Questions with Straightforward Answers
How do you pronounce your first name? Where is it from?
(silent 'h'!) It's Thai. My mother is Thai. I was named after
a Thai toothpaste model (so the story goes...)
What is your prefered medium?
medium is probably acrylic, although I enjoy colored pencils
What brand of acrylics do you use?
I use either
Liquitex (medium or high viscosity) or Golden.
Do you have any more Marble pictures? Any
more Dum-Dum paintings? Are you planning any more cupcake paintings?
pleased when people like certain paintings of mine so much that
they ask whether I am planning any more in that series. The
answer is usually "maybe"... Check back on my store
to see what's available! However, if you can't wait and would
like to commission a specific type of artwork, contact me and
we'll discuss your needs.
still lifes, I do plan to carry on painting photorealistic cupcakes,
candies, marbles, and toys... this will be an ongoing theme
for me, as it's really fun!
Do you do custom / commission work?
If you are looking for a specific piece to grace the walls of
your home and/or office, let me know what you have in mind and
we can discuss it further. I can work with you to create the
perfect artwork to suit your needs, in terms of size, color
palette, subject matter, style, etc.
Do you ever do larger pieces (24" x 36" and bigger)?
again is "maybe"... I definitely hope to do more larger
pieces once my travel schedule allows for it. At the moment
I spend lots of time abroad, and as a result I have been focusing
on doing smaller artwork, as it's more portable and much more
affordable for shipping. Check back on my store to see what
new pieces I have available, and maybe you'll find something
in your size!
Have you ever considered turning your paintings
into fabric? It would be lovely to quilt with.
working on it... check back soon!
I love your Day of the Dead skulls!! I want to have a tattoo
of it made, but first wanted to get your permission to make
sure it was okay.
to hear that you like my Dia de los Muertos skull so much. I
think it would be really cool if you had a tattoo of it made,
so you certainly have my permission! I am glad that the artwork
has such meaning for you. It's important to me to try to reach
people through my art, so I'm really happy when people let me
know that a certain piece resonates with them in some way.
So anyway, if you have the tattoo made, I'd love to see a pic
if possible. Let me know how it turns out!
Complex Questions with In-Depth Answers
What artists do you
admire? And why? Are there any artists that influence you work?
set of questions seems quite intertwined. When I started thinking
of the artists that I admire, I found that they all influence
my work, so for each artist I list I’ll mention both why
I admire them and how they influence my work.
I like to work in a wide range of styles, I find that I admire
the work of a wide variety of artists. I’ll try to separate
them by style:
Magee - http://www.alanmagee.com
artworks are meticulously painted and organized. He has amazing
skill in rendering objects realistically. What I like best in
his work is a sense of calm simplicity, almost bordering on
spirituality. He has the ability to make the most mundane objects
look extraordinary – who’d have thought power tools
and sparkplugs could be so beautiful? His artwork has inspired
me to rethink the role of the “ordinary” in artwork.
When placed in a certain context, ordinary objects can take
on a new life and new meaning.
Fraser - http://www.sfraser.com
I would say that Alan Magee has a soft and subtle realist painting
style, Scott Fraser’s work seems to embody a more crisp
solidity. His work relies more on wit – placing seemingly
unrelated objects together in unexpected ways to create a mini-narrative.
I have been influenced by the whimsicality of his compositions
as well as his thorough attention to detail.
Milhazes - http://www.jamescohan.com/artists/beatrizmilhazes/index.html
use of color and composition. I love the precision of her abstract
designs, and the way she overlaps different shapes and colors.
Her work has inspired me to explore color and composition in
my own style.
Klee - http://www.abcgallery.com/K/klee/klee.html
love his use of color and composition. His work has a very primitive
and playful feel, which are qualities I often try to convey
in my own abstract work. I really like his work that utilizes
line – creating forms that appear quite simple but are
actually part of a well-thought out and sophisticated composition.
e. Joe Sorren
got skill! He creates whimsically captivating characters that
are painted with a real sense of solidity and form. His use
of color is amazing. I’m inspired by his creativity and
masterful handling of the paint.
