Gamini Ratnavira Biography
Gamini Ratnavira was born and raised in tropical Sri Lanka. As a self-taught artist he uses his photographic memory and life experiences to produce vibrant, colorful images of the rain forest flora and fauna, which are complimented with intriguing stories and research information about each painting. His paintings reveal his love for art coupled with an unrestrained, lifelong reverence for nature and animals.
After earning unequaled praise in his native land, Gamini moved to the United States where he continues a successful art career in Southern California. He is a member of the Society of Animal Artists and Artists for Conservation and has exhibited with Birds in Art and Arts for the Parks top 100 tours. Gamini has exhibited in shows across the United States. His work is now collected worldwide, including the prestigious R.W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, LA, 43 paintings in the San Diego Natural History Museum, and Parrots International. Gamini escorted Prince Philip in the jungles of Sri Lanka and worked with him on the set of elephant postage stamps for Sri Lanka and the world wildlife fund. In all Gamini illustrated 38 postage stamps for the country. He has illustrated several species for Birdlife International. He was a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Gamini's life birdwatching list exceeds 4000 species. He illustrated several plates in the Field Guide to the Birds of Peru by Dr. James Clements and has done several commissions for Birdlife International. Gamini stayed with Sir Peter Scott and exchanged views of artwork at the wildfowl trust in England. He has traveled to over 40 countries researching endangered wildlife everywhere. He illustrated Birds of Sri Lanka and Mammals of Sri Lanka releasing in 2010.
In addition to leading tours to the rain forest, Gamini has illustrated several books and continues to honor the nature he loves by speaking about the rain forest and giving slide presentations to children and wildlife lovers everywhere. Gamini lives with his wife Lisa and children Natalie, Beau and Brooks in Fallbrook, CA. He founded and directed Fallbrook's nationally acclaimed "Reflections of Nature" wildlife art show. For show schedules and a visual gallery please visit his website at www.gaminiratnavira.com.
Hidden Forest Art Gallery ~936 S. Live Oak Park Rd., Fallbrook, CA 92028 USA
Phone 760-723-9256 Fax 760-731-1342 Studio 760-723-7732 email:
Support for Conservation:
Gamini has donated originals and /or prints to raise funds for the following conservations groups: The San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park, The Tapir Society, The American Federation of Aviculture, The Carnivore Project, Parrot Education and Adoption PEAC, the Boys and Girls Club, Fallbrook Land Conservancy, Fanconi Anemica Research Fund, The Elephant Alliance, The Panther Foundation for the Visual Arts, Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, Audubon Society and The Hummingbird Society, The Field Ornithology Group of Sri Lanka, Prithipure Infant Home of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society.
*In 1991 Gamini did a one man show with the Sierra Club "The Art of Rainforest Preservation" to raise funds and awareness for their conservation programs.
*In 1986 Gamini accompanied Prince Philip, the President of the World Wildlife Fund in conservation projects for Sri Lanka. Gamini illustrated a set of elephant stamps for Project let them live. In addition he led a wildlife tour for Sir Peter Scott, former president of WWF and the Director of the Waterfowl Trust and fabulous artist, and his wife. Sir Peter Scott's encouragement of Gamini's upcoming talent in art was a major milestone in Gamini's professional art career.
*In 1985 Gamini accompanied David Shepherd on a wildlife art expedition throughout Sri Lanka and David said to Gamini, "Gamini just keep painting the nature you love." His words helped form Gamini's conservation approach to nature painting.
Gamini supports the following conservation programs:
Fallbrook Land Conservancy
Recent Awards and Achievements
The Sri Lanka Foundation Award 2005 in recognition for his exceptional achievement in the art world.
Gamini raised $10,000 for the tsunami victims from his gallery in the USA and continues to support the Prithipura Infant Home in Sri Lanka that his father, Sardha, first bought all the beds for when they were walking on the beach and met an American Buddhist priest who began the home for orphan and mentally and physically handicapped children.
Other awards Gamini has received:
*2005-2006 Art of the Rain Forest Museum Tour 11 originals and 2 hand painted bronzes depicting the rain forest. Gamini has traveled to over 40 countries researching endangered fauna and flora.
In 2005 Gamini’s 1st bronze a handpainted lifesize Hyacinth macaw, was one of only 5 bronzes selected to exhibit via the Society of Animal Artists at the Explorer’s Hall in the National Geographic Society Sculpture Garden in Washington DC from April 15, 2005-June 30, 2006. The bronze is titiled “Jewel of the Emerald Forest” and is 48” high 36” wide and 18” deep.
*2005 Gamini curated the Wild Weekends of Art held at the San Diego Natural History Museum as well as being honored as the featured artist.
*Gamini was included in the Outdoor Channel Biography Filming of 32 of the top wildlife artists in the USA
*In 2001 Gamini was featured in Wildlife Art 60 Contemporary Masters & Their Work
* Gamini was featured in Best of Wildlife Art II in 2000.
*Gamini has illustrated Even Frogs Care, Traveling with Pen and Brush, several plates of the Birds of Peru by Dr. James Clements, Lories and Lorikeets and Vanishing Wildlife of Texas.
*Gamini has been commissioned by the Rare Bird Club in England for original watercolors gifted to Lifetime members.
*Spotlight of the Artist of the Year 2000 Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Expo Seattle WA
*Top 100 Arts for the Parks Award for “Ode to the Everglades” 2002
*Exhibition in Leigh Yawkey Woodsen Birds in Art “Green Cheeks” 2002
*Exhbition in Leigh Yawkey Woodsen “Artists View” in 1993-1994
*Member of Society of Animal Arts entered in Exhbition Museum Tours since 1997
*Communtiy Cornucopia Award for his generosity to the children of the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District 1994-1997 for starting and supporting the Jr Wildife Art show in Fallbrook CA
*Festival Choice Distinguished Artist Award San Dimas Fall Wildlife Art Show Nov 1997
*In 1993 Gamini painted and donated 43 paintings depicting the endangered species of San Diego “A Brush with Nature” to the San Diego Natural History Museum.
*Exhibited at Southeastern Wildlife Art Show in Charleston SC for 10 years
*Exhibited at Easton MD Waterfowl Festival for the past 12 years
*Exhibited at Florida Wildlife Art Expo for 5 years
*Founders Award in recognition as founding artist and for creating and building “Reflections of Nature” Fallbrook’s Annual Wildlife Art Show 1993-1998
*Illustrated 38 postage stamps for his mother country Sri Lanka between the years of 1978-1988.
Society of Animal Artists
Worldwide Nature Artists Group