Priya Rama Transforming pain into beauty

Migraine Artist



Great things are done by a series of small things brought together

` Vincent van Gogh

Migraine Art: Narratives of Pain


I paint my migraines!

My art, like my life, revolves around my chronic migraines. I have suffered for as long as I can remember, with the last two years being particularly debilitating. Everything I do follows the ebb, flow and crest of wellness. When a migraine comes on, images emerge in my mind's eye. These colors and shapes undulate and dance slowly, sometimes receding, sometimes advancing. I have no  control over these images: they simply appear! Some days, I simply have to submit to the ferocity of pain, and go lie in a darkened room, eyes tightly shut. When I catch a break amidst the pain, I can recall the imagery, and these find their way onto my canvas.


Painting the migraine images has proven to be cathartic and calming. I call the process 'a meditative conversation': it's the oneness of my mind and body, of inviting something in while letting go of something else. This lets me move forward, accept what is, and not ponder over what ifs. One of the most interesting things that has happened since I've started painting these images is that they've become more vivid and vibrant! Where will all this go from here? I have no idea!


In addition to creating art, I love to travel, cook, read, and listen to music. Lately, I have started practicing yoga, pranayama, and meditation, in the hope of finding relief from my migraines.


It’s easy to walk a path and leave no footprints at all, but a determined soul digs deep, digs in, and leaves behind a little something.

And so, it is with me. I transform pain into beauty.




Migraine Visions: Transforming Pain into Beauty, Pocamug Press, December 2017: Available on






Migraine inspired paintings by Priya Rama

Priya Rama: Artist Feature




2012-14     Doctoral Studies, ABD, Arts Administration, Education and Policy, The Ohio State University

2012          MA Visual Arts Education, University of Cincinnati

1998          BFA Communication Arts and Design, Virginia Commonwealth University







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