Skip to content


2014 November 19

Learn more about Featured Artist painter Roopa Dudley!PIE PLEASE,
hold the humble

The upcoming holidays are supposed to be about giving thanks for the people & privilege in your life.  But I have found over the years that many artists equate it with rejection, and women equate it with guilt and fat shaming, gallery directors equate it with budget anxiety.  I equate it with special foods, reflections of how AAAD has grown, wonder at how large my child (& my food budget) has grown.  Instead of dwelling on humble pie this year.  Let all resolved to just do us.  Lets resolve to quit chasing approval and just do us.

This month’s artist faced her own devastating rejection and still found a way to build a life and a love for painting despite that reject.  Now, she just does what she does.  In the end, her audience found HER.

Learn more about Featured Artist painter Roopa Dudley! is proud to claim Roopa Dudley as this month’s Featured Artist.  This work spotlights whimsy and clever visual turn-of-phrase. These images are, in the artist’s own words, Epicurean.  And, we would call that simply perfect timing


Roopa Dudley


Roopa Dudley moved to the U.S. in 1988.  She studied Commercial Art for two years.  In 1999, she graduated from Florida International University with a BA in Humanities and a minor in Art History and Psychology. She wanted to pursue her Master’s in Fine Arts as a Studio Artist but was not accepted in the MFA program–a devastating blow.

Help Mate by Featured Artist Roopa Dudley!She moved to Maryland in 2000 after she accepted a job in NSA as a Urdu Translator where she received not one but two cracked-iced awards for excellence in Urdu – a highly coveted award bestowed only to the few, the brilliant, the World Class Linguists.

In February 2012, Dudley was laid off. Heartbroken, she took it as a calling to go back and pursue her passion in painting. She first switched from Oils to Acrylics and started painting in saturated colors.  Secondly, she added a purpose behind her paintings – a story that a viewer could see, feel and understand–dark humor that would appeal aesthetically as well as intellectually.

Since joining the Maryland Federation of Art her paintings have been exhibited in several Art Galleries all over Maryland have appeared in newspapers and art publications both locally & nationally.

Are you self-taught or formally instructed?   “I have a BA in Humanities, Psychology and Art History. I took Advanced Painting at FIU which was my first and last painting course I ever took in college setting.  I wanted to get into MFA program in Studio Painting but I got rejected–a huge disappointment.”

House Mate and Team Mate by Featured Artist painter Roopa Dudley!Talk to me about your process. Are your paintings meticulously planned or are they more spontaneous? “I am meticulous when it comes to creating just about anything with my hands. My paintings are deliberate and…

Work Mate by Featured Artist Roopa Dudley!There is no room
for ‘happy accidents’. 


The idea comes to me fully rendered and it is a painful process for me as it requires time and perseverance to get each painting finished exactly the way I envisioned it. On the positive side I know what I want to achieve each time and then I go after it will full force without getting sidetracked or distracted.”

Why does your work focus on chess? Why not faces, animals or even architectural elements. I know you have a love of playing chess but why make ALL your recent work chess-based?

“Most artists I know like to paint faces, figurative work, landscapes, floral, still life and abstract. I used to enjoy doing portraits and figurative work too.  Then one day in summer of 2011 I woke up and created my first Chess themed painting and loved it. It was different and delightful to look at. Turned out that I was not the only one who loved it. It was immediately bought by a collector. I soon realized that Chess is not one of those subjects that most artists use regularly in their paintings so I claimed it as my own.

Chess Nut Tree  by Featured Artist painter Roopa Dudley!“I used to play chess growing up and have been obsessed with the game for years.”


“I never got good enough to win a championships. I grew up thinking that I wasted a lot of time playing chess the way most teenagers play video games these days. Well, it turns out that what I believed to be a waste of time was actually turned out quite useful as it helped me formulating concepts which I regularly implement now in my art. The only time I don’t use Chess in my art is when I take on commissions. It makes me feel as if I am missing something vital when I do that and therefore I am not keen on taking commissions.”

Most artists have something to say, and you explain that your work tells a story. Tell me the story or stories behind the “mate” series — work mate, team mate, house mate…

Roxane's Room by Featured Artist painter Roopa Dudley!“My paintings are visual satires.  Before I decided to become a painter, I worked as an Urdu language translator for the NSA;  I loved that job as much as I love to paint.  I have deep appreciation for English language and have a passion for the vocabulary, the poetry & literature. I am seduced by the extensive vocabulary that defines everything real or imagined precisely by simply adding, subtracting and shifting letters left and right. I find this process delightful and amusing. So I took a Chess themed suffix ‘mate’ (as in check mate) and exploited it by contemplating all kinds of compositions visually.  I made visual commentaries for the chosen ‘mate’.  The series is far from over –I still have to create images for ‘Stale-Mate’ and ‘Consummate’. So stay tuned!”

The world is your Oyster by Featured Artist painter Roopa Dudley!What style or school of art do you think work fits into?  “My work is Surrealist, Conceptual, Art Deco, Representational as well as Geometric.  It is the opposite of Minimalistic. I a new term for this type of work– ‘Epicurean’, Art that Delights.  I find it in a way symbolic of America as it is considered a melting pot. I find Americans IMHO to be very attractive because they have so many races and cultures all blended in them like a potent protein rich smoothie.  That is my art –delicious to look at, it nourishes your mind & soul. More than what meets the eye.”

