Her metamorphosis from a senior Indian Railways official to a self-taught artist has been a gradual one. Maya Sinha started painting birds in watercolours purely as a hobby post retirement, deriving inspiration from the photographs clicked by her husband.
Maya made her debut as an artist on Thursday when her first solo week-long exhibition showcasing 52 watercolour paintings titled “Birds at Home” opened at the Experimental Art Gallery in India Habitat Centre here.
After seeking voluntary retirement from Indian Railways in 2004, Maya decided not to sit idle. She started taking interest in photographs of birds captured by her husband Yoganand Sinha, who taught psychology at Allahabad University.
“As the title suggests, the exhibition features paintings of common birds that visited our home in Allahabad and our ancestral home in Champanagar village in Bihar. These occasional visitors have long been our companions giving us moments of great joy. To our constant delight, we have observed our colourful visitors late on summer evenings, on winter afternoons and often woken up to their singing.”
Speaking about her new found interest, Maya says she has never been to an art school. “But I have made productive use of my visits to various parts of the country. When I started painting birds it was just a natural expression of my creativity. I had never realised that slowly but steadily I will end up painting over 50 birds of various hues,” says Maya Sinha, who signs her name on each painting as Yogmaya.
The administrator-turned-artist revealed that a part of proceeds from the sale of her paintings will go to a cause close to her heart. “Aarohi is a society that works for integrated development in Kumaon Himalayas. The hill children work day in and day out to make soaps, herbs and oil. So I decided to do something for them.”