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!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Northern Lights Were Positively Spectacular

At 2:30 am on Saturday morning, I arose to use the washroom and spotted light dancing in the northern sky. I grabbed my camera, a tripod, my dog and headed outside.

 Sure enough, the Northern Lights were putting on a positively spectacular light show! I stood there in amazement, I had never seen such a performance. Waves dancing this way and that, and the occasional green, pink and purple light flashing and changing before my eyes.

I knew that I couldn't keep the experience to myself, so I flew into the house to awaken my son and he agreed that he needed to witness the northern light ball.

After several minutes the lights in the dance hall continued to flap and flash some more. We knew my husband needed to join us too. He agreed to join us!

All four of us stood there in amazement. The only sounds were a dog and a coyote yelping in the distance, and the occasional snort from our horses. The sights and peace were breathtaking.

Suddenly, I heard a familiar meow. It was one I hadn't heard for about four months. Could that be one of our favourite cats, Fluffy? While I fussed with my camera trying to figure out how to take photographs of the heavenly light show, my husband and son wandered off to see if the meowing was indeed Fluffy. Sure enough, it was him!!!!! What a miracle.

We thought he was a goner. He disappeared during a horrible snow storm.  After several months he had finally returned! Yippee!

Fluffy's brother, Jacques Cartier, was delighted to see him. He sprinted to him and nuzzled him and they began to lick each other and weave in and out against each other! After the excitement, my son and husband tiredly dragged their weary bodies back inside to bed and I remained outside with my dog.

Feeling brave and inspired, I remained outside till the sun began to rise and the dawn's chorus began.

My photos are not that clear, but I decided to share them anyways.

Now that I kind of know what I am doing, I will try again soon. This morning I ventured out again, but there were too many clouds and there was lightning.

I have never personally seen such colour and movement of the Northern Lights. Usually the sightings have been white light for a few moments on a cold crisp winter's night, not hours of lights dancing in colourful display on a June summer's morning! What a way to begin my first day of summer holidays! The Northern Lights were positively spectacular!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Positively Wild!

It has positively been a while since my last blog entry.  I have been really busy wrapping up the school year, and preparing my flower beds for summer!  I have been doing some art, and can't wait to show you when I finally have time to finish it.  In just a few more days I will be free to be me and be able to get back on my art and photography track!  Here is a glimpse of what I was doing last week with my grade six students!  I was camping in Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan.  I guess June is Saskatchewan month!  We had three glorious days and two very chilly nights to explore.  

After this amazing campfire, roasting hots dogs, chowing down on S'mores and singing crazy campfire songs, we headed for the giant sky telescope in the light pollution free reserve and were able to see beautiful Saturn and its rings, part of our galaxy of stars and the International Space Station zoom by!  It was positively wild!  We were up so late, by the time we got back to camp, it was after 12:00am!  We didn't get to bed until 1:30.  We sat and waited for the kids to settle and listen to some kids struggle from being away from their parents for the first time!   

The day had been full of wild adventure!  Horseback riding, paddle boating, rock climbing, and mini golfing!  I luckily was able to go horseback riding through the magnificent hills, where we were treated to the flitting and flirting of numerous Yellow Swallowtail butterflies dancing!  It was so peaceful and exciting.  It was some of the kids'first time riding ever!

The horse closest to you is the horse I rode.  His name is T.C.  It was hard getting good pictures on his back, but I did manage to get a few non-blurry shots.  My camera kept whacking me in my back when we decided to "treat" the kids to a faster little trot.  A teacher's time to get a little revenge on the students who don't know how to ride horses that well and for giving us a hard time when we request that they work hard and get their work done.  Heeeheee hee.  That's my evil laugh!  Just kidding.  Or am I?

On our walk back to camp, things became very exciting!  I finally was privileged to experience a visit of TWO MOOSE, a mother and her calf!  The kids were so quiet, that I was able to change lenses and stop and get some great close-ups of the mother!!

                                             Baby in the distance!

Below, in the next picture, the mother moose, the cow, is as cool as a cucumber! I was a bit concerned with how she might react with all of us standing and watching with her baby fairly close, things could have gone wild, but she wasn't bothered at all about our presence.  Phew!

Isn't she a beauty?  I have never been so close to a moose before!  It has always been my dream to be able to see a moose in the hills, and what a dream come true!

What a face.  How about those lips?

