Artwork from home.
Paron Mead is the director of Sukhumvit Soi 26's Paron School of Art. We spoke with him about his favorite local artists and how to stay creative during self-isolation, before trying out his virtual "Art and Wine" class—read on for our review.
What are your favorite galleries in Bangkok?
Wafting through large volumes of work is heaven and I am grateful to the BACC for being that Bangkok platform for beautiful breadths of art. I’m fond of the small and youthful Yelo House and Teaspoon Studio. Generally, I find our more modern galleries to be stark and oppressive. I know that our young creatives are feeling further ostracized by these spaces. It's a wonderful thing to have a scene that has evolved and matured but I do worry that things have gotten very serious a little too quickly.
How do you stay creative during self-isolation?
Besides my students at the studio, the watercolourist, Aeicha, photographer Harit Srikhao, sculptor Erictobua, graphic artist Marc Stuart and choreographer Jitti Chompee.
What advice would you give aspiring artists?
Firstly, stop looking for momentous events within your creative life. Instead, shift the energy towards the seeking and gathering of intimate things—poems, colours, flowers that are significant to you—and let them ruminate for a while. Secondly, recognize that art will be a confusing landscape to be in and that developing is an exercise in focus. So begin today with what you have, work with trust and with grit, stay in your lane and try to avoid the other noise. If you want to paint: shut up and paint.
Online Art and Wine Class, Paron School of Art
There’s always something exciting about receiving a package—especially one packed with mysterious art supplies. That delivery geared us up for the following day’s online art class with Sukhumvit Soi 26’s Paron School of Art. On logging into Zoom, we were greeted by Thai-British artist and teacher Paron Mead, whose positive and energetic vibe instantly quashed any fears we had about sharing our questionable art skills with strangers over the internet. Expertly navigating between at least eight other participants—a mix of local and international faces, many with a glass of wine in hand—the Central Saint Martins-educated Paron provided an insightful blend of history, guidance, constructive criticism, encouragement and debate that made the class a joy to be a part of. Much to our relief, we were instructed to copy the outline of our chosen Matisse work using the supplies provided, leaving the class to be more a study in the artist’s flamboyant use of color than a test of our drawing skills. Beyond the valuable layering and blending techniques taught during the class, the experience provided a much needed sense of creativity, connection and community in these trying times, which Paron encouraged by inviting attendees to each share a story of something beautiful to have come out of the Covid-19 crisis. If you’re looking for something to pull you out of your lockdown rutt, this class is ideal.