Though she is better known in her film persona, Deepti Naval finds herself equally at ease as a painter and a poet. “I have this constant need to express myself, whatever the medium. And the medium can vary depending on my state of mind,” says Naval, in Delhi to participate in Raja Ravi Varma: A tribute to realism, a group show organized by Raghu Vyas, at the Hyatt Regency. “Painting has always been on my mind (she graduated in fine arts), but it took a backseat when my acting career took off and for 10 years I did nothing else,” adds Naval, who was last seen in Leela and Freaky Chakra.

Now she seems to have got back to her other expression of creativity with a vengeance: not only is she painting almost every day, her book of poems is being released by Mapin next month. “I go through these phases in painting,” says Naval, “earlier my work was very introspective as I was doing a lot of soul-searching. These days I am finding beauty in the simplest things of life, be it the face of an old man or a landscape. I think I have started appreciating these things more now because I have come to terms with myself.” Her poems, however, continue to be introspective, reveals Naval.

Having dealt with her inner conflicts, these days Naval shuttles between Mumbai and Delhi (Delhi is so beautiful in winter that I just have to come here”), when she is not trekking in the Himalayas, that is. Does that mean no films? “No, I will act... that's my first love. I am waiting for the right script, though there is nothing in hand as of now,” she says. Till such time Naval the painter will dominate over Naval the actress.