On a journey to Austria in 1962 Sonia met two gentlemen fly fishing on a lake amidst the mountains. One of them was Professor Josef Dobner a well known sculptor from the Vienna Academy.
In their conversation Sonia explained how much she would like to study painting in Austria. Dobner said he knew Willi Goetzl a painter who took some pupils, so Sonia wrote to him and after some consideration he agreed to teach her.
Willi Goetzl a student and friend of the famous Austrian painter Franz Wiegele, were well studied in the academic traditions of Viennese art, unfortunately Wiegele died in his studio during a bombing raid in 1944.
Goetzl lived in Villach and had a deep love of nature, he played the zither and lived a life of benign simplicity. His art was a form of communion with nature and he was unswayed by the many movements of modernism, yet his individualism showed itself in his sense of colour.
Willi Goetzl was wounded on the Eastern Front, which as an official war artist, he had portrayed picturesquely with none of it's horrors, and some years later he passed on all his love of nature and his artistic knowledge to Sonia who thereby gained a strong formative grounding. With her own insights, she has remained true to her training and is a very accomplished painter in landscape, portraiture and still life in oils and watercolours, having held at many exhibitions in and around Norfolk.