Following the very successful painting journey to Oman in 2015 and Georgia in 2016, the Society is organizing another trip for watercolorists in February, 2018, this time to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka boasts a natural environment of spectacular beauty and diversity from palm–fringed beaches to misty mountains and wildlife rich lowland jungles. Lapped by the Indian Ocean, its idyllic coast is refreshingly undeveloped while the interior swathed in immaculately manicured tea plantations is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. The journey will be led by the well-known watercolorist Hugh Buchanan who paints with the party, demonstrates suitable techniques for each subject and gives regular feed-back sessions. Sri Lanka boasts more than two thousand years of recorded history, and the remarkable achievements of the early Sinhalese peoples and the glories of its Buddhist civilization are a benchmark of national identity for the island’s Sinhalese population. The island’s geographical position at one of the most important staging posts of Indian Ocean trade, laid it open to a uniquely wide range of influences, as generations of Arab, Malay, Portuguese, Dutch and British settlers have subtly transformed its culture, architecture and cuisine though the vibrant Hindu culture in the South owes more to India than any other influence. The party will fly into Colombo and then over the next 12 days or so explore the south of the country with the ai of visiting places near to each other (to minimise driving times) whilst also offering a diverse selection of subject matter and ample time to sketch and paint. The journey begins in Nuwara Eliya, a charming old British hill station in the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country. Continue on to Kandy, the last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has retained its aura of grandeur. Encircled by hills, with a tranquil lake in its centre, it is the site of the renowned temple (hat enshrines the Tooth Relic of the Buddha) and the Royal Botanical gardens – home to one of the world’s best collections of Orchids. From Kandy take one of Asia’s most spectacular train journeys to Ella and visit Lipton’s seat perched on the edge of an escarpment plunging more than 900 metres to the lowlands below and Ella Gap, a cleft in the hills where the land drops a dizzying 1200 metres. Continue on to Singharaja Rain Forest reserve, the largest undisturbed rainforest in Sri Lanka and has been a World Heritage Site since 1989. The forest is a treasure trove of unique flora and fauna and one of the least disturbed and biologically unique lowland rain forests in Sri Lanka. The journey finishes in Galle with its excellent examples of colonial architecture and well preserved fortifications. Galle’s coastline is carpeted with white sandy beaches and nearby are the dense mangrove forests at Balapitiya and the beautiful Brief Garden at Bentota, a tranquil landscaped garden with shady paths, stone stpes – a splendid place to explore and paint. Please note based on the experiences of previous painting tours, it is planned to be as flexible as possible with the daily itinerary, and places/subject matter to paint as these may change according to the interests of the party, weather, light etc.
Maximum Party Size: 14