Meet the Artist Anokhi Lani

Anokhi Lani was born in Koblenz, Germany, in 1981, and her family moved to the US when she was eight. After graduating back in Germany, Anokhi volunteered for a year for The Red Cross and then worked as a paramedic for several years. She also studied social work in Germany and has worked as a teacher at an elementary school in Nepal.

The first time she came to Portugal was in 2012, looking to heal and recuperate: “I was on a spiritual journey, wanting to find peace inside my inner being, independent from the outside after the sudden loss of my partner. I saw how fast life changes and that nothing is fixed. Everything comes and goes.”

In 2013, Anokhi moved to the Alentejo region of Portugal with her daughter and took up painting, following a desire she had to be more creative. She didn’t know what form that creativity would take, but describes a moment when she prayed for inspiration: “My painting really started four years ago. I had the wish to express myself and I prayed that I would be led to try something I really enjoy. And a few days after this prayer, I just saw myself buying paint and canvases. That is how it started.”

I asked her if she could describe her art for me, and she explained how she tries to transmute and transform a range of human feelings into “expressions of unity and clarity”. She also admitted that she loves experimenting with colours, using mainly acrylics to create textured layers of paint, although sometimes she also adds oil paint and pigments. She mainly paints outdoors at home, where she has a beautiful view of nature all around to inspire her.

While life continues to be her biggest influence, she also knows that her own emotions and feelings play a big part in her paintings. “I just have an inner feeling to paint and I start. I don’t think about it. Most of the time, I ruin my clothes because I follow this inner feeling. The whole process of painting is very much “in the moment’ for me.”

Each piece for Anokhi is different and unique. It can take days or weeks to complete each one, depending on the subject. Interestingly, she seems to have an instinct for when to put down her brushes: “When I feel the painting is complete, it’s done.”

I ask if other artists inspire her. “I feel there are many great artists with each one having created beautiful pieces of art. But for me, this planet is the greatest artist. There is so much beauty and perfection. The sunrise, the sunset, flowers, water, all the colours, ice crystals… It is just so perfect that no human being can ever copy it.”

Anokhi does wish to inspire others, though. She sometimes goes into local schools to paint with the children: “I want to show them they are all unique and that everyone is an artist. I encourage them to turn off their critical mind and just express themselves and paint. They are amazing and it is beautiful to watch when they just paint and leave all judgements aside.”

Anokhi is planning to put her art on clothing in the future and is also hoping to produce bigger paintings. She enjoys completing commissions for clients and you can view her work on her website. She has also declared that she is happy to donate a painting for a good cause, explaining that her heart goes especially towards helping animals.

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