Where do you get your ideas
for your art works from?
inspired by everything, really. I suppose my main driving force
is a desire to convey a message relating to the hidden things
of life, which are always there underneath the surface…
ideas such as spirituality, interconnectedness, chaos &
order, and the unexpected. I am obsessed with painting detail,
whether it’s photorealist or abstract… I think I
like to dive deep into the essence of what I’m painting
to pull out an intricate sense of reality. I like to paint things
that people can get lost in. I am currently exploring the use
of color and design in a meditative, tribal sense. For the past
year I have begun working on a few different series combining
abstraction with photorealism, in an attempt to marry my two
favorite styles of painting in some kind of holistic form that
embodies both the spiritual essence of abstraction with the
more object-oriented materialism of photorealism. Other than
all these philosophical ideas, I also get ideas from everyday
life – from looking at folk art of various cultures, from
my travel experiences, from random doodles in my sketchbook,
from books I read and conversations with friends.
How do you manage to keep your colours so
clean and fresh? I have been using acrylics but when I paint
one over the top of another the colour loses that intensity.
of acrylics is important in order to get good coverage. I use
either Liquitex (medium or high viscosity) or Golden, as I find
them to be quite good quality paints. However, depending on
the color, sometimes I do have to paint two or three layers
to form a completely opaque layer over another color. Sometimes
I find that adding a dab of white increases the opacity.
What I'd love to know is more about how you start your paintings
and the steps. Do you complete it little by little so it can
dry and you can come back in later and work it?
suppose the answer to your question would depend on what type
of painting - whether photorealism or abstract. So I'll answer
for both (keeping in mind that I mostly use acrylics... I'm
not sure what medium you plan to use!)
Photorealist paintings - after drawing in the subject matter,
I do a quick underpainting, which is basically thinned-out washes
of color (I water down the acrylics). That way I can capture
a quick overview of what goes where, and get in the basic colors
and lights and shadows. Then I gradually go in and do all the
detail for each object. Normally I go one object at a time,
completely finishing it then moving on to the next object in
the painting. I normally save the shadows and background for
last. If you are interested in painting for your photorealistic
acrylic paintings, check out my in-depth guide called How
to Paint Photorealism: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Paint
Your Own Photorealistic Paintings.
Abstract paintings - These are basically many, many layers of
colors, patterns and details. I normally work on color at a
time, laying down different designs here and there, and slowly
everything builds up. Because acrylics dry so fast, I don't
need to worry about drying time too much, so by the time I'm
done with one color, the painting will be dry enough for the
next layer of color. For a step-by-step example of how I created
one of my abstract paintings, read my page on How
to Paint Abstract Art.
(The only exception for drying time of acrylics would be when
I do really thin glazes of color for my Photorealist paintings
(thinning the acrylics with Acrylic Glazing Liquid and/or water)
which is how I build up the many layers in the Photorealist
paintings to make the objects look 3-dimensional - acrylics
can be hard to blend otherwise.)
Just wanted to tell you how much I love
the cupcake painting! Tell me, how come I don't see any brush
strokes? Did you use really thinned-out paint and then cover
it with a coating? How did you do it? I have painted in the
past, and my favorite is the Dutch 16th Century painters- their
paintings are like yours- very thin paint application, incredible
detail, very lifelike. I'm curious how you did it!
Yep, I use
really really thinned out layers of acrylics (with a tiny brush!),
thinned with a combination of water and acrylic glazing liquid.
I think that's what the old masters did too - only with oils,
of course... and it's a lot easier with oils cause they stay
wet for a long time! Acrylics dry quickly which is a blessing
and a curse - a curse because it's so hard to blend as a result.
For instance, the shadow of that cupcake took me ages!!
I do coat it with a gloss varnish, which results in a nice "sealed"
effect. Thanks for asking - it's one of those things I just
do without thinking, so it's interesting to pause and actually
consciously think about it!
you are interested in painting for your photorealistic acrylic
paintings, or want to learn more about the process I use, check
out my in-depth guide called How
to Paint Photorealism: A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Paint
Your Own Photorealistic Paintings.
Do you have any suggestions or advice
for high school art students trying to understand abstract art
and create their own paintings?
In my opinion,
abstract art is much more intuitive than representational art...
for example, painting a landscape or still life involves recreating
something that is directly in front of you, whereas to create
an abstract painting involves searching deeper within oneself,
exploring one's emotions and the way one feels about things,
and deciding what one wants to express. So the creation of representational
vs abstract art are two very different feelings, because representational
art deals with interaction with the outside world, whereas abstract
art is more of an exploration of one's own inner world... again
this is just my opinion from my experience, as certainly there
are many emotive still lifes and landscapes in existence, maybe
it is different for other artists!
