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!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Positively Red

Red.  It can positively conjure up all sorts of emotions.  To a farmer, red may trigger an excitement in spring that she will be able to plant her crops with her Massey tractor.  To a young man, red may create a desire to show off as he speeds down the street in his new red sports car.  To others, red is a reminder of anger or danger or a signal to stop, look, proceed with caution.  This weekend, red made me feel creative. 

Snow once again returned beckoning me to get all bundled up and venture outside with my camera to experience the cold, biting wind and the magical work of the snow.  My favourite red towel accompanied me.  I wondered if I could collect and capture various snowflakes on the red towel.  The contrast between red and white really tickles my eyes, so I thought, "Why not take the towel with me and photograph different scenes with it?"

I know what you are thinking, "Who would take a towel outside in the middle of December and why would someone do that?"  It is a bit weird, but why not?!

With cheeks red and tingly, I challenged myself to think of scenarios... What could the towel be besides a towel? 

How about a red cloak... awaiting on a bench, surprising and tempting a love smitten young lady to welcome a rich young pursuer into her heart?






The red cloak could be abandoned by the damsel in distress, perhaps because she is frightened by a big, bad wolf hiding behind a tree.  In her haste, the young girl runs off, dropping her cloak.



The bright red cloak against the white clean snow teases a romantic old lady to pick up the cloak and place it on a wooden swing, reminding her of her first outing with a school boy she had her eye on since the first day of  grade school, whom she later married.



The young damsel returns to the scene and is relieved to find her red cloak given to her by her new love. She places the cloak upon her shoulders and ventures to the gazebo, where she is supposed to meet the gift giver.  As she nears, she glimpses her beau with another girl, her worst enemy.  She has always been jealous of her perfect golden locks and sky blue eyes.  She dashes to the gazebo, confronts the two, they argue and the maiden slaps the young man's cheek, and in anger and embarrassment, she turns, and dashes off, tossing her cloak into the snow as a message that she cannot be bought and strung along!



Later, a poor farmer boy, on his way home from school, spots the cloak and decides that the cloak would make an excellent horse blanket and would keep his horse Blacky warm while he stands and waits outside the school house for his daily trek down the prairie dirt roads.  He leaves the blanket hanging on the half barn door to air out and dry, allowing his horse to get accustomed to the new blanket.



The young maiden, decides she is being foolish and returns to the gazebo and to her disappointment, she cannot find the cloak, but on her way back to her house, she spots something red hanging from a barn door.  She doesn't have the heart to ask the poor farmer boy for the cloak, because she realizes that the horse far more needs the blanket than she does.  She sees the boy in a new light, as he lovingly tends to his horse.  She notices that he is quite handsome.  Her cheeks redden and her heart flutters...hmmm,... red...It can positively stimulate one's imagination!


Yes, after all that, I did actually photograph some snowflakes! 
I didn't completely forget why I went outside in the first place!
Blush, blush!


The story and photographs are soul property
 of Renee Dowling.
Contact her at dowling@shockware.com
to use them in any way!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Positively Patient

Just when I was on a blogger roll last week with four entries in a row, my computer started to act up, so I have been patiently awaiting for the day when my computer is fixed. I wish the technicians would listen to what I have to say...they fix certain aspects, then give me a list of things to do, then the computer doesn't synchronize properly, and my documents disappear...networks...good for some things, not so good for others.

I have been collecting photos and ideas, but haven't had a computer to get things rolling again...oh well, maybe tomorrow. I did figure out that there is a Blogger app, so I am going to try this now...can I insert a photo while on the iPad...?

Hmmm, let's see...

By George, I think I've got it.... Being positively patient may have just paid off.

The deer photo was taken a few weeks ago, near my son's school. The deer and its friends were lounging in a yard of a house nearby.

The Santa is one of my oldest son's decorations that he made many years ago... I think in daycare...

Tomorrow I will have to try this app again, if my computer isn't ready... I will think positive thoughts and hopefully, my wish will come true. In the meantime, thanks for being positively patient with me!





Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Positively Imaginative Santa!

Santa is positively imaginative! For the past three years, Santa has visited Cypress County employeees' children early.  Each time, Santa arrived doing different things. 


The first year he arrived at the Christmas party on a horse named May.  It was May's last ride before she died.  I had reminded Santa that May hadn't been ridden all summer, because she was getting very weak and old, so it probably wasn't the greatest idea.  Santa had tried to load our other horse, Joby, but she wouldn't budge for some strange reason.  Santa had her all saddled up, but she didn't trust him.  So, in desperation, Santa loaded the old mare and off they went to.

We, Jeffrey and I, wrote a newspaper article about the event and it was published in the Cypress Courier. I remember reading Maple Creek's newspaper as a kid, and the reporters always wrote the articles with a lot of little details that most city newspapers do not, so I wrote the article in that style.  The article went something like this:

"Santa Rode a Horse
Dec.4, 2010

Tonight Santa made an appearance at A&W in Medicine Hat at 5:15 p.m..  He was spotted unloading a mature looking quarter horse from a silver double axle horse trailer attached to a 2002 F350 diesel one tonne white crew cab truck.

