This summer I ran an artist’s retreat at Unicamp. The purpose was to sit in nature, and draw or paint our surroundings; trees, rocks, water, plants, clouds, and sunsets. Taking a week to do on location painting was on my list of things to do after learning about the Group of Seven. The Group of 7 used paint boxes that could hold only 3 wooden panels and paints. Once those 3 panels were done they would be done painting for the day. In all I have read about the Group of 7, I knew there could be Magic and Wonder. They spoke about God and the spirituality trees exuded. I accepted their theories, hoping we would tap into that Wonder, that Magic.
Before this retreat I did not really believe God was found by painting in the wild. I was amazed at how easy it was to find the Divine Spirit. After the initial demonstrations time was irrelevant. Nature became our only focus. Sessions lasted three or four hours but felt like a few minutes. This happened every session. The session ended when the work was done. We lived in the Now completely.
You would think 12 hours a day of painting would be tiresome but this was not the case. At the end of the week I felt rejuvenated, more connected to the world around me, more grounded. I now understand why these artists would sacrifice time from their families and all the luxuries of urban life; to be out in the woods painting- to be one with the world, experiencing the Wonder and Magic of the Now around them.