Is there any artist, living or dead, that has most influenced your work?  “I am heavily influenced by Rene Magritte, M.C Escher, Tamara De Lempicka, Frida Kahlo, Paul Gauguin and Salvador Dali.”  Ah, now that you have mention it, I can easily see the Kahlo, Ganguin & Escher.

Chess Knight Martini by Featured Artist painter Roopa Dudley!What if your favorite food? After all, it IS a food-themed blog? “I love Thai & Italian food. I regularly cook South Asian dishes for my husband that he likes. I enjoy drinking buckets full of coffee and have a sweet tooth for Toffee.” I have a fantastic Thai port meatball recipe that you’ll love!

How about snack foods? “I like to snack on fresh fruits. Sour Raspberries, Honey Crisp Apples, Sour Oranges, Sweet Blackberries, Bananas, Juicy Pineapples and Sour Kiwi are my favorite fruits.  Raw Broccoli, Celery Sticks with Crispy Hot Spicy Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese is my guilty pleasure.” Fruits & veggies as snack food?  You really are making me look like a glutton now, ha.

What’s coming up next for you?  “The sky is not the limit for me. I am working on my Cosmos series. I want to reach for the stars and beyond. I have a lot of ideas sketched out that are waiting to become paintings.”

Thank you, Roopa, for rebounding from rejection.
We would have really missed your contribution.

Learn more about Featured Artist painter Roopa Dudley!

If you’re interested in becoming a Featured Artist,
Click to Learn How!

20 Responses
  1. November 20, 2014

    Thank you so much for having me here and sharing what I do. I am getting so many responses and it is a humbling experience. You all are awesome! Happy Thanksgiving Day & Happy Holidays.

  2. Andrea permalink
    November 20, 2014


    I love your use of bright colors and unique imagery. I look forward to seeing your next masterpiece!

  3. November 21, 2014

    Sure thing Andrea. I will be bringing you ‘Cosmos’ — an experience that will take you away from this world (without leaving your body or setting foot outside of your comfy home). Working hard to finish a couple of paintings before I can get them photographed. I should be posting them after December 7th on my facebook page as well as on my website. Thank you for leaving me such a lovely comment and appreciating my art.

  4. Susan permalink
    November 21, 2014

    My Dearest Roopita,
    I had not yet seen you “painting in red” before now. I think it’s my favorite. <3

  5. November 21, 2014

    Greetings Susan! The Painting in Red is called “Roxanne’s Room” after that song by the ‘Police’ back in the 80’s. Then I saw the ‘Tango de Roxanne’ which was taken from Moulin Rouge also made after the original song. So I was inspired to say the least and had to paint it. Thank you for noticing and taking the time to comment. I deeply appreciate it. Pinging love back to you.

  6. Julie Selva permalink
    November 24, 2014

    Roopa Dudley’s work is definitely a fresh breath of air. I grew up around painters, and I was always exposed to a lot of art. I have a great appreciation for the arts. I love Roopa’s unique theme of the chess pieces. I love that she has used it as her signature style. Her art demonstrates her technique, theme, and also powerful messages. She is indeed an artist!

  7. Teodora permalink
    November 24, 2014

    I love Roopa Dudley’s work; it is coherent, intelligent and aesthetically pleasing at the same time. She is definitely an artist to look up for.

  8. November 24, 2014

    So very nice of you to appreciate my work that way Julie! Thank you very much for your kind words and comments.

  9. November 24, 2014

    Thank you so much Teodora! I deeply appreciate your artistic creations as well. It gives me great pleasure to see your beautiful hand painted jewelry and tea boxes and paintings. It means a lot to me to hear this coming out of another artist.

  10. Mladen permalink
    November 26, 2014

    Roopa is a great artist with unique style that I haven’t seen yet. Interesting ideas, bright colors, nice atmosphere – splendid paintings ! Love your art, Roopa !

  11. November 26, 2014

    Pinging back love to you Mladen – My favorite Graphic Artist!

  12. Mark Glicksman permalink
    November 27, 2014

    Your work is FOD

    Your colors are vibrant and work is refreshing

    Wish you great success

  13. November 27, 2014

    Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. You are awesome.

  14. Leticia Triana permalink
    November 27, 2014

    Such an inspiration! Have known Roopa for years and her work has always amazed me. And I would like to add that she has an impecable taste for music!!

  15. FAIRY. RIZVI permalink
    November 27, 2014

    Roopa is a born God gifted talented artist. her art work is very hard for me to understand, but I love her paintings just for the vibrant color she uses. Her paintings brings joy to the viever.

  16. November 27, 2014

    Letty and Fairy (my ‘Fairy Godmother’) so nice of you both to stop by and leave such lovely comments. Yes sometimes my work can be a bit difficult to understand and on my website I am working to post a little bit of info about each of my pieces (right next to the image). It should all be done by the end of next year (I have a lot of paintings posted) so more people can understand it. Letty I cannot wait to see you soon. Thank you so much my friend. I am blessed to have a friend like you. oxoxo

  17. Greta Redzko permalink
    December 1, 2014

    I love your color palette.. your use of bold colors… Your paintings are always fun!

  18. December 1, 2014

    Thank you so much Greta!

  19. Umama Nasir permalink
    December 8, 2014

    Your art work is really unique . it’s really impressive !

  20. December 8, 2014

    Aww…thank you so much Umama Nasir for your lovely comment! I guess when one uses their imagination more than reality, the artwork becomes unique.

Comments are closed.