Santa sported his traditional red suit with white furry cuffs, tall black boots, a long white beard and curly hair which was topped by his furry red hat with white trim. 

Just to spice up the evening, May, the stubborn quarter horse, decide she didn't want to cooperate.  She seemed frightened by the icy slope that descended the A&W entrance.  She insisted on backing up, over and over again, while Santa tried to encourage her to proceed to the Travel Lodge, where the children of the Cypress County employees anxiously awaited in the lobby for their arrival.  Santa had a tough go.   His hat flew off, his bells fell to the ground and his coat kept unfastening. 

Santa's helper, (me) dressed in a black wool dress coat, snow pants, warm black boots, a fashionable bright pink scarf and an antique black felt hat adorned by a lovely bow, suggested Santa dismount the horse and lead her instead.

Santa agreed and the horse did too.  His assistant helped Santa redress  and progress was made. 

 Being a horse of high class, she agreed to walk on the sidewalk, instead of the road, and then allowed Santa to mount and enter the Travel Lodge parking lot, not without a little song and dance, however.

Passersby waved at Santa excitedly and the children darted out of the lobby to greet Santa on a horse!

Santa's second helper, a teen aged boy, took turns waiting outside with May while Santa boisterously and enthusiastically handed out gifts in the warm, cozy lobby.

Santa did a splendid job, said his good-byes and Ho-Ho-Hos and then mounted the anxiously awaiting horse outside in the parking lot.

There they posed for photographs and then rode off to the A &W parking lot, as Santa's two helpers followed on foot.  The horse was more than happy to head back.  Many people walking and driving waved to Santa as he made his pre-Christmas visit.


Santa, being somewhat of a showboat, rode May passed the A&W windows, enticing the teen aged workers to come to the door to check out the action.  The young employees couldn't believe their eyes.  They enthusiastically greeted Santa, so Santa and May decided to order at the drive through.  Santa's lovely helper paid for the meal on foot at the window.  May didn't appreciate a speeding vehicle in the parking lot and refused to proceed through the drive through.  The impressed workers gave Santa and his helpers a discount and repeatedly commented,  "It is so awesome for Santa to order at the drive-through on a horse!"  They kept repeating how awesome it was!

After a lot of attempts, Santa and his female helper convinced May to get into the horse trailer.  A friendly tap on the rear seemed to do the trick. 

A family of five children were very excited to see Santa and greeted him.  A man and his wife also came over for a look.

Santa and his helpers decided to eat  inside at the A &W.  As they left, the employees still said, "That was soooo AWESOME!"

The night was a big production, but Santa gave a lot of people something to remember and a story to tell!

Thanks, Santa!"

That was May's last ride.  She went out in a blaze of glory in February of the next year.  It was a very sad time, but we were comforted by the memories we had with her, especially as an assistant to Santa.




May's Last Summer

May, Me and My First Digital Camera

 The second year, Santa arrived on a quad and actually rode into the Cypress County lobby, surprising all of the children that Santa travelled in such a cool way.  He even wore a helmet to show the children that safety always comes first. 




This year, Santa entertained the children with a few layups and a game of one on one basketball at the YMCA basketball court. 

He goes out of his way each year to delight the children and adults.  He is truly imaginative! 

Thanks, Santa.  You are a great guy!



The story and images are soul property of
Renee Dowling.
Please contact her to use them in any way

Please excuse the night photos.  I didn't have my new flash yet, and I was a rookie at taking night photos.   

Monday, December 3, 2012

Positively Frosty Kisses Part Three



Jack Frost positively painted his frosty kisses on everything metal too!




He found his way into the garden.





Flower pots showed evidence of his passion to sprinkle his magic.




Nails in old fence posts could not escape his affections.




On the top, on the bottom,on the sides, all surfaces frosted by Jack.




The old wooden wagons were not exempt from his mischievous behavior.


Oh, Jack, you sure do leave positively frosty kisses!

The images and story are soul property
of
Renee Dowling.

Should you wish to purchase or use them in any way,
please contact her
at

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Positively Frosty Kisses Part Two


Jack Frost did more than dust the many circles on our acreage with frost, he also kissed the Cottonwood leaves and the pine trees.  Spirals and curves continue to be his specialty.
































How beautiful Jack Frost's kisses are!

The photographs are soul property of Renee Dowling.
Contact her at
to use or purchase them.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Positively Frosty Kisses Part One

Nest Circle
Have you ever been kissed by a cloud?  I  have.  One foggy winter morning we walked on the docks at Elkwater Lake.  The fog was so low and thick, that we could feel little ice crystals kissing our cheeks. 
Last night I was kissed once again on the cheeks by a gentle misty fog.  

Jack Frost accompanied me on a walk with my dog Lucky.  I was wondering what Jack was up to, as he dashed and darted between the willows and the poplars, the spruce and pine trees.   

While painting early this morning, I gazed out my north window and the scene lured me to get dressed and venture outside into the winter wonderland.  Jack Frost had stayed up throughout the night painting our prairie with sparkly ice diamonds.  Meandering through my yard, I caught glimpse of many positively frosty circles that had also been kissed by the magic of Jack!