So it might be a good idea to try to get the students to tap
into some kind of feeling or emotion that they'd like to convey...
for instance, they could choose a place, a person, an event,
etc and try to convey through colors, pattern and form how they
feel about those things. I understand that it may be harder
to get high school age students to openly express their feelings
in front of each other, so maybe if they choose something specific,
it would be easier for them to channel their creative energies.
Some 'place' examples:
a sunny beach (emotion: happy, warm -- colors: tropical)
a snowy park (emotion: content, cold, introspective -- colors:
cool, whites, blues)
a cityscape (emotion: busy, crowded -- colors: industrial, grey,
They could even paint their feelings about places they've never
been, but would like to visit... for example, looking at color
palettes of places in South America, Asia, Europe, etc.
Some 'thing' or 'event' examples:
how does it feel to...
- take a bite of your favorite ice cream?
- stub your toe?
- get straight A's?
- have strep throat?
- lay by the pool all day?
- be in a hurry and have too much to do?
They could try to use color, pattern and form to convey those
I realize I'm mainly addressing content rather than technique,
since I don't know what medium they are using. But I have the
feeling that perhaps pinpointing a 'topic' or 'theme' might
help get the ball rolling in some form.
I was also thinking about an entirely different way of approaching
abstract art - starting from a representational standpoint,
such as Mondrian's trees, and how his renderings gradually got
more and more abstract. I did a quick search and found this
informative page that describes the transition from realism
to abstraction for some artists: http://caad.arch.ethz.ch/teaching/nds/ws98/script/shape/st-shape.html
(might be a bit too heavy for their age range though!)
On my new
website, Art is fun, I have devoted several pages to the explanation
art and how
to understand abstract art.
Your pieces are so inspiring and absolutely
beautiful!!!! I love art, specifically abstract! And was wondering
if I have no experience in this, how you would recommend to
get started? What kind of classes to take?
for getting started with art-making, I say just go for it! Get
yourself some paints, brushes, and canvas or paper, and just
see what happens... Classes can certainly help to as it is always
beneficial to get feedback from instructors and from peers.
Check your local community college or local art center! Or perhaps
the people at your local art supply store might know some good
places to take classes.
A new online
resource that you could check out is my art educational website,
is fun, where I explain everything I know about
art and how to get started making your own art!
I was wondering if you have time to give me any tips or let
me know what inspires you to make such wonderful work.
suppose the best tip I can give you in general is to look at
lots of art - online, in magazines and books, and of course
in galleries and museums! Try to take note of what strikes you
about particular works of art, as this can be really essential
in informing your own work. Keep a sketchbook so you can write
down all your ideas, doodles, and observations. You may be surprised
when you look at your sketchbook years down the road, because
you may see recurring themes, or you may pick up on old ideas
that you had forgotten about. Plus you'll be able to track your
growth as an artist. As for what inspires me, hmm... Someone
asked me a similar question not too long ago, and this
was my response.
You are an amazing artist and a role model for many including
myself! Im hoping to have a future in art myself. Do you have
any suggestions to getting as far as you have?
for budding artists is to create as much art as possible - keep
a sketchbook (or several), and write down all your ideas, doodles,
observations, drawings - because you never know what might be
handy or inspirational in the future. Also, I think one of the
most difficult things for an artist is to actually have the
discipline to sit down every day and create art. It's not always
easy, as the mind can get easily distracted - but it's the only
way art can get made on a consistent basis. :) As Thomas Edison
said, "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration."
I hope that helps, and I wish you the best of luck in your artistic
I am researching the theme of identity and culture. I came across
your site and thought that you explore your ways in such a feeling.
Do you express whats on your mind into your work?
I went through
a period of intense interest in the concepts of identity and
culture, especially from the personal perspective of how my
mixed heritage has shaped my outlook and worldview. This is
still something I'm exploring, as I've recently returned from
a trip to Thailand (where my mother is from) where I met my
Thai extended family for the first time. It was definitely a
life-changing experience, one that spurred a lot of inner reflection.
I hope to be able to express some of these thoughts in my artwork
in the near future.