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!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Positively Tweet

This morning I opened the door to the positively sweet sounds of birds chirping and robins bob bobbing around my snow sprinkled deck. A patient robin perched itself on the deck, as if awaiting a good morning from us. I am sure he had the following words to say...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Positively Orange

Blogging has opened up a new world to me. It has been a year since I started blogging and I have been exposed to many positive things. I have meet many new virtual supportive friends who have similar interests, whether it be photography, visual journaling, positive thinking, prairie life, nature, illustrations, watercolour painting, multi-media, drawing faces, music, cats, and even certain colours. These friends have left encouraging and motivating compliments, and have helped me deal with adversity and have assisted me in celebrating the positive in my life. Blogging has brought me closer to family members and friends!

The seed that planted my interest in blogging was a very special, thoughtful Christmas gift from my husband last year. It was a gift that kept on giving. He enrolled me in watercolour classes at our local college with a beautiful spirit Gena LaCoste. I learned new colour theory, techniques, to love professional grade artist paper, brushes and paint. I learned to take risks, to share, to accept critiques, to learn more...that there are artists at all levels of experience, and it is never to late to learn, explore, create and reflect.

Gena has a blog that celebrates her passion of watercolour painting and the west. During the time leading up to my lessons, and during my lessons, I visited her blog every day to see what beautiful creation she painted each day. After my lessons, Her blog got me thinking, I should blog too, to celebrate my journey, to allow myself to explore the great big art world, and to refocus my thinking.... Think positive, open my mind, and expand my learning, seek new opportunities... I contacted her for advice, and her positive encouragement became the sprout to the seed earlier planted. She became my first follower!

Since that day, I have made a few close blogger friends and my blog has been visited from all kinds of places throughout the world. I have had almost 10 000 views. One of my followers, Maria, nominated me for a Liebster Award to celebrate being a new blogger. I was supposed to nominate five other bloggers who have less than 100 followers. I have struggled to pass on the award, because I enjoy so many blogs, and I hate to single out anyone. Every blog I follow, I promote by visually including them down the right side of my blog and I guess, that is my way of nominating each of them for positively influencing others to follow their dreams and for having the courage to share their areas of passion. Terri, Denthe, Michelle, Tammie, Maria, Lorik, Ross, Ted, Renee, Paul, Jessica, and the Journal Fodder Junkies, I Follow because I find their ideas inspiring!

Today's iPad, Paper 53 art is called Positively Orange, because I have come to really like orange. Lorik and Maria, two artists that I follow, are doing a challenge called Mandarin Orange Monday, and they have convinced me that orange is grand. I think my love of orange disappeared when I said goodbye to the seventies and hello to my teens in the eighties. Orange was a colour of the past, and neons, pinks, blues, greens and yellows were the colours of the "future". Now that I think of it though, my favourite dress when I was 18 was orange and my favourite t-shirt was orange too,and my favourite kind of cat was "orange", so I guess I actually did have a secret like of orange.

I also have found a neat artist in a magazine called Where Women Create. Her name is Dinara Mirtalipova, and her blog is She uses oranges and folky colours. She loves patterns and illustrating, and I tried some of her ideas.

Thank you to all of you who visit and encourage me. You are my muses and I am grateful to have you in my life! You've made my year positively orange....and red, yellow, blue, green, indigo, violet, and all of the colours possible!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Positively Signs of Spring

Sign of Spring
A beautiful night full of sunshine, no wind, grass greening, bees buzzing, meadow larks calling, robins chirping, clouds reflecting in the still water, all showcasing as signs of spring.

The clouds reflecting in the water are a sure sign of spring.  No more ice!!!

I threw a rock into the dugout to get these ripples.  If you stare long enough, there is a 3-D effect, and you don't need 3-D glasses!

Optical Illusions

The ripples created magnificent Impressionistic reflections.  Don't you just love Spring, full of movement and life?!

Impressionist Reflections

Spring Movement of Life

Another true sign of Spring is when little tiny miracles appear.  This spider is less than 1mm in diameter.  How can something so small create such an elaborate web?

Mini yellowy orange spider and web

The kitten population continues to grow.  How peaceful this one looks cuddling in the warm barn with all of its brothers, sisters and cousins!

There are now eight that we can find.

