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, July 28, 2013

I Positively Giggled Like a Schoolgirl!

In the morning, after a restful night's sleep, I awoke to a peaceful, Wind free morning.  Our campfire wishes came true. Wind stuck to his end of the negotiation, and  decided to let us have a calm, still morning.  The water in Elkwater Lake was mirror like and beckoned me to get out of bed and go... you guessed it.....KAYAKING!

I dashed out of bed, tidied up, grabbed a nectarine and some blueberries, guzzled down some water at the picnic table outside and sat and dreamed and waited patiently for about an hour for someone in my camper to get up!  I was worried that at any moment Wind would decide that he had been patient enough and would pop out and begin playing with nature.  I couldn't take it any more, so I snuck inside and said, " Wakey, wakey, who is going to get up and kayak with me?  The lake is a still as can be, and the day is a wastin'!"



Finally, after what seemed a life time, which was probably only a few seconds, I am worse than a kid on Christmas morning, my husband groggily said,"I will."

"Yippee!" I cheered.

By 7:30 am, we were on the water in our kayaks.

The night before, my husband said that he wondered why his dad never took him to certain parts of the lake when he was a kid.  I also said that I couldn't remember going there either.  So guess what we did?  We kayaked to those parts.  We now know why we never went in those spots with our dad's boats.  The areas are very shallow and weedy.  Bad spots for boats and fishing, but perfect for kayaks!

The first area we visited was clearly across the lake where we were camping. Gulp, that was the farthest I would have to venture and it was in open water, not a small pond that I have been practising in. I was determined to not show any apprehension, but instead curiosity and strength!


The banks have eroded and have revealed many surprises. With Sun filling our eyes and the landscape in the East, it was hard to see what I was photographing with my iPhone.  Remember from a previous post that I won't take my expensive camera on the kayak with me because of an earlier underwater camera god incident?  Sorry for the white glares.  I edited them the best I could.

There were many swallow holes in the banks and hundreds of them performed an aerial show for us as a flock of ducks flew overhead.  I was surprised to see all of the silver sage, wild roses, wild bee balm (aka wild bergamot, or horsemint).  

Traditionally, sage brush leaves were chewed to relieve thirst by Native people. They also would touch the leaves and then rub the perfume on their bodies to disguise their scent from the animals when they hunted. 

Native people also  utilized both rose hips and bergamot for teas.  Rose hips are high in vitamin C. The warm tea and leaves are said to relieve morning sickness, and when given during childbirth, it was to have a relaxing effect.  Native people also placed rose branches around the home of a deceased person to prevent ghosts from returning and haunting the home. The bergamot was used to treat colds, fevers, pneumonia and stomach and kidney ailments. They used the dried leaves and flowers as perfume. Clever, huh?

Another mystery was solved that day.  I had always admired the lonesome trees standing in the distance, and always imagined them to be a deciduous tree of some sort, because of their rounded heads.  When we got close enough, I was amazed to discover that they were coniferous trees, spruce trees!  Usually they are triangular shaped, and I was shocked to learn they grew rounded!

Sun was now wide awake and felt like playing with the water and cliffs.  The light danced on the cliff side, changing patterns and making designs.  My husband and I were really in synchronization with our thinking on this morning.  Just after I took a video and photos of the dancing light, he asked me if I had noticed the light on the cliff side!

The white horizontal lines on the side of this cliff are actually rays on light dancing and reflecting off of the water and are not part of the land.

Here is a video to show you the dance:

Another in-sync moment we had was further down the lake.  We came upon a reed bed.  The water laid at rest, Sun rising in the east, and the magical and artistic reflection of the reeds was alluring to me!  Time halted for me as I floated unmoving, wondering what it would be like to kayak through the reeds.

Suddenly, we were both headed for the reeds and my husband was heading INTO the REEDS!  I thought, why not! 

 Once inside, surrounded by reeds hovering about a metre above my head, bending and reaching, teasing and tickling me and my kayak, and not able to see clearly through the reeds, I positively began to giggle like a schoolgirl!

Once through the reed jungle, my husband questioned why I was giggling.  I revealed that I was so happy to be with him on such a beautiful morning, and that he had just read my mind about going through the reeds, and within a second, he was in the reeds and I was following him!  That made me giddy!

We kayaked through another reed bed even more dense than this one, and once again, I giggled like a school girl.  It doesn't take much to amuse me when I am with nature!

I am so fortunate to have such a supportive hubby!  I will never forget this morning kayaking with him!  After two hours, our arms were starting to get sore and Wind's patience had been fully tested.  He couldn't wait any longer, and began to water play before we arrived back to shore!  I felt more brave and strong, confident and loved that morning, and it was so wonderful to have been kayaking in open water with a man I really love and appreciate!

