Reinventing Myself as an Artist at Sixty-Six
After focusing on my writing for most of my life, I decided to return to my painting. My solo show of digital art 'Past Forward: Anita Saran', celebrating my iconic Wild Child days was held at No. 1 Shanthi Road Studio and Gallery in 2021.
In 2022, I held another solo show, ‘Mostly Me’ at Chitrakala Parishad, Bangalore, showcasing my paintings. I continue to paint driven by some invisible Muse. While I love creating stunning art with AI tools, I also love to paint on canvas and paper.
I also have stories to share. A collection of short stories, a first novel published by two American publishers, and memoirs. As a copywriter I was inspired by Hampi and wrote 'City of Victory', a story about a reluctant gypsy in the court of the king Krishna Deva Raya in 16th century Vijayanagar. It was first published in the Deccan Herald under the title -,'Mystery', then in my collection of short stories and finally made it to BBC Radio 4 as 'City of Victory'. I look forward to sharing the novella version of this story with you.
I live in a house filled with my art, surrounded by the love of my 12 rescued dogs. My art aims to empower women, evoke spirituality, and celebrate beauty.
Born in 1956, I am a painter, writer, and celebrated model with several published works to my credit including the short story ‘City of Victory’ narrated on BBC Radio 4. I have been widely written about in magazines and newspapers such as Karnataka dailies like Times of India and The Hindu and magazines like Femina, Society and Savvy.
I won all the painting competitions in school and also bagged second place in the national Shankar’s Painting Competition for Children. As an adult, I was awarded the second prize in a nation-wide competition held by the Nehru Children’s Book Trust for my science fiction novella, ‘Aditya, the Underwater Boy’ and the prestigious David Ogilvy Award for excellence in Direct Response writing.
In my twenties and thirties, I was touted as ‘The Wild Child of Bangalore,’ and captured the eye of Shobha De who placed me on the cover of her magazine – ‘Celebrity’ in 1987. My ‘eclectic wardrobe’ according to Celebrity magazine is inspired by the Folies Bergere and Vogue.
A self-taught artist, I began to shift my focus from writing award winning copy and fiction to painting ten years ago. Inspired by the female form and Nature, I held my first solo show - ‘The Naked Muse’ at Java City Studios, Bangalore in 1999. Van Gogh, Dali, Kandinsky, Klimt and Rousseau have influenced my work.
My second solo show, ‘Past Forward: Anita Saran’ was held at No.1 Shanti Road, Studio and Gallery in March 2021 and featured my digital art inspired by my days as a fashionista and 'Bangalore's First Claim to Punkdom' as described by 'Celebrity' magazine which had me on its cover.
‘Mostly Me’ held at the prestigious Chitrakala Parishad in June 2022 was a celebration of my Wild Child days, my spiritual leanings and love of Nature. Renowned Image Consultant Prasad Bidapa and fashion designer extraordinaire Suneet Varma were just two of the creative minds who visited the gallery. Women found the feminism in my art empowering.
The goal of my expressionistic art is to spread a sense of spiritual serenity, harmony, and optimism and remind the world of the beauty around us. The photo on the left below was bringing in 2023 at a friend’s farm (I'm going to paint this one ). The photo on the right with Suresh Jayaram who owns No.1 Shanthi Road Gallery and Studio, Bangalore, was shot at my solo show of digital art, 'Past Forward: Anita Saran' .
Awards & Recognition
The Children's Book Trust Award for the Science Fiction Novella, 'Aditya, the Underwater Boy' 1991
The David Ogilvy Award for Excellence in Direct Response Writing, 1993