The two mother cats piled their two litters together to make a heap of kittens.  The blurry cat is the most active and kept moving around.  The little black tabbies and the little black one on the right are only a day old and are cousins to all of the orange/spotted kittens.  Don't you want one or eight?

These are all positively signs of Spring!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Positively Buttercup

Positively Buttercup is a series of bunny pictures that I started during Easter, using Paper 53. I began with a solid black background and modified the picture many times. I actually forgot that I started the bunny picture, so I am glad that I found it and then was able to try different tools to get different looks.

Buttercup was an all white rabbit that we had about 17 years ago. We thought he was a girl and called her Buttercup after a favourite rabbit from a children's farm picture book. When we took her to our vet, we discovered that she was a he. We kept the name Buttercup, sort of like in the song, "A Boy Named Sue".

We kept Buttercup in the house until he chewed the chord to our answering machine and he grew too large to be happy in his small cage. We often let him roam around under the trees to trim the grass. After awhile, his courage grew and he would hop away on us and became very hard to catch, so we put the top of his cage over him with a rock on top of it. He was strong and would dig under the cage and lift it up to escape. We were worried about him getting caught by our dog or a coyote, or hopping away onto the highway, so he couldn't be a free range bunny.

His favourite food was clover, carrots and dandelions. Dandelions are an easily accessible food here on the prairies. We live next to an irrigation canal, where dandelion seeds tend to enjoy floating downstream and resting in our hay field, grass and flower beds.

 Buttercup lived about three years, longer than most bunnies. He is buried in an area where the grass grows high and dandelions like to grow large. My husband made a cross out of corral wood to help us remember the happy times we had with him.

We were also grateful for him chewing the answering machine cable, we were tired of people leaving grumpy messages about stray dogs (one of my husband's many assignments as an Agronomist was being the bylaw officer/dog catcher/rat man). It probably took us about 10 years till we replaced the answering machine!

This art is in remembrance of our times with Buttercup!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Positively Sudden

 I was inside painting, when the phone rang.  The call was from my husband who was at the barn working with our horses.  He said to grab the camera because I might like the contrast between the dark blue sky and the golden fields to the north of our house. He was right!  The clouds came in positively suddenly and disappeared just as quickly.  I took about ten shots before the mini storm hit...a strong cold north wind, thunder, sleet and a bit of rain. I dashed to the barn to help clean up the riding tack and to take shelter.

Notice the faces in the clouds? 

Taking refuge in the barn, look what we found.  Jeepers, that stray mother cat had another litter!  We are going to have to figure out how to catch her, she is a wild one, literally and figuratively!  She gets around, if you know what I mean.  

We  must have a cat aura around the barn.  Two other cats have been hanging around too!  With this new litter and the regulars, that makes 14 cats, 16 if you count the newest two furry vagrants!!!    Oh, boy... I will have to get a second job to feed these critters!  It is time to get serious and find homes for all of  these frisky cats.  They really are cute though... With this positively sudden storm, you could say it did rain cats, thank goodness it didn't rain dogs!  Heehee!

The photographs are soul property of Renee Dowling.
For permission to use them, please contact her at

I sure love and appreciate your comments!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Positively Proud!

My son was invited to try out for the Southern Alberta Bantam Football team in Calgary on the weekend.  The weather was miserable, but it did give me the opportunity to sit in my warm vehicle to warm up and doodle instead freezing in the McMahon Stadium in the wet snow and wind.

My son was moved to a position he had never played before, so his chances of making the team changed.  He enjoyed learning the new position and meeting new players from all over, and showed a positive attitude and gratitude for all people who helped him on the weekend.  He was also pleased to play where the CFL Calgary Stampeders play!

