Art and Positive Thinking

Welcome to my Renee Loves Art blog!

My focus is exploring, creating and reflecting upon the positives of life and connecting them to my art whether it be photography, pen and ink drawings, watercolour paintings, mixed media, digital media or any other possible media I dive into!

I hope you join me on my art adventure!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Take Chances

"You will continue to take chances and be glad that you did."  This fortune cookie quote was the first thing to be glued onto my page in my visual journal.

Next random colours, layers and marks were added to clean off my brush as I was painting a canvas.  The next step was to take a chance and use my intuition to figure out what images I could imagine in the colours and marks.  I used my trusty fine tipped marker to do this and I ended up with this nature scene.  I had a hard time deciding if I should add light and a few shadows and leaves, but finally decided to take another chance.

I was frightened that my delightful random spontaneous colours and patterns would disappear, but I am happy with the results.  The final stage was to journal.

The colours reminded me of the magical time of night just before the sun goes down, when a warm radiant red paints the landscape.

The landscape seems to glow and all of the colours change.

I am glad that I took chances!  I think that will be my mantra for this year!

Thursday, January 18, 2018


Police Point Park has always been a little oasis for me in the middle of the prairie! It is a combination of grasslands and forest. My Dad and I used to ride our bikes across the prairie to Police Point. That was before the prairie road was paved and paths were made. mom and I have spent many autumn days there for week long Community Classrooms with my students. My son and I spent many days exploring the enchanted forest there. He would pretend to be a report for National Geographic and would create videos talking about the magnificent Plains Cottonwood trees and the giant boulders that line a dirt path. I have spent many hours walking there in the early summer mornings before the temperature got too hot! What a treasure I have! If only those hills, cliffs, trees, grasses, bushes and paths could talk, they would have a lot of stories and history to tell!

Grassy Lake was a favourite fishing lake we frequently went to. The campground was a farmer's field in the middle of the bald prairie. It was common for us to have to walk around cow paddies to get from our trailer to the lake. Dad liked it because the fishing was usually good and the lake was long and wide and not full of crazy boaters.

Dad and I would get up really early for most people, have a banana and then go fishing!

When I asked dad to wander over to a specific place because I spotted certain birds, he would without hesitation troll the boat closer for me to take a photograph.

On this particular day, on what I call "Pelican Island" (a mere rock pile sticking out of the low lake water) there were about 10 or more pelicans, along with geese, ducks, seagulls, a heron and various other shore birds.

For a change, the pelicans didn't fly away and instead gave a performance!

I got some fantastic close ups. This watercolour painting is of that special day with my dad. Summers are just not the same without him!

 It has been another busy week finishing journal pages.  This page I was practising my hand lettering. 

Life is a song... Sing it!

This is a visual journal reflection of my summer holidays. I started it on the airplane and just finished it this week.

I have some great memories with my family!

Image may contain: bird, tree, sky and outdoor

What do you do when you have just hopped out of the tub dripping wet and you look outside and see a Great Horned Owl in one of your willow trees? Well, you put on a hat, get dressed in the first clothes you see, bundle up and out you go!

Image may contain: cloud, sky, ocean, outdoor and nature

What a breathtaking Chinook sunset!  The temperatures have changed from -38 degrees Celsius with the windchill to +6 degrees Celsius and the warm brisk Chinook wind is melting all of our snow.  It has created a dramatic sunset sky!

I hope you have been singing your life's song and have had another artistic week.

Happy Paint Friday!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sing the Song You Were Born to Sing

Sing the Song You Were Born to Sing...

The song I used to sing was about being a teacher.  I put my heart and soul into it for 25 years. My tank is running on low with the demands that others and my own self have places upon me.  I have another tank and that one is full to the top of fuel.  That tank is dedicated to art.  

I have committed to living a creative life. Surrounding myself with art that I love, friends who love art and also dedicated to living a creative life.

Being on vacation always allows be to dedicate even more time to creativity.  My walls are now quite full of art and my visual journals are also filling and I am singing the song I was born to sing!  My heart is singing loudly and playing in allegro... music talk for swift, lively...

This week has been a busy art week finishing up  unfinished art and visual journal entries. I finally finished multimedia bird today that I had started in a summer multi-media class. It seems I have to let ideas migrate in and out of my head to figure out how to take the final plunge to complete pieces.

This above is a zebra bird was drawn using a dipped pen in ink and then painted with watercolour.

Today I added some musical notes of Vivaldi's Spring. I included the word "allegro" as a reminder to sing the song I was born to sing now, swiftly, and not waste time!

I made the music notes transparent by making a transfer using gel medium on the front and then wetting the back and scraping the paper off of the back!

I added some soft pastel around the edges to tie it into the other two bird pieces I have completed in this series.

This is the second zebra multimedia bird that I complete today. This zebra bird has a map for its cheek and gel medium with tiny rocks for texture in its breast and feet. Also texture was adding using modeling paste and stencils. Pencil crayons, soft pastels, washi tape, rubber stamps, acrylic paint, pencil crayons and a charcoal pencil were used.

