Story began twelve years ago, as two different travelers
meeting each other in a strange land. I was on my way
back from South America and had stopped in to visit
my sister in Chicago. It was here that I first met Sofan
and my whole life changed. Our story of love had begun.
couldn't possibly have had two people from more dissimilar
backgrounds. Sofan was born and raised in the crowded,
bustling city of Hong Kong, while I had spent much of
my formative years in isolated bushland settings.
has always known she was an Artist, while I didn't discover
my talents until much later. Sofan had a University
degree in Fine Arts while I had left school at fifteen
to travel around Australia doing odd jobs. The list
went on and on, and yet somehow, all the differences
didn't matter that much.
Sofan left her artistic life in Chicago, to chase her
dreams in Australia. From the busy streets and galleries
of one of the worlds great cities, to living in a tiny
hut in the bush. Possums, carpet snakes and native bush
rats all scampering through our little place. After
the initial cultural shock had worn off, Sofan was to
enter a new stage of joy and heightened awareness. It
was during this time that the painting "Absolute
Happiness" was born.
next move took us to an isolated, windswept ridge in
the mountains. Another little cabin surrounded by beautiful
flowers and thousands of acres of pasture and forest
without other people.
Weeks would sometimes pass where the only other person
we would see was each other. We spent two years here,
growing vegetables, painting and spending countless
hours riding our two beautiful horses through forestry
trails. Many of Sofan's vibrantly, colourful horse paintings
are inspired by moments from this period.
was here that Sofan bought me my first set of wood carving
tools and told me to make something for her. Although
I had never thought of myself as an Artist, I had always
been good with my hands. Working on houses as a carpenter
and builder had given me a love of wood.
first things I made were very rough and basic. A simple
carved flower, a leaf or two...It didn't matter, Sofan
was always so encouraging and so I kept at it. Once
I discovered my own Artistic gifts, our lives began
to truly grow together.
lives were filled with so many wonderful things. Only
one thing was missing. We knew that we needed to share
our Artworks with as many other people as possible.
It was time to return to the city. We set up our first
studio in a a tiny boat shed overlooking the beach on
an island about one hour north of Sydney.
movement of the tides suddenly became a huge influence
in our lives, as the only way onto the island is by
boat. At low tide we had to wade through a hundred metes
of oozing black mud, while at high tide the water gently
lapped against the beach only metes in front of our
looking at the water had an huge effect on both of us.
Sofan's Artworks became filled with watery colours,
fluid, flowing movements and brightly colored fishes.
These paintings give out the wonderful, calming energy
that comes from spending so much time at the water's
both entered a period of Artistic frenzy. I would come
home after a days building work to spend long hours
with Sofan, late into the night, carving and painting.
I started working in other mediums. Carving with the
local Sandstone and experimenting with metal casting.
Our works became filled with happiness and delight as
we began to live out our dreams. Our Artworks began
It had always been our Dream to be able to make our
living from selling our Artworks. So many people loved
the happy energy that come through our Artworks, that
we decided to make an affordable range of high quality
Artistic reproductions. We started selling limited edition
prints and sculptural castings at the local Arts Markets.
The Art of Happiness was born.
of the most satisfying things for Sofan and myself has
been the many people who come back to tell us what a
difference in their lives our Artworks make. We are
here on this planet for such a short time. Lets learn
to make the most of it and fill our lives with Love,
Laughter and Happiness. We are living our Dreams. You
May your life be filled with love and happiness
and Sofan Chan