Usha P Rai

About the Artist

Usha is born on 23rd May, 1945. She inherited her father’s literary talent and mother’s artistic abilities. She showed keen interest towards writing since her schooldays. All her earlier writings were for school magazines and competitions. She was good at drawings and excelled in embroidery works.

Soon out of college, she got married to Sri B.A.Prabhakar Rai, in the year 1967. Later after his retirement from Vijaya Bank in 2000 he also started writing in Tulu and Kannada and bagged awards for his books in Tulu from Tulu Sahithya Academy. As a student of English literature in degree college she started writing in English. 1st article by her was in English  published in the college magazine. Later few of her articles and poems were published in Famina and other periodicals. After 1980 she completely switched over to writing in Kannada and Tulu. Contributed articles, short stories, novels, poems to all the leading Kannada and Tulu papers and periodicals.

After her 1st child, she did her Master's Degree in Sociology from Karnataka University, Dharawar. In 1974 she joined Vijaya Bank as an officer. Her first novel ‘Anubanda’ was serialised in Prajamatha, famous kannada weekly of that time, in 1974. Thus her profession as a banker and as a writer started together. She served Vijaya Bank in various capacities for 25 years and took voluntary retirement in the year 1999 and continued as a writer.

Usha, is recognized as a writer in Kannada all over Karnataka. She has published 25 books – 7 novels, 3 collections of short stories, 6 collections of poems (two in tulu) 4 collections of essays, 3 life histories, 1 travelogue, and an Autobiography. Besides she edited nearly 10 books. She has bagged many literary awards which includes Padmabhooshana Sarojadevi literary award from Karnataka Sahithya Parishat 2003; Dr Anupama Niranjana award for total  contribution to kannada literature from Karnataka Lekhakiyara Sangha in 2018;  Abbakka award in 2020; Karnataka Sahithya Academy honorary award for the total contribution to Kannada literature in 2020.

She was the successful president of Karnataka Women writers’ Association- “Karnataka Lekhakiyara Sangha”- for 5 years from 2000-2005. She was actively associated with Mahila Dakshata Samiti, Bangalore and many other social service organizations. She was also a honorary counsellor for women’s issues at Police Commissioner’s office Bangalore.

Till 2005 she never ever dreamt of becoming an artist though art was her weakness during her growing up days. She could not pursue art seriously since other aspects of life kept her busy.

She started painting at the age of 60 after finishing all her major responsibilities of life, under the guidance of a friend, well-wisher and an established artist Smt. Nimi Ravindranath, thinking that at least then she can pursue what was always near to her heart. But, as soon as she started painting she met with a near fatal road accident in the middle of 2005. She was confined to bed for nearly six months with multiple fractures. She was at the verge of going to depression. At that time her two sons persuaded her to start painting again as a therapy to overcome the mental and physical trauma and it worked wonders to her. Since 2006 painting has become her passion.

She started with oil colours and produced nearly 60-70 art works in two years. She conducted her 1st solo exhibition at Chithrakala Parishat in December 2007. That was her victory over the tragic incident. After that she did not look back. She started exploring other mediums. Now she is painting with acrylics and water colours also. She is one of the first few artists who tried their hand in pouring art. She was 70 at that time! youtube videos were her teachers. At 72 she started learning Zentangle designs and now she is creating beautiful mandalas and many more zentangle designs. Here also youtube videos guided her as teachers.

Her paintings are exhibited in web galleries, .  Art lovers from all over the globe appreciate her works and quite a few of her paintings are sold through these online galleries. She won some online competitions conducted by which boosted her spirits.

Orange art gallery considered her as Artist of the month in March 2011; featured her as artist of the month in July 2011; interviewed her online during the days 19th to 25th July 2011 where many artists world wide could talk to her about her art. Her profile is featured as the artist of the month by (India) in their newsletter in August 2012. She has a Facebook page ‘Usha Rai’s Paintings’ and a bilingual blog ‘Antharanga’ / Shades of life /ಬದುಕಿನ ಬಣ್ಣಗಳು

Some of her original art pieces and prints are sold through worldwide. One of her painting ‘Universe’ is purchased by a yoga center in US. Many have bought prints of this painting. ‘Musician’ is purchased by an American Lady in St Louis. Many of her art pieces adore the walls of art lovers in Karnataka, different cities in India, USA, England and Australia. Some of her paintings are sold through

Art participation:

  1. Participated in 2 group shows – 2006
  2. Solo show at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat on 7,8,9, December, 2007
  3. Group show at Bangalore Club on 7-8 November -2009
  4. Participated in a group show ‘Random Expressions’ on 16-22 August, 2011 at CKP, Bangalore
  5. Participated in the group exhibition by 5 artists –Shyamala Ramanand, Asha Shenoy, Usha Setty, Kavitha and Usha Rai- ‘Laya’ Rythms in Nature and Dance’ on 4-10th, October, 2013
  6. SHYAMALA RAMANAND, KAVITHA and USHA RAI -formed AKANKSHA group in 2014 for enabling the unknown artists to showcase their art works. Now it is an established group and every year a group show of 50 artists are conducted through AKANKSHA. More than 300 artists have established their names in the art field all over the world after participating in Akanksha art show.
  7. Solo Exhibition at Renaissance Galery, Bnagalore Nov. 2013
  8. Participated in Group exhibition of 50 artists conducted by AKANKSHA in lieu of Women’s Day celebration at CKP ON 8 to 15th March, 2014
  9. Participated in a group exhibition at Reives Art gallery in 2015
  10. Participated in a group exhibition at Rangoli Art Center, Bangalore from 8-13 March,2016 conducted by AKANKSHA
  11. Participated in a group exhibition ‘FIFTY SHADES OF BLACK AND WHITE’ at Venkatappa Art Gallery from 19-23, October 2016
  12. Participated in the group exhibition at CKP from 11-16, October, 2017conducted by AKANKSHA
  13. Participated in a group exhibition ‘ART FOR CANCER CARE’ at Venkatappa Art Gallery from 14-18, Feb, 2018
  14. Participated in a group exhibition conducted by AKANKSHA at CKP from 2-7, June 2018
  15. Participated in a group exhibition conducted by AKANKSHA at CKP from21-26, May, 2019
  16. Participated in a group exhibition ‘CELEBRATION OF HUMAN COLOURS’ at CKP from14-20, November, 2019
  17. Participated in a group exhibition ‘PERCEPTIONS AND EXPLORATIONS’ with 7 artists at CKP from 2-7, February 2020

Her Collections includes: oil on canvas, water colour, glass painting, fabric painting, acrylic paintings. She loves to paint landscapes, seascapes, historical ruins, flowers and sometimes people. She loves to do pouring art in acrylic. She has done many intricate Mandalas using micro tip pens.

Contact details : Mobile 9916384265; 9113083112

E mail :