14| Elephant Somchai
Artist Somchai with mahout Glaijak
Born: July 1999
Somchai was born in Mae Wang district in Chiang Mai.
Somchai is a smart elephant who can play musical instruments as well as being an artist. He is adept at stamping on balloons to burst them, which is a trick he performs for tourists. Somchai likes to stay around other elephants, but he can be mischievous if left alone. In fact he can be quite naughty at all times, especially if another mahout tries to direct him.
Somchai's naughtiness manifests itself especially if another mahout gets onto his back. When that happens Somchai sways from side to side to unseat him. His favourite trick when bathing in the lake, even with his regular mahout Glaijak, is to duck right under the water with his mahout on board so that he gives the mahout a soaking too.
Alas Somchai no longer paints and he has left the Center to move back with his mahout at his home in Chiang Mai. Somchai paints very carefully, usually starting each stroke close to the top of the paper and slowly painting vertical strokes with a touch of flourish. He demonstrates good spatial awareness, always filling the paper with colour.
Somchai’s mahout is Glaijak Inkeowsai.