Eby N. Joseph plans to paint 1,000 landscapes depicting various places in Kerala
Picturesque scenes of beaches, woods, rivers, backwaters and villages are not new to Malayalis. Not yet. However, Eby N. Joseph feels that a time will come when these familiar landscapes would be confined to books and photographs. Vast paddy fields are a case in point. To preserve this colourful heritage, Eby plans to paint 1,000 landscapes depicting various places in Kerala. Eby's recent exhibition in Gorky Bhavanam, Thiruvananthapuram, was his way of celebrating the golden jubilee of the formation of the State Kerala. Thirty-nine paintings were featured in the exhibition.
Called `Kerala Darshanam,' these paintings in acrylics and oils are not exact reproductions of a place or scene. They are the artist's impressions of places. His brush has captured the vivid colours of the seasons and the moods of the sea. The grey and sombre colours of a sullen sea give away to the vibrant colours on his palette as it reproduces the light filtering through a canopy of trees. Serene rivers and ponds, quaint country paths, bustling coasts and village markets are among the images that Eby has painted. "It was in 2000 that I held an exhibition called `Kannur Kazhchakal.' The response to the exhibition encouraged me to broaden the scope of the exhibition to try and capture the colours of Kerala on the canvas."Since then Eby has travelled to many places in Kerala to reflect the rapidly changing face of the State. "I have a frame in my mind that I juxtapose against a scene. If I am enthused by what I see in that frame, I paint that. For instance, I have painted a picture of the bustling Pazhayangadi in Kozhikode. A rustic image that shows a green arch formed by towering trees and a path. This was what caught my eye and not the scenes of a typical market place," says the artist.
Changes in light
The rapidly changing light is a challenge for the artist who points out that a place looks very different at different times of the day. Although Eby used to paint on the spot, he says that now he prefers to make sketches, which he develops for his paintings. "As acrylics dry quickly, painting on locations becomes difficult. Sometimes, I click photographs to refer to later," he says. The Thalassery-based artist also does portraiture. And his long list of clients who have sat for him includes luminaries from all walks of life. After 1,000 paintings of Kerala, he plans to go on an all-India tour to reflect India on his canvas.S.N