It felt so grand to giggle and feel so daring and free! We need to go on more dates!  Don't tell him, but I have more kayaking planned soon!  Heehee! Giggle giggle!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

I Positively Negotiated With the Wind!

Last Wednesday at Elkwater Lake in the Fire Rock campsite on the Alberta side of the Cypress Hills, I watched, willed and positively negotiated with nasty Wind to blow away as it wickedly created whitecaps on the lake.  I was dying to go kayaking, but Wind had other ideas.

I watched hour after hour as Wind played with the water and the trees and our hair and the birds. I gave Wind until 6:30 to do his tricks and have his fun, then I negotiated, then demanded that  he change his activities.  Finally, at 7:30, he cooperated and agreed that he was tired out and that us humans should have some fun time on the water too!

My son and I explored the icy water in places we had never been to before in my dad's larger fishing boat. We had the whole area to ourselves, while the boaters had the rest of the lake.

The sunlight was so beautiful dancing lowly on the still water, painting the cattails with yellow and the bushes and trees with orange.

Moon began to show his well rested head and encouraged tired Sun to rest her wary head behind the green Cypress Hills.  

Sun abiding to Moon's request, encouraged us to paddle as much as we could in a very short hour, as she settled down for another summer night's rest.  Sea creatures revealed their heads and reminded us that it was time to move on!

We journeyed as far as we could, only to hear a sudden noise in the bushes on the bank.  Suddenly a family of Canadian geese appeared and startled me. Within seconds of me getting out my iPhone to take a photo, and knowing the limitations of the clarity of zooming in with this camera, I steadied my kayak to take a shot and then presto, a young deer innocently and curiously scampered into the view.  Click, yes, what luck!  Not the clearest photo, Sun was settling directly behind the scene, but it was a really cool experience!  See the deer on the right saying, "Good evening"? 

We glided around, coasting to our favourite nearby places on the waterfront closest to our campsite before Sun totally went to bed, then decided it was best to head in for a campfire.   I had to take just one more shot! An angel appeared in the darkening sky as Sun poked her dreary head over her hilly bedside.

We sat by the campfire, glad and relieved that Wind had agreed to give us some time for some kayaking fun! We stumbled to bed, tired from our early morning visit with the horses in Maple Creek, hiking and fighting and positively negotiating with Wind, and hoping we would awaken to a peaceful wind free morning!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Horses are Positively Interesting Characters!

Horse Herd

Horses are positively interesting characters!  Like people, they have their own personalities and appearances. They like to be with other horses and are upset when they are separated from those they care about.  They like to be included in a group and will follow each other.  Sound familiar?

Early Thursday morning, after sleeping on the Maple Creek  rodeo grounds in the living quarters of our horse trailer, I awoke to a warm Saskatchewan summer sun painting the prairie with light, the scent of silver sage circling through the fresh air and sounds of several horses calling and whinnying, snorting and blowing.

Being next door neighbours to a penned up herd of rodeo horses, (what we don't do for the ones we love), I decided to head over for a visit.  These professional horses are used for saddle bronc and bare back riding. How often does a gal get to admire about one hundred horses at a time that are lounging and grazing, following and rolling, cuddling and teasing, visiting and discussing their previous night time performances and preparing strategy for their next rodeo?

When the four legged beauties spotted my husband, my dog and me, they naturally out of curiosity, gathered near to check us out. There were bays, chestnuts, greys, red roans, whites, and paints.  Would you like to meet a few of the interesting characters?

Totally Radical, Dude!

It seems horses are no different than people.  They tend to hang around others who are similar to themselves. In their spare time, these two rebellious teen aged long side banged horses enjoy an afternoon of skateboarding and can be spotted doing kick flips!  You should see them, it is quite something to see.  Like totally radical, Dude!

Romantically Involved?

These two white faced romantically involved horses are nuzzling each other and are wondering if they will ever have a real future together?  At the moment, they only have eyes for each other and tend to ignore what others around them are doing!

Planning Their Next Move

This small troupe of  proud sentinels are standing on guard forming a fortress wall around the two horses chowing down on the freshly scattered hay. All directions are allocated and scouted!

In fact, what they are really doing is planning their next showboating stunts that they intend to do on the end line of the next Canadian Football League game when the Saskatchewan Roughriders kick some Calgary Stampeders' butt! These muscular talents can really kick up a storm both in the rodeo ring and on the football field! You should see the cowboys/Stampeders fly! Ouch!  They are goin' down!  Go Green!

Going in Different Directions

Have you ever felt like you just don't belong?  If so, you know how this pair feels.  They hang out occasionally with each other, but seem to be going in different directions. They are off in their own little worlds and stand out because of their colour.  Even though they have their colour in common, which naturally draws them together, they don't have much else in common.  They tend to be loners, and actually don't mind being alone most of the time!


