A FRESH APPROACH TO CAMBODIA - PAINTING HAPPY FACES
Stef with the late Peter Ustinov, a "happy" customer
In a country swathed in destruction, turmoil, and genocide artist Stephane Delapree is doing something different. He is painting pictures of happy people, happy Cambodian people. Stef is a happy guy who paints happy paintings. He paints pictures of happy monks, happy mothers hanging out in hammocks, happy women drying laundry, happy people driving motorcycles, happy guys bicycling many bags of rice. The list goes on. But they're all happy. Happy, happy, happy. His work shows the joy of life, and you can't help but feel good when you look at his paintings.
Born in Paris in 1956, he grew up in Quebec and he has sold his art on four different continents. Stef is now based in Cambodia where he opened up the Happy Painting Gallery in 1995. Today, Stef sells from the Cambodiana Hotel in Phnom Penh, and in Siem Reap from the Angkor Century and Princess Angkor Hotels.
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His work has traces of Primitivism, Naivism, and even Fauvism. Most of his paintings are done with acrylics, oils and ink on Sa paper. They are usually 77 X 55 cm. His clients include royalty, ambassadors, writers, actors, luminaries, and discerning travelers from around the world.
Stef uses handcrafted mulberry paper, which has been traditionally used for Buddhist texts and paintings. Over 600 years ago in the mountains of Northeastern Burma the Karen hilltribe found a remarkable bark that naturally peeled from the trunk of the tall broad leafed mulberry tree at the end of every rainy season.
So began the craft of making natural paper without destroying or cutting down trees. The Karen villages called this the "Sa" tree, and for years hilltribe paper makers have been practicing their craft here in the mountains of Northern Thailand. They still use natural dyes and lay their paper in the sun to dry, as did their ancestors centuries ago. The process is time consuming, and complicated but because it is acid free Sa paper is strong, flexible, and extremely durable.
The Museum of Angouleme in France has some of Stef's early pieces, as does the Art Museum of Quebec in Canada, where some of his work is part of an exhibition. The Quebec Ministry of Cultural Affairs has funded Stef's work over the years. He has also been commissioned to do work for the governments of Canada, El Salvador, France and Cambodia. His work appears in private collections in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North and South America.
HP (012) 928057Office Tel/Fax (855-23) 726-100Website: www.happypainting.netE-mail: email@example.com