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, December 29, 2015

Trees are Positively Delightful

Aspen trees are positively delightful to paint.  I began this painting in a recent art class and it has been sitting on my easel for weeks as I decided if it was finished or not.  I decided it wasn't and added more white to the trees and more "eyes".  I also added the white trunks in the background and a few yellowy white leaves in the foreground.  We used modeling paste to create the texture of the trees and then added a grey "rub".  It was very fun to try to make the trees come alive with light and dark areas.

My favourite aspen trees are trembling aspen trees.  The leaves tremble in the wind, this way and that,  like little hands waving.  I also enjoy looking for faces in nature, and aspen trees never disappoint me!

The cheerful colours in this piece compliment the other tree painting I posted not too long ago.

Pretty soon I will have a forest in my house.

Here is a photograph that I took in San Francisco this summer at the Golden Gate Park.  This lovely twisting and intertwining tree was hidden along a path.  Luckily, I was walking at a snail's pace behind my family, or I might have missed it!

Aren't trees positively delightful?

I will be linking this to Paint Party Friday.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Abundance Positively Leads to Possibilities

Abundance is an interesting word.  Many people perceive the word in an negative way.  I presently view it in a positive way.

Veronica Roth, the host of this week's drawing challenge, has selected the word "Abundance" to be the inspiration for our art, and a tribute to our American friends and families, who have Thanksgiving filled tummies.

I hummed and hawed about what to draw all week.  I am grateful for many things, time, family, good health, friends, and so much more, but as I was sitting on the couch this evening looking for inspiration, I gazed desperately across the room and my book shelf grabbed my eyes.  "Hello,"  it said to me, "Look at all of the books on me.  Don't you think I would be an excellent model for your Abundance challenge?"

I began to ponder the idea of my abundance of books.  The question filled my mind, "Why is that we always want more, when we have so many?"

I have recently made a promise to myself that I am not to buy anymore books until I have read the ones I have.  I have an abundance of books, art, painting, historical, picture, children's books and even books in languages I don't even know.  Why?

I love the smells, the textures, the colours, the graphics and illustrations and fonts.  Most of all, I adore the possibilities that rest between the pages and the possibilities that may jump into my mind and dive into reality.

One Thanksgiving, I asked my grade four and five students, "What is one thing you could never live without?" I was expecting family, food, but of course most of them said computers or Game Boys (Okay, it was a long time ago,  Do they even have those anymore?)  Surprisingly, one quirky wonderful girl said, "I could never live without the alphabet?"

I questioned, "The alphabet?"  It thought it strange for a girl her age, who had mastered the alphabet many years prior to that day, to be grateful for the alphabet.

She said, "The alphabet has endless possibilities.  I can arrange them to write anything I want, and I can read anything I want!"

I had to agree with the clever, insightful girl that indeed the alphabet is something I could not live without.  It is even important for playing and writing music and songs.

Books fill my shelves, my drawers, my treasure chests, my life, and I am grateful for the people who spill out their guts to write books and transport us into new worlds and helping our minds to be fresh with ideas and possibilities, keeping us learning, exploring and reflecting, creating and growing.  I , for one, will always positively have an abundant amount of books.

Thanks, Veronica for the idea and hosting this challenge!
Happy Paint Party Friday, too!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Positively Peace and Calm

I was fortunate to finally get into an art class for which I have been on the waiting list for two years. Every Tuesday night since September has brought me peace, two and a half hours doing what I love, escaping the pressures of work and the day.

My goal is to download everything that causes me stress and keep things that make me feel empowered.  I am so pleased that I could add this experience to reintroduce peace into my life. Mental health is so important, and the loss of a loved one certainly knocks the feet from under us.  It feels so good to have more happy days than sad. Loss certainly can cause an emotional war within oneself.

This acrylic painting is of a photograph that I took while resting peacefully on my deck. I have always loved how the sunshine bounces off the branches and trunk in silver shiny way.  It is the first time I have painted in layers, covering the whole surface in one colour and then adding layer over layer and painting the sky almost at the very end in between the leaves.  I am very proud of the results and am positively at peace with the decisions I made.

With all of the turmoil in Paris, and the angst over the change of our federal government along with the unknown changes that may bring and the turbulent economic times here in Alberta,  I hope we can all positively find peace in our daily lives and continue to do that which brings us happiness!

It looks like the Easter school trip to Paris that my son has been working so hard to raise money for will most likely not become a reality.  Wouldn't you know it?  It was supposed to be that trip that I always dreamed of going on.  I was so excited for my son to go there and experience things that I never have. At least I know he will be home safe with us.

Peace and calmness to you all!

I am linking this to Paint Party Friday and Veronica's Roth's drawing challenge: Calm!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Home is Positively Where My Heart is!

Home is positively where my heart is!  We have had some glorious July summer skies!

I don't have to travel far from home to see beautiful sights.  There are beautiful things all around me!

At first sight, this brown dragonfly did not look that interesting.  But upon closer inspection, I have discovered it is beautifully coloured with reds, purples and blues!

Home is positively where my heart is!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Cypress Hills are Positively Wondrous!

Both the Alberta and Saskatchewan sides of the Cypress Hills are positively wondrous! 

The dense forests of fresh clean air...

the wildlife...

the marine life...

the lakes...

the rocks...

the flowers...

The Cypress Hills  are  positively wondrous!

A side note: The roads leading to the Alberta and Saskatchewan side are both very bumpy.  They sort of reminded me of bronc riding!  The Saskatchewan roads have been patch-worked like a quilt!

Happy weekend!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Summer is Positively Rainbows

Well, we have been hoping for rain, and our wish has come true.  The short rain storm brought beautiful double rainbows!  I stood in the rain and got all muddy, but it was positively worth it!

