Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Artist of the month: Soni Budhia

In many group exhibitions held in Oman, there are a few artists whose work stands out for its beauty and serenity. And Soni Budhia’s work is one of them. She is a Muscat based artist whose work is largely influenced by traditions, culture and beauty of Oman. Most of her art work reflects her love for people of Oman and the scenic beauty of the country. Her work is detail intensive and evokes a joyful and serene feeling through a spectrum of colours, light and shadows. Her work was showcased in Athens by Zervas Art in collaboration with UNESCO in April 2017. She participated in several annual art exhibitions held in Oman and made her mark. Her work is one of my favorite because of her unique and distinct style.

Have a look at her beautiful paintings and let’s hear more about her journey as an artist.

How did your journey as an artist begin? Did you have any formal training or it is self-taught?

I was passionate about art since childhood and my father recognized this and he started my initial art training and enrolled me in sketching classes. That is when I started my journey as an artist. My enthusiasm could not continue long and I had to discontinue due to some personal reasons. However, the passion had ignited and I continued painting and sketching. My first teachers were Ms. Karuna and Ms. Sunaina. I am thankful to them for their guidance and encouragement.

After marriage, my priorities changed and I could not continue my passion. Inspired by the beauty of Oman I started again after a gap of 15 years!! I was skeptical if I could do anything but my better half acted as a catalyst and he persuaded me and helped me to move ahead. I started formal training and my paintings reached a different level altogether. I was blessed to have two great mentors Mrs. Rashmi Dauria and Mr. Sheffy Tattarath. I am thankful to them for shaping me as a professional artist.

Then I started my journey of exploring my style of painting and eventually I discovered it when I was awarded for the 2nd best painting award in 2016. I hope to improve every day and hone my creative skills.

A Brief intro about yourself.                                

Art has always been very close to my heart since childhood. When all my siblings would be busy watching television I would always be found in a corner of the house sitting silently in my world and trying to create something in my art book. Growing up I was not aware of any professional course in art and therefore I was persuaded to take up mainstream subjects. Art has always sourced happiness in me and has consistently been a part of my life. Art has given me confidence, recognition and a beautiful purpose in life.

How would you describe your art style?

I believe every artist starts his/her journey with realism to get a thorough idea of shapes, colors, and perspective and then eventually move towards impressionism and further evolvement of his or her style. I was no different and was also on the same track. I love to do more of impressionism and aspire to have some uniqueness in my artwork. I try to incorporate a piece of wood painted to gel, in my painting ideas so that it creates a story with the painting.

Do you commission different projects? And how can people purchase your paintings?

Yes, I have done many commissioned artworks which were loved and appreciated by my clients. I also have people buying my artworks at different group exhibitions and also a few in different galleries in Oman, India, and Dubai.

What is the most challenging aspect of your work?

Since I use a wood piece in my creative process I need to think a lot as to how to create a story with my ideas about the wood piece that I have chosen. I try to follow my instincts and then first visualize by putting my ideas on a piece of paper. Then I rethink whether it is creating the story which I want to convey or not.

What's your creative process like and what keeps you motivated?

I first think of a theme that I would like to convey through my painting. The theme is the first thing that I decide and this brings the rest in me to explore ideas around it. My motivation is my family specially my compassionate husband who keeps on encouraging me, and helps in managing my other priorities like handling the home and children. I take out time to paint every day and take baby steps towards achieving my goal.

What's your inspiration for your artwork?

I seek inspiration from nature and also from the different inspirational quotes I read and come across. I have a strong belief on the three P’s persistence, perseverance, and practice which help me to keep going and also inspire me in my difficult situations. I have a dedicated corner in my house which is work-ready all the time so that whenever I have time I can just sit and do something. I keep practicing and learning something new every day which keeps me motivated and inspired to work towards my goal of being an artist, who is remembered for the great work and contributions to art.

What is your favorite art piece that you have done to date?

It's difficult to decide which one is my favorite art piece as all are very close to my heart.

Any tips or words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?

I am inspired by the three Ps practice, persistence, and perseverance.

Practice my dear friends, as practice definitely comes into play, the more we can practice, the more we can progress. Your practice should be persistent.

“As long as we are persistent in the pursuit of our deepest destiny, we will continue to grow. We cannot choose the day or time when we will fully bloom. It happens in its own time.” -Denis Waitley

Thank you Soni Budhia for sharing your inspiring journey with me and my readers. And we look forward to seeing more of your work.

Stay tuned for more artist inspirations in the coming weeks!

Monday, October 14, 2019

Style your bookshelf

There is a lot more to a beautifully styled bookshelf than decorating it with just books. It is always good to add something to your bookshelf to express your creativity and make your bookshelf a focal point. It has to be functional and look cohesive as well. And to get that perfect look you will end up rearranging because it is like trying out a new recipe and you are testing it with your ingredients that suit your taste. The whole process is a trial and error but eventually you will end up with a perfectly styled bookshelf. In modern décor a book shelf is considered as the window to your stories and memories.

Picture via Décor fix

Here are some pointers that will help you to achieve that perfectly styled look

1.       What can you put on the bookshelves?

Different sizes of books that can be displayed vertically or horizontally to create a visual interest.

Small artwork or paintings can be used as a layer while styling the shelf.

Photo frames can be placed at eye level for a personal touch but avoid cluttering with too many frames.

Baskets are good to fill up spaces and useful for storage. And it is always good to place them at the bottom of the shelving unit for easier access.

Indoor plants are a great way to add for that pop of green.

Décor Accessories are another way to style up your bookshelf. It could be a treasured family heirloom and something that you collected on your travel.

2.       Size and Balance: When you start styling your bookshelf, start to fill with large items and balance it out with smaller things. This will help you get the basic layout and will help you avoid cluttering. 

3.       Pattern: If you want to add more colour and pattern, try wallpapering the back panel of your shelf. You can stick to a theme is you wish, for example tropical leaves or maybe neutrals.

4.       Lighting: you can use a small lighting fixture if you want to keep a painting or artwork.

5.       Step back and Edit: like any interior designer it is always good to step back and study your bookshelf. Check if you need to add more colour and if it’s too cluttered you can take away a few objects or books. You can also check for empty spaces to fill or balance out the display.

Image via Marika Meyer Interiors , notice the wallpaper at the back panel of the shelf. Isn't it beautiful?

Image via Pottery Barn
Image via Allium, a colour coordinated bookshelf

I hope the above pointers were useful and if ever try to style your bookself, please write to me at and share your work. I will be happy to share it with my readers!