"What I like most about painting is that whenever I finish a canvas, I get this amazing, surprising feeling. It is a one-of-a-kind feeling!"
"I was born and raised in the state of Sololá and growing up I was always up to some mischief or other. I lived with my parents and grandfather, and I was always doodling on any piece of paper I could find. Eventually my doodles became proper drawings.
"I come from a family of artists, in fact my father preferred chiaroscuro techniques. My brothers paint, as well as my wife Angelina who is also a Novica featured artist. Angelina and I consult with each other about new techniques and use of color. We also like to challenge each other! We have a very special relationship because we see the world in different ways and we transmit it differently through our compositions.
"And so it all began with me trying to be like my dad and copying his paintings. Leafing through art books, I'd be mesmerized by the images and colors. They inspired me to paint about my surroundings and their beautiful colors. First it was with crayons and temperas on paper and when I was seven years old I won my first art contest!
"I began to paint with oils in 1980 but by then I was already selling my compositions through a gallery. I was the first in my village to use oils in my Folk Art paintings. I've since held various exhibitions, both in Guatemala and abroad. My first painting was about the cofrades religious order and I kept it for a long time, but then it got lost when I moved. I was saddened so much by this loss.
"I have worked very hard to establish myself as an artist and I am proud of what I have achieved. I am regarded as the 'first artist' of my village and I am proud to say that all my compositions are original. I have opened a little gallery where we can exhibit the work of fellow artists in my village, including my wife and my brother Julian, a Novica featured artist.
"The life of an artist is rarely easy and I have had my share of difficulties. For example, at first I could only sell my paintings in the capital city but since I had to take the bus, I could only take three paintings at a time. The money I got from selling them just barely covered my travel expenses. Now I dream of finding new ways of promoting my work and exhibiting it abroad.
"I always relate my compositions to the history and customs of my village. My paintings reflect life in the countryside as well as the lifestyle of our Maya ancestors.
"When I was young, I dreamt of becoming an artist, and now I dedicate part of my time to teach the art of painting to my friends and others interested in learning. What I like most about painting is that whenever I finish a canvas, I get this amazing, surprising feeling. It is a one-of-a-kind feeling!
"The most beautiful part of my art is that I can apply vibrant colors and create very fine details. My environment inspires me: people and plants. Nowadays it's more difficult to stand out above other artists because the competition is impressive.
"I've participated in several national exhibitions, including in the American and Swiss embassies as well as other renowned galleries and locations. I have also participated in international collective exhibits in the United States, Israel, Switzerland and Mexico."
With a smug smile, a fat calico cat glances at the butterfly that poses on her tail. Transmitting feline joy in a charming naïf portrait, Noi shares his love for animals. "Animals tell me with their eyes when they are happy," he says.
Dressed in the style of Thailand's Akha people, a smiling girl stands beside a cheerful white elephant. "I wanted to transmit feelings of happiness," says artist Oraphat. The Akha hill tribe lives in Thailand's northern hills. This is a proud and timeless....read more
A roly-poly calico cat wraps her tail around her and smiles with satisfaction. Purring with happiness, she invites the viewer to smile with her. Noi paints charming naïf portraits of animals that convey their personalities and state of mind.
A yellow kitten gazes at the person he loves most as if to ask, "Are you happy?" Noi depicts the chubby kitty in a delightful feline portrait. He focuses on the cat's expression. "Animals tell me with their eyes when they are happy," he says.
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