To my surprise, I discovered a nest hanging in our bushes like a Christmas wreath.


A Christmas Wreath

The bolts, nails and chains on our corral fences were really showcased by dear old Jack. 



The summer insects' artistry magically appeared on the weathered grey fence canvases.


Everywhere I turned, another circle appeared.


The light shown shyly through the newly revealed circles of time.








Colours long since gone unnoticed, unveiled their hues.


December first was positively kissed by Jack Frost. 

The photographs  and story are soul property
of Renee Dowling.
If you wish to use them in anyway,
please contact her
at

Monday, November 26, 2012

Positively Wondrous

I Wonder Why?
I was positively wondrous today.  As I was taking my dog out for her daily business, I heard the strangest sound every time I picked up my heavy winter boats.  The sound was like the sound of beads falling in a rain stick.  I wonder why I have never heard the sound before?  I have had 44 winters to hear the sound.

Watch and listen to the video to hear the sound after the crunch of my footsteps.



I created the video on Windows Movie Maker using art that I created with my new art app on my iPad called "Paper 53", my photographs and Voice Memo on my iPod.  Now I have two videos on YouTube.  Who knew I would try to create videos and share them on YouTube?  I am learning so many technological things that are really helping me to become positively " wondrous".

The images and video are soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use them in anyway,
please contact her at

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Dog Positively Digs Art



The Dog Positively Digs Art is an animation that I created using an absolutely free app on my iPad  called PixStop from the National Filmboard of Canada.  It is an experimental video that I created using an antique ceramic dog, some of my art in the background, as well as using George Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1886; Chicago, Art Institute, and music from my favourite movie You've Got Mail called "The Puppy Song". 

The video is silly, but was fun to make.  Has your dog ever dragged its butt across the floor like this dog?  Weirdly enough, our dog Lucky has!

It has taken me a few weeks to figure out how to upload the video, an alas, here it is.  The best way was for me to upload first to YouTube.  It seemed to compress the file and then I was able to quickly uploaded it to my blog. 

Well, since I have now figured out another way to create art and share it, I would say, "This dog (me) still absolutely, positively digs art!" and I am going to have to try to make some more videos!  I hope you will give it a try too!

The video called The Dog Digs Art
is soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use the video in anyway,
please contact her at

The tree art in the video is a multimedia painting I did earlier in the fall.  I have decided that I don't really like the colours, the thick lines on the tree and the people at the bottom, so I am presently reworking the piece.  Hopefully soon I can reveal it again!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

A Positively Cool Artist App

I am a big fan of my iPad.  We go many places together.  I read books on it, research, visit blogs, play games, watch movies and now I can create some art on it.  I have been introduced to a positively cool app called "Paper 53."   You can make visual journals and use virtual multimedia.  No clean up, you can mix colours on the palette, and it reacts to exactly what you finger tells it to do!  This is so much fun and positively freeing!  Yippe, I am finally done me report cards, the second set in just over a month....Now it is time to refocus on blogging and art!

Here are some fun examples:



Thanks for visiting.  Let me know what you think of the art and app.

The art is soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use her images in anyway,
please contact her at

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Positively Remembering Santa Lights

Even though Christmas is still a fair distance away, recent photographs of the Northern lights by Terri Mappin, a fellow blogger and photographer, have triggered some very positive, deeply special Christmas Eve memories. Please allow me to share them with you.

One of most special memories of being with my family was on a Christmas Eve many years ago when my eldest son was about five. We were just arriving home late from spending the evening with my husband's family playing pool and sitting around the very whitely decorated Christmas tree listening to very old Christmas music... Rocking' Around the Christmas Tree, Charlie Brown Christmas music, Silver and Gold, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Burl Ives, Gene Autry...


 And we looked up into the night sky and witnessed white Northern lights dancing merrily across the sky. We stood there silent, in the calm cold darkness, just looking up and my son said, "Those are Santa Lights!" We all agreed that indeed they were and went inside and dreamed of Santa coming!

 It was one of the last Christmases we spent with my husband's mom and all of his grandparents all together. Since then, Christmas Eve has never been the same.  They have all passed away, and we try to continue with some of the Christmas Eve traditions, but we just can't seem to replicate those special feelings we once had back then.    Each had their special little contribution.

Jeff's mom's warm hugs and enthusiasm.



 
Nana's smile and her special stories of Jeff and Terry-Lynn growing up.



Grandfather and his love of playing piano music.  



Bumpa and his little quiet raspy laugh.




Grandma Bruins and her lutefisk, and "Things like that" comments. 


The whitely decorated Christmas tree has been tucked into the attic and replaced with a small table top predecorated tree, the front room in the old one hundred year old house is less crowded each year, Chinese food has replaced the lutefisk, and we don't always get together since Terry and her family moved to Calgary and Jeff's dad has a lady friend with her own family.

We have tried to make new traditions with all of the changes over the past 16 years, but things never seem the same as when we were younger and more of our family were around.

I am grateful for the memories and the photographs and to Terri Mappin who inspired me to remember and celebrate our past!  Here is to the Santa Lights!

If only...
The photographs and story are soul property of Renee Dowling.
Please contact her for permission to use them in any way.