Little by little, Baldev Gambhir has created a panorama of forms, colours and textures in his new exhibition, ‘Miniature Landscapes’, where 48 works depict the many moods of the mountains at different times of the day.
The Amritsar-based artist has been painting for decades now, and his work is in the collections of many museums, galleries and art centres.
Gambhir, who primarily works in oils, is constantly inspired by the many facets of nature and the world around him.
For the present series, the artist says he travelled extensively to hill areas like Nainital, Shimla, Mussourie and Manali to study and observe the hills closely.
This study led him to make more than 2,000 sketches of the hills and the spectacular surroundings.
“What fascinated me were the unique forms of the hills, the way they change colours with the position of the sun, how the wind creates movement and the beautiful flora and fauna here. I wanted to capture all this in a miniature form, inspiring the onlooker to explore this beauty through the medium of art,’’ explains Gambhir, who says the focus of the exhibit is only landscapes, so no human element is part of the creations.
Translating his deep study into works of art took him more than two years, with Gambhir giving the compositions a new form with the use of oils, with a deep focus on the textures.
The idea was to give the two-dimensional form a three-dimensional look, and for this he worked on the canvas, using colours he wanted, and then using blackboard paint to create new textures.
The artist used knives, needles and blades to create the works, and the brush to make contours. “It was an exciting process that needed both patience and experimentation, and I was ecstatic that the technique brought out shadows on the hills, a reflection of light and also carved out paths that may inspire many to trek a few miles,’’ smiles Gambhir, who says the process was slow, as he waited and watched how the colours appeared after they were dry.
While most works are bright, there are some landscapes where black and browns are dominant. These, adds Gambhir, have been inspired by the mud hills in the rain, when the mud begins to flow down, and also the vegetation at this time.
“The biggest challenge was to control light on the canvas, and create spaces, where there is room for play of contrasts,’’ sums up Gambhir. The exhibition is on at Punjab Kala Bhawan, Sector 16, till November 22.