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, May 28, 2013

Positively Mysterious, Who Am I? No.2

Who am I?  No. 2

I am continuing to be positively mysterious!

I randomly placed a lens free magnifying glass as a frame/viewfinder on a photograph that I took last summer.  Next I drew the details and textures that I noticed within that frame using pointillism and a black fine tipped black marker.

 Each circle is filled with details and textures from one photograph of one thing found in nature.

Who am I?  Look at the clues to make an inference as to what you think I am!

Who am I? No.2, without mat and frame

Please leave your guesses in the comment boxes.  Thanks for visiting!

To use my images in any way, 
please contact me at

If you have any photographs that you would like me to use in a "Who am I"?,
please contact me too!
What fun it would be to collaborate with you!

Stay tuned for Who am I? No.3

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Positively Mysterious and Inspirational...Who am I? No. 1

Who am I?

Last week a positively mysterious and inspirational situation occurred. I asked my students to use a magnifying glass to closely examine some nature photographs and then to draw the details and textures, instead of worrying about creating a realistic picture.  One student pulled a magnifying glass out of a bucket and discovered the glass was missing.  I suggested that she use the magnifying glass frame as a view finder and draw only what she saw in the frame.  She did such a fantastic job, that she inspired me to give it a try too.  I traced around the empty magnifying glass frame several times and then I placed the "new" view finder randomly on a nature photograph.  I not only challenged myself to focus on patterns and textures,  but also to only use pointillism.

I thought this might be an interesting series to do... give clues within the circles using patterns and textures, and challenging the viewer to closely examine the clues to make inferences about what the patterns and textures are representing.  I hope you enjoy this mystery!

I would love to read your inferences.  What do you think the patterns and textures are representing within the circles?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Spring is Positively Abloom

After a long week of getting ready for story and newspaper article writing for the Provincial Achievement Test in Language Arts, I thought my students and I should take a break for some art.  Here is one of the views right outside of the front doors of our school.  As the students were creating, I took a few moments to try out my new watercolour travel journal and my field box of watercolour paints that I received as a Mother's Day gift!  Yippee!

The weather is always unpredictable during the May long weekend, so  I thought I should seize the day and venture outside this evening.  Look who was very curious and had to poke his nose in my business.  I started whistling the tune to the show Gilligan's Island, and he hurried over to me, sniffing around.  He seems to also respond when I hum Scarborough Fair!


Monday, May 13, 2013

Positively Serene

With all of the blossoms surrounding me, I am reminded of our visit last year to the Japanese Gardens in Lethbridge. It was such a serene environment, with carefully hand selected round smooth rocks spaced equally apart in the fine sand, beautifully sculpted trees and bushes, gently flowing waterfalls into a calm pond, wooden bridges, pagodas, and benches offering places of contemplation, ducks flying in and out freely, and slow winding paths encouraging visitors to take their time meandering through the park. As I sit here composing this art on my iPad, I am listening to my favourite traditional Japanese music and imagining what the park might look like in spring. I am positively serene!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Positively Connected, A Mother's Day Tribute

Forever Connected

"A mother's love infinitely surrounds her child and safely comforts and softens all of life's obstacles.  She is the sun and the moon.  Forever connected. Forever needed. "  Renee Dowling

I created this Mother's Day art using pastel pencils to symbolize the connection between a mother and child. I also used a gold pen and green pen to add swirls to the mat.  Daphne Odjig is one of my favourite artists, so I had one of her pieces in mind when I created this.  The rushing water and the rocks symbolize the obstacles in life that can be overcome with the support of a caring, understanding mother.  There are two suns to represent the never ending love of  a mother, sunrise to sunset.  A mother is the sun and the moon to a child.  They remain forever connected to each other, even after death.  We forever need our mothers, even if only in memory.  


out of the frame

Monday, May 6, 2013

Positively Music Monday

Today, students across Canada had the opportunity to sing with Chris Hadfield, Canada's own astronaut on the International Space Station.  He co-wrote a song from space with Barenaked Ladies'  Ed Robertson, and welcomed students to sing along together with them on this day.

 At our assembly, our students sang together in unison as the lyrics scrolled across the big screen in our gym.  What a grand experience!  Whenever a large group of people sing together, I always get choked up and tears form.  I don't know why, perhaps it is because music connects us and is so powerful.  To create a song that others proudly sing along to must be an amazing feeling. To have others singing and celebrating the writers' emotions and experiences  and understanding and connecting to those ideas, to me would be the ultimate gift!  Check out the music here: Music Monday.

I created this art  as a celebration of Music Monday.  Black to represent space, the white dots with black dots inside to represent all of the little eyes sitting in the darkened gym following along and singing, and the fireworks type patterns to represent the goosebumps I experienced while listening to the young voices singing with Chris and Ed, as they strummed their guitars!  Music Monday was a totally marvellous musical experience for me!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Positively In the Flower Garden

A Brick House

The sun was shining merrily and the birds were chirping enthusiastically championing me to get  outside to prepare my flower beds for the May days ahead.  We have so many trees on our acreage that hang onto their leaves in the fall like a kid and his candy, so we have learned to rake leaves in the spring.  The first year on our acreage, we raked our leaves in the fall, and ended up raking again in the spring, so a lesson was quickly learned.

After raking, I added coco mulch that I received for free from a nearby greenhouse.  They plant little seedlings in the bags of coco mulch, and when it is time to transplant the plants, they no longer want the bags of coco.  My mom and dad tried using them last year and they claim that the coco retains the moisture and keeps the weeds down!  So this year I thought I would give them a try.  Reusing is something I am a great fan of doing, so I helped out the greenhouse my taking the bags off of their hands,and hopefully my flower beds will benefit as well!  We fortunately were able to bring three truck loads home.  I have a lot of perennial  flower beds, and they are huge!

