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I just attended an artist’s retreat organised by Val Marie artist Diana Chabros that took place in Val Marie, Saskatchewan and at the inspiring Grasslands National Park.

20160516_135607_resizedGrasslands National Park. Photo by Marlena Wyman.

Along with Diana, I was there with Saskatchewan visual artists Ken Christopher and Geoff Phillips, performance artist Eveline Boudreau, and multi-discipline artist Joseph Naytowhow. I felt so fortunate to be sharing creative time and experiences with this exceptional group of artists.

bon fireBonfire, smudge and storytelling with the retreat artists and friends. Photo by Marlena Wyman.

The retreat took place during the daytime when the artists would each seek out our own spaces of inspiration within the vast landscape of the grasslands. We would then come together in the evenings for food and sharing of art, philosophy and experiences.

Riverwalk Trail, Grasslands National Park DSCF1411 (21)Grasslands National Park. Photo by Marlena Wyman.

I took my ink and watercolours out on the land. I think I walked as much as I sketched and painted. When you walk a little way into the Grasslands Park, all traces of civilization disappear. For as far as the eye can see in every direction, which is a very long way indeed, there are no power lines, no fences, no roads, no evidence of humans. I felt that this land must always have been this way.

IMG_5323Grasslands drawing/watercolour by Marlena Wyman.

All the concerns of daily life disappeared and I became immersed in the immense dynamic sky, the sounds of the birds and the wind, and the contrast between the sweeping overview of the landscape and the complex, minute environment of the plants beneath my feet.

Scan0043Grasslands drawing/watercolour by Marlena Wyman.

There is a strong sense of solitude and timelessness; the limitless space of the grasslands allows time for a meditative, tranquil reflection that I have not experienced elsewhere.

IMG_5322Grasslands drawing/watercolour by Marlena Wyman.

I am grateful for my time there.

Posted by Marlena Wyman

 

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