Thailand beaches oil painting

Ocean Study
oil painting by Niki Gulley • 5″ x 7″
This ocean study was inspired by the fascinating karst rock formations and gorgeous turquoise waters that we saw on our trip to the Phuket area of Thailand. It was created with thick oil paint and palette knives.

“Floating on Water” Thailand pastel

“Floating on Water,” Thailand 10″ x 8″ pastel by Niki Gulley

Having our friend, who lives in Thailand, to help guide us while we were visiting Bangkok allowed us to get off the beaten path and see all sorts of sights besides the main tourist attractions. One of my favorites was a trip to this temple park where they had recreated all of the major temples in Thailand on a smaller scale, but still life-size so that you could still tour inside the buildings in addition to viewing the exterior details and grounds as they would appear in their natural setting. I was particularly drawn to this Chinese temple which appeared to actually be floating on water from certain angles. I loved the deep red exterior with jade green detailing and the way the exotic looking spider mums in the foreground framed this view. Late afternoon light also added a sense of peacefulness to the scene.

Intricate Rooftops, Bangkok, Thailand

“Intricate Rooftops,” Bangkok, Thailand • by Niki Gulley
5″ x 7″ pastel

On the last leg of our Asian adventure, we visited our good friend who had been living in Bangkok, Thailand for the past year. We welcomed having our host and much appreciated tour guide help us navigate the 18 million person city, especially after having toured around the other countries on our own.

Our first stop, which is a must for all tourists, was the lavishly gilded Grand Palace. The elaborate, ornate Thai architecture was so different than the more understated temples we’d seen in China and Japan. At first, I almost felt overwhelmed by all of the colors, scrolling details and vibrant gold. But when I focused in on just a small section of the grandeur, such as in this pastel close-up of the wat rooftop, I could really appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship more fully.
If you’d like to see more small works in my temple series from Asia, e-mail me at