View from our windshield!

It looked like we could find both ends of the rainbows.  My grade ones asked me earlier in the year if I found the pot of gold, when I showed them pictures of rainbows from previous years.  I always feel like I find pots of gold when I see rainbows, especially double rainbows!

Summer is positively rainbows!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

She Positively Makes Me Smile...

Having a granddaughter is such a wonderful privilege. She makes me smile, laugh, dream and makes me feel playful!

 Here is another visual journal spread that I created in a re-purposed novel which is going to be a gift for my little granddaughter! I highlighted words from the pages in the novel to inspire me for the entry. I used gesso, watercolour paint, gelatos, a photograph, stencils, felt markers, a lid from toothpaste and a Q-tip to create the layers.

 My little granddaughter has a tendency to stick out her tongue in photos, so I just had to include her photo on this page! She positively makes me laugh and smile all of the time!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Positively Completed, #jfj15for30

Wow, now that I finally have a few moments and my internet is sort of working, I am able to post the completed art challenges that I participated in from the Journal Fodder Junkies.  The challenge was to create art in my visual journal for 15 minutes a day for 30 days. What a wonderful challenge it was!

I was introduced to new techniques and reintroduced to familiar but forgotten techniques.  Even though it is the craziest time of year to join an art challenge with report cards, field trips, a photography job for a nursing reunion, yard work, and other school stuff, I challenged myself to complete this challenge.

It helped me to focus, and prevented me from sleeping in exhaustion my entire June.  I found myself motivated to do other things as well with the energy this challenge created within me, such as practice the piano and guitar, organize my art supplies and plant some flowers in some forgotten deck pots.  Wow, who knew art could be such a powerful motivator?  I guess that is what happens when you clear out the brain clutter onto a page in your journal.

In the back of my journal, I made a list of all of the techniques that we were to try.  The great thing is the challenge introduced me to  techniques and not themes, so I never knew where the techniques were going to lead me to in the way of reflection.

30 Days of Challenges:
  1.  Watercolour backgrounds
  2. Squares and Rectangles
  3. Collage
  4. Words
  5. Circles
  6. Straight lines
  7. Fills
  8. Stencils and templates
  9. Free writing
  10. Watercolour pencils
  11. Windows and doors
  12. Watercolour textures
  13. Make lists
  14. Personal fodder
  15. Spirals, swirls and squiggles
  16. Observational drawing
  17. Painting with markers
  18. Shading and depth
  19. Page Cuts
  20. Coloured paper
  21. Masking
  22. Operative words
  23. Painting with string
  24. Tracings
  25. Self-portraits
  26. Translucent surfaces
  27. Tearing
  28. Drawn Text
  29. Connections
  30. Reflection
My Visual Journal

Watercolour backgrounds, squares and rectangles, words

collage, words, watercolour background, circles, straight lines, fills

watercolour background, words, stencils and templates, make a list, watercolour pencils watercolour textures

freewriting, circles, squares, rectangles, windows, textures, swirls

personal fodder, circles, squares, rectangles, watercolour textures, fills, freewriting

swirls, coloured paper (maps), painting with markers, words, operative words, windows

windows, personal fodder, squiggles, paint with string, words, fills, rectangles

shading and depth, operative words, words, personal fodder

tracings, operative words, textures, observational drawing

masking, tracing, observational drawing, personal fodder, words

observational drawings, translucent surfaces, tracing, watercolour background, words

connections, textures, fills, circles, squares, words, watercolour pencil, stencils, paint with markers, drawn text, shading and depth

reflection, cutouts, door, personal fodder


personal fodder, reflection

I am positively finished the challenge, but I am not finished with the techniques I learned in the challenge.  Now to figure out what other ways I can use the techniques I learned.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Police Point Park is a Positively Perfect Place to Walk!

Police Point Park is a Positively Perfect Place to Walk!  I have been walking daily and one of the places I visit is Police Point Park.

A part of the park is forest and part is prairie that is surrounded by sun-kissed clay cliffs and our river.  It is a host to many animals and plants and trees.

 Police Point Park is a positively perfect place to explore, reflect, meet with good friends and to make new acquaintances.

Monday, July 13, 2015

July is Positively Here!

July is positively here. We finally took our camper to the lake and I kayaked for hours.  I purchased a new kayaking PFD with my birthday money, and boy, am I ever happy I did.  No more ride ups, squishy breasts, and  a sweaty back.  This PFD is made for women, bigger on the top and way more adjustable than my last one.  There is mesh like material that let's the air through, making it way more comfortable in the +35 degree sunshine!

I was fortunate enough to find two different families of ducklings and a happy pod of pelicans.  

I think I scared the poor little ducklings of the first duck family half to death.  I kayaked into an area that was so shallow from the drought and irrigation, few people would be able to journey there.  The tiny ducklings swam for their lives through the weeds and even dove under the water only showing the wee tip of their tails or their tiny top of their cute little heads.

The second family of ducklings was commanded to march single file and follow the parade marshal to safety.  Don't they know I would never think to harm them?

I played tag with this pelican.  It would land in the water, I would kayak over to it and it would lit back its original position, the little stinker.

I did manage to locate a pelican pod of twelve, enjoying the sunshine with Canadian Geese, magpies, pipers and sea gulls.  They allowed me to watch them for quite sometime before they got suspicious and lit off into the direction that I started my journey at.

Over two days, I probably kayaked for over 6 hours.  On the second day, I had to go slow, my arm muscles being tight from day one and a very lumpy camper mattress.

I can't wait to kayak again on Wednesday!  I wonder what positively wonderful July discoveries I will make?