Usha Shukla was born and brought up in New Delhi, India. From early childhood she was fascinated by the outdoors. The vibrant colors of the Indian countryside left a strong impression on her. After a graduate degree in English Literature she went on to get a diploma in Fashion Design. In 1996 when she moved to San Francisco, California, with her family, she found everything different except her interaction with nature. In 2005, after a visit to the Louvre Museum in Paris, she realized her true passion for art. She enrolled in the local community college and started her formal art education. She completed her Graduate program at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, focusing on painting.
Combining her love of nature and passion for art, she paints large abstract paintings in vibrant colors. She has a unique process of mark making. Instead of conventional tools like brushes and palette knives, she moves the paint on wood panels using an air blower. She has participated in several juried group shows in the Bay Area and has won awards. She also has a public art mural in the city of Livermore, California. Her work is collected by several local art collectors. She won the 2016-17 Clyde & Co Art Award for Emerging Artists, San Francisco and her work was exhibited in the Clyde & Co Offices. She has had two recent solo shows, at Gallery 1317 Grant in San Francisco, CA and at Sun Gallery in Hayward, CA. Most recently she won the Best of Theme Award at the Pleasanton Art League Annual Show. She has been selected for a public art commission by the Alameda County Arts Commission. Two lamppost banners of her paintings are currently placed in the Inner Sunset, San Francisco, selected by the San Francisco Women Artists group.
Find her on Facebook and Instagram as UshaShuklaArt.
Her work can also be viewed at UshaShuklaArt.com.
I create abstract paintings that distill the light, the intense colors, and the constant movement in nature. The final visual is pure, ethereal, and cosmic with no physical references.
When I was a young girl, I enjoyed walks along the Indian countryside, taking in the beauties nature had to offer. Twenty years ago I moved to California, a place so much different from my native land. I felt out of place and disoriented. That is when I took sanctuary in nature. Today, when outdoors, I once more feel the same breath of fresh air that I felt in my childhood and my past and present become one. My paintings are the representation of a harmonious balance of my subconscious landscape and the physical world.
With a thought-out color palette and my unique process, I start on a journey of creation. When painting, I immerse myself into the process, get into a meditative trance, and let the painting guide me. It is always a balance of letting go and being in control. My head, heart, and hand become one and something pure and personal happens. Vapor-like shapes appear and disappear on the panel, leaving only traces of the initial layer, like the mere reverberation of a memory.