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!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Positively Done, 29 Faces in 28 Days

A Collection of Faces

Well, the end of February has arrived, and I have positively created 29 faces! Yippee! I have learned a lot, have visited some new artist bloggers and even made some new online friends. It has been fun to create faces and then invent stories to go with them. Here is a collection of faces I have been creating on my iPad since the beginning of the challenge. I actually forgot I started them, and luckily found them last night. I finished a face, added another and completed the collection by adding colour. Now I officially have more than 29!

I plan to keep improving on perspective and dimensions, trying some children's faces, different styles and then using photographs of people I know. My entries will be fewer in number for the next week. It is report card time, and I most likely won't have so much time to create, boohoo!

Thank you to all of the people who have stopped by and took the time to leave a comment. Hopefully, you all will take the time in your days to do what makes you happy! It feels so good when you do!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Positively Justine, Mac Meets a Woman, Face 28

This is post number two for today.

Some of you were wondering what happened when Justine went over to Mac's table at the cafe (Face 19). It was suggested, " Mac could've extended a hand, knocked over his coffee, burning his lap and ran off mortified and embarrassed OR ... He extended a hand, introduced himself without knocking over his coffee, asked Justine to join him and from that moment on ... the rest was history!!! " (Mappin)

Well here she is. Take a look at her face and you decided what happens next! :). Sorry, I can't be the only one to use her imagination!

Positively Young, Face 26 and 27

Emily 1

On this 29 Faces adventure, I have discovered that one little quick line on a face can really change the attitude, shape and features.

Today's faces are the same face, but with an altered nose, mouth and eyes. I am not sure which I prefer. I wanted the girl to look young...hmmm. I couldn't decide, so I included both iPad, Paper 53 versions.

This is Emily. She loves purple and piggy tails. She can be quite sweet, but can be a bit stubborn. One day she decided that she wanted to go to school with a piggy tail in front where her bangs are and one in the back, high on the crown of her head. Her mom refused telling her it would look weird, and she wouldn't be able to see the board. Her response was, " I want to wear my hair how I want to. I am a big girl now, it is my hair. I will look at my friend's work and copy her's instead of looking at the board."

Her mom told her it wouldn't be a good idea, that her teacher may think she is cheating. Emily didn't care what her mom said, she wanted to wear her hair the way she wanted, and that was that.

She did change her tune, however, when she ran into heavy wooden door at school and smashed her nose. Bright red blood poured down onto her brand new purple polka dotted shirt.

She didn't act so big after that. In fact, you should have heard her cry as soon as she saw her mom. My, did her nose swell and hurt. Her mom had to pick her up from school because they thought Emily might have had a concussion.

Some people have to learn the hard way. Emily had to spend the rest of the day with an ice pack and on the couch. She had to miss her best friend's birthday party, all because she tried to have her own way, and not listen to her very patient and wise mother, who as a child tried the exact same thing, only she ran head first into a friend who was swinging on the playground trying to touch space, but that leads to a different story... I am sure you can imagine the outcome of that story!

Oh, the positively young!

This is a dedication to all of the adults who let children try things for themselves, so they can learn natural consequences. I think many of us try to protect our children so much that they have become very afraid to try, for fear of failure or of getting hurt . I miss the teeter-totters, the merry- go-rounds and the children hanging upside down with no hands on the monkey bars. These are all things I did when I was young, and I never broke a single bone!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Positively Connected, Face 25

Hello, I am the paper boy, Matt. Brittany's brother delivered a letter to me yesterday, supposedly from Brittany.

I have been in Brittany's class since kindergarten, and know she couldn't have possibly written that note. She is the best writer in the class and her spelling is very good.

I have a feeling someone is trying to mess with my heart. That Luke is sure a character. He sits with his baseball glove and ball underneath the trees in the backyard just hoping someone will ask him to play catch.

After I have finished delivering my papers, I will pop over to see if both Brittany and Luke want to play catch. I hope they will agree.

I have had my heart locked onto Brittany since we both had missing front teeth. I will go along with the note and pretend that Brittany did write the note. I have been waiting for the right moment to approach her. The timing seems right!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Positively Sibling Love, Face 22, 23 and 24


Hi, my name is Brittany. Pink, flowers, bright lipstick, hoop earrings and curly up-dos are things that I LOVE!

Most of my friends gag when they mention the younger siblings, but I actually like my cute, younger baby brother, Lukey. He pretends to be mad when I call him that because his name is Luke. When he sees me coming, he ducks around the corner and hides. He knows if I catch him, I will squeeze his cheeks and give him a wet, juicy kiss or a zerbert on the cheek. He screams, and yells to mom for help. She yells down the stairs, "Brittany, will you please leave your brother alone?"

