Uma Sanghvi is an artist based in Austin, Texas.

She grew up in northern Virginia in a family that encouraged creativity. Childhood included lots of art classes, visits to Smithsonian museums in Washington D.C., Indian classical dance training, a decade of piano lessons and more.

Uma graduated with honors from Stanford University in 1999 as a Biology major and Studio Art minor. She went on to do a masters degree in photojournalism and spent the next 15 years with camera in hand, chasing the light and capturing “the decisive moment.” Uma is a Fulbright Scholar and part of a Pulitzer Prize finalist team.

A few years ago, Uma traded in her cameras for brushes & paint — her first and favorite medium. She loves nothing more than being in the studio, in the holy presence of flowers, listening to music and drinking a bottle of Topo Chico with a squeeze of fresh lime.


I work with acrylics. I love bold, celebratory color and loose, expressive brushstrokes. I use a timer to keep from overworking my paintings. Lately I've been painting with my left (non dominant) hand which also allows for looser paintings. The key for me is to be deeply present and intentional with each brushstroke — and then to “let it live”.

Painting is a spiritual practice for me. Like meditation or prayer or walking in the woods, for me creativity is about communion with Spirit. And the best spiritual practices take me beyond words — to a feeling state of joy, awe, beauty, power, connection, expansion and timelessness. And fun! That’s what painting feels like to me, on a good day.

Ultimately, the work is about my love affair with nature, and especially with flowers. Poet Theodore Roethke wrote “deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light." I paint from life because being in the presence of that light is no small blessing. It's a good day in the studio when I sense that maybe... just maybe... the light has made its way into the painting, too.

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