Soraya French SWA
Soraya was born in Tehran and graduated with a diploma in Natural Science in 1975, and went on to study Agricultural Engineering at Tehran University. Due to political unrest in Iran she abandoned her course and decided to live in Rome for a year. In 1977 she came to England to study English in Cambridge and went on to do Business Studies at Constable College in Tunbridge Wells. She attended an experimental Painting workshop tutored by Penny Lyon and Richard Plincke RI at Cricklade College in Andover in the late 1980's, and has since worked with some outstanding tutors. A versatile artist, Soraya works in Watercolours, Pastels, Acrylics and Mixed Media. Flowers, African scenes and seascapes are amongst her favourite subjects where she can use the play of light and vibrant colours to full effect.
Soraya exhibits her work mainly in the south of England and London in mixed and solo exhibitions and galleries throughout the year. She exhibits annually with the Society of Women Artists where she won the prestigious Daler-Rowney Choice award in 2004. She is a demonstrator for Daler-Rowney, and Caran D'Ache. She demonstrates her painting techniques to art groups and Societies in the south of England, and London and runs private workshops; she is an elected member of the Society of Floral Painters, and is currently the President of the Andover Art Society. Soraya is a regular contributor to The Artist magazine. In July 2005 she won the SAA Artist of the Year award. Soraya's new studio Gallery was opened on the 1 October 2007 at the Fairground Craft and Design centre in Andover, where she will have a permanent display of her work and run regular painting workshops. Her first book, titled 30-minute Acrylics was published by HarperCollins in September 2007.
* A series of paintings for the Tudor House Museum commissioned by the Southampton City Council to be completed in 2006.
* Daler-Rowney promotion material
* Daler-Rowney mixed media book
* Harper Collins Acrylic book
* Daler-Rowney Choice Award, Society of Women Artists, June 2004
* Artist of the Year 2005 Artist & Illustrators exhibition
* Edwin Young awards Salisbury Open 1997
* The painting was purchased for the Edwin Young Museum collection.
* Edwin Young award April 2002
* Fight for Sight regional competition November 2002
* Salisbury Open Award April 2003
* Winchester Art Club 76th annual exhibition November 2003
* Judith Milne award for Best Miniature, Society of floral painters at Mottisfont Abbey 2006