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!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Positively Sisters, Faces 28 and 29

Sisters,  one thing that I have noticed during the past month participating in 29 Faces of February, Paint Party Friday, and now, the Kelly -Rae Roberts workshop, is that although we all come from different places and different cultures around the world, we are all trying to achieve satisfaction in our lives and art.  We all have a deep connection and can empathize with each other and we support each other like sisters.

This little clay pot is a tribute to our sisterhood.   Perhaps with our art, we can show the warmongers, that we are more similar than different and that after thousands of years of hostility and fighting in this world, it is time to stop!

We need to band together because we all have the same needs, similar wants and desires regardless of where we live.

Here is to our positively artistic sisterhood!

 May our sisterhood bring peace and understanding around the world.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Positively Grateful For Winter, Face 27

Face 27, created using Paper53, an app on my iPad, is positively grateful for Winter, because Winter helps her to be reflective about her spring garden.  As the chilling Arctic north wind groans through every door, every window, every vent, threatening to bring snow and blanket her precious earth, that is patiently awaiting the loving care she gives each season, she becomes grateful for winter, as she is sure that Winter was created to help us appreciate Spring!  Thanks, Winter!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Release, Positively A One Word Mantra, Face 26

Today's lesson with Kelly-Rae Roberts is to create a one word mantra for the year.  Instead of creating a resolution for the year, which usually feels like a to-do list, a one word mantra for the year is to be a permission slip.  You giving permission to yourself to do something for the year.  I came up with a whole list of possible mantras, but while I was reading other people's mantras, I came across the world "Release". Release the negativity, those voices I always hear keeping me awake at night, or the voices controlling me to stay in bed instead of embracing the day, the doubt, the guilt, the past, the mistakes... by doing this, I will be released and be free to do all that I want to do and be in life.

I drew my hand releasing the word release.  The further away the letters get away from me, the further the letters are from the word release each, symbolizing releasing or freeing up my soul.  Freedom stays in my hands, both literally and figuratively.  I am control of my own freedom and am able to hang on to that.

I decided to personify the things that most plague my thoughts.  The faces are simple gestures, even though when the little gremlins appear, they seem complex.  It takes so much energy and thought holding onto the gremlins and there comes a time when one has to tell one's self, let it go...release it and move on....freedom is positively in your own hands!

Positively Be...My Mantra, Face 25

Well, today is day two for participating in an on-line art course with Kelly-Rae Roberts.  Our assignment today is to pick two people who we admire and list the reasons why I admire them.   One person I chose is an artist that I know (she is my first blog follower and one of my art teachers, I am sure you know who you are) and another is Leonardo da Vinci.  Some words that are in common in both of the lists are words like brave, curious, dedicated, passionate, so I used them to create a mantra...Be....

The face in this picture unfortunately looks nothing like the real artist I admire, I started out trying though, but I just couldn't put it on the turned out more of a caricature, and you know, that one last stroke and... it was ruined, so I changed the face!   Even though the face was a disappointment, one day it will come...
I sure was thinking about her as I was creating this face and mantra...Positively Be...

Monday, February 24, 2014

Positively Natural Faces, Faces 21-24

Tree Face

One of my favourite things to do is to find natural faces created by Mother Nature.  Now that I have a new camera, RIP my other camera, I have to figure out its personality, so what better time to do it when the wind is blowing, the temperatures are in the negatives, below twenty degrees Celsius, numbing my fingers and every time I held the camera up to look in the view finder the viewer fogged up?

Snoopy Laughing

The Devil Laughs on Sunday

The Devil Returns

It's a Beagle

Witch Hazel, Kissing Faces and Ape face

Darling, Kiss Me Now


What are you lookin' at?

Grandma scolding,"Hush now child."


Laughing Skeleton and Ghost Face

Whoa, Dude!

Witch Hazel Returns

Witch Hazel and a Girl Kissing a Butterfly or Elephant

Isn't it positively fun finding natural faces?  The longer I look at these photos, the more faces I find!

Technically, I have now more than 29 faces, but I am declaring that I am now caught up to 24.  I still want to make sure I create every day, and try new things.  Report cards are due next Monday, so I am not sure how many more faces I will have time to create before then.  My new e-course began today with Kelly-Rae Roberts and we are working on creating our own mantras before creating art journey positively continues!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Positively Only The Pelican Nose, Face 19 and 20

Pelicans are positively one of my favourite birds.  Since my last post was about enjoying fishing on the lake in my dad's boat with sunshine on my shoulders, I thought it only fitting that I continue the theme of being near the water.  On the lake where we often fish, called Rattlesnake Dam, the mornings are filled with excitement as the various water birds feed. They parade back and forth from one end of the lake to the next in leap frog fashion.  It is an amazing sight and fills me with absolute delight to be a witness to the event.

