My facination and love for painting animals began in my youth when my parents took us to the Amsterdam Zoo. It was there that I started drawing all kind of animals.
My first animal painting – about 50 years later – happened by pure accident. While working with very bright colours I rubbed some out because it was too much. Unfortunately, it left some ugly spots on the canvas and I thought I had ruined the painting. The next morning, however, I discovered the outlines of a big bird on the 'ruined' parts – it looked like a stork! (I learned that playing is much more important then the end result and that 'mistakes' can often bring surprises!)
After watching a documentary about whales I started with my next animal painting: a mother and child. The enormous body of the mother whale protecting the calf touched me very deeply, and I called it "La Mama".
And then I saw a movie about elephants, where we could hear their low belly rumble communicate with each other. This sound was so familiar to me that I completely fell in love with these gentle giants! So next came the elephant paintings….
Sometimes we say that whatever we create is a mirror of ourselves. I know this to be true because at the end of a long burnout period I started to paint tigers, lions and leopards. For me they represented energy and power. I realised it was time to become active again in the outside world and to use my energy and power to start exhibiting my work.
It is almost ten years ago that 200 horses in a wildlife resort in Holland got trapped by high water (it became world news). As the water did not recede for days, on the telly we could see them standing still on this little piece of elevated land, surrendered to the freezing cold and howling wind. Luckily most of them survived and were rescued. This dramatic event became the lead to my next and biggest painting so far! It's the one called 'Encounter'.
It is not only animals that I paint; anything that touches me is inspiration. I can read something or see a photo in a magazine. I never know what the end result will be – this unfolds during the process, all by itself. And when I feel stuck I leave the painting for a few days so that I can see it with fresh eyes again – after that time I almost always know how to proceed. I also give myself the freedom to express myself ANY WAY I want. I love to use glitter and bling bling in my paintings, things which do not seem to fit in the 'real art world', but I use them a lot. They make me very happy!
A few years ago I made some paintings of Hindu gods; now I just started with an icon of Mary and Jesus and a painting with an angel. I am curious and excited what is going to happen next and what will come out of these. I will keep you posted….
Anja Atulya was born and raised in Amsterdam. She worked as a nurse in general and psychiatric hospitals and did the addiction therapy training with Veeresh. During a discourse, in 1977, she fell in love with Osho and took sannyas. From 1979-1980 she lived and worked as a nurse in the commune in Pune, the most beautiful nursing time of her life! Back in Holland she assisted Veeresh at the Humaniversity until she started giving her own groups in bioenergetics, encounter and tantra. When she discovered Vedic Art she started to paint and give painting courses. Anja Atulya lives in Delft, Holland. www.vedic-art.nl