Gurgaon-based Anu Ganju’s case is a classic example of finding one’s true calling serendipitously. After graduating with a gold medal from the Chandigarh College of Architecture in 1971, Anu went to Switzerland, where she worked as an architect for six months.
But she soon gave in to her love to paint, and found herself devoted completely to the world of brushes, paints and canvasses.
The 63-year-old is in city to hold her second solo exhibition, where 35 of her paintings are on display. At IFM’s Art Portfolio in Sector 9, Chandigarh, she says, “I have been painting since I was in college and have held several solo art exhibitions too. Though I am an architect and a small-scale interior designer, painting remains my hobby and first love.”
Working in mix media (acrylic, oil on canvas, water colours, graphite pencil drawings), Anu’s works are inspired by nature. “I learn about the new techniques and tools of painting, such as rollers and palette knife, when I visit stationery shops. I experiment using these,” she says.
Anu says there is no theme that she focusses on, beginning with a variety of subjects that eventually develop into paintings. “My work isn’t realistic, its more expressionistic. I play with ample blues and other colours that represent harmony,” she smiles.
Anu’s first exhibition was held in Mumbai in 1979, after which it became a regular feature. She is credited with being commissioned by Vivanta by Taj – President, at Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, to make 17 pieces of art for their Indian restaurant.
“I have sold paintings to many art collectors in India and abroad, in countries such as Switzerland, Germany, Philippines, UK, USA, Canada and Finland,” she informs. Anu has also participated in various group exhibitions, including those organised by INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) and Art Mart III, the last having been held at Southfields Art Gallery in London.
Says the self-taught artist, who also plays the piano and speaks German fluently, “I wish I had taken up a professional course or studied at a fine arts college. But since that never happened, I just paint from the heart.” Anu’s works are also on sale, priced between R7,000 and R58,000. The exhibition is on till February 8.