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!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Art is Positively for the Dogs

My homework assignment for Sketchbook Skool was to do a quick 1 minute drawing of a dog.  The premise was that if you ask one hundred people to draw a dog no two will be alike because of their style of line and perspective, experience and technique.  So true.  I am one person, and each time my own dogs were different!

I couldn't stop at one dog.  The first dog sketches were pretty scary looking!  One minute is a big challenge for me.  A good warm up activity, though!

It was enjoyable adding humorous text and speech bubbles like Sabine, our art teacher, did, to express my thoughts about the dogs... or sorta dogs.  The more drawings I did, the longer I took.  It is obvious to me that I need to look at picture references at this stage of the game.  Baby steps right?  A few borders, illustrations and a little watercolour paint and pencil crayons were also added to spruce up the sketches.  I couldn't resist sketching my marker.  I kept trying to pick it up from my page!

Sabine is a professional artist and her advise is things do not have to be pretty but need to represent yourself.  You are the main ingredient.  She used to spend hours trying to figure out what her clients would want for their commissioned pieces.  She discovered that all they wanted was her, that is why they hired her!  Smart cookie!

I will have to try another time! Art is Positively for the Dogs! Ruff!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Positively Good Advice

Katherine Hepburn once declared, " As one goes through life, one learns that if you don't paddle your own canoe, you don't move." Isn't that wonderful advice?

Part of Sketchbook Skool homework was to play with hand lettering.  I decided to paint a kayak instead of a canoe, as one of my new passions to to kayak.  When I first began, I would sit and wait for others to come kayaking with me.  I knew that the best time f day to kayak is early morning or after supper, but others don't always see the benefits of early rising or kayaking just before sundown.  I learned that I couldn't rely on others.  I had to gain strength to carry the kayak to the lake by myself and get in and out of the kayak by myself and paddle by myself.   With a cell phone in my storage bin, I felt safe and able to kayak on my own.

Metaphorically, I can totally relate to this quote.  I used to sit and wait for others to initiate and invite me to do things.  I used to wait for things to happen.  Then I learned if I don't do the initiating, I end up disappointed, bored...

My words of advice that I have added to my journal are:
" Initiate, invite, invent...
Waiting for others leads to boredom, self-pity, failure...
Paddle your own canoe (kayak) and you will continue to grow, learn, discover, enjoy life,
be excited about life, live life."

By following my bliss, new doors will open and good things will happen.

Katherine Hepburn gave such good advice!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Sketchbook Skool is Positively Awesome!

Sketchbook Skool is positively awesome.  The first homework assignment is hand lettering.

A watercolour background, pen and ink, coloured pencils and a little gelatos made this a fun two days of homework.  This is the first time I have ever said I like homework and haven't procrastinated doing it!

Even though the Canadian dollar made this course way more expensive, it is worth every dollar!

Thanks to Koosje and Danny Gregory for the awesome klass!  Sketchbook Skool is positively enjoyable!

Friday, January 15, 2016

I've Positively Got the Rhythm!

I've positively got the rhythm!

Veronica Roth asked recently on her blog, "What are you doing do get the rhythm in our lives and art?"

I have been getting my rhythm by dedicating myself to quality time with my family, friends and myself.  I have promised myself that I would not waste my art time on watching television. I have promised myself to help others and myself grow as learners.I have promised myself that I would use my time to reflect and create art on an on-going basis.

That means turning on my iPod and finding rhythm in the music.  That means turning on my counter top water fountain and finding rhythm in the flowing trickling water.  That means digging through my drawer of ephemera, and finding the rhythm in the colours, patterns, images, feelings associated in them.  That means spending time every day creating to maintain the steady beat.

I have found rhythm in my new journal.  My kindred spirit, Michelle, has sewn a heart for me using some burlap that I gave her.  I have glued that onto the front of my journal and am going to create the rhythm of my heart on each page, Whether it be including an actual heart on each page, a quote that makes my heart skip a beat, a colour that makes my heart jump for joy, an image that calms by artsy heart or even lines that replicate the rhythm of my heart, the heart metaphor will be included on each page in my new journal.

 I purchased the journal in an art store on my first visit to California to visit my son and his beautiful family.  My heart was so happy being there.  I get great rhythm just thinking about spending time with them in that dreamlike place.  Every time I touch the journal, my heart is reminded of the time we had there together, experiencing California with my wonderful son, daughter in-law and my delightful granddaughter.

The quote on this journal entry is the last line of the Helen Keller novel I just finished reading to my grade ones,  It is also a quote from a plaque that my husband and son gave me for a gift one year.

I so enjoyed reading the book to my grade ones.  They experienced so many emotions when I read about Helen's life to them.  The had so many questions.  The laughed when she was able to go the circus and pet and play the exotic animals. The youngsters oooooed when she learned to spell and read.  They the clapped when she spoke and said, "I am not dumb any more." They cried out when they learned that Annie Sullivan was once blind and she was sacrificing her own sight to help Helen. They clapped when she graduated from university and she wrote words on her paper. A few had tears in their eyes when Annie and Helen passed away at the end of the book.

