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!

Monday, September 24, 2012

More Positively Magnificent Tree Faces

This week is for nature lovers, because I am spending the whole week outdoors with the teacher I team teach with and two classes of grade sixes at a prairie forest in Police Point Park where there are many positively magnificent tree faces.  The best faces can be found in the Plains Cottonwood trees.  The trees that are near the river are around eighty years old, but the ones in the middle of the prairie are tree faces of survival where it is estimated they are close to three hundred years old.  This is magnificent because they need plenty of water, and when they don't get it, which is common on the prairie, part of the tree dies and it sends the nutrients to the rest of the tree so the rest can survive.  As a result, the trees twist and turn, bend and break, so many magnificent shapes result.  The woodpeckers and other birds, also assist in the formation of faces.  Other factors that effect the trees are fire, floods, diseases, humans, high winds, lightning and drought.  With all of the obstacles the Plains Cottonwood experience, it is amazing that they survive at all on the great Albertan prairie.  For the rest of the week, the photographs and experiences at Police Point will be the inspiration for my art. 


We had to follow the tour guide today, and stick with the large group, so the sunlight was not in the best position.  Tomorrow, we are on our own, so I expect better lit photographs.  For now, sit back and enjoy the positively magnificent tree faces!

Spooky Face
During the day, this tree face is somewhat spooky.  Imagine when the fall orangy and pinky sun begins to descend and fade what the face would look like!

Work It

This Plains Cottonwood tree is one of the most photographed trees in the park.  At this angle, it looks like a super model with wild and crazy hair posing with one arm up and the other on its hip.  The surrounding skirt of chokecherry bushes, silver sage and wild clematis compliments the super model in stunning autumn colours.  Do you recognize the tree in my art above?
Sacrificial Twists
How does the tree grow as it twists is totally amazing to me.  The flattened trunk is so different than the usual cylindrical trunk.  On the left hand side of this magnificent creature, I see a very wrinkled old man with a very large mouth.  Perhaps he is calling all of his old friends over for some sage tea and chokecherry jam with fresh cream and homemade bread made by the local farmers nearby?

Changing Faces
Up until August, this mighty Plains Cottonwood looked like a giant with a very scary face and arms reaching out, created by lightning strikes, bullying winds and about 300 years of challenges.  Now, sadly, although it is hollow in the heart, its arms have broken off and the face has disappeared, its soul is still alive, and it is sending energy to the younger parts of the tree and leaves are still growing.  Isn't that typical of grandparents?   They nurture and sacrifice for the good of the young!

This week we will be measuring the circumference of its trunk and examining it closely.  Behind it is the Enchanted Forest, and we are going to reenact the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel there!  Follow the crumbs and you will find this beauty!


We were treated to a rare delight of music on what sounded like bongo drums by a Pileated Woodpecker.  The speed at which this large fellow beat his beak against the hollow Cottonwood entertained our prairie hearts!  He stops and listens, after beating the trunk, for insects inside.  If you are quiet, you may hear this lively fellow's music in the distance and if you creep slowly, you may catch a glimpse of its black and white face and lovely red head!

Faces of Disease
 This tree is part of what makes the Enchanted Forest so special.  Although it has a disease, the tree is still growing strong and many faces adorn the tree like a totem pole.  If you are quiet, maybe the tree fairies will sing you a song and treat you to a dance around the tree base!

Oh, the more I look, the more I see magnificent faces in the divine Plains Cottonwood trees!

Work It, detail 1

Work It, detail 2

Work It, detail3

The magnificent tree faces are soul property of Renee Dowling!
If you would like to use her photographs in any way,
please contact her at


  1. Love your 'tree lady!' and so jealous of your time being spent at Police Point! One of my most absolute places in Medicine Hat!!!

    1. Thanks for the compliment! Oh, the weather has been so cooperative and the students and volunteers have been excellent! Today we saw two Great Horned Owls and a downy woodpecker! We are going to be on CHAT TV today 5:30, 6:30 and 11:00 , and in the newspaper!♥☺

  2. Lovely work and very interesting photographs!

  3. Thanks, Denthe. I continue to enjoy your work , as well! This project is very fun! If only I could have more time during the day!


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