river stones to look at their formation, the shapes and patterns trapped in their rocky flesh. Chinese calligraphers call it the art of reading stone (click on the highlighted text to read the short blurb I wrote about it)

The stone I was inspired by for this painting was simultaneously soft and polished by the river while its lines were raw and directional. Drawn to its complexity, I was though unsure how to approach it.

I used a mix of ink painting and monoprint techniques to render the duality of the rock.

The more I look at this painting, the more I get transported. Not that I usually do my own apology, but I find it hard to believe, to this day, that I am the one who painted this amazing work. It has something mysterious about it that makes it all the more precious to my eyes.

Cabochan is available and if you are interested to know more about it, please contact me by clicking on the link above or through the contact page of my website.

#ink #stonereading #artpainting #visualart #painting #abstractpainting #eastgippsland #independentartist #SwiftCreeks

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Born in France, Sofie Dieu’s first encounter with art was through church. With a penchant for ritual and spirituality, the artist is best known for her fragile, sombre, and sometimes violent ink paintings and textile works.


Poetic and humanist, her practice draws on her journeys to China and Australia. She explores how identity and memory fluctuate according to their immediate environment. Landscapes, people, secrecy, healing, and the dichotomy between light and darkness are some of her recurring themes.


Multi-art prizes and award finalist, her work was included in the Sydney North Art Prize, Waterhouse Natural Science prize and the Contemporary Art Award amongst others. In 2016, she worked on the Camperdown Cemetery installation for Sydney Biennale. In 2017, her work will be shown during Vivid and Mental Health Month in Sydney.