J.M.S. Mani has a diploma in Drawing and Painting from the Ken School of Art, Bangalore. He won the Karnataka Lalit Kala Akademi Award from 1981 to 1983. He has held several shows across India and internationally. He has participated in over a hundred group shows, such as the SAARC Exhibition at the Chitra Kala Parishath, Bangalore and the Bharat Bhavan International Biennale of Prints in 1989. He currently lives and works in Bangalore. The simple, rustic folk of the Deccan Plateau in South India, with strong Dravidian features, are the subjects of J.M.S. Mani's paintings. His art is an amalgamation of Indian culture with Western formalism. His figures are modeled in three-dimensional form, with bold brushwork, similar in style to those of the impressionists.
Mani is known and easily recognised for his sense of colour and strong,
fluid strokes. He paints figurative works portraying the local Badami people
in vibrant colours, landscapes in water colours, and charcoal drawings
as well as abstract works in oils and acrylics on canvas.