Painting rural life

In brief, one can describe Sheethal Shobi’s paintings as a paean to village life and nature.  All her 30 paintings exhibited at Durbar Hall, Kochi, depict different aspects of these two. “They have been my source of inspiration ever since I began drawing," says the 15-year-old artist, who hails from Tripunithura. “I like the raw beauty of village landscape and life. Sunset is one of my favourites. I have painted its different moods,” she explains.  

The exhibition titled Aquarelle also has a sunset done in watercolour along with paintings of house boats, rainy season, paddy fields, village life and nature and animals. Interestingly, all 30 paintings displayed here are done in watercolour. “I work in other mediums such as acrylic, clay and pencil, too,” she says. '

However, she likes the transparency of watercolour. “It is a complex medium that demands our patience. In watercolour, if you make a mistake, it is difficult to correct it. That is one aspect I like about it,” says Sheethal, who has participated in various competitions.

Some of her accolades include CBSE state-level prizes in oil and watercolour painting and ‘Funbrella’, a unique state-level competition. “In ‘Funbrella’, I won prizes in two consecutive years (2017 and 2018). That was a quirky competition where we were asked to paint the theme monsoon on an umbrella,” she says. “I was also lucky to represent Kerala in the national competition organised by PCRA in New Delhi.

The paintings at Aquarella were done in two weeks’ time. Although it is her maiden solo venture, she does not have any inhibitions of a beginner. She has tried to experiment with the technique in a creative manner on canvas. “I take cues during travels. For instance, this picture struck my mind during a visit to Palakkad,” she says pointing at a painting. Aquarella is open till May 29 from 11 am to 7 pm.

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