Thailand Bound!

January 21, 2014 § 4 Comments

Thailand – This week I arrive in Thailand! I am thrilled to return Southeast Asia and feel so much gratitude towards everyone who supported my printmaking project. I’m excited to get back to sunny Mae Sot, and to begin collecting and drawing images for this series of prints!

Go time: Passport, pencils, ink, brushes, blue tape- check!

Go time: Passport, pencils, brushes, ink- check!

Research – The Thailand Burma Flora Fauna series has given me a great reason to conduct research on both the plants and animals of Thailand and Burma, and also on the works of master printmakers from the past, like renowned Japanese artists Hokusai and Hiroshige. Below, you can see a Hokusai woodblock print where he paired a swallow with a hibiscus flower.

Hokusai, Hibiscus and Sparrow, Woodblock Print, 1830

Hokusai, Hibiscus and Sparrow, Traditional Woodblock Print, 1830

The BBC has recently produced a brilliant documentary series called, Wild Burma: Nature’s Lost Kingdom. You can watch it here.  It’s got incredible footage of many rare plant, animal, and insect species inside Burma. From this documentary, I learned that 95% of all the forests of SE Asia have disappeared, and Burma now boasts 50% of those remaining forests within its borders.

Sill from the BBC's Wild Burma. Collecting insects overnight in the treetops.

Still from the BBC’s Wild Burma - collecting insects overnight in the treetops.

Japanese artist Hokusai's sketchbook drawings of local insects.

Japanese artist Hokusai’s sketchbook drawings of local insects.

I’ve also been poring over old books illustrated with great woodblock engravings. Titles like A General History of Quadrupeds (1885) and Mammalia: The Mammals of Lower India and Burma (1888) have been helpful and fun to look through.

Illustration of a Leopard, by Thomas Bewick, A General History of Quadrupeds

Woodcut illustration of a leopard by Thomas Bewick in A General History of Quadrupeds.

Personal Timeline – From my last update, you may remember that my trip was delayed for medical reasons. Long story short: I cut my hand, got an infection and had to have surgery. It healed, and was followed by six additional weeks of physical therapy. I’m happy to say I am now on the mend and nearly back to 100%.

What I missed out on in December was a planned trip to Burma with some loved ones. My good buddy Cristina took this sunrise photo over the ancient ruins in Bagan, a place I dearly hope to visit during a trip to Burma this coming March.

Sunrise over Bagan, Burma. Photo credit: Cristina Niculescu.

Sunrise over Bagan, Burma. Photo credit: Cristina Niculescu

Thank you all again for your continued support. Next update: Thailand!

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§ 4 Responses to Thailand Bound!

  • Looks like you’re stocked with everything you’ll need to suceed. Good luck!

  • Scritch says:

    thats it – next trip i’m going to burma or vietnam.
    damn i’m so jealous. good luck mike! hope you’ll be blogging a bit on the go from there

    • Mike Schultz Paintings says:

      Thanks! Burma and Vietnam are opposites in many ways. Write me an email before you plan a trip or buy tickets to SE Asia and we can talk about good places to go. :)

      I will be blogging regularly about my project. Recently, I’ve been on an unintentional hiatus from facebook and wordpress, just trying to complete other projects in time before I leave. Thanks again, Janine.

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