These two greys, on the other hand, want to fit in and muscle their way into a crowd to surround themselves with just about anyone to feel included.  They will do and say just about anything to fit in! Recognize the type?

An Oreo Cookie

It is believed that these three creative types enjoy Oreo cookies so much that they always stand with the whitish buddy in the middle!  Paint, Grey/White, Paint!  What fun and how yummy!

In reality, they keep the grey in the middle because it is different, an underdog, and they like to not only watch out for and protect underdogs, but they like to be different and stand out themselves!  You know the type!

Roll Over Grover

In every crowd there are characters like this guy!  Ahhhhh, taking a break in the shade and rolling about in the sand how refreshing?!  Or, does this horse secretly wish he was a dog and someone would come over and scratch his belly?  There are some people and horses that are on a quest for attention!

Me Too!

There are some people who do what everybody else is doing.  Horses are no different! After the first horse performed the doggy roll over, five others decided that that looked like fun and took turns rolling in the shaded sand!

In  Blaze of Glory

In order to hang around this horse herd, you need to have a white blaze on your face!  They are wondering if the performing doggy show is ridiculous or if they should join in on the fun? They are the thinkers of the groups and need to weigh all of their options before joining in!

Eaters Anonymous
This gang consists of the power eaters.  They are the serious, focused group.  The know they will need to carbo load in order for them to have the strength for their next rodeo performance.  They know it takes a lot of energy to lift all four legs off of the ground four or five times in a row and then change directions and buck with a cowboy on their back, all in eight seconds or less (heehee, their evil plan)!  They have no time to waste and have no time for play or fun on the side!  Get in and get it done!

Only Time to Chew

The only rest they take is to lift their heads to chew!


In every crowd, there are always buddies that can't be separated!  These two beauties are BFFs (best friends forever), you can tell by the way they style their manes and wear the same dappled coats, OMG! They never leave each other's side and they always go to the bathroom together and annouce their intentions openly (GTGP- Got to go pee)!  They are always there for each other,  "KB" (kick butt)  and they whinny for each other when performing in the nightly rodeo circuit!  When their parents demand they stay home and spend some quality time together with the family, they mope and call out for each other and complain, MEJR (my eyes just rolled)!  When the boys walk by their ears perk up and they giggle, #eeeee#cute#stallion#GTG (got to go)!  Did you see him, he was ROGL (rolling on the ground laughing)?  Three's a crowd and look out if you get between them.---Notice the little ear sticking out between them?


At first glance, many people think that a horse is a horse, that they are all the same, just as I am sure some people think that all people are the same.  But we know, they all have secret patterns and lives, as revealed here today! Horses are positively interesting characters!  Which group of horses do you identify with?

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Red Rock Coulee is Positively "Snaky", Post 3

On the welcome sign to Red Rock Coulee, there is a sign warning you that this is rattlesnake country. Needless to say, one would be wise to keep her eyes down on the ground and her ears open for the characteristic rattling sound.

As well as diverse vegetation, one can find other interesting things on the ground while looking out for rattlesnakes!  Here are some positively snaky things we spotted:

The ground was littered with these grey snakelike branches that twisted and turned teasing our eyes to believe maybe we are not alone!


Our imaginations ran wild!

Is that a face I see?

Snake Face

Beautiful pinks, purples, greens and blues

Snakes like to hide under rocks.  I asked my son if he was sure he wanted to sit on the beautiful snake country rock!

Near the end of our journey we discovered this curious finding:

Did the snakes leave their rattle?  TTTTTTTT!

Do rattlesnakes, dinosaurs and aliens bowl?

Colours of Summer

Red Rock Coulee is a grand place to go.  Every time we venture there, we find new things to stimulate our senses.  It is ever changing and ever beautiful.  What a positive place to visit!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Positively Diverse Vegetation in Red Rock Coulee, Post 2

Along with the ravishing red rock at Red Rock Coulee is a diverse population of vegetation.  Upon first arrival from the top of the coulee, all one can view at this time of year is what appears to be is green grass and sage, but upon closer inspection, one is left baffled at the the variety of plant life.  Here have
a peek:

Sage Growing on a  Boulder


Alberta Wild Rose- Provincial Flower

Low Growing Juniper- Smells as Fresh as Mountain Air

Lichen Growing on the Mud Cracked Ground

More Lichen

Seed Pod Sculpture

Blanket Flower, Sage, Yarrow, Wild Rose...

Low Growing Berries

Black-Eyed Susan

Pretty Blue Bells

Fluffy and Dramatic

Lovely Lichen on the Rocks!

This positively diverse vegetation add another dimension to the ravishing red rock at Red Rock Coulee!