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!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Positively Canadian!

It's the eve of Canada's 145th birthday, and I've had a positively lovely Canadian day.  I had the itch to dip and cast my fishing line into any fishing hole to test out my new ultra light fishing rod.  I called up my dad and we were off.  My son and mother joined us.  We drove for an about an hour, things were looking bright.  The sky all clear with few clouds and no threat of a storm, the wind gentle but strong enough to keep the day from being a scorcher, the dodge truck loaded with our fishing gear and a quickly packed picnic lunch.

We pulled up to the prairie irrigation reservoir Cavan Lake, named after the Cavan family of ranchers.  We were welcomed by a playful bunch of pelicans gracefully gliding, dramatically dipping and fishing.  We drove around the lake, where would we fish?  The lake was so high, fence posts were peeking their hidden tops from under the blanket of lake water, too dangerous to fish in a big boat.  I did say the lake was named after ranchers, and what do ranchers build around their fields?  Fences!  Strike one. 

Next, we found weeds, oh the weeds! Where would be the best place to fish?  Wait for it... indecision hit us. Shall we fish over to the east with all the other people fighting the weeds, or to the north of the lake with the pelicans swimming in the weeds, or how about to the west by the willows near the weeds, south was out of the question, there was no road.  Our decision...  fish no where.  Strike two. 

We voted and it was unanimous. We would find the nearest tree, it happened to be next to the outhouse, how convenient, and we decided to picnic and dump the idea of fishing at this lake.  We dove into our picnic lunches of freshly baked buns, fresh summer fruit and freshly baked chocolate chip and ginger snap cookies!  How fresh! 

We drove back to the city and headed southwest to Murray Dam, built to control water into the St. Mary's irrigation ditches.  Hey, it's Southern Alberta, we fish where we can. We were determined to get some fishing done, TODAY! 

Well, let's just say, we did try to fish, and I did get to test my new rod, but did we actually see any fish?   No, but you guessed it, we saw... wait for it again...WEEDS and of course, what do engineers build dams with... boulders!  I learned why I love boating so much... rocks make horrible seats and rocks make excellent fish hook catchers, weeds love to grow next to the rocks and fish love to hide and laugh at the poor suckers who have to sit on the rocks and try to fish through the lake salad.  After a short time, my new reel fell off of my new rod, into the mean rocks and broke.   Strike three!

We grew discontented and decided to head back to the Hat.  We drove to the nearest Canadian Tire,  returned the defunked rod and reel, exchanged it for a new one, and loaded up with some more fishing gear for another days fishing adventure in a fishing boat at a fishing lake we know!  How fishy!

Our fishing was a flop, but we had fun visiting, we marvelled at the cheery yellow canola fields against the beautiful blue sky and we enjoyed the long awaited summer sunshine!

The day is done, the sun is setting, the Canadian flag is gently flying, the mosquitoes are buzzing,  and I can honestly declare, we had a positively Canadian day, eh!

Canadian Canola

Wouldn't You Rather Ride a Horse

Day is Done

The Wind Gently Whispered

Red Spilled From the Flag and
Painted the Night Sky

Next Time Fish At Your Regular Fishing Hole!
(Grassy Lake)

The photographs are "soul property" of Renee Dowling.
If you would like to use her photographs in any way,
please contact her at

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's Positively Time!

It's positively time to cross the bridge of time! The 2011-2012 school year is nearing its end and it is positively time to cross the bridge into summer holidays!!!!  My mind can transfer to me, and of course my family, nature and my ART!  It is time to concentrate on my art!  With my mind free of school stuff and a mind all rested, it is positively time to cross my mental bridge from the left side of my brain to the right hemisphere of my brain!  Look out holidays, here I come!  The bridges of summer's past will guide me to the bridges of summer present!  It's positively time!

Vancouver Bridge

Beaver Creek Bridge

Comox "Bridge"

R is for Renee's Bridge
(Lethbridge Bridge)

Confederation Bridge:
PEI to New Brunswick

Time to Mend Bridges (Elkwater)

Love Can Build a Bridge

Wooden Bridge of Contemplation

A Red Squirrel's Bridge Naturally

How Did They Do That Bridge?

