Shakuntala Kulkarni was born in Dharwad, Karnataka. She graduated in Painting from Sir JJ School of Arts in 1972. The following year, she post-graduated in murals, again from Sir J.J. School of Art. From there on, she went on to study murals and graphics at the M S University, Baroda and then Santiniketan, under famous painter Somnath Hore.
Kulkarni held her first exhibition, a group show, in 1972, while her first solo exhibition, a collection of abstracts, was held in 1978. She has participated in several exhibitions held by the Lalit Kala Akademi, Bharat Bhavan, Birla Academy and International Women`s Forum in New Delhi.
Shakuntla Kulkarni lives and works in Mumbai.