The next day, my group went mini golfing and paddle boating.  Instead paddle boating, I was fortunate to supervise the students while kayaking!  Yup, I got to try kayaking for the first time!  I am now hooked and am looking into buying one with my birthday money!  I turned 45 on Father's Day,  what a special gift I received, to be able to celebrate my birthday with my wonderful dad once again!
Anyways, I digress,  kayaking was so peaceful, even with kids laughing and calling for help around me.  It was so nice to a be "alone" in the kayak and having total control over my own destiny and destination.  The grebes were swimming closely, a muskrat said hello, and the Canadian Geese and their goslings were enjoying the day too!  

I was told that the grebes transport the babies on their backs, including the fathers' backs.  The owner of the boating business shared with me a story of a father grebe taking the strongest baby upon his back and when the baby got a bit stronger, "booted" him off, while the mother who took care of the weaker baby, so lovingly waited until her baby was almost her size before she "booted" the baby off!  Patient mother, impatient father!

By the third day, we were all pooped out!  Some of us had walked up and down the hills and trails so many times, that our feet and legs were killing us!  I blew a hole in my running shoes!  

We ended up having great weather, no storms, and only a few drops of rain.  The  nights were quite cool, you may know the kind of cool...wear socks, a hoodie with your hood tied up tight, mittens on, long pants, an extra blanket, and don't dare move once you finally figure out how to zip up your sleeping bag, kind of cold!  

On this last day we promised to take those that wanted to canoe to the lake and the rest to the beach.  The ones who originally wanted to play at the beach all voted to stay at camp to avoid having to walk down to the lake and over the hilly paths for what seemed like the millionth time.  Another teacher and I chose to be the leaders for canoeing.  What fun!  I haven't canoed since I was in high school and received my canoeing 1 badge.  It was difficult to paddle with two children who never had paddled before, and couldn't synchronize their strokes.  I had to try and steer us out of the weeds a few times!

We sure had stiff legs and sore feet and very tired bodies, but the days and nights were positively wild with great adventure!  It took a lot of naps and a weekend to recover!  Yawn!  June is so tiring, but exciting too!  It will be so refreshing once holidays start.  

Sorry I haven't been able to keep up with all of your blogs, I have been busy and our internet  has been down for most of the month.  Good news though, our provider has moved our tower, has given us a new receiver and has given us a promise of the internet being seven times faster and free for the next month!
Yippee!  Boy, it sure feels good to be back blogging.

I have more to share, but it will have to wait for another day!  I have school work to do and sleep to catch up on.  Talk to you soon!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Positively Saskatchewan

I am positively from Saskatchewan and this is a celebration of a trip we took several years ago to Regina for a football camp.

The roads at times are like roller coasters, up, down, up, down, and that funny feeling you get when you plunge from the very top of a roller coaster to the foot of the roller coaster can be experienced at times on Saskatchewan roads.  Many roads are still gravel covered which also adds an element of adventure.  

The year we went had been a particularly wet spring and there were sloughs everywhere, water filled ditches and sometimes water overflowed onto the road.  

Because of the rain, ruts in the road made it challenging to travel quickly.  By the end of our trip, our backs were achy.  

Aside from the poor roads, the landscape always amazes me.  At times the prairie land is amazingly flat, and the great big sky, the barbed wire fences and power poles are the only really interesting things to see.  

At other times, tall silver sage scattered over the rolling hills add sculptural interest.  Then there are the fields that have been cultivated into the enormous hills, making one wonder how is it possible to farm on dry land and on a hill.  I can just imagine the newly arrived settlers' faces when they found their survey stakes and learned their assigned land was not near water and on a hill.  They probably stood there with their mouths open wide, eyebrows arched like rainbows, and thought to themselves, "What are we doing here?  Are we nuts?"

Saskatchewan's landscape can also entertain us with antelope, deer, cattle and hawks, hawks, and more hawks.  The many varieties of ducks and other water fowl swimming happily can also be very delightful.  Run down remnants of the past, old barns, houses and quonsets also are showcases.

As we were driving, I was struck by all the arches and curves, so I made that a focus on this iPad composition.  Groves of trees and bushes can also be periodically scattered throughout the countryside, choke cherries, Saskatoons, Cottonwoods, caraganas in between the fields of hay, wheat, rye... The amount of trees shown here is a slight exaggeration, but it is so very exciting to see trees on the prairie, that I drew many to show my love of them!

The trip to Regina brought back pleasant memories of visiting our family farms around Golden Prairie.  Oh how I can remember feeling so excited to visit my grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles! It is sad that none of our relatives are left on the farms, but we sure have a lot of good memories remaining!

I can't decide which colour composition I like best, so here are four for you to decide which one is positively Saskatchewan.