This little multimedia piece was started in the summer in my multi-media art class and I also finished it today!  I got stuck in the summer and couldn't figure out how to finish it. I changed the background three times and finally found the right relevant quote... "Sing your own song".

Here are some other pieces that I have finished in the past week.

Here is my front cover of my new journal. I found the Police sticker on the ground at the Farmers' Market this summer in San Leandro, California.

After our Christmas Eve Chinese food feast, my fortune cookie fortune stated, " You are going to have a comfortable retirement!" I created a transfer using gel medium using the fortune.

I like to use keepsakes from everyday life to remind me that there are wonderful things in my ordinary life!

I also used Golden acrylic paint, fabric paint, pencil crayons, markers and a gel pens.

Live a creative life is my motto!
This is the inside cover of my new art journal. I have included a little drawing from 2008 when I first rekindled my love of making art. I have also included a piece of masking tape that has my dad's writing on it. He caught some pike for us in 2007. Can you believe it, I found some frozen fish in my freezer from 2007? Since the label was on a tub of frozen fish, I created a fish scale pattern. I also created bubbles because I love bubbles and seeing them dance around. Bubbles and fish and water colours seem to belong together!

I used Fabre-Castell markers, Jane Davenport watercolour pens, acrylic paint, fancy duct tape, pastels on the little landscape and gelatos.

I hope you all can live a creative life!

I know when I do, I am much happier and fulfilled!

Here are some of my favourite creations for 2017...

  • modeling paste, gel medium and acrylic paint

  • acrylic painting

  • watercolour painting of my horse Weebit and dog Lucy

  • watercolour, white gel pen

Monday's visual journal Art Journal Junkies prompt: "Wish"
My wish is to become an even better artist.
I take art classes with Maureen Newton, a local artist at Inspire Cafe and Art Studio, to help me to achieve my goal. This summer I took a multi-media class with her and I wrote notes. She said two very inspiring things:
1. " Be patient with where you are at!"
2. "When you are stuck and don't know what to do next, ask your creative self and you will have an answer!"

During my class, I wanted to create an inspirational piece for a granddaughter. In my journal I planned it out really roughly. Even though I finished the piece in the summer, I wanted to make my notes and plan finished looking, so weirdly enough, my plan was completed today after the original piece of art. I wanted to grow, so I challenged myself to paint the eyes open instead of closed on the original.

I kept some of the original pieces of advice, but the female does look different than the original!

Thank you for all of your supportive words and for the opportunity to share and make my wish come true!

close up of Dare to Dream

The  first version given to my granddaughter.  The heart is a necklace fob that I wore as a little girl.

  • close up

  • gel medium with glass beads, rocks, sand, and acrylic paint

Thanks for viewing my art gallery of 2017 and the beginnings  of 2018!

May you sing the song you were born to sing!

Happy Creative New Year!

Happy Paint Friday!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Taking Initiative

I started this visual journal entry in June and finished it today. It is about being lonely and taking initiative.

Do you ever get tired of having to be the one to initiate things? Do you ever wish someone would call you up or text you and ask you to do something, instead of you having to? I do.

Do you ever wonder if people are waiting for you to take initiative? I do.

It is also about feeling lonely even though one may be surrounded by people. Do any of you ever feel that way? I do sometimes.

As many of you know, I am a nature nut. Even though I may be by myself in nature, I never feel alone in nature. Insects are always approaching, the wind usually visits, the sun shines, birds sing, owls hoot, water waves hello, leaves dance in excitement to see you, frogs rib-bit... It seems that nature does its best to include us, all we have to do is look around, listen and be present. I have had some amazing experiences in nature, just because I took the initiative to be there.

The funny thing is the day after I wrote this in my journal, a friend did contact me to go out for lunch. We had a fabulous heart to heart, mind to mind visit! The universe does listen!

Maybe I did take initiative after all by writing my thoughts down....hmmmm.

Happy Paint Party Friday to you and thank you for taking initiative to share your art and for visiting other peoples' worlds and for leaving thoughtful comments.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

May is Positively the Month of Permission and Possibilities!

May is permission month.  Give yourself permission and time to play!  I have to, otherwise I will go crazy.  When I don't create, I feel all off balance.

May is so full of new possibilities with spring popping up more every day.  There are so many places and things to see and hear for inspiration.  

I am participating in Sketchbook Skool's a Drawing a Day Challenge.  Last Saturday's word prompt was single.  There were so many amazing signs of spring that I couldn't decide on one single thing to draw and paint, so I selected a whole punch of single things.  I am finding that my watercolour skills and confidence  are improving each week.  I only use primary colours and am learning how to mix so many colours and to have patience by letting the colours dry before adding new layers.  I am getting less browns!

Today's word prompt was "inside".  I drew a whole bunch of squares and painted them mixing a whole punch of different greens inside them.  Then I drew a circle in each square.  The task was to either draw in the circles, around them or include them.  The idea was to not think too much about the drawing, but just be free to play and experiment.  It was amazing what popped out of my head.  There was a lot stored "inside".

I hope you take advantage of the month of May and give yourself permission to do the things you love!

Happy Paint Friday!  Thank you for taking the time to respond with meaningful, specific compliments and comments.  They help me grow as an artist and thinker!

