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, 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.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Positive Dedication

It Happened One Cold Fall Saturday
Dedication.  It is a great long word, that is generously created with an enormous amount of banked time and effort all for a cause one believes in.

Imagine that...

It is 6:00am, it's a cold Saturday Albertan morning in November.  The fields and hills are comfortably tucked under a thick sparkly white blanket of snow. The temperature is -15 degrees Celsius.

The Fields and Hills Lay Beneath Their Blankets
 Where are you? Safely and warmly tucked into your bed?

Well, imagine that your not in your bed, but instead you find yourself on a high school football field with shovels, snow blowers, and a small tractor with a bucket and brushes.  Why would you, you ask?  Well, thanks for asking... You are assigned to a very important task.  Your task is to clear at least a week's worth of snow, so two important football games can be played.

Now, imagine that it is a few minutes before 11:00 am and you are still preparing the field for an eleven o'clock kick off.  Yikes, with determination you get it done.  Amazingly, after five hours, the job is done...Now that is dedication!

Time Is Drawing Near

We're Almost There
 On Saturday, my son and his middle school football team had a tier 4 championship football game in Drumheller, and I don't know if they realized that some hard working dedicated community members were working for five hours straight so they could play football on a relatively safe football field, but that is what happened.  There we all were, 15 dedicated parents, a few siblings, twelve cheerleaders from our team and two bleachers full of supporters for the home team; all bundled up in at least three layers of clothing, our snow pants, toques, two layers of gloves, our warmest winter boots, sleeping bags and many, many blankets, all ready to support our young athletes.

The Warm Up!

I have to say that despite the coldness, it was a wonderful day. The sun was shining  in that really special way that you only see in "winter" (fall), when the sky is such a glorious blue that it takes your breath away,  and the sun dances and sparkles on hills ' snow blankets and the frost shimmers on the trees.  The sun is in perfect position to make photographers jump up and down and thank their lucky stars for being alive and able to experience such splendor.




Catch My Breath
 The crowd was delightful and showed great sportsmanship.  The announcer stood on the sidelines and travelled up and down the field, encouraging both teams.

He Supported Them All
 The players on the Drumheller team tried so hard, but having so few players and with the conditions of the field, slippery and snowy, their spirits could have been deflated, but they kept on trying.

Outsized But Determined

Working For It!

Will He Get It?

Did He Get It?
One of the receivers stood out in particular because he tired so hard.  He dodged  this way  and that way, he leaped over our team players, but just couldn't cross that icy, snowy end line.  I was deeply impressed by his perseverance and desire to help his team.

 The announcer wished us well, as did other parents and grandparents from Drumheller, as we move on to Provincials this coming weekend in Medicine Hat against Grand Prairie.

I have to salute our cheerleaders, too.  First of all, they sacrificed a Saturday sleep in on their long weekend to support our guys and gals, then once on the sidelines, they were kicking high, shaking their pompoms, and cheering their hearts out in the cold wintery air. They didn't quit even though at times the naughty wind tried to have a snow shower fight and they probably found themselves questioning,"What was I thinking when I- I -I -I- I- I volunteered to be a ch-ch-ch-cheerleader for foo-oo-oo-oo-tball?"

Kick That Ball!
I also wish to take a moment to salute our coaches  for showing sportsmanship.  They did not keep building up the score and they did this by playing a variety of players, giving many the chance to help us out.

The home team treated our team to a warm lunch, how thoughtful!   Then our coaches took all of the team, about 40 players and 12 cheerleaders to the Tyrrell that's dedication to the team and learning!


Let's Do This


Slipping and Sliding

What a beautiful day...the weather, the sunshine, the crowd, the officials, the company, the coaches, the players, the landscape, the dedication!

The Future is Ours

Through the Windshield

What a positive experience.  Thanks everyone!

The Light Played With My Heart

On the Highway Again!

The story and photographs are soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use them in any way,
please ask for permission at

Friday, November 9, 2012

Telephone Perspectives...Positivity?

Telephone Perspectives
Bringggggg, bringgggggggg.
Who may I say is calling? 
It's Future.
To whom would you like to speak?
...It's for you.
What is this concerning?

Telephone, I would appreciate it if you could take some time to answer some questions.

Ummm, okay.

Telephone, do you feel appreciated?  I don't know how many times I have been slammed down or dropped.  However, I feel much more safe than that runty cell phone over there.  He has been dropped into the lake, the swimming pool, the toilet and in the snow bank.  I, on the other hand, have never left this room, and I am proud of never dipping my head into disgusting places or having to spend time drying out in rice.  Rice is for eating, not for phones!

Do you think you are substandard compared to the high tech phones in most  peoples' pockets, purses and backpacks?  Do you know that people are watching television, organizing their days, playing games, blogging, listening to music, searching for recipes and planning their road trips using on their phones?

Why would I feel substandard?  I am happy being me.  I serve my purpose.  I am supposed to be used to TALK to people for companionship, help, to spread the news, to answer questions... There are inventions for all of the other things you mentioned that people use their cell phones for...televisions, maps, recipe books, calendars, stereos , paper and pens...

Very true.  Do ever feel tied down?
No, I admit those other new fangled phones get to go to many places, but do you know how many of them get lost and never return home?  Being attached to the wall with a cable, I have never left this room and I certainly have never been lost.

