About the Artist
Suharshini “Suha” Seneviratne was born and raised in the tropical isle of Sri Lanka. While growing up, she experienced a colorful melting pot of religions and culture through many celebrations, festivals, and rituals. From a young age, she was captivated by what the women wore, from the vibrant sarees with their unique detailed designs to the intricate gold jewelry adorned with precious gems.
Suha migrated to the United States to pursue a degree in biology at the University of Maryland. Upon graduating, she married her college sweetheart and moved with him for his work to The Netherlands. This almost five-year period dramatically broadened her artistic horizons, as they travelled and explored many European and African nations. She immersed herself in the opportunities to visit numerous museums and admire the great masterworks as well as explore ancient cities and historic sites. Back in the United States, she devoted her time to raising her son and authoring her cookbook Exotic Tastes of
Sri Lanka which was published in 2003. She continued to travel as a family, exploring the unique beauty across this country, the Caribbean islands, and Mexico.
The most pivotal point of Suha’s artistic journey was in 2016 when on a whim she started taking colored pencil classes with the renowned award-winning artist Lisa Zadravec. Lisa continues to challenge and inspire her as an artist, teacher, and mentor. Suha has taken intensive portraiture workshops with colored pencil experts Lisa Zadravec, Jesse Lane, and Barbara Dahlstedt and oil painting classes with Glen Kessler at the Compass Atelier. She has most recently taken Teresa Oaxaca’s workshop on how to make oil paints from pigments.
To Suha, colored pencils is a versatile medium that is a perfect fit. In these wax-bound pigment sticks she finds magic, and in layering the pigments in light veils of colors there is tranquility. Key attributes of this medium are that it requires no drying time and have no toxicity to be wary of. Also, the pencils can be sharpened to a fine point ideal for detail work. Her “addiction” to her medium(s) is evident in her studio where an array of brands of colored pencils, papers, oil paints, brushes, canvases, etc. are at her hand. Her favorite brand for portraiture is the softer, waxier pencils like Prismacolor Premier pencils and for more detailed work the harder pencils such as Faber-Castell Polychromos and Caran D’ache Fancolor.
The uniqueness of faces and the depth of emotion that can be conveyed has always captivated Suha. Coupled with the expressive nature of hands, it is an unspoken language that transcends all barriers. To her portraiture is the perfect marriage of these elements. She incorporates intricate details in her work whenever possible and strives to convey a narrative visual experience that is open to viewer interpretation.
Suha has participated in group exhibitions and shows at the Yellow Barn, (Glen Echo Park Maryland) and the Women’s Club of Chevy Chase. She has won awards at the Women’s Club of Chevy Chase Annual Show and Sale in Drawing and Portrait categories (2019 and 2021) as well as a People’s Choice award at the Friends of the Yellow Barn Drawing and Water media show in 2020. Her art was showcased on the flyer to that show. She resides in Ashburn, Virginia with her husband and son.
Colored Pencil Society of America
Local Chapter DC 109, Colored Pencil Society of America
Loudoun Sketch Club
Friends of the Yellow Barn Studio
2022 Third place award in Drawing and Dry Media at the 78th Waterford Fine Art Exhibition, for 'Token'
2022 First place award in Drawing for 'Tis the Season', Women’s Club of Chevy Chase 46th Annual Art Show and Sale
2021Best in Drawing, 27th Friends of the Yellow Barn, Juried Annual Members' Show, for 'Girl in the Red Ribbon'
2021Best Loudoun County Artist, 77th Waterford Fine Art Exhibition, for 'Emergence'
2021Finalist, CPSA DC 109 To the Point Exhibition, 'My Sunshine' and 'Token'
2021Second place award in Portraiture for 'My Sunshine', Women’s Club of Chevy
Chase 45th Annual Art Show and Sale
2021 Second place award in Drawing for 'Girl with Braids -- Homage to Marshennikov', Women’s Club of Chevy Chase 45th Annual Art Show and Sale
2020 People’s Choice award for ‘Anticipation', Yellow Barn Drawing and Water media Show
2019 Second place award in Portraiture, for ‘Anticipation’, Women’s Club of Chevy Chase 44th Annual Art Show and Sale
CP Treasures VIII (2022)
I am humbled and honored to have my artwork chosen to be included in CP Treasures 8, a compilation of colored pencil masterworks from around the world. Inside, with each artwork you will find details of the artists' inspiration, art progression, and tips.