Wednesday 20 May 2015

Botanical Art & Travel Sketching in Savusavu, Fiji

I have just returned from an incredible week with a group of delightful, motivated and enthusiastic participants - drawing and painting the flora and attractions of Savusavu on Vanua Levu, Fiji. We stayed at Koro Sun Resort which exceeded all my expectations. This was my first time at this resort, but I have been going to Savusavu since 2006 and have taught many courses here.

The lily pond on Koro Sun Resort

Over water villas - the view from one side of our painting room

The staff were always smiling and could not do enough to make our stay very special. What can I say - fantastic service, food, accommodation and the most amazing area to paint in. We were able to use the Seaview Restaurant which was right over the water with an almost 360 degree view and windows all around. Tons of room for me to move around and for the students to spread out.

Our painting 'room'
 Here are a few of the paintings done by the class.

Jill and Ida's paintings
Margaret and Judith's paintings
Two of Pat's paintings

Some of the other subjects were of different heliconia species, vibrant and glowing red hibiscus and orchids. After some reconnaissance around the resort, I have recorded many plant and flower species that would be perfect for next year.

Some of the group were absolute beginners and had never done botanical art before. They greatly impressed me with their finished work. Every single painting done was worthy of hanging and will be admired by family and friends alike. 

There were excursions most afternoons, to  a waterfall, a village visit, herbal walks, into the rainforest, into the town to sketch and investigate the markets and shop.

Sketching at the Copra Shed, and enjoying fantastic icecream and smoothies.

Sketching in the rainforest
This was an incredibly successful art retreat. I will be taking another group same time next year. Did I mention perfect weather? Around 28 degrees each day, beautiful breeze, no humidity. At no time was anyone ever hot. May is almost into winter, with the least rain of the year.

Many of the ladies enjoyed relaxing spa treatments, such as the 2 hour banana wrap, scrub and massage. There was also the wonderful relaxing foot and leg scrub and massage. The spa personnel would come to the rooms to do this. Nothing was better than to enjoy this just before bed.

Some of the group enjoying morning tea. I am third from right, sitting at the table with a navy and white striped top.
The week finished with a lovo (food cooked in the ground) buffet and a very enthusiastic meke by the Fijians from a local village.
Local Fijian women at the meke, enthusiastically enjoying their national dance.
Until next year......