Pantip Malakul Na Ayudhya was born in 1947 in Bangkok to an upper class Thai family. Her father, M.L. Pat Malakul was the banker of the Thai Government Bank and her mother, M.L. Pratin Malakul, the daughter of the King’s Counsel. She is the direct descendant of Prince Mahamala, son of King Rama II and cousin of M.L. Pin Malakul.
She was born in her grandfather’s house and lived there until 1950 when following his death the family moved to Soi Sarasin where she lived until she was 30 years old. She married in 1971 and had a daughter Awe in 1976, the marriage however was short and she divorced in 1977.
Her father had died of a heart attack in 1975 and she married an Englishman, Craig in 1977 and moved to Hong Kong with her husband and her 2 year old daughter. They lived there for nearly two years and then moved to Highland Park, somewhere north of Chicago, USA, where they lived for about a year and a half. They moved to England where they eventually settled in Addlestone. In between moving from the first house to the second house in Addlestone her Mother died of kidney failure.
One day during the decoration of the second house she went into town to buy some curtain. On the way back she walked past the art shop and spotted a painting of daisies and thought to herself :- If I can leave a painting as beautiful as that I would not mind dying the next day. She later told an old friend about this, who bought her a small box of watercolour paints for her 39th birthday.
She started to paint and went to adult education classes in June 1986. After she was painting for two years she went into the frame shop in Chertsey where the owner, after seeing her painting offered to include her in their August exhibition with 3 more artists. She sold 16 paintings in two days. After the exhibition her friend encouraged her to apply to join the Weybridge Art Society but they rejected her application. They suggested that she continued to study, particularly life class.
After she had been with the life class for a while painting nudes and portraits of middle age people she one day went into the hardware shop in Ottershaw. There she spotted the young face of Andrew, that she would like to paint, so she approached him and asked if he would sit for her. His mother told her that he also painted so she asked him to bring the paintings to show her.
They eventually became great friends, unfortunately their relationship evidently had a significant element of rivalry in art. With him she joined the A Level art class 5 months before the exam when everyone else was doing a 12 month course. Nevertheless she managed to achieve a grade B plus 94% with distinction in City and Guilds photography.
Unhappy with her marriage she decided in 1991 to ask her husband for a divorce which was granted after a 2 year separation. For a period during the separation Pantip spent some time working in Nepal. The poverty she saw had a dramatic impact on the way she saw the world. After the divorce she was in temporary accommodation for a year until she found and bought a little cottage in a Surrey village where she subsequently held a one woman exhibition. She sold only 3 paintings.
Discouraged by the result of the exhibition she decided to do some more portrait work accepting commissions for watercolour portraits. However, illness was about to change her life. In 1999 she experienced a phsychotic episode and she had to spend 6 months in hospital, unfortunately the drug she has to take has life long effect. After she came out of the hospital her paintings were not the same, the effect of the medication made her lose her spontaneity. She now paints with her brain not her mood.