Soft strokes: A tribute to Kashmir’s splendour

Capturing the landscape in vivid detail, the paintings also offer a visual retreat into the picturesque land.

Our Correspondent December 14, 2013
Some of the paintings of the artist to pay tribute to the chilly season in the hills. PHOTO: EXPRESS


Winter in Kashmir is a sight to behold. As tribute to the chilly season in the hills, Lahore-based landscape painter Matloob Baig will showcase a series of his paintings at Gallery6 on Saturday.

The exhibition titled “Splendour of the Season”, to be inaugurated by Japanese ambassador Hiroshi Inomata, features 24 landscapes, comprising water colours and oil paints.

Matloob enjoys doing out-of-door paintings. He has taken inspiration from nature and its many moods. The landscapes in the current exhibition were made around Jandali area and Banjosah Lake during October and November this year. Capturing the landscape in vivid detail, the paintings also offer a visual retreat into the picturesque land.

According to the artist, he paints nature with tremendous love. “Nature has always been a source of inspiration for me, especially when she changes her modes and shades suddenly. All her jewels, that adorn her like flying clouds, dusty winds, foggy ambiance, serene dawn or surrealistic dusk, move me to a level where I have to paint,” he said in a statement issued by the gallery.

Moreover, Baig feels a strong connection with the atmosphere which translates onto his canvas. The multi-layered stroke technique sets the tone of the atmosphere while the light on the subjects defines the specific time of the day. He makes brilliant use of colours and strokes to create the atmosphere that draws the viewer into that moment. The light on the subjects specifies the time of the day the paintings were done. He has command over bright colours that show sparkle of glowing sunlight exuding happiness. At other times one sees soft hues immersed in mist and fog.

The display shows variety of landscapes indicating control of the painter to capture different scenes with equal ease. One gets struck by the interplay of shades over snow covered mountains, diversity of hues in the sunset scenes, calmness in the woods tracks, serenity in open spaces with clear blue skies and bright clouds, a feeling of peace in compositions showing floating ducks and a sense of quietness around trees with fallen leaves.

All his works have feelings and are expressive as well as descriptive, creating both sensations and serenity together. They capture the beauty of colours and their chromatic effects in nature which depict moments of celebrations in nature.

Discussing the paintings, curator of Gallery 6 Dr Arjumand Faisel says “Matloob’s paintings portray his reverence for the striking beauty of the nature. He seems to admire the splendour of the seasons. One sees his adoration of bright or filtered sunlight, his honour to the skies and glorification of clouds. He adores sharply silhouetted trees, and pays his respect to the multi-colored lakes, ponds and rivers. His work shows that the artist has a pulsating mind, an observant eye, and skills to paint landscapes with emotions”.

Also on display are seven of Matloob’s earlier paintings. Four of these were done at a lake at Qadirabad Headworks that has hundreds of water lilies and gets covered with their leaves and white flowers in the peak season. In these, the contrast of white lilies against the shades of surrounding greenery in the water is breathtaking.

Having completed his Master of Fine Arts from Punjab University some 13 years back, he has participated in over a dozen exhibitions since. This is his third solo exhibition in the capital. The exhibition will continue till 29 December, daily from 11am to 7pm.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2013.

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