I can tell from the tone of her voice, that she actually finds it amusing, but she doesn't want my brother to think she is taking sides, so she mechanically says it to please him. He is still too young to catch on.

I love it when he makes cards for me. His spelling is hilarious. He has a horrible visual memory, so spelling is a challenge. His spelling is cute, just like him.


Luke is my real name, but my sister brittanee, calls me, "Lukey." She is a real pan. She chases me and treats me lick a little baby. She thincks it is hilaireous to sqeeze my cheeks, give me a wet, jooce kiss or a zerbert on my cheek. She thincks I really lick it, even though I run and hide as soon as I see her cuming. How much of hint dose she need that I don't lick it? My mom is no help. She yells down the stairs for her to stop, but if she reely card, she wood come down the stairs and give brittanee a tawlking.

Brittany's frends just leav there siblings alone, but not my siter. Maby I will ask there
mothers if I can cum and liv with them, or switch places. I am sure the neglectked siblings wood luv some attenshun from you no how.

I am hopping that the paper boy will notice my sister wun day soon. Maby he can distractk her and she will forget about me. Mabe he will tell her it is uncool to lick her younger brother, or even better, maby he will ask her to stop messin' with my cheeks and play bassball with him, and me of course. If only. Man, what do I hav to do to get that guy to notiss her? He dosent even notice she exits. Hmmm, maby I should right a note to him from her. I have bin practising her hand righting. She dots her i's with girls hearts and crossess her t's with a swirl and a curlicue. What will I right?

dear cut papper boy

I thinck you are just dremy. I watch you cum up the sidwalk evry day. Wood you lick to spend some time with me and my brother? He wood lick to play bassball with us. Please pay attention to me. I thinck you are reely cut.


I thinck I will stand at the door and hand the note to him persinaly. I hop it wrks.

Renee's Reflected Face

Hi, it is me, Renee. I created these characters on my iPad using Paper 53. I never ever had a younger brother, but I had an uncle who gave zerberts and a grandpa who squeezed cheeks, so I know how Luke feels. Luke spells how I used to spell. I watched a grade one teacher mark some spelling today, so I thought I would include some of their cute spelling errors. When my sister and I were teenagers, we used to pretend to argue and fight downstairs to see what mom would say to us from the top of the stairs. We would giggle our heads off when she yelled, "Would you two cut it out?"


We would pretend some more, "Ow, stop punching me!"

Mom would yell, "If I have to come down there, there is going to be trouble!"

We would giggle, rolling on the floor. Just how mad could we get her?


The story and art are soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use them in any way,
Please contact Renee at

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Positively Colour Your World, Face 21

Janet is celebrating all of the positive ways that she and her family can positively add colour to the world. Everything from simply greeting someone in the morning with a friendly, "Good morning" to a sincere smile, can be enough to add colour to someone else's life. Other simple things such as making the bed so someone else doesn't have to, doing the dishes without being asked, tickling toes, complimenting others, writing a thank you note, picking up garbage off of the ground, recycling, being early to pick a loved one, planting a garden, drawing a picture, playing a favourite song, visiting a relative can all really brighten one's world. What positive thing can you do for someone each day to make their world full of colour?

May your world be full of colour every day!


Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Positively Majestic Mountainous Faces, Face 20

The positively majestic faces in this scene are proudly admiring their surroundings. They are enjoying a sunny winter day and are celebrating a their natural habitat.

The inspiration for this scene is our trip to Waterton and the Crowsnest Pass area this summer. It was so beautiful, the sun shone so brightly and the reflections off the water were so spectacular. I chose however to imagine what it would look like in the winter.

Whenever I am in nature, I always see faces, especially in the mountains. The face in the mountain is a guardian. He has witnessed all of the changes in the environment between 50 - 100 million years. He is quite concerned over the pesky Rocky Mountain Pine Beetle that has devastated the pine trees. Many of the pine trunks remain standing tall and proud on the mountains, but sadly, they no longer have needles. We are both hoping that the beetle will be eradicated and the coniferous trees lower down the mountain will continue to strive.

There are two other faces for you to discover.

Even though the coniferous trees are suffering, the landscape below continues to be spectacular, and that is why the faces look positive and full of hope that people will continue to celebrate their natural heritage and that nature will restore itself.

