Shari Arai DeBoer


photo: Cris Matos
Shari is a visual artist working in printmaking, watercolor and book arts. During her previous career as an architect, she began watercolor painting and eventually made the transition from architecture to art. Shari is a third generation Japanese American, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to make her home here. She gives private instruction in watercolor and devotes much of her time to nonprofit art projects. 

Her paintings and etchings are housed in the Alameda County Art Collection and Library of Congress Fine Print Collection and featured as cover art for the magazine, Edible Eastbay. She has illustrated science concepts for Science Tarot and created the artwork for a limited edition book to accompany an original music composition inspired by the historical kabuki play, Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees.

Artist Statement

In my artwork I create small views of a quiet world. I seek beauty in everyday objects and nature and use these to evoke visual stories. While much of my artwork reflects the influence of Asian art, my subject matter is rooted in my experience of growing up in northern California and my Japanese American heritage.

I began my art practice with watercolor painting and studying sumi-e, Japanese brush painting. Later I became engrossed in various printmaking techniques and currently am combining the media by adding watercolor and pencil to my etchings and monotypes. While I enjoy the obsessive study and drawing of detailed minutia I also incorporate broader, abstract expressions of color and mood. 

My artwork often starts with a small idea or an object that represents something important to me. I approach my art practice with the notion that within everyone there is an abundance of wonder and growth waiting to be discovered and embraced. I find it gratifying when viewers find their own story and connection to my art and make it their own. My intention is that what begins as my own peculiar notion grows into a larger story shared by others.


Shari Arai DeBoer
shariadeboer (at)

PO Box 21355
El Sobrante, CA 94820
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