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THE ARTIST

“I can't live where I want to, I can't go where I want to go, I can't do what I want to, I can't even say what I want to. I decided to at least paint as I wanted to.” - Georgia O'Keefe





artist photo




My Story
    

I had a dream in college to become a Psychologist to help married couples as a Marriage Counselor. My strong desire drove that passion to get a master’s degree in psychology and subsequently enroll in to a PhD program. My ambition to do extensive PhD research led me to travel to US and during that visit I met my husband.

2 years later: It felt like a sore throat, so when it did not go away, I went to a general physician that treated me for strep throat, then referred me to another doctor, then another and treated for different medical conditions, as the symptoms were general and misleading. I went to 10 doctors before one internist diagnosed it, then sent me to the specialist and started the treatment for the correct condition . . . but too late to put under control. The condition spread throughout my body, I could not eat, I lost a lot of weight and it got scary for my family to see me look like a skeleton. Another specialist treated it aggressively, as a result the conditions in my body suffered with massive weight gain, painful joints, hair-loss, and immense water retention. That aggressive treatment was no good for the body. 
I lived. I underwent heavy duty therapies with the hope for improvement. Treatment is meant to suppress symptoms with the expectation of putting my condition into remission. These heavy duty toxic medications have taken a toll on my body, causing more health issues which require yet more medications. It's a never-ending cycle. There was a time when I could not sit up, stand up or walk. Whenever someone asked me how I was doing, my response stayed the same ‘I am good!’ because I did not want to talk about it and give focus to the disease.
We were in Michigan at the time and I used to drag myself to the gym, snow or rain or shine all focused to strengthen my body telling myself that I won’t be a cripple confined in bed. I am incredibly grateful to my brother who pushed me beyond my limits and my ex-husband for supporting me and helping me all the way through. The power that came through my art transformed me tremendously. It gave me positive outlook on life. And I see the results in my health and this has made me a strong advocate of the arts and its connection to healing. Art has opened a whole new world to me that I never saw before my illness.

10 years later: My husband at the time had to undertake an assignment that took us to India for 2 years.  I did not know what to do while he was away at work every day. Having an interior decoration my passion, I spent a lot of time visiting home design stores and the artwork always grabbed my attention, as I've always been fascinated by art. It prompted me to take an oil painting and mixed media art class. A one-month class extended to a year and a half. I used to lose track of time because it took me into this magical world and made me forget who I was and where I was. It enlightened me immediately as a very powerful and personal means of visual expression and I was inspired to transfer all my energy and agony into it which I was going through due to my chronic health condition. Art is making it easier for me to deal with everyday struggle that I go through with my body. I believe either you complain what you do not have or rejoice in the things you do have and make the best of it. Therefore, I chose to make the rest of my life, the best of my life. When I paint, I am able to stand for hours at a time versus otherwise when I cannot stand for 5 minutes without needing to sit. Art has so much power. I used to question why did my illness happen to me? Why at such an early age? What did I do to deserve it? But art made me accept my reality and move on by focusing on the good things that were happening. I became more grateful for what I have. I told myself, "no more tears, no more victim mentality, pity party is over and all will be fine and let me focus on how to deal with it".  I realized that I have got one life to lose any second of it on any negative thoughts. Since then I have been working with art relentlessly. It became my catharsis which took me away from all the unpredictability of life and that always keeps me going.The process of drawing and then painting had such an extreme healing and peaceful effect on me that I wanted to send these healing vibes to others. It felt like I had a purpose in life now. And as if in confirmation, my initial paintings were sold right away. I took it as a sign from God. That was a turning point in my life. All of these factors propelled me towards pursuing art all the more. My goal is to make my work serene, inspiring and positive. Therefore, I describe and write some motivating, inspiring and thought provoking lines with each piece. It felt like one of those stories where people travel east to find themselves and that's exactly where I discovered myself too. I feel it was all planned, like they say, things happened and kept happening and falling into place. One is simply required to recognize and acknowledge the signs.

My first art show, Austin, Texas

Moved to a city where I didn't know a single soul. Intimidated, and terrified . . . I wanted to get out in the lime-light, be known, explore, and shine in the spotlight of Art. But, my hesitation, fear and doubts stemmed from my Indian culture asked the question . . . “Will I be accepted?” But then, a moment came in I got out of my comfort zone and I hit the submit button to sign up for a one of a kind "Pancakes and Booze" Art event. Yeah, the event showcased local Art and it had pancakes, booze, music and dance. It was a great hit and a much needed boost. That one move pushed me forward and since then there is no looking back. The beginning is always the hardest part. "I can and I will" is what I tell myself all the time. And I have to say, with persistence and determination, I have come a long way in a short span of time . . . personally as well as professionally. It is a beautiful thing when passion and profession blend together.

Today, I am the owner of Serene Compositions Enterprise LLC.

 

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