MY ART STORY by

Anannya Chowdhury

Allen
Texas

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Washerwoman in classic Indian style

The Indian Fisher Woman, acrylic on canvas. Photo by Larry Maupin

I'm originally from the eastern part of India from a place called Calcutta. I’m a Bengali and Bengalis are the natives from Calcutta. The majority of the time, I was raised in Mumbai, the most modern, cosmopolitan city in the country, just like New York of America. I completed my undergraduate degree in Clinical Psychology from the Maharaja Sayajiro University and soon after I taught painting and craft work to autistic children. I’m a self-taught artist and I simply just enjoyed creating art. When I was in the third grade, I knitted a baby sweater by myself for my neighbor’s five month old baby girl. I made a miniature clay kitchen that included all small kitchenware with mud and glue. It was so much fun because I made a lot of clay kitchenware for other kids in my neighborhood and we played with the sets.

I was brought up in an environment where a girl of the family must know how to sing, dance, act, cook and should have long hair. So family expectations were that I must be married by a certain age In India, when a girl is just starting to complete her undergraduate and has reached marriageable age between 18 to 25 years, I was expected to get married and go to my husband’s home. That was the Indian tradition back then, but of course things have changed a lot now in modern times. I got married as tradition dictates in an arranged marriage and moved to the United States in 2001, where I was expected to start a new happy life. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as I expected and I stopped creating art for twelve long years due to my unhappiness and trouble in my marriage and consequently divorce. I believe in never giving up and I managed to get strength and stayed in America and started a new life.

I believe in never giving up and I decided to stay in America and my dream was to have a new beginning. I'm now a full time professional artist and I’m very happy, very proud of my accomplishments. My work is admired by many galleries here in Texas and my work is beginning to be recognized and receive awards. I always had the admiration from my parents and my brother who has been a huge support. My dream is to be able to serve as an example especially to more women, after every misfortune there is hope to start a new life and follow your dreams and passion. I’m finally starting to paint again after twelve years and have been successful so far. My future dream is to open my own gallery and studio where I can sell my paintings and craftwork, and to promote culture and diversity. I promote colors to make people happy. I believe happy colors, brings happy thoughts.

I draw inspiration from my mother. I always want her to smile and every time I exhibit or win an award, she is simply smiling. That's what makes me very happy to keep going. I also feel I want to set an example that life is all about following your passion, about standing up and never giving up.
I like simplicity in life and so I'm honest, it makes things simple in life. I believe that everything is possible only by the art of positive thoughts. I love enjoying little pleasures in life from a cup of Indian tea (chai) in the morning to taking a walk in the evening. I know I’m on the right path to succeed. I love life and everything about my life.

My artwork is very colorful, vibrant and very detailed. I don’t use pens or markers. I work on modern designs with traditional detail that employs an array of colors, patterns and a unique different style all together. I call it Artmantras and so I named my website Artmantras.com. The word mantra has two parts: man - which is the root of the Sanskrit word for mind, tra - the root of the word for instrument. Artmantra is therefore an instrument of the mind which can serve to enter a deep state of creativity and rejuvenation.

Peacock

A Rainbow Peacock On A Rainy Day, acrylic on canvas. Photo by Larry Maupin