Positively Only The Pelican Nose is created using only pelicans and clouds. There are pelican like clouds and the shapes are continued in the lake's banks.

Just like how the pelican's nose is one of its most interesting parts, I took extra time to make the largest pelican cloud lady's nose with extra care.  It was a bit of challenge to make the human nose with the pelican nose deforming it somewhat.

The American White Pelicans can be seen skimming over our prairie lakes and rivers, gliding with their bellies very close the water.  They are often very brave and land close to the boat or they fly low over our heads, never getting too close though.

Pelicans work together as a team to herd schools of fish together so the pelicans can dip and scoop the fish with their bills.  According to my book called Birds of Alberta, by Chris Fisher and John Acorn, the sophisticated feeding behaviour reflects their "highly refined sociability"!

Their "highly refined sociability" motivated me to use groups of pelicans to intentionally create two faces.  Now that the picture is on the computer screen, I  can find other faces. How many faces can you find made out of pelicans?

Fun Facts

  • The pouch of a pelican can hold 12 litres of water, which is drained from its mouth before swallowing the fish.
  • The length of a pelican is between 137 and 178 centimetres (55-70 inches) .  The width is 2.8 metres (8 feet) wing tip to wing tip I would imagine.

Here is a photograph of mine, that I am very proud of,  taken in the summer at Grassy Lake.  Thanks to my dad who catered to my photography whim and drove me in  his boat as close as possible to Pelican Island so I could capture this special shot!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sunshine On My Shoulders Makes Me Positively Happy, Paint Party Friday

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me positively happy, especially when it is early morning and in a boat.

Being early risers, both my dad and I enjoy getting up early in the morning to go fishing.  The warm sun slowing rising above the pink rainbow horizon, glaring in our eyes, encouraging mist to rise as it kisses the cheek of the cold lake, adding a mystical feel to the morning.

Lake water still and sparkly reflecting glorious sunshine into our still sleep filled eyes, and tickling the boat's hull, relaxes our souls and assists us in our preparations for catch the big one!

Prairie pelicans, terns, geese, ducks, cormorants and gulls gliding gracefully in the warm morning sun, entertain us as they swim noisily communicating with each other and sharing fishing tips for the best fishing spots.  A great horned owl and her owlets devouring their morning feedings on the abundant rodents in the nearby larches, add to the excitement of the early morning excursion.

Cows and their calves mooing and bathing on the lake's banks, stand at watch, curious about our early morning outing.

Yes, sunshine on my shoulders makes me truly happy!

Here are the steps that I used to complete this piece... using intuitive painting, as instructed by Flora Bowley.  On this little canvas, I placed left over paint as I was painting another painting, Face 5, of the 29 Faces of February.

Finger painting to music:

Long strokes using a brush:

Finger tips adding blue dots.

Circles being added by using the mouth of a small jar and my fingers:

Adding colour and texture with a doweling and fork:

At this stage, the painting stands for a week or so, while I do other art pursuits.  Finally, I think of an idea to finish this.  The aqua coloured lines remind my of a dock and the different lines remind me of water.  I add sun and some clouds, birds, a boat with two people and fishing rods:

I decide I want the sun to be the main focus and create rays, and tone down some of the bold colours to make the scene seem like early morning. I add someone fishing on the dock. Here are some close-ups:

Highlights are added to the water and the boat, the rays and the girl.

I start to see a few faces, but decide to not to feature them.

Happy Paint Party Friday!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Positively Dance Like Your Mommy is Watching, Face 18

Eyes twinkling and giggling, this little cutie is so proud of her own dancing and  spinning, posing and bending, twisting, and twirling.  Music flutters in her soul like a butterfly in a garden of summer flowers, conducting every muscle, every breath, every cell of her tiny graceful body to perform for her adoring audience.

