Born in the nomadic region of Eastern Tibet known as Khampa, Samten Dakpa was the seventh child of nine children. There was no money to send young him to school so he herded goats, sheep and yak all day. As a young boy waiting for the herd to finish grazing, he began teaching himself to draw in the snow, dirt, mud or anywhere he could leave a trace. He was discovered creating ice sculptures and unique land art in the frozen lakes as a teenager.
Monks in the monastery wondered where he learned his high level of skill in thangkha painting. Achieving such craftsmanship without pencils, paint or paper convinced them that he was a reincarnation of a great master.
Mr. Dakpa's artwork is one of the most impressive bodies of work I hve ever seen of traditional Tibetan art forms such as tangka painting. I was so impressed by his skills that I asked him to paint me pieces in each of the regional styles of Tibetan painting .
I began with a Medicine Buddha tangka and asked him to paint one for me in any style he preferred. He painted it for me in the northern Tibetan style of painting.