Testimonials – Drawn to India, Rajasthan + Shekhawati Artist Study Tour
“I was looking for the perfect art trip to India and I found it in Catherine Parker’s “Drawn to India” tour. It was a unique blend of planned and independent experiences and we were in ideal artist’s locations,beautiful and less touristy. Catherine and her partner Kamlesh saw to every detail so that I was free to spend all my time creating art and having fun. It was a completely magical time.
Susan Estelle Kwas
Milwaukee, Wisconsin U.S.A.
“The Drawn to India tour with Catherine Parker was an amazing, life changing experience. The itinerary and the accommodation were so special – the average tourist could never stumble upon such places without the combined wealth of experience and research by Catherine and Kamlesh. We left each stop with reluctance, only to be greeted by something more awe inspiring at the next destination. Catherine’s bubbly, caring personality made her a pleasure to be around, and she made sure we felt safe and well looked after throughout the tour. Hands-on art activities and workshops helped us to loosen up and try new styles and it was a pleasure to share such a fun and stimulating adventure with fellow creatives. I can highly recommend this tour to aspiring or established artists.”
Lindel Gregory – Australia
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, California USA
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.
I consider myself lucky to respond to the original email about your trip. I saw something of the ‘magic’ in you and I wanted to be part of what I thought would be a ‘carpet ride’ across some very interesting territory. Thankyou Catherine. Your very deep experiences in India with both the people and the landscape enabled me to just ‘step’ onto that ‘carpet’ and blast off on one of the best experiences in my life. Tony and I both are indebted to you and Kamlesh for all you did for us. We are now set to make plans for our next trip
The two week tour itself was AMAZING to say the least. It was like being on a magic carpet ride (and we
also travelled by bus, train, jeep, camel, elephant, taxi, tuk tuk, motorbike and aeroplane). We stayed in 4 and 5 star Raj Palaces in old cities and no-star rammed earth dwellings in the middle of the desert. We mixed
with royalty and gypsies, met tribes people, farmers and talented artisans who shared their craft and their food, and who opened their homes and their hearts to us. All along Catherine and her team paved the way for a smooth and authentic trip of a lifetime. It overflowed with inspiration, contrast, culture and colour … and best of all, we made art along the way.
We joined Catherine’s ‘Drawn to India’ trip. The experience was bizzarre, invigorating and amazing, like diving into a Salman Rushdie novel with all it’s contradicting, fantastic, multilayered story lines, history jostling with the present and crowded with improbable characters. Not just that, but Catherine and Kamlesh’s tour was designed so you got to be part of the novel too. A small group, going to off-beat places, doing artwork outside, in hotels, cafes and in the street, meeting people from all walks of life and learning about Indian culture was brilliant. Totally recommend Catherine and Kamlesh to anyone who has a love of life and a happy heart.
I have always wanted to travel through India & the ‘bigness’ of that had held me back. The ‘Drawn to India’ trip gave me a magnificent experience of Rajasthan .. I loved the sights, food, travel, accommodation, the villages & people, the colours, textures & was overwhelmed by its richness, beauty & contrasts.
The trip was paced & managed from arrival to departure by Catherine & Kamlesh. What an excellent job they both did in different ways – how would I score it?
Comfort 10/10, Pace 10/10, History, information & storytelling 10/10, Sights seen – from forts, museums & temples to village life, craftsmen at work & countryside 10/10
With the fellow travellers I had a magnificent experience – thank you Catherine & Kamlesh for facilitating a life change journey through a part of India, I only ever dreamed about and never thought I would be courageous enough to do.
I highly recommend this way of travelling & I look forward to joining them again!
‘This morning I awoke to a sound just beyond the palace walls. The song of prayer in temples and shrines rings through the fresh morning air. It’s almost hypnotic and I feel I should dress and follow my ears to the source. This intense focus Indians have in their faith is humbling. It’s a treat to feel how thankful people are for just being. I let my anxieties drift away and realise my worries are small in the scale of things. Here’s a community who have so little and appreciate so much. They share the earth with all its creatures, and no other life is lesser than their own.’
Every day was a visual smorgasbord; the vibrancy of the marketplaces and the intricate surfaces of the
temples, the bleached desert landscape and the rhythm of villages. “Drawn to India” has enabled me to
gather a rich source of artistic inspiration that I will draw on for many years to come.