Wow, 2011. Is it just me or does 2011 sound really sci-fi in a really Stanley Kubrick kind of way. Yet here I am with out a teleporter or flying car in sight…

How are you and how have you been? Did 2010 treat you well? It was certainly a big year for many people I’ve known and it was certainly a huge year for me, professionally and personally. I had two solo art shows in 2010, including my first ‘The Mango Tree’. I set a personal record for how much I sold and how much I sold it for. But it was the evolution in painting that surprised me. I guess surprises are expected when you push yourself into a corner and make yourself go for it.

In Oct 2010 I married the love of my life and my soul mate, Iris. For someone who paints almost exclusively about love it’s not hard to stay a romantic espeically with someone like Iris. Yet both of these huge events sit side by side with what I did only a few months later.

In Jan 2011 I fulfilled a life long desire to be reunited with my long lost family in Cambodia and return to the country of my birth from which I fled from. There are too many reasons to say about why it had taken to almost my 32nd birthday to do so. I guess the simplest reason was it was not meant to happen until then. However, neither rain or hail (not that there was much of either in a Perth summer) stopped me from doing so in Jan.

Angkor Wat at Sunrise

To say that the visit changed me and my perception of the world is an understatement. I am still reeling with what I saw and felt and tasted and everything afterwards. I am not sure how to describe it, this feeling I have inside me. But I guess the word would have to be ‘mission’. I feel like a have a real mission now or a cause I can wear on my sleeve and be passionate about. That passion is helping my family and the many children in Cambodia to gain access to quality education. Being a teacher and a life long learner I know first hand the benefits of receiving a great education, something Australian see as a birth right but for many people across the world is an expensive and unobtainable privilege.

My mum and her grand daughter Sopetra

In my travels I saw the joy of ordinary children travelling to school to learn and I was effected by the immense poverty of those who couldn’t afford to go. I realised if they didn’t go then the perpetual cycle of poverty would only continue. It had to start with giving them a chance to get an education. I also met an american man by the name of David J Biviano who was also affected by their plight and who sold his apartment in Florida and all his possession to start an orphange to help every kid he could get a great education. He demonstrated for me what you could do and the real change you could create when you had a mission.

The family back in Cambodia

David helped me realise that ‘the future does not lie in the hands of children. The future rests in the hands that holds the hands of children’.

You can go and join his Facebook page here.

Obviously not everyone can can sell their house and live in Cambodia (it’s a nice thought though). I realised the best way I can help his cause and my cause to help my family back in Cambodia is by painting.

So I’m now making a commitment to give 10 percent of the proceeds of any sale to the Cambodian Children’s House of Peace with the plan of directly sponsoring either a child or the worthwhile work they do there and a further 10 percent to help my family with basic needs. I hope to raise $1000 during the course of this year. $1000 can make an immense difference to many kids because every cent goes directly to them.

It’s my way of giving back and it’s my way of increasing the prosperity for all.

I plan to keep you updated and be transparent in my mission, and I definitely plan to get more people on board and interested. If you’d like to learn more about David’s amazing work click here. If you know some one who would like my work or what I plan to do then I invite you to tell others and get them to join and become a ‘Special Samith Subscriber’ by subscribing here or going to the SUBSCRIBE page.

I haven’t created an art work in months, and as usual I have big plans for 2011. But you know what, it’s going to be fine, in fact I think 2011 is going to be fantastic.

Hello 2011!

Got some plans for 2011? Share them below.