chapter  3
17 Pages

Away and beyond

Like the renunciation of Buddha, which he would paint with such depth and sensuality later, George left everything behind him – the ease of existence, the immense fondness for his daughters and of course the artistic environment he had grown up with. The young painter also, in many ways, turned his back on the Western milieu of his upbringing to search for more rooted and indigenous methods. He decided to live with Lucia whom he now named Pilawela Manike and they shifted to the village, at first to Ranawana near Hunangoya, then to Amunugama and finally in 1950 to Sirimalwatta where he built his own house and later built a large studio in the garden. In these rural surroundings, with their dense thicket of trees, lush vegetation and an existence of simplicity George was to live for the next two decades.