On Friday, I had the privilege of attending a conference session with Brian Keating as the speaker. His home town is my hometown. Brian has been all over the world, exploring the natural world. He said something profound that is sticking in my brain, "I hope you know that we have a wonderful world. Everywhere I have been, there are wonderful people and places and nature to see. We only have been lead to believe that everything is bad by the media, because that is their way of getting our attention."

Isn't that a great positive way to think?

This art was created using my Paper53 app on my iPad. I started it around Christmas time, but finally figured out how I wanted to finish it...of course, adding some faces and rock details.

I hope you have a great weekend and are able to get outside and celebrated all of the beauty in the world!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Positively Mac, Face 19

Positively introducing Mac. Mac was created using Paper 53, an app on my iPad.

Mac is a kind gentle man, often overlooked because he is shy. He feels self-conscience about being mostly bald. If you ask him to help you, he will go out of his way to do so. He enjoys reading books about history in a local cafe that is adorned with art. He always sits with his back to the wall so he can not only enjoy the artwork, but also can observe how people interact with each other and their surroundings. He is watching them to collect ideas on how to be more sociable and perhaps use their interactions in a book he is thinking of writing, "Life in a City Cafe, How To Overcome Shyness".

Yesterday, Justine, a lady who also enjoys history books and an afternoon coffee, spotted Mac closely observing her. She could have felt creeped out, but instead felt flattered, smiled at him, stood up with her book and coffee and cautiously eased her way to Mac's table. She bashfully greeted Mac and waited for him to invite her to join him. He looked up and...being positively Mac, he...

I will leave it up to you as to what he did next!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Positively Remembering Grandma, Face 18

Remembering Grandma
My visual journal page evolved from leftover paint and cleaning my Valentine stamps, after I created my Valentines for my students.  The page was really teal and purple but ended being red and pink. As I was contemplating what to do with the page, I began to cut out hearts out of Canon sheet music.  It took me back to my childhood when my Grandma M, my sister and I sat around the kitchen table making Valentines.  We made hearts out of paper and cut out the centre.  We taped tin foil to the back to make the hearts shiny.  She taught us how to make "snowflake hearts".

My grandma was counted on a lot to raise her grandchildren.  Every time I went to her house, one or more of my cousins were there.  Sometimes it was for a home, others times they were hungry, other times they needed money, or needed something fixed.  Grandma could fix anything.

She always gave, gave , gave.  All she expected in return was love.  A visit.  Everybody getting along.

I used tin foil and a silver pen to salute her.  Grandma loved to spray paint things silver...old coal lamps, an old washboard, if it was peeling, it got painted silver!  Maybe that's why I like silver so much.

She taught us how to make Valentine hearts

I used a photo editing program to add Grandma's face onto my journal pages.  I will have to add the photos by hand when I can get her pictures copied.

She was a quiet lady, who was good at listening.  She never said too much except if the kids were fighting or not getting along.  She never wanted to make waves, and always wanted peace.  I guess that is why she was quiet... if you are quiet, than no feathers will be ruffled.  I am not sure if that is the healthiest way with dealing with adversity, but it was her way.  I suppose some of us deal with problems in the same way...hold our tongues and let it stew... I included few words on these pages to remember her quiet ways.

She loved silver spray paint

My grandma could crochet like no one else.  I tried to make my hearts look like they had been crocheted as a celebration of her talents.

Positively Remembering Grandma M.

I wasn't even thinking about her when I started my journal page, but my memories of her are so strong, that as I was cutting out hearts, the memory of her teaching me how to make a symmetrical heart popped into the forefront of my mind.  Maybe it was my trip to an antique store this weekend that triggered the memories... who really knows.  All I know is that I spent the day positively remembering my dear sweet grandma!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Positively Facing the Winter Blues, Face 17

Winter Blues Becky

Becky, at first believed she had the winter blues. But upon deep contemplation, she began to wonder if it was in fact the winter blues.  When she is doing her art, she feels energetic and motivated, but when it comes to doing other things that she has to do, like work, she feels bluh, unmotivated and unappreciated, and down right ready for a change.

 Her world is not completely blue, her house is purple because she is happy there. It is a place where she feels free to explore and try new things. Purple for Becky stands for hope, comfort, happiness and freedom.

Becky is positively pondering possibilities and knows that it is time to find her wings and take the leap to make some changes. Hmmm, where will her wings carry her?

It could be the winter blues, it could be her age, it could be her need for keeping things fresh and new, it could be her need to learn and try new things and feel like she is accomplishing something, it could be an earlier scare with her husband's health.  Hopefully these will shake her up to snap her out of her rut and seize the day.