Every day my students grew excited to learn something new about this inspirational girl and woman. They felt she was so smart and intuitive and motivated.  In the beginning, Helen was a wild little thing with no focus.  Pure stubbornness, and spoiled to the core.  With the love, discipline and dedication of her teacher and herself, she became a tame, determined woman, willing to learn, grow and help others.  She found her rhythm and that rhythm lives on today!

I asked one of my students what her favourite part of the book was and she responded, "I am going to draw a picture of when Helen Keller helped the soldiers from World War Two." Some of the soldiers who lost their sight, hearing or arms and legs, had lost hope, their rhythm, and Helen helped them regain their rhythm by showing them that they could still live good lives, even with the new challenges they encountered.  If she could live a productive life being blind and deaf, so could they.

The ephemera that I included on my page seemed to accompany the rhythm of the quote.  I dug my hand into my bag randomly, and the things I pulled out seemed to all connect to the quote.  The tag from Santa, reminded me that even though he is unseen, his love is deeply felt in my heart.  Each year he fusses and chooses meaningful gifts that reflect his understanding of our family.

The writing belongs to my dad.  He addressed an envelop to us at Christmas time a few years ago when he was well.  I don't even remember saving the envelope, but it jumped right out of its bag and changed the rhythm of my heart.  This was our first Christmas without him.

I had to include the photo of him waving with his fingers.  I could always feel his love every time he gave me that signal.  I still feel his love in my heart every time I see that photograph.  The quote on the photo reflects the Helen Keller quote perfectly.

I also included a collage of words that I created for his card for the funeral.  I think it captured how many people felt about him in their hearts.  Even though he can no longer be seen or touched, he can still be felt in our hearts.

A young buddy of mine said something wise last week.  She said, "I would never let my friends down, so why do I let myself down?  Am I not as important to myself as they are?"  A very sage question to ask, don't you think?

I think we now have the rhythm!

Thanks, Veronica Roth for the challenge.  Keep the rhythm by checking out other artists' interpretations of the Rhythm Challenge and Paint Party Friday.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Positively an Inspiration

One never knows when one will inspire another. It may be through a smile, a comment,  an example.

I just started a new journal and decided to revisit the things I learned in a watercolour class that I attended several years ago.  Experimenting with primary colours, I created a colour wheel to get to know how the colours mix and complement each other.

 I was digging through my stash of special stuff and discovered some sheets that I had painted in that class and decided to cut them up into hearts for my journal page.  I also found some business cards from my instructor, Gena LaCoste (I hope she doesn't mind me using them).

 It is because of her that I see colours and shadows in a different way.  She used to say,"What colour is it really?"  I included her  cards with horses on them as a reminder that if I work hard on my art and keep practising like Gena does, perhaps one day I can paint as well as she does.  It is also because of her example that I dedicated myself to creating art again.  It was her suggestion to begin blogging, and it has changed my life.  I have connected with so many different people around the world and in my own community, and they all have helped me immensely to become a more caring person and an artist!

I used primary watercolour paints, pencil crayons, markers, business cards, rubber stamps, and words from an old Jack and Jill novel by Louisa May Alcott. I love how random found things fall into one cohesive  place!

I encourage you to get outside into the cold,  meet new people or get reacquainted with people from your past, go to new places or revisit old places, and learn new things and share things that you know. You never know when you will be inspired to try new things and become a better whole person!   You never know when you will inspire others to try new things and help them to become a better whole person!

You can positively be an inspiration!

Best wishes to you all my dear friends!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Winter can be such a positively lovely season.

Winter can be such a positively lovely season.  It gives us an excuse to hang around the house and enjoy things we like to do, with no pressure that you should be outside pulling weeds or cutting the lawn.  It is a time of renewing old relationships and setting new goals for the year.  My new goal for the year is to get out and socialize more and to spread my love of art and photography, to learn new things and encourage others to share and learn too!

What a lovely cold, hoar frosty day! 

I spent the day in my warm little cozy house with my special friends creating art. We ventured out for a stroll through the frosted trees. Burr!  It was cold enough to make our nose hair's freeze.  This is my nose!  Heehee!

We crept about the yard putting our footprints in the fresh fallen ice crystals, while we examined closely the frosted tips of the trees.

After they left, I stayed out visiting the trees and enjoying the skydiving frost. They must have been celebrating the new year!

I know there are a lot of pictures, put I just couldn't pick one.  Each moment the snow kept performing more and more!

Even though we have had a lot of hoar frost lately, each time we receive it, the day never looks the same.  The crystals were so thick today, it looked like cotton candy was hanging on the trees.  Yummy!

Winter can be such a positively lovely season.  

It was so cold, not one bird was in sight, not even on my new bird feeder.  Where do birds go when it is so cold?
(This was taken last week.)

Happy New Year to you!  
May your year be beautiful, 
sunny and bright, 
full of love, 
great health 
and new learning!