Shami Kanekar

I am a self-taught artist.  I paint, make jewelry and wheel-thrown pottery.  My art is inspired by the folk art and textile design traditions of India.  I create stylized floral, animal and abstract designs using watercolor, oil pastel and pen.

Painting is meditative for me, it centers me and takes me away from the mundane.  I aspire to create art that is vibrant yet peaceful.  I am constantly inspired by my environment: the bright colors of summer, textures in drying fall grasses on a hike, the colors across the water while rowing on the Great Salt Lake, patterns from an old brick wall, all of these seep into my paintings. And art happens!  I get obsessed with certain themes, and can’t seem to stop working on them- elephants, anybody?!

My current work is strongly influenced by traditional Indian textiles, showing up in my paintings as tie-dyed designs or bandhni, block-prints or the rhythmic woven patterns of ikat.  Recent works consist of stylized animals: elephants, snakes, bison, birds.  Recent works also include a series of mandalas and other abstracts.

I currently work as a research scientist in neurobiology.  I find that the combination of doing art and science enhances my creativity in both fields.  Besides this, I enjoy doing yoga, gardening, rowing, and traveling to exotic places.