Welcome to my new blog! I have been an artist for almost 30 years and have been fortunate enough to connect with many people over those years. I wanted to start this blog as a way to keep in touch with past fans and collectors, as well as future fans and collectors. Here you'll find interesting stories about my life as an artist, the inspiration behind my pieces, updates on new artwork, behind the scenes photos, local event invitations and more. The blog will be updated every one to two months, so please keep checking for new content.
It makes sense to begin the blog with some insight into one of my first pieces, "7 Horses". I'll take you back to where it began. This piece is one of the first paintings in the mixed-media style that I now work in. When I attended the National College of Fine Arts in Saigon, South Vietnam, I learned the traditional Vietnamese style of water color on silk. This technique was difficult to control because throughout the process, colors were applied and blended on wet silk. The silk is set to dry, then washed, but retains some stains of colors. Then, colors are applied again and the process is repeated many times until the colors dye to the fiber of the silk. From this technique, I have learned to control and blend liquid colors on wet surfaces. In 1998, I discovered and started using epoxy paint - a liquid resin that floats like water and has a beautiful effect. I would not have been able to paint "7 Horses" in the traditional watercolor on silk style. This could only be done with my new mixed media style.
I was born in Vietnam and I have fond memories of watching American Westerns as a child. The idea for this painting came from watching horses run, kicking up dirt and dust. The movement itself is so beautiful, but if you were to pause (take a snapshot, or paint realistically), it would not be so beautiful anymore – you would see the animals’ legs, hooves, etc. in great detail. What you found beautiful was the motion itself. I tried to capture the motion, the action, by using line art to highlight the muscles, and by using contrasting colors to make the painting lively.
I'm often asked why I chose to paint seven horses. Part of the beauty of art is that everyone will have a different view of it. The theories about this piece are more exciting than the real reason behind my choice. Some people think I chose seven for religious reasons (seven days of creation in Genesis), others (Asian people) ask why I chose seven because it is an unlucky number in Asian (Chinese and Vietnamese) culture. The real reason is that it was just a coincidence that I ended up with seven. It just happened that way for composition purposes in the painting. I felt like I needed more horses here and there to complement the pattern, or to add more color or motion in another part of the painting. Every time I go to a show, people point out that they can find more than seven horses. I’ve heard eight, or nine now!
How many horses do you see?