Wet Butts

Trying Something New

Where the Pros Play

So far, he hasn't made the team, but is grateful for the opportunity to tryout!  What a great attitude!  We are positively proud of him!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Positively Venting

Julia Cameron, the author of "The Artist's Way", stresses how important it is for artists to deal with frustrations, fears, negative self talk that keeps us up at night, or wakes us up in the middle of the night, or interrupts our dreams and prevents us from meeting our goals. She suggests taking twenty minutes of every day, and write and write and write to fill two pages until all of the negative is vented and permission is given to oneself to move on. This iPad creation using Paper 53, is my venting. The idea is to write what ever comes to mind, not worry about neatness, punctuation, spelling, hurting anyone's feelings, just let it go. Then as the author, keep it for later, tear it up, staple it shut, bury it, whatever. I have tried this several times, and it is amazing how messy and angry my writing starts out, but by the end, it is neat, calm, and positive. I decided to keep writing over top of my words, because they are personal, and not intended for others to read. It was a chance to move forward and clear my head. Having a bad day, month, season, pain....? Give this a try, it is really healing.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

A Positively Divine Dead End!

When people declare that they are at a dead end, it usually means that they have nowhere to go, or have given up.  That's how I felt in the morning when I awoke to snow again!  Luckily, by noon the snow had melted and I mustered up the strength by supper time to get outside and get past the dead end feeling that I had in the morning.

I found an absolutely divine dead end and I was very pleased that I had nowhere else to go!

Last night, I hopped in my vehicle and ventured off once again to discover places I have never thought of going to.  You would think after twenty years of living in an area, one would have already uncovered all of the secrets of the land.  Over the past few years, and especially now, I have decided not to rely on others to show me new places, but to be brave and explore on my own.

Until recently, my dog has always given me that added strength of comfort that I could go somewhere and be "protected" and not alone.  Now, however, I only have myself and my cell phone.  I pay more attention to where I am, just in case I have to call home for a rescue...such as a flat tire or a pull out of the mud.

Since the positively spontaneous adventure with my son, I thought I would find another dead end at the end of an undiscovered range road.  I knew that if I headed west and north, that I would find the river, but I had no idea what the area would look like.  Have a peek.  I am sure you will agree that I found a positively divine dead end!

Gorgeous Cliffs

Cactus and Beetle Surprise

River Valley

Barbed Wire Fence and Splendid Hills

Reminds Me of Drumheller

I can't wait till the fragrance of the sage returns!

Prairie Rocks

The Sage Kept Luring My Eyes

Sage Framing the Valley

Sage Soaking in the Setting Sun

Clouds Dancing

Back At Home to the Last Easter Egg

All images are soul property of Renee Dowling.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Positively Pinkish Prairie

The river valley in the prairies in spring is very golden and brown. Here is an iPad drawing using my Paper 53 app. It is a compilation of some of my photographs that I took on Tuesday. The magnificent bendy Plains Cottonwood trees and the ancient clay cliffs, the white clean ice floating down the sparking blue South Saskatchewan River and the reddish Prickly Rose bushes poking out of the tall yellow grasses, a trampled down path created by plentiful deer and the heavy winter snowfall, all help to create this composition. At just the right moment at sunset, a positively pinkish hue makes the prairie glow!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Positively Left to Chance

Ice Flow

The temperature rose to 20 degrees Celsius today, and of course, the wind also blew all day, until evening.  The evening was peaceful and warm, tempting us to get outside and enjoy SPRING!

The question was, "Where would we venture to?"  I convinced my son to come with me.  He was the driver. We couldn't decide where to go, so we decided to flip a quarter.  Chance would determine where we would go.  Heads...turn right, tails...turn left.  Sometimes heads was go straight and tails was turn.


We ended up near the South Saskatchewan River a few kilometres from where we live and a place where we had never ventured to before.

Cottonwood Reflections

The area was absolutely beautiful.  Giant ice chunks were swiftly floating down the river.

Ice Flow 2


Canada Geese, snow geese,  ducks, robins, woodpeckers, bees and many other flying creatures were also present.


Goose Reflection

Goose Reflection 2

Graceful Goose

The delightful clay cliffs,  glorious ancient cottonwood trees, scratchy wild rose bushes, golden dry grass and deer worn paths were some of the highlights of our "left to chance" adventure.

Cottonwood Deer Path

Beautiful Bark

Ancient Beauty

Cottonwood Deer Path 2


Triple Reflections


Oh, dear, stop the truck... There is a deer!

Golden Grass

On the Edge  of Glory

And then there were two

River Sunset

My son thanked me for getting him out of the house.  What a grand SPRING evening we had!
Isn't it positively fun to be spontaneous?

Renee Dowling's photographs
 are her soul property.
To use them in any way,
please request  permission,