ISLAMABAD - After almost a decade the much awaited solo exhibition of paintings by Ghulam Rasul opens today (Thursday) here at Tanzara Art Gallery at 5 pm. Ghulam Rasul commonly known in the art circles as GR is one of the most celebrated landscape maestros of Pakistan. Primarily a landscape painter, Ghulam Rasul is known for his impressionistic artwork that gives message of life. He has travelled to many parts of the country and around the world to observe nature and landscape to make them part of his paintings. He is mainly inspired by the autumn. He says, The leaves and cloudy evenings sing mellow songs of fading life to him, the grief and sorrows of nature are more lasting than the happy moments it shares with us. He has successfully translated the moaning of departing life mostly in bright pallet. He uses a rich pallet that brings a pictorial richness to his canvases. Perhaps, it is an unintentional effort to make the autumn living one. GRs recent paintings also depict the austere beauty of the landscape and its nomadic heritage around Islamabad and other environs of our country. The mustard fields, rain, haystacks, flying leaves, dust storm and harvesting are the main subjects of his creative pursuits, besides new shades of kachnar trees and leafless trees that are core identity of GRs paintings. Be it a rustic scene, or an urban setting with multicolored kites interspersed in the sky, or raindrops blurring the horizon, or cattle out in the open fields, the artist renders such images with amazing dexterity. 'Ghulam Rasul has the enthusiasm and exuberance of a youth when it comes to chasing the landscape of Pakistan from one corner to the other, Sajjad Haider Malik writes about one of the countrys most prolific landscape painters. GR is fondly known as the man of green and yellow fields, and of buffaloes shown as distant dark smudges, and men and women seen in red and white clothes, breaking the green and grey of the plains. He now ventures forth towards the mountains. His journey to the mountains is the latest of his endeavours in a life devoted to art that now spans over 40 years of love for his land and the landscape. There he brings back budgets of landscapes with historic and cultural background. Born in 1942 in Jallundher, he came to Lahore for admission to the Department of Fine Arts at the University of the Punjab. He had the good luck of being taught by an unrivalled master of landscape, Khalid Iqbal. Other teachers were Naseem Hafeez Qazi, and of course, Anna Molka Ahmed. It was an exciting time, as Anna Molka Ahmed was busy reorganizing the department at that moment. The students were few, among them boys even fewer, and had the complete attention of the teachers. Ghulam Rasul reminisces about those times and remembers his class fellows Safi Safdar, Zulqarnain Haider, Bukhari and others. The department was also a centre of cultural activity and intellectual discourse. Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum and Ali Imam and others were among the regular visitors. Here, Ghulam Rasul learnt the history and theory of art, and worked on the strength of his line as the basic requirement of art. Ghulam Rasul whose paintings are part of many an international collection did his Masters degree from Punjab University in Lahore in 1964 and later taught art and history at both Punjab University and Northern Illinois University USA from where he obtained an MFA in 1972. Ghulam Rasul is associated with paintings of Punjabs landscapes, but he is also trained in printmaking, and has experienced with still life and calligraphy, as well as founding Flat Art. Flat Art is the melding of the Minimalist technique with the palette and themes of Miniature Art, to capture the people and places of Pakistan. GR holds an MFA from University of Punjab, an MA in printmaking and an MFA in painting from Northern Illinois University in the USA, and has studied printmaking at Atelier 17, under S.W. Hayter. He worked in the Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) from 1974 until he retired as Director General in 2002. Munir Ahmed