One reason I garden is I love to be outside with the birds and other natural wonders.  The flower garden also gives me something to photograph and draw!  Today, I was graced with the company of many winged temptresses that gave me a break from raking, and threw me into photography. I always have my camera when I work in my flower beds, you never know what may visit!

At times, there were five fluttering beauties at a time enjoying a mid-morning snack on last year's berries on one of our bushes.  Wings closed, the butterflies look like leaves.

This guy landed on my head for a brief second.  Lucky me!

This fellow let me touch his wing!

Beautiful Texture

Can you see the silver comma?

I think this brushfoot is called Comma, because of a silver comma mark on the underside.  Can you see it?

We also placed our patio furniture on our deck and in the front of the house.  Hopefully we didn't jinx the weather... often we put out our lawn furniture and it cross your fingers, toes, ears, nose hairs and eyes that the snow will be done spreading its blanket upon the prairie for this year!

After four truck loads of leaves to our back corral, where we compost them, we declared the end of our raking adventure.  I took a break at our dugout and spotted my first frog of the season and our resident muskrat.  Of course I had the wrong lens on my camera. Oh, well, there are still plenty of opportunities to photograph them.  However, I did take some shots of the gorgeous blue sky and "Toy  Story" clouds reflecting in the water.

Toy Story Clouds

After supper, I sat outside on the green grass and made time to finish a little drawing using my new pastel pencils.

Detail 1

Detail 2

Detail 3

All of this positively happened in my flower garden!

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Positively Refreshing Spring Art Walk

I have a Dream

Medicine Hat had its first Art Walk of the season downtown which was a positively refreshing way to welcome May.  The evening was cleansed by a sun shower and some wonderful local art.  The above photo is of a building I want to own.  It has gorgeous hardwood flooring, a magnificent chandelier  huge windows and three floors.  I have a gazillion ideas what to do with the building, but I need the courage and a good loan to make it happen.  Isn't the sky above the building glorious, especially with the buildings greeny- blue painted exterior?

At the Esplanade, our local museum and art gallery, there was a great opening of Joyce Yamamoto's art celebrating her life's art. I especially enjoyed her portraits, patterns and her pen and ink journal pages.  There were also hundreds of pieces of art from students from kindergarten to grade 12.  Do you see any of my influence in my students' art that was chosen for the School Art Show?

The following art is not from my students, but from another school.  Aren't the wire sculptures delightful?

The Art Walk lead us through many local shops and down the main roads of Downtown!

City Hall

The local red brick is so beautiful in the long rays of the setting sun.

Court House

Our boulevards are lined with trees and gas lamps.  The trees are just starting to leaf out!

Spring Leaves

On the Boulevard

The CPR Railway goes right through our downtown and separates the North and South.  Large booming sounds echo throughout the streets as the train cars are loaded, unloaded.

Big Bang

Across the tracks!

We ventured down through the walking underpass, which was built so people wouldn't have to cross the train tracks.  I haven't travelled on foot through the tunnel at night since my teenage years.  Don't tell my mom I did it.  It used to be a horrible and exciting experience!  It used to be very dark and grey and we were always so freaked out about going through the tunnel.  It was cold and smelled like urine and we always thought someone was going to creep around the corner and grab us.  We knew we probably should not go through the tunnel, but the idea of it was seemed very adventurous at the time.  Now it is well lit, painted white and clean.  A few local artists have begun to share their talents on the walls, they have called the display, "Tunnel Vision", clever huh?

Oooh, so dark outside.

Hubby waiting so patiently while I snap a few photos!

Times Have Changed.... Tunnel Vision

I couldn't resist buying more pottery water cups from Cactus Clay! A spectacular clay bowl, with lots of texture,  leaves, a butterfly and my favourite colour blue, was my most exciting purchase from Remenda Designs.    The potter is Dixie Baker.  I have about five pieces of her work. 
Here is my clay bowl that I bought.

It was grand to see so many friends and acquaintances on this evening! 
This artist's date was a positively refreshing way to start the first weekend of May!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Positively Everywhere!

We now have ELEVEN kittens in our barn...white, black, orange, spotted, stripes and solids. Three mothers, one giant cuddling heap of brothers, sisters, and cousins. Kittens laying on their backs, on top of each others' heads, crawling over each other, protecting each other and keeping each warm, safe and secure. Now some are starting to open their little precious blue eyes. Their tiny paws as small as my thumb nail... Kittens here, kittens there, when they start being more mobile, we could have kittens everywhere! How about one or two at your home?

Meow, I think I am turning into a kitten, purrfect...I am going to have to learn to climb trees and lift my legs really high to bathe myself...I wonder if I will have trouble digesting my hair balls ? Meow, cut it out you say? Hmmm, I can save a lot of haircuts, just shedding...I can finally officially take a genuine cat nap! I wonder if my husband will let me sleep at his feet? It might be fun to sleep on his head! Shall I try it out tonight? I wonder if he will notice me purring and if my whiskers will tickle his nose and make him sneeze? Okay, I purrsuaded myself to give it a try...If you don't hear from me tomorrow, it's because I have positively transformed into a kitten and the trial run was highly successful!

It's a bit uncomfortable on his head, but he has finally stopped snoring, I could get used to it, though.....purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! Purrrrhaps, I should lick my paws while I am on top of his head... I wonder if my husband will appreciate my new purrsonality?