The Conqueror Series – I, Natural stone colors on cotton, 20 x 24 inches, 2022

This week we welcome Teena Soni, a New Jersey-based painter working at the intersection of traditional Indian-miniature style and contemporary aesthetics. She belongs to a traditional artistic family of Udaipur, Rajasthan, India. 

Shunya(Zero), Natural stone colors on cloth, 18 x 24 inches, 2023

Soni studied Indian miniature art under the guidance of her grandfather, the late Badri Lal Chitrakar, a recipient of the Shilp Guru Award, and her father Shri Sharad Soni, an artist and art collector. The rigorous training has enriched her natural abilities as a painter with the rich cultural and traditional artistry, intricacies, and finesse of her preceptors. 

Flora and Fauna, Natural stone colors on cotton, 24 x 30 inches, 2021

She considers the traditional art of Pichwai paintings as her blessed cultural heritage, and takes that heritage forward with subtle contemporary amalgamations. Soni uses authentic traditional techniques to make the base for her paintings. Some of her work is on cotton fabric and some are on hand made paper. She prepares her own colors from the extract of plants and natural stones using traditional Indian methods. These natural dyes give a vibrant feel to all her paintings and keep them alive for hundreds of years.

The Joyous Elephant, Natural stone colors on cotton, 20 x 24 inches, 2022

“I am a third generation Indian miniature and contemporary painting artist from India. For me, painting is a meditative process of connecting with the divine. Creation starts to happen when my heart, mind and body are in synchronization, and I just go with the flow. The moment I sit to paint, I automatically detach myself from the outside world, greed, emotions, money, food, I want nothing at all and then a miracle happens. The state of thoughtless awareness gives birth to a magical creation. The best critique of any art is the artist itself. I mostly paint sitting on the floor. On the floor, I am more at ease. I feel a closer connection with the painting, walking around it and working on it from all four sides.”

The Gopis Longing for Krishna, Natural stone colors on cotton, 18 x 24 inches, 2019

See more of Soni’s work on her website and Instagram page.

Nitin is a visual designer, gallery artist, and community arts activist. Past desk-oriented posts include: PBS, Digitas, K12, Inc., Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Sesame Workshop International....

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