PaolaI was born in 1963. Since 1988, I have studied and practiced meditation and yoga under the guidance of various masters in Buddhist, Bonpo and Hindu traditions, the main one being Chögyal Namkhai Norbu. I am also a regular practitioner and teacher of traditional and therapeutic Hatha Yoga.

My artistic studies began at the art college and then at the Turin Academy of Fine Arts, where I became interested in the history of traditional ancient painting techniques. Going against the Academy's syllabus, in 1990 I was able to take a design theory exam on a Green Tara thangka painted by Gega Lama, who later became my most important teacher of Buddhist iconographic theme drawing. In 1991, I did my thesis on the anatomy of the deities of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, a subject that no one has done before at the Turin Academy of Fine Arts.

In 1995 I traveled to Nepal in order to get the basic drawing instruction from Gega Lama - the author of the book “Principles of Tibetan Art” who at that time was the head of the Karma Gadri painting school. I also received instruction from Drugu Choegal Rinpoche and from Shedrub - a nagpa painter from Kalinpong in India. Moreover, I was greatly influenced by the time I spent in workshops of Tibetan and Newari artists in Nepal and India, and by exchanging with Western painters of Christian icons and other artists.

Paola Minelli with

As I am involved in various activities in the creative field, by choice and consistency I only produce a few artworks connected with spiritual practice under inspiration, but valuable ones, sometimes to order.  Among the works related to the path of liberation, I participated in the painting of the Gompa of Merigar West and occasionally held thangka painting courses and lectures.

Other artistic activities that fill my life include murals painting, restoration, graphic design, numerous illustrations mainly for children's books, Dharma books and for radical ecologism that seeks emancipation from the medicalising, scientist and industrialized world. I have also written numerous articles and a book, and created audio materials, radio broadcasts and podcasts that are 'sound pictures' where I deal with information and topics dear to me in a decidedly creative manner, breaking away from purely verbal communication, becoming sound collages charged with affective and emotional meanings, and dealing with awareness about issues in the world around us.

Generally people look at Dharma art in order to know how to visualize, and the function of Dharma paintings is just that. The opposite happened to me: from my first experiences with Tantric visualizations I discovered in them a wonderful inspiration for painting. I hope that the Dharma images I create will fulfill their function, which is to help people on the path of Liberation.

Technically speaking, I use many methods and materials: from the most modern, to ancient, Tibetan and even Western techniques; from digital painting to prepackaged colors; and above all I love using materials and colors from minerals, plants and animal extraction that I often make by myself. Each of my projects is different, I love experimenting and I am constantly researching, and generally the technique I choose from time to time depends on the use, from the budget and preference of eventual client, or where the image is to be used. I really love mixed techniques.