INDIA | NEW Sketchbook Village Art Tour:  Orchha + Gwalior – Madhya Pradesh:  the hart symbol.jpg of India: March 7 – 20, 2018: 13 nights/ 14 days

(Art Educator Professional development eligible: 32 hrs)
Delhi: March 7-9 (2 nights); Orchha: March 9 – 15 (6 nights); March 11 – we will be staying outside hotel; Gwalior: March 15 – 19 (4 nights); Delhi: March 19 – 20th – dep for home country

This is an an Art immersion sketchbook tour, full of creative insights designed to trigger your creativity. You will never be the same again! Doors once shut will open, your heart and brush will flourish and the saturation colour will ignite the senses.

  • Please see below for a snapshot of our inspiring ART program


 –  By the River Betwa I sat down and drew-  concertina observational drawing based on the river Betwa

If you feel inspired to join, please email

Cost of Art Tour – program:

$3450 based on twin share  $815 single supplement

  • Tour includes: accommodation in lovely Heritage hotels, except for Delhi where we have heritage inspired accommodation with quirky character,  all breakfasts, transport, including transfers to and from Delhi airport, local guide fees, entry to historical monuments, visits to artisan families, art tuition and a whole lot more!

Tour does not include: International flights; Local tipping fee – approx. $100 – $120

 Testimonials: at bottom of page

Orchha translates as ‘hidden’  and is in the hart symbol.jpg of India

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It feels like this sweet little town on the Betwa River has transcended the frantic pace that so often permeates our everyday life. It is almost as though time has stopped still in the heart of India.

Steeped in history and imbued with humility it is a full of artistic treasures that date back to the 16th century. Small and grand architectural masterpieces combining Hindu and Islamic influences lie dotted around the countryside. 

 Sketchbook in hand with our portable Art kit, we will be based in the small town of Orchha with excusions to traditional artisans and temples filled with beautiful frescoes, bathed in soft, gentle light that are a treasure trove of 16thc art.

Gwalior – Central India – the geographical heart

11thc AD Chausath Yogini Tantric Temple in Mitaoli: Gwalior Contains the niches of what was 62 Yogini Goddess statues, each a manifestation of a Divine feminine deity (a concept that is within us and also cosmic)

The 8th c AD Rock cut Jain Temples: Gwalior

Jain sculptures or Jain idols are the images depicting Tirthankaras (Teaching Gods). … Giant rock-cut statues of Jain Tirthankaras are carved in the Gwalior Fort. Jainism arose in the 6th c BC. A reaction against the caste restraints and rituals of Hinduism.

These are just some of the special places we will be visiting with sketchbook in hand. There are rest days designed for you to create your activities or to just ‘be’…

 Itinerary – please email me for our inspiring dedicated Art program. But for now, enjoy some of our photos to get your creative juices flowing

Arrive Delhi at least 1 day before on or before the 6th March – all participants will be collected from the airport

Itinerary: A snapshot! If inspired, please email for a full program

Delhi: March 7 – 9 (2 nights); –

Day 1: Arrive. Rest. Journal work Short walk around local Phar Ganj area, visiting the market and collecting materials to make Art – ‘forage +Collage’

Picture1bbbbDay 2: Architectural walk through the beautiful 13thc Medieval Mughal area of Nizamuddin. One of my favourite locations in Delhi. Named after the famous Sufi saint, it is full of architectural + charming treasures. We will complete our day with a Qawwali performance, the traditional, devotional Sufi music inspired by the Sufi mystics to uplift the soul to the Divine.


Orchha – March 9 – 15 (6 nights)

Enjoy an authentic Indian journey by train to Orchha – Madhya Pradesh hart symbol.jpg of India Arrive: Rest and walk into market, forage and collage, soak in the ambience of this lovely gentle town 

Day 3 – Day 9: Orchha

Some of our activities: Drawing, Painting, Writing, visiting temples, stunning frescoes, sweet villages and wandering the markets…sitting on the Betwa River

“By the River Betwa I sat down and drew” pencil and watercolour in concertina artist book + simple garland making

Am: early sunrise on the river Betwa: watch the sun rise over the river Betwa and the early morning salutations to Surya, the Sun God. Sadhus (ascetics) and the locals bath and perform daily rituals

Visit local temples and cenotaphs – drawing of architecture and negative space drawing

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  • Frescoes in Orchha; traditional mud painting + sketchbook moments

Visit local village for traditional Mud Painting “Finger Painting” workshop and local village immersion. Visit the Potters village…


Gwalior: March 15 – 19 (4 nights)

Day 9: Arrive. rest and art making Journal work: EVE: Blessing in local temple

 DAY 9 – Day 13: Gwalior – Some of our activities:

Early start with sketchbook to the 8th – 9th rock cut Jain Temples. Jainism arose in the 6th c BC. A reaction against the caste restraints and rituals of Hinduism.

Jain sculptures or Jain idols are the images depicting Tirthankaras (Teaching Gods). … Giant rock-cut statues of Jain Tirthankaras are carved in the Gwalior Fort

Other Activities: 

 10th Century AD Chausath Yogini Temple

  Full days art making and blessings at this esoteric Goddess Temple. A Yogini is a female attendant to the mother Goddess whose desire was to attain enlightenment from illusion and to serve the goddess through yoga, ritual, initiations and self-awareness. As artists I believe we are also consciously or subconsciously doing this

A Visit to a small village caps of this wonderful day surrounded by love

An authentic and warm experience. A beautiful insight into peaceful rural India.Have sketchbook handy as we muse in our surroundings

EVE: Final group dinner and share our art + journey

The last night in Delhi is usually when people like to rest and do last min shopping!

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Day 13:  March 19 – Return to Delhi – early morning train

Day 14:  March 20 – onward journey to home – take it easy…..



My experience with Catherine Parkers Art Tour of India was more than I could imagine, an adventure of a lifetime.   She is so experienced and in tune with the energy that is India, that  we were all able to benefit from her deep research and love of the country and people.  Every day was joy filled, educational and inspiring.  We stayed in beautiful heart felt lodgings where the owners knew Catherine and welcomed us in comfort and safety.   I am planning to return as soon as possible, for another magical tour with Catherine.
Karen Meadows
Travelling with Catherine had the most profound effect on my otherwise work-besotted life.  I did not draw before this tour, before the colours and textures and machinations of Indian life infected my waking and sleeping hours… it is true what they say, India does get under your skin and the gods followed me into my dreams where I was lucid and relaxed the whole time we were on the tour.  

Catherine has the most graceful and gracious way with people, she gives and gives of her time and no mark you ever make is scolded nor diminished: she enabled me to not only have a go at drawing but just to “let it be” and have fun with making my mark.  Delhi, Narwalgah, Bundi, Pushkar and Jaipur invited us in not as tourists but as artists and so the whole world view was enriched with the noticing of colours, shapes, hues, shades, dyes, carvings, prints, textiles, weaves, etc… so many things I have never considered and so my mind was expanded in a way that an adult has quite forgotten to do.

I thank you Catherine for this wonderful gift of insight.  When I returned home I cried for hours, not because I was going to miss India, but I was going to miss the immersion in “seeing differently” as the rigors of the tour had such a positive effect on my outlook on people and life in general.  What a wonderful way to first experience the glorious chaos of India; to be making aesthetic choices as you go.  
Janet McDonald

1. Artwork – Blandina Pistone  2. Catherine Parker at work
x Catherine – art tours – artist website