Scuptural Bridge

Renee's photographs are her "soul property".
If you wish to use or purchase a copy,
please contact her at

Friday, June 22, 2012

Positively Relieved

I am positively relieved to finally get my laptop back from the repair shop. No more virus!  Now I can get on with my work and blogging and not feel guilty for hogging my son's computer.  Yipeee!   I was worried that I didn't back up all of music and photos properly, so I am equally relieved to have found my backup flash drives with all of my pictures of Prince Edward Island.  If you have never been to Prince Edward Island, the Gentle Island, you must add it to your bucket list.  When you are there, you feel so relaxed and enraptured, surrounded by gentle ocean water and sand so red that you won't believe your eyes, and low rolling hills with beautiful strip farming painted of fields of diverse colours and equally colourful buildings, and friendly people who are proud of their culture and celebrate openly their way of life both of the past and the present.  If the Island was good enough for the talented and wonderful author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, it is definitely good enough for all you kindred spirits out there!   I am positively relieved that I can share a few PEI pictures with you!

Cousin's Shore

Even the name's of the places are friendly.  Who wouldn't want to visit such a lovely place with bright red sand and that's named after a beloved family member,  Cousin's Shore? There is even a place called, "Pleasant View"!  The whole island could be called that!

Fields Painted With Colour

These gentle rolling hills are a canvas to small strips of fields painted with golden wheat and purply blue flax.
Coming from the prairies, I was so surprised to see such small fields!

Attractively Coloured Fishing Shacks
Colour here, colour there, there is colour everywhere,
Houses, fishing shacks, people, too,
Soil, sky,  fields, and music to name a few!

Anne of Green Gables Crew at Avonlee

Notice the beaver mountie?  We called him, "Justin Beaver".  Everywhere we went, we took a picture of him.  We had all kinds of people ask us what we were doing with the beaver.  I told them I was making a picture book for my grade twos and Justin Beaver was going to go on many trips with the grade twos throughout the year.  He journeyed and vacationed in Disneyland, Florida, Hawaii, Medicine Hat, and Winnipeg.  The students took pictures of him at the locations and journalled about their trips.

Justine Beaver Sits at Sir John Macdonald's Desk

Justin snuck into the office of Sir John A, shhh, don't tell anyone that he snuck behind the rope...

Justin in a Maple Tree

"Oh, the maple tree, the maple tree,
What a beautiful sight to see..."  
Michael Mitchell

Justin drinks Raspberry Cordial...Yumm!

You have to try the raspberry cordial!  It is so delicious.  If it is good enough for Anne, it has to be good enough for you!

Oh, The Colours!

Okay, enough with the beaver.  Can you believe the colours of the rocks, sky and the sand?

North Cape's Rocky Cliffs

Okay, there is one more Justine Beaver photo that I have to share.  The sign in the background is blurred, but it says, "Attention, Dangerous Cliffs!"

Justin, What Did the Sign Say?

I was positively relieved to find my photographs today!  Isn't it time that you go to PEI? 

It's About Time...
The Old and the New
The PEI photographs are "soul property" of Renee Dowling.
If you wish to use the photos in any way or purchase copies,
please contact her

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Positive Plants

With summer finally here, there are many positive plants to enjoy and admire.  The first two plant photographs are included to salute and celebrate National Aboriginal Day, the lovely sage.  It was once used as a deodorant.  The intelligent and resourceful Native Americans would rub the sage on their skin to hide their human smells and disguise themselves as "plants" as they were hunting the timid deer and the mighty bison.  They could very cleverly sneak up on the animals unnoticed hidden amongst the scents of the prairie plants. Another more squat and even softer type of sage was used as a gentle "toilet paper". Sage was also used in ceremonies to welcome the morning eastern sun.  Last year I was fortunate to receive sage that was blessed by a Cree elder.  We call her "Kokum" (Grandmother)!

Silver Sage

Fuzzy Sage

The next positive plant is the pretty pink peony.  They are later in arriving this year.  I usually float them in a fountain in my backyard each year for Father's Day.  This year they were all closed until yesterday!  The graceful petals are so interestingly wavy, going this way and that. They sure are a welcome addition to the palette in my very blue flax filled and bright white Shasta daisy flower beds.

Getting Ready

Hello, Partner!

The third plant that positively tickles my fancy is the iris.  Yes, I know, an iris is an iris, but I love the lines and textures and the slow unravelling.  They are almost like a dance, twisting, turning, unfolding, teasing, awakening...

The Awakening


Welcoming Butterfly Wings
 Welcome the World

Finally, the next plant is beautiful right now with its fluffy pink tails, the foxtail barley.  The horses and other grazers do not desire this plant at this stage and when it goes to seed, it is horrid with how it sticks to one's socks and shoelaces, but it is beautiful how it captures the light amongst the green young hay!

Pink Fox Tails

Oh, How You Sparkle!

Oh, How You Shine!

The captions remind me of a George Strait song, 
"Oh how you sparkle,
And oh how you shine,
That flush on your cheeks
Is more than the wine..."

