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, November 11, 2014

Positively Painting and Drawing From Imagination

I am reading a book written by Carla Sonheim called Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals and the premise is start your paintings with no intention and your left side of the brain will allow your right side of your brain to take over and your imaginations will positively soar.

To create this family of imaginary birds, I began by painting a leaf shape with water and then lightly tapped my watercolour brush loaded with a primary colour of paint on one edge of the leaf.  Next I used another primary colour on the opposite edge of the leaf and then tilted my journal back and forth until the two colours kissed and merged.

Next, I sat and stared at the images as they dried and tried to visualize what I could turn them into.  I began drawing "noodles" with a fine tipped permanent marker and then started adding eyes and voila, I decided my imaginary creatures would be birds.  I outlined them and then decided to use pencil crayons, and a white paint marker to add more colour and details.  Finally, I painted a background.

A similar process occurred for the each set of imaginary animals.  The idea of doing this is that you will get positions and gestures that you would not normally get if you were drawing from memory, and Carla was absolutely right!  The animals develop personalities of their own.

This is such a fun process and can be done with all age groups.  I tried this with my grade ones and they created fish, zoo animals and all sorts of other animals!  They loved to watch the two primary colours mix!  It was challenging for a few to not start with an intention and just let the water and the paint do the work.  Some wanted to make fish, or flowers and pictures, but I had to remind them to let it go and let the paintings tell them what they wanted to be!

The doggy resembles my dog Lucy, the stinker.  She enjoys chewing, so  imagine that, a shoe appeared! So far she has eaten three hats, one earring, one mechanical pencil, two spray  bottles, two pairs of shoes, one boot, one football glove, a mouth guard, several squeaky toys, her doggy bed, her dog house, and that is all I know about!  I am surprised she came out looking so cute and innocent, she is a bit of a beast!

Painting and drawing from imagination is less stressful, more risks are taken and it is positively fun!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Positively Refreshing

It has been such a busy three weeks, traveling around Alberta, for conferences and football games, but the time away has been positively refreshing.  It has been wonderful for me to not only gain independence, but also to spend time away from home with my loved ones.

Today's photographs are from my trip to Canmore.  I drove to Canmore by myself, which freaked me out a bit.  Driving through Calgary is the part that makes my heart palpitate.  My husband advised that I stick to 16th Avenue and go past Olympic Park and keep following the highway.   He assured me that I would find Canmore easily.  He was so right, bless the souls who created the street/highway!

My last lone driving adventure to Calgary and Edmonton took me nine hours of  steering wheel gripping at a crawling speed through snow and ice, and I wasn't eager to repeat the experience. Fortunately, the drive there was wonderful.  The roads were dry and clear, up until about half an hour away from Canmore.  It was, however, only a little bit of spitting rain and a few wind gusts and a very dark, dark night!  I arrived safely to attend my Fine Arts Council meeting with a major tension headache, but eager to attend the following days conference.

Fortunately, I was able to sneak away a few times to snap some photos.  It is so difficult to capture a good shot in the mountains, the clouds and lighting consistently changing.  I would just get the setting adjusted and by the time  I pressed the shutter button, the settings were all wrong!  I salute anyone who has figured out how to take mountain pictures!

There was a delightful little with water flowing gently!  I loved how the light was dancing merrily on the ripples.  A sign that the clouds were lifting!

This brilliant yellow aspen tree and  bush captivated my eyes.  The brightness against the cloudy mountain side tickled my senses!

Canmore is such a busy place, it is difficult to get a photograph without a car sneaking in!

It is equally difficult to get a shot without buildings from the location I was staying in!

Love that yellow aspen and green spruce tree combo!

The train goes right through downtown, like a lot of cities and towns!

Bunnies infest the town!

What a grand conference and location.  I was thrilled that my husband and son could join me on the weekend for a mini vacation, and enjoy the mountain retreat!  It was positively refreshing!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Positively Orange

Orange has never been a favourite colour of mine, but I am starting to fall in love with the colour.  I even bought two pairs of earrings with orange this fall!  Who knew?

To celebrate my positively new love of orange, for Halloween I found and purchased some gloriously creepily green and orange warted pumpkins. I have also until recently have never been a fan of drawing or painting fruit and vegetables, so this art became a challenge both for me and my students.

My grade one students and I took the plunge, first we did contour drawings and then acrylic paintings of the enticing pumpkins.  We enjoyed feeling the warts and spent hours painting them.  The paintings turned out surprisingly well.  We were to only use primary colours and white.  We discussed the artist's thirds for the background, different painting techniques like splattering, highlighting and using different tools to add texture.We also talked about how the sky meets the ground, and most indeed have a horizon line that met the sky!

I then videoed my students talking about their creations.  It is amazing how insightful they are.  One little girl said that she made the grass yellow because in the fall grass turns yellow.  I never even thought of that, and went back to my painting and painted in some yellow grass.  Others made their skies very colourful because they have started to notice the sunsets through our discussions about my photography of fall sunsets!  What little sponges they are!

Their paintings have been receiving a lot of compliments in the hallway at school, and I finally made time to finish mine today!  I haven't received permission to post them yet, but I hope to soon.  For now, I am sharing my positively orange warted pumpkin with you!