Meena Subramaniam

Artist and traveller with base in India's Western Ghats mountain range
Welcome to Meena Subramaniam’s art website

I am a self-taught professional artist who lives near Thekkady in Kerala. My art focuses almost entirely on the natural world that surrounds us. The compositions are a blend of my own exaggerated fantasies of the landscapes I have experienced, with real subjects from in and around a particular locale. These include birds, mammals, butterflies, rare balsams, orchids and ferns. I draw attention to these particular landscapes inviting the viewer’s empathy and awe. I often attempt trompe l'oil, especially with larger canvasses. The medium is mostly acrylic on canvas as it facilitates the kind of texture I apply on my canvasses.

The acrylic technique involves application of several layers of very thin wet on wet acrylic washes in rapid large and small brush strokes, extensive texturing and distinct use of light and highlights. My colours are restricted to a mixed palette, limited to one set of primaries, except for the subjects. I borrow heavily from digital images for accuracy of species. I concern myself with shaping a world, both fantastical and mystical to evoke a sense of wonderment for the viewer.

I sometimes exhibit my paintings, but prefer to showcase and sell my work online. In addition to creating paintings, I have provided illustrations for books, for’s 2005 calendar, and for a few tourist resorts that needed renderings of birds, spices and butterflies. I work with acrylics on canvas, water colour, and pen and ink.

When I have time, you can find me trekking in the remotest parts of India and Nepal to study and experience the last remaining wildernesses. I am particularly interested in exotic plants, for instance butterfly host plants, colourful foliage and orchids. Luckily, the Thekkady area of Kerala, where I have lived since 2001, can satisfy my interest in wildlife conservation and bird watching.