Artist Statement

My work is both an act of devotion to land and life, and an effort to awaken our sense of connectedness to it.


As a child growing up in the East Bay Area, I witnessed the repeated transformation of wild open spaces around me into parking lots and housing developments, with no public recognition of the habitat lost—both for native creatures of the area and for the wild and unruly parts of ourselves that are nurtured by these spaces.


My calling is to document these places before they are lost to consumption; to take note of their value and give voice to their presence. In so doing, I hope to advocate for their protection.


My exaltation for Nature takes shape in my pieces through pulsating color and sensuous line quality. 

I feel that electric vibrancy exists just beneath what the eye sees, and suggests the dramatic and vulnerable wilderness within. The act of connecting to the essence of a place before creating a portrait of it is an important part of my process. I relish arduous hikes into the hills with my equipment and prefer painting on-site to painting from a photo reference for the effect this has on me as a medium for the land.


"Shivani Rajan’s art is bold and sensuous with a shamanic edge. Not only a mystical glimpse into the inner life of her subjects, each of her works opens into a deeply felt engagement with the natural world that surround us,  it is as if this artist sees each leaf, or tree, or stone from within. From the secret heart of each entity, Rajan’s work radiates with deep communion and empathy. Circumstances of sun or wind are as much felt as seen.  Her paintings, prints, drawings and photographs all speak from this inner knowing in which such things as erosion and growth, sunshine, wind, darkness and cold are deeply felt, and are indistinguishable from epiphany and emotion. Vibrant and strong, her work seeks after insistent rhythms and singing color. Rich, persuasive, and openly expressive, Rajan’s ultimately optimistic art celebrates all of life and creation."

 — Charles Miller,  2007




2006      Bachelors of Art, UC Santa Cruz

2013-16  Workshops, California College of Art,

                San Francisco, CA


Main Street Gallery, Martinez, CA


The Hive Gallery, Oakland, CA


Moraga Barn Gallery, Moraga, CA

Moraga Barn Gallery, Moraga, CA

Davenport Gallery, Davenport, CA 

Studio Quercus, Oakland, CA

Davenport Gallery, Davenport CA


Big Sur Spirit Garden, Big Sur, CA

Artisans of the Southwest Gallery, Pagosa Springs, CO


Cayuga Vault Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA


Cayuga Vault Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA

Baskin Visual Arts Complex, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA

Arts Division Conference Gallery, UCSC, Santa Cruz, CA