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Lao Paintings by Khamla

Lao Paintings by KhamlaKhamla was born in a small village north of Luang Prabang in 1981. Khamla’s life has not been easy as his father died when he was eight years old and his mother died when he was fifteen years old. Khamla always liked drawing and as a student he found he could sell some of his drawings to fellow students and earned enough to pay for food for his meals at school. At the end of high school he entered a painting contest in Luang Prabang and came in first and won a scholarship to the National University of Fine Arts in Vientiane. Students must attend the university for nine years before graduating with a degree in Fine Arts and Khamla will graduate in 2011.

We first became aware of Khamla when we saw his illustrations used in the book Animals of Africa published by Big Brother Mouse. It was then after we saw several of his paintings in galleries and in the homes of friends in Vientiane that we decided to contact him and see if we could commission a series of paintings that we could offer through our website. Although at Laos Essential Artistry our focus is on handwoven textiles, as we state in our Welcome, Laos is our passion and Khamla’s paintings capture an essence of Laos that we feel perfectly complements the beauty and artistry of the textiles we carry.

When we asked Khamla why he chose being an artist as his vocation he replied that “When I’m painting or drawing I feel completely happy. I hope when people see my paintings they will see how beautiful Laos is and how the Lao people live in harmony with nature.”

Khamla’s paintings are done in acrylic on canvas and have a slight impressionistic quality. In our initial offering, we are including six series of three paintings in each series. The first series features Dok Champa, the national flower of Laos, the second series features a wat in the country with a Dok Champa tree and monks, the third series is based on a photo we took of a Lao young woman washing her hair in a small creek, the fourth series features a woman weaving at her loom under a traditional wooden Lao house, the fifth series is based on another photo we took of a Mien woman walking home to her village in Huaphan Province, and the sixth series is based on another photo we took of a group of four young Hmong girls all dressed up in traditional clothes during Hmong New Year. Each painting in the series, although similar, is clearly different and by clicking on a painting and then enlarging the painting you can see much more detail.

In the photo above you can see Khamla painting on canvas using a stretch frame and we want to make clear that the paintings we sell have an approximately two-inch canvas border you can see when you look at the photos of the paintings below.

Khamla is a very talented artist and we hope to feature more of his paintings as our business grows. Enjoy!




Lao Paintings by Khamla