It is said, "Seek and you shall find."  Now that it has been stated, the wheels are in motion...who knows what she will find...I bet it will be more than the winter blues that she will find!

Becky's eyes overflowed

Becky is soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use her image in any way,
please contact Renee at

Monday, February 18, 2013

Positively Beating the Storm, Face 16

The bird positively tried to beat the storm

On our way home from Red Deer, just on the outskirts of Calgary, a radio announcement alerted us that there was a snow storm emanating   At first, I couldn't believe that there was going to be blowing snow, as it was 10 degrees Celsius and the sky was clear and blue. The clouds were round and fluffy, and the sun was gloriously making the clouds glow.  

But, in a quick glance to the west, one could clearly see that it was snowing the the Rocky Mountains, and soon the snow would blow into the foothills, then to the prairies.

The sky grew dramatic and the wind increased to grand velocity.  When my husband pulled over so I could photograph the scene, I opened the door to our truck and my hair flew straight up!

A bird cloud formed and flew through the challenging west wind.  Can you find it?

The bird glided through the sun shine, gaining courage to flee from the  brewing storm clouds.

The Bird Burst Through the Cloud

It soared and tried to seek shelter

A small wisp of air  appeared at first, then Chinook huffed and puffed,
"I'll get that bird!" 

Snowing in the Mountains,
Chinook's Angry Mysterious Face Formed,
the Bird Made its Way to Safety,
Darn Foiled Again

Positively Beating the Storm
images are 
soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use them in any way,
please contact her at

Me Cheering the For The Bird

Thanks for visiting!  I love to read your comments!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Positively Silly Kitty, Face 15

The Silly Kitty photos are
soul property of
Renee Dowling.
To use the images in any way,
please contact her at

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Positively Marilyn, Face 14


Hello, meet Marilyn.  She is confident, sassy, knows what she likes and has dimples that warm the heart of those around her.  She minds her own business and never gossips.  Deep thinking, optimistic and forward thinking are other characteristics that make her positively Marilyn.

Close Up With Marilyn 

Marilyn Detail

Fully Marilyn

This is Marilyn 2

Marilyn is soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use her image in any way, 
please ask for permission by contacting her at

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Positively Cute Valentines, Face 13

Hey, cool cat!  If you’ll agree to be my Valentine, you’ll make my heart purr!
 Have a super, terrific and remarkable day!                                               
This positively cute kitten has been a special feature on my Valentines that I have made in the past two years for my students.  I often take a picture of each student, make a special catchy saying and make the Valentines on the computer.  This year I decided to use some of the visual journaling techniques to make my Valentines instead of using photographs and the computer.

Valentines 2013

On the backs, I wrote a little message to each child, and included, "Made with Love by Mrs. Dowling." Well, they are not as personalized and cute as the previous years, but they were a lot less stressful to make and more fun too!

I hope your day tomorrow and every day is filled with lots of love and chocolate!  
I prefer dark chocolate!

The images are soul property of Renee Dowling.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Her Heart Positively Poured, Face 12

Veronica, Her Love Poured Out
Does your love positively pour out of your heart?  Do you ever question, " Will it ever be enough?"
Well, Veronica here has asked that very same question. She pours out her heart and gives a mountain of love, but it seems that her love is one sided, and she is starting to question if it is enough to make her happy, or should she expect more from her love?



Face 12
Hopefully,  love is given back to you positively equal to the love you give!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Positively Surprising Face, Face 11

Surprising Face

On Sunday, I was sorting through some of my collections of stuff.  I left the stuff out when we went out for lunch.  When we returned, this little six-legged fellow sat waiting for me on a fake tulip on my art desk. I suppose he thought that by sitting on a tulip, it would seem like spring.

If only it were spring!

Just visiting!

What a face!
What a positively surprising face to see in winter!

The photographs are soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use them in any way,
please contact her at

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Positively Green Tree In My Heart, Face 10

The singing bird came

There is a Chinese proverb that states, "Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come."  Well, a singing bird did come.  I had some tissue paper and applied it to my page without any ideas of what I would put on the page.


So I decided to paint some flowers.  Then suddenly, a bird appeared.

A bird appeared (pencil outline).

Next a circle border.

Circle border

Next, it was time to take the plunge and paint the bird.  I totally went with the image that I saw in the collaged tissue paper.

The singing bird appeared in blue.

Finally, what to do to finish the visual journal entry? Find a relevant quote and write a bit about the process.

How it happened.

Some finishing touches


I guess the green tree in my heart positively invited the singing bird to come!    

The images are soul property of Renee Dowling.
To use them in any way, ask for permission