Aruna Rao

"I am a representational landscape painter and primarily work with oils. Capturing light is the very essence and inspiration of my paintings. Ever since I can remember, I have always felt a strong connection to nature, the outdoors, and to beauty of light and color.

As a landscape and plein air painter, I am most drawn to the elusive quality of light as it transforms the landscape and its elements into something ‘magical’. Though it could be the beauty of a place that attracts me, it is ultimately the quality of light and color, the mood of a scene, my imagined narratives surrounding it, and moments of ‘being’ in a time and a place that I remember the most and strive to express in my paintings.

My ultimate goal is to capture the essence and impression of something through paint, hence my interest in pursuing the contemporary impressionistic style of painting.

Though I love all kinds of landscapes, I find myself gravitating towards rural landscapes which tend to have an underlying human presence and narrative to them.

I am pursuing my MFA (Painting) and will be graduating in 2018. I am currently working on my thesis with focus on capturing the beauty of light in the Michigan landscape. I live in the Detroit suburbs with my husband and my three adorable cats."


View from the Top - Oil


Road to the Farmhouse - Oil


Lone Cow - Oil


Fields of Gold - Oil

starved rock

Last Light - Oil


Summer Blossoms - Oil