This is one of my favorite paintings I have done.
I went to Thailand, a place I’d been wanting to see for years. In Thailand, when they say thank you, they place their hands in prayer position and bow slightly.
I kid you not, I went on a 3-hour boat tour.
It was really amazing. The food was delicious, the sites were thought-provoking. Rich butted up next to extreme poverty. The people were the best of all. They kept handing things to us and insisting we try this or that dish. It was peaceful and exciting all at the same time. They wanted us to love their country as much as they did.
We stopped at one of the Wats, or temples, and I noticed this adorable little girl. When I told her how cute she was, of course, she said thank you. I saw the painting right then. I was more of a realistic painter at the time and had no idea how I could use the colors I saw, but I had to have the image. I asked her mother if I could take a photo and luckily, she didn’t think I was a creeper.
It took about a year before I found a book called Color Choices by Stephen Quiller which helped me learn how to use bright colors instead of true to life colors.
I love that painting and see the growth I accomplished every time I look at it. It is also the start of painting everyday situations which I think connect us all together. Yes, she could be saying thank you. She could be praying. She could be doing both. It is all about your personal interpretation.
I painted her arms a pale color because I wanted her body to resemble the stone of the statues in the Thai culture and religion, but I wanted her face and hands to show the life of the little girl she was that day.
This is also the first painting I did with a limited, airy background.