Do you owners ever forget to turn you on?  Are you kidding?  I am always there for my owners and I certainly don't need to be turned on.  

What are your best features?  Hmmmm, I am reliable...I never need recharging, I work in any weather, my buttons are easy to use, I never auto correct anyone and change people's messages,  and once you buy me, I don't need fancy, expensive coverings to protect me, I come with my own coverings.  What you see is what you get.  The only thing you pay for is my monthly bill.  There are no extras that you need to buy for me,  you can talk as long as you like on local calls at anytime of the day or night.

Aren' t you a bit old fashioned?  Oh, I admit my style is old, but I never go out of style and once I am bought, I pretty much am around for many, many years.

Are you jealous of what the new phones can do? 

No.  They wear out from overwork.  Not me, I do what I need to, when I need to, how I need to.  There are no secrets to using me, just push the numbered buttons, and wait and listen and talk...
I live a simple life.

If you could, would you trade places with the new phones?

No, I am happy being just the phone, for just simple communication.  I don't want to be traded every three years, or upgraded  every week.  My needs are simple and I am faithful for the long haul.

Telephone, why did you agree to pose for the portrait?

I wanted people to remember to put things into perspective.  Their over reliance on their cell phones is making them anti-social.  I have heard of people going out together for supper and very person at the table is silent, except for their fingers tapping on the screens. What message are they sending to each other?  I am not interested in you, there is someone else I would rather "be with".

As a telephone, I am sure you hear a lot of things.

Very true. Listen to this. The other day, I heard one kid complaining,

"Mom, why do you come to my sporting events?"

She responded,"Honey, I come to watch you play of course!  You know that."

"Really? Every time I look into the bleachers, your head is down and you are texting!  You didn't even notice that I saved the game."

What a shame.  Life is passing by and people are missing a lot of important events. Telephone, do you think you are safe from disappearing forever and we will ever meet face to face?

Hmmm, I can't be certain,  but I know my owners are dedicated to me and my ancestors.  They have a collection of us.  There is my dear old wooden grandfather with a black crank hanging on the wall in the dining room, and my rotary dial black grandmother in the garage.  My owners claim that Granny is fun to dial. They especially enjoy the sound she makes as her dial spins.  She has never let them down.

Why are your numbers all mixed up?

Well, my owner did this to me.  She often has dreams about trying to call for help because of an emergency and every time she tries, she can't dial the correct number.  She also had a hard time remembering phone numbers, especially because everyone has a bazillion different numbers.  So to her, the numbers on me are a big mystery and are never in order or easily retrievable.

I suppose you have a lot of secrets and have heard many different messages.

Absolutely.  That is why my portrait is surrounded by many messages on my desk.  I hear the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Can you give us some examples?

Sure... I hear everything.  My owner heard "Congratulations, you have earned a bronze medal for your pen and ink art in the South Eastern Summer Games, we sure hope you can make the awards presentation!"  Do you know that that was the kick start of confidence for her to get out her art supplies and get creative?  You see that the artist included  her favourite  pen and her notepad with my portrait?

 I have also heard "You better sit down." news.  Here is one you never want to hear, "Mom, I am okay, but I had an accident.  I thought something was on the road, I swerved and to miss it and the car rolled into the ditch and over a barbed wire fence and onto a farmer's irrigation pipe.  We are okay, but the car is totalled.  We are down the road about a kilometre and are inside the acreage owner's house across the road."

Do you know the thing on the road turned out to be a porcupine?


I also hear the ordinary boring stuff like, "We need more dog and cat food, milk, bread, and toilet paper." 

I don't know how many times I have heard,  "My battery is dead, can you come and give me a boost?"

The best words I like to hear are things like, "Hi, Auntie, this is Carter. What are you doing today?  Can we come out?  Sleepovers at your place are the best.  I love you, Auntie."

My owners get pretty frustrated when the tele-marketers phone.  They are starting to think that the are all tricking them when they say, "Thank you for your donation."  When they haven't really, but tell them they have to trick them into sponsoring them.  I often here, "Sorry, we are not interested."  "Sorry were are not donating any more."  "STOP CALLING HERE!  If you call be one more time this week, I will never donate to your cause again."

I've also heard this one,"Um, Mom and Dad, I am not coming home for the summer.  I am going to stay in Edmonton and work and save money for university." and then several months later, "Umm, Mom and Dad, my money didn't quite last as long as I hoped, could you please send money?"

You sure have been cooperative in answering my questions.  I hope to meet you in person, in the future. 

Me, too.  I hope I will still be around.  Pure, simple, but necessary.  I also hope that people will not be so obsessed with their cell phones and forget to pay attention to things around them...for the health and safety of others and their families.

I concer.  This is Future signing off.  Thanks for your time.  I am sure your owners will continue to have great admiration for you and will be by your side for a long time!


You are welcome.

Talk you the future.





"Telephone Perspectives"
is the soul property of
Renee Dowling.
To use her ideas or images in any way,
please contact her for permission at

She started this piece in 2008, and finally had the ideas and the courage to finish it.  She has learned that acrylic painting mistakes  can be easily repaired and that she shouldn't be afraid to make mistakes.  She tried to fix the wonky perspective of her telephone and desk and is satisfied that for now, the perspective will do, and that after four years, her art perspective has changed and she is becoming a better observer. 
So, here is to ever improving art!