Summer is here and there is something so positive about plants!
The photographs are "soul property" of Renee Dowling.
If you would like to use her photographs in any way
 or would like to purchase a copy,
please contact her

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Positively Modern Art

Positively modern art was spotted and enjoyed tonight at The Southern Alberta Natural Art Gallery!  Pablo Pine Picasso and the Emily Cottonwood Carr once again have outdone themselves with their celebration of the light, colour and absence of rain!  They have agreed to share their natural talents. They have declared that they are self-taught and have developed their own style through the years as they observed and adapted to their surroundings!  If you positively love modern art, I am sure will join me in the celebration of the talent of these two natural artists!

The photographs are "soul property" of Renee Dowling.
If you would like to use her photographs in any way
 or purchase them for your own collection,
please contact her at

Monday, June 18, 2012

Positive Monkey Business!

Monkey Redo!
Well, positive monkey business is here today!   The June weather is acting like a monkey and fooling us... one minute it is beautiful out and the next the wind blows, the clouds turn grey and it is raining.  Oh, June! Wait... in Canada, here on the prairie, that is how it is in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December!  Constant monkey business with the weather!

So, to swing with theme of monkey business, I once again grasped the watercolour vine, and repainted a monkey for one of my students in grade five! I sketched it first with pencil instead of starting with drawing with my paint brush.  The proportions seem to be better, but the eyes, the eyes... the paint always plays monkey business on the paper and with my mind!  One day, I will take the monkey out of the business of painting. OOO---OOOO---OOOOO!  Oh, well!  Painting monkeys can be positive monkey business at the end of a tiring Monday!

The art is "soul property" of Renee Dowling. 
If you would like to use this image in any way,
please contact her at

Take Me Out of the Computer Jungle!

A virus performed monkey business with my computer last week, so I am using my son's computer for now.  I am having trouble taking an image of my art that truly represents the colour.  ACDSee has been recommended because it is easier than Photo Shop.  Does anyone use any other programs or have any recommendations when taking photographs of their art?  Now that I have some birthday money from the weekend, I have some extra cash to buy a photo editing program.  I don't really like to do monkey business with my photography, except for cropping, so I am not sure if I really need an expensive, complicated program.  Any ideas?

Positively A- Okay

(AKA All Is A-Okay)

My dad is positively A-Okay!  Dad's classic signal whenever we say farewell or hello is the the peace sign with a little wave, but it really means to me "all is a-okay". Since it is Father's Day, I thought I would pay tribute to my dear dad. 

Dad always has a positive attitude even when things seem unfair.  He never grumbles, even when his body is aching.  He has provided so many positive experiences for my sister and me, my mom and our own families. 

Dad is never demanding, or unkind.  His sense of humour is also kind.  It is because of him that I love music.  As a little girl, I used to love sitting at his feet listening to him play his guitar, while I sang along, "Do Lord, oh do lord, do you remember me? Oh, do lord..." 

My fondest memories however, are of us camping and fishing.  Dad and I are both early risers.  We used to, and still do, enjoy getting up early to catch the big one.  The first person to catch a fish earns a quarter, the biggest fish a quarter and the most a quarter!  Dad is not a big conversationalist and either am I, but just being together on the prairie lakes, listening to the boat giggle as the water tickles it's sides, or the cows mooing good morning on the shore, or feeling the sunshine warming our shoulders,  each dreaming about the big catch or thinking how wonderful it feels to be on the soothing water together as daughter and father, brings fond memories to my mind. 

It is because of him, I am drawn to the water each day on my acreage.  It is because of all the nights he spent playing catch in the backyard with me, riding bikes down the rough prairie road to Police Point, and trekking down the highway to that prairie fishing hole to camp and fish each summer that I love nature.  It is because dad is so creative with his hands, like when he makes ice fishing gadgets from scratch, that I like to create with my hands.

Dad is always there for me and is always happy and positive.  When I say, "Look, Dad, there is a hawk in the tree!"  or "Look, dad, there is a pelican," he smiles and trolls closer to the shore so I can get a photograph. I am so privileged to have had another year with him! My dad is positively a-okay!

Daddy's Hands Are Always Kind!

Look, Dad!  There's a hawk!

Can We Get Closer?

Thanks, Dad!

Let's Go Ice Fishing!

Ah, This Is The Life!

Dad, Give 'er!

Waves Tickle the Boat and My Fancy

Dad's Fishing Hands are A-Okay!

These photographs dedicated to Renee's dad are her "soul property".
If you would like to use her photographs in any way, please contact her at