My little cousin performed for me at Christmas time. She was so proud of herself in her little pink and white dress.  She danced on her toes, she did forward rolls, she pointed her toes, she watched herself in the mirror as her little tutu twirled around her petite body and her eyes twinkled like stars. A reminiscent feeling swept over me and I began to think about the quote of encouragement:

"You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening, 
And live like it is heaven on earth."
Indeed, a very beautiful and motivational cheer to try something for pure enjoyment and not worry about what others are thinking.  But did you ever as a child, dance like there was no tomorrow for your parents and relatives?  I remember as a little girl, along with my sister and cousins, choreographing dances for our parents to watch.  We would dress up in costumes, my mom's old dresses that were housed in the "rag box", or we would carefully wrap around our waists hand crocheted ponchos that our moms made for us; and then, we put on a big dance recital downstairs in the basement.  We would spin and spin and spin to get our "skirts" to flare up and then we would giggle and giggle and giggle because it was so much fun to get dizzy and fall over.  Our moms would sit their grinning and grinning and grinning, and laughing and laughing and laughing and finally, clapping and clapping and clapping, filling our little hearts with love till they almost burst!

Yes, now that we are older, we feel greater comfort to dance like no one is watching, but I argue that we should dance like our mommies and aunties are watching.  That feeling you had as a kid dancing for your mommy and aunties can never be replaced by the feeling you get dancing now like no one is watching! That feeling of love and support that only your loved ones can give you for all the creative crazy fun things that you concocted, no matter what you looked like dancing, is a far greater feeling than simply dancing for yourself.  

Positively dance like your mommy and aunties are watching.  It felt so good then, and feels so good remembering now.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Positively Trying New Techniques, Face 13-17

29 Faces is about trying new things, and this piece is all about that.  Here are the steps that I took to create Faces 13-17.

Step 1: On a canvas board, I sketched the faces and scene.

Step 2:  Using old atlases, I used gel medium to collage grass.

Step 3:  Modeling paste and a stencil help to add texture to the cat.  Note to self, be sure to clean off mist spray before reusing stencils.  The cat has a chartreuse coloured body for now. 

Step 4:  Flowers are collaged on after drawing and cutting them from old atlas pages.

Step 5:  Acrylic paint assists me to paint this little house.  The three windows on the second floor would be where my art studio would be if I lived in this house!  The house in the photos looks red, but it is more of a pinky-orange.

Step 6:  Paving stones are cut out, again using old atlas maps, and then collaged onto the path.

Step 7:  I decide to add dimensional fabric paint as grout for the stones on the path.  I also add a few details to the flowers.

Step 8:  Using pages from the Nancy Drew book that I have turned into a journal, I collaged around the trees, house and cat to make the background.

Step 9 and 10:  Using British Columbia atlas pages, I create the trunks and branches of the trees and begin to frame the faces in the trees. I also use acrylic paint to make the sky.  Today's sky looked somewhat like this, mare's tails and wind.

Step 11:  Next I cut little leaves out of Quebec atlas pages and collaged them.  I also added a bush to the front of the house.

A close up:

Step 12:  Now the tricky part, painting the faces and adding paint to the trees to add cohesion and human qualities and bark.

Step 13: Creating the face behind the cat on the tree with paint.  It sort of looks like she has a cape.  

Step 14:  This is my favourite face, besides the cat. It went very smoothly and only took me one try!   Hallelujah!  I like the way it looks like it is part of the clouds.

Step 15:  The tree face next to the house is completed.  Now that I look at it closely, it sort of looks like me. Weird, huh?

Step 16:  Deciding what colour to paint the cat, my first cat in acrylics, was the hard part.  I decided to use colours of my cat, Painted Smile, the cat I drew yesterday.  I was originally going to paint the drawing I did of her yesterday, but decided I liked it with pencil, so today I thought I should be brave and try to paint a cat.  I used shades of grey, mixing white, blue and a smidge of black.  I added blue highlights, red and pinky orange colours to connect the cat to the sky, house, flowers, rocks and trees.

Step 17:  Finishing touches to the house are added.  I decide that I don't like the the blue window panes, and paint them white.  I use a white gel pen to add shingles to the roof, and curly-cues to the front of the house. Lattice is painted, stained glass details are added with a Sharpie and a door knob in silver.  Steps to the house are painted.

Step 18:  The flowers are outlined with dimensional fabric paint to add texture and shine. The cat's eyes are tweaked, too.

Step 19:  A butterfly and a few purple flowers are added using an old map from Montana.

Step 20:   A few touch ups here and there.

Step 21:  Deciding enough is enough before something goes wrong and trying to take a clear photo of the finished picture, I declared this picture finished!