Remember to live!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

I Positively Love the Surprises Nature Brings

What is that I see lurking beneath my tree?

I am positively a nature freak.  As promised last week, here are some photos of the owlets I have been stalking for many weeks.

After taking about a hundred pictures of the one owlet, I ventured to the other side of the nest and under it to see if I could see the other owlets and perhaps find some feathers or owl pellets to show my students.

There was one!

This little one was sticking its tongue out!

There were two! We see you!

There were three little owlets!

As I bent down to pick up a feather, my eyes caught something very special and surprising.  It was one of those moments in one's life when you get that little quiver inside of you and you think to yourself that life is awesome and you have perfect timing and this once in a lifetime surprise will never ever happen again.  It was truly an "Oh, God" moment and I am so thankful to be alive to witness it.  I tried to convince my son and husband to come see the owlets, and they wouldn't.  Look what they missed out on!

Earlier, I could hear something in the grass at the base of the Cottonwood trees and thought that it was just the catkins falling from above.  Luckily, it wasn't only that, it was a PORCUPINE!  When I first spotted it, I thought it might be dead, but it MOVED!  It was trying to stay still and rest, but the dreaded ants were driving the poor thing crazy and it had to move!  Me, too!

The ants, flies, spiders and mosquitoes are out and they were annoying the owlets too!

Take a look at its teeth.  I told it, "Dude, You need to brush your teeth!"

I never realized that porcupines have such long claws.  They climb trees, so duh.

Woman, what are you doing?  I'm trying to sleep!

This whole week has been a marvelous week for nature for me.  Two Canadian geese visited on the top of my barn roof.

A duck landed in my dugout as I sat there journaling.  A robin built its nest right before my eyes. A meadow lark followed me and sang  boisterously.

Two hawks screeched and dove in front of me.  The owlets played peek a boo and a porcupine entertained me form mere metres away.

It is no wonder why I feel inspired to journal.  Here are two journal entries I did through the daily writing prompts from Sketchbook Skool.  The first word prompt was TOY.

The second and third word prompts were  kiss and favourite.  I combined them together.  On this page were random marks that I made to test out some brush markers, so I had to figure out how to integrate them into the page.  This is how it turned out!

For each prompt, I scoured dictionaries for definitions and then I randomly picked one and went for it. I love how this style of thinking leads to unlimited possibilities in my journal.  My day is so scheduled and time dependent, so my night life is the opposite, which is more more fun for me than planning things through.  Thus, I never know what surprises are positively awaiting me around the corner, under a tree or in my journal!

Remember to live!

Thank you for visiting!  Happy Paint Friday!  I sure love your specific and detailed comments!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Positively Remember to Live

Why? Since I posted this visual journal entry two weeks ago, four people I have known have passed away from cancer, and I have also remembered even more special people who have lost their battle.

One of my students that I taught at Crestwood School in grade four died recently. She was only 29 years old. She was a very special person. I remember writing about her in grade four that she had a smile as beautiful as a spring rainbow. She had the sweetest voice and admirable enthusiasm for what ever she did. She stayed after school helping me put on the finishing touches for a fur trading day. I remember her dressing up for our fur trading day in costume and sitting in the cardboard church that the students made singing Jesus Loves Me. I remember her singing with her grandparents in the church. She had every group of students and parents singing in the church. She was a kind a caring person who volunteered to help others.

Her parents were so thankful for her teachers, that every year they would invite her teacher and her teacher's family to their home for a delightful supper. I remember sitting in their living room listening to her playing the piano. What a special family and evening!

She posted on her Facebook page not too long ago, "Remember to live".

To celebrate knowing her, I remembered to live tonight. It was raining, but I invited my son Bryan to venture out to visit a nearby owl's nest. This morning I spotted an owlet poking its head out of the nest with its mother. I have been watching the nest since February, and updating my students on the progress each day.

After school, the mother and father were out of the nest and I spotted three little owlets poking their downy covered heads out of the top of the nest. So after supper, we ventured out in the rain and along the busy highway to get a closer look. The pictures ended up not the brightest, it was raining and the sun began to go down.

I think I can see four owlets.

We were treated to a conversation of hoots between the mother and father and me.

Please excuse the shakes.  I was standing on a slanted ditch.

After, a hawk swooped in and screeched, "Hello, I am watching you!"

A Blurry in the rain, but still important.  Showing life!

Later, the parents were getting nervous, so we hopped in the vehicle and drove to another nest. I noticed a head with white poking out this morning and was curious to identify the bird. As we were sitting in an approach nearby, two Canadian geese flew very close to the nest and then veered off. Sure enough, it was a Canadian goose nest high up in the tree top. We could see the beak, the white band and the tail feathers over the edge of the nest.

We decided to continue the journey down one of the range roads and were treated to the sightings of many, many deer. It was amazing how easily and gracefully they could leap over the barbed wire fences.

 I was asked today if we will still go on our field trip tomorrow if it rains. Yes, yes we will. It will be a reminder that just because it rains, we do not have to stop living.

 Thanks, Sonja for the reminder!  I will positively remember to live!