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Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Shyamala Venkatesh did her schooling in Lusaka, Zambia, graduated from Stella Maris College, Chennai and has traveled widely with her husband who is a Marine Engineer. Though never formally trained in art, she has inherited some of the artistic genes from her mother and brother who are skilled in fabric painting and charcoal respectively. She always had a penchant for art and it developed into a passionate hobby over the past few years whilst in Dubai. With encouragement from family and friends, Shyamala had her first solo exhibition of 30 paintings in Bangalore in 2003. When she realized that she could elicit appreciation for her works, she recognized her calling and started experimenting with oils in greater detail. Learning from the internet, attending exhibitions and painting for others (according to their home interior requirements), she developed basic techniques and started improving and improvising. Her paintings range from landscapes, seascapes, flowers, horses, Indian village scenes, Feng Shui/Vaastu related works and the quintessential figures of Buddha and Ganesha. Of late, she has started dabbling in portraits and finds nothing more gratifying than capturing faces and their expressions. She loves the splash of vibrant earth colours in depicting the play of shadows, the gentle sun rays, the flow of garments, a horse’s mane, and believes that a painting should not only brighten up a room, but also a person’s soul. During the past few years in Dubai, Shyamala has participated in a few exhibitions: at the World Trade Centre during the Dubai Shopping Festival (2004), at Times Square Mall and Dubai Festival City (as part of ARTE), at the Dubai Ladies Club, Jumeirah and a few at private residences and at home. According to her, every painting that she does not only opens her mind to a new technique but also gives her a purpose and peace of mind. Claiming to sport an “L” board, she believes that she still has “miles to go and promises to keep” in exploring colour in more detail.