Paintings of Bali have experienced remarkable evolution. Traditionally another means of expressing religious and mythological ideas, paintings of Bali have been subjected to a number of influences, including deep interaction with Western painters who came and lived in Bali. As with any other artistic expression found in the island, these influences have been uniquely adapted into Bali's personality, creating new nuances and styles of paintings that are distinctly Balinese. Instead of religious or mythical characters of wayang, contemporary paintings present nature, daily lives of Balinese, or even tourists. The shades of coal gray that dominate traditional paintings are now accompanied by vibrant play of color capturing Jalak Bali or Gunung Agung in the morning sun.
The Raja of Ubud was known for his fondness of arts and paintings, and his openness to foreigners. Thus Ubud became the center of arts, welcoming into its heart renowned artists such as Bonnet, Spies, Blanco, Snel, et., many of whom came and never could leave Bali. Today's Ubud is only slightly different. You should not be surprised to run into a foreign writer who has spent months living in a homestay facing a rice field terrace while writing his next book. Fabulous museums of paintings such as the Puri Museum Lukisan, the Neka Museum, and the Rudana Museum have in their permanent collections some of the best paintings ever produced by Balinese or foreigners who found their physical and artistic home in Bali.