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, February 27, 2016

Making my own rubber stamps is positively therapeutic!



Making my own rubber stamps is positively therapeutic! I made most of the stamps out of white erasers.  I like the white erasers far better than the Speedball Speedy Cut sheet which crumbles very easily.  I spent the whole day carving!  So relaxing! The horse was made with a big block of colour created with a stencil made with acetate and then outlining with Indian ink and tracing paper.  I can't figure out how to do this transfer method properly.  The ink doesn't seem to want to transfer.

After playing with the stamps, I decided to use Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi lyrics.  I have been looking out my window and seeing my beautiful natural prairie turning into a sea of houses and trees not natural to the prairies.  The city folk want to live on acreages and leave their bright outside lights on all night long making the gorgeous starlit night sky less visible.

"Don't it always seem to go,
That you don't know what you've got,
Till it's gone?
They paved paradise,
And put up a parking lot..."
~Joni Mitchell

I hope to grow in my carving skills, but in the mean time, the process is good therapy!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Experimenting is Positively Worthwhile


Participating in Sketchbook Skool has led to a lot of experimenting and it has been totally worthwhile.

Our challenge this week was to create art related to the theme flying.  I carved a feather stamp first and realized it could also be a leaf.  I used a white eraser, as I didn't have any lino, as was suggested in the klass.   I love to carve.  For Valentine's Day, my husband gave me a trip to California to visit my son, daughter-inlaw and my granddaughter!  I was so excited, I took a lesson detour and created this page:




I am relearning some forgotten techniques and learning some really new fun techniques.  Watercolour glazing and washes.




I also found a really great watercolour painting channel on YouTube called The Mind of Watercolour!  This exercise was to pay attention to the shape of trees and use watercolour washes and glazes.




Below is another watercolour experiment, paying attention to the light to create depth.





On the below piece, our challenge was to create expressive lines.  The large butterflies are created from cutting a stencil into a transparency sheet.  I used a stamp pad to make the print, adding the lines from the pad as texture.  The idea is to create large blocks of colour and then add outlines and details using Indian Ink and a tissue paper transfer.   Actually I didn't have tissue paper, so I used parchment paper. The lines are uneven and chunky, but I actually like the effect. Celebrating imperfections! The lines are called expressive lines...you have no real control of the lines and they end up looking like old style lithographs, you know the style in old books?    I am going to try the technique again, now that I have some tissue paper.  I also carved a little flower and a small butterfly.  This time I used the leaf/feather stamp as grass!



Thanks for visiting.  I appreciate your feedback!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Grandma Positively Threw the Baby Out with the Bathwater


Sabine Wisman, the instructor for last week's Sketchbook Skool, challenged us to find a photo, make it our own and then ask ourselves, “What happened moments before the photo was taken?" and add text to our sketches.
I found a photo of my dad outside in a wash basin.  I kept Sabine’s question in my mind, and I imagined my dad in the kitchen having a bath and splashing to all heck.  Then imagined Grandma getting mad and throwing the baby out with the bathwater!  This was so much fun imagining what may have happened!
I added the laundry hanging out on the line.  I remember Grandma putting the laundry through the wringer washing machine and then hanging it on the line outside.  Some days could sure be windy on the prairie.  One really hot days, she would strip down to her bra and work outside.  Living on a farm in the middle of Saskatchewan did have its benefits!
I have a memory of Grandma singing, "You are My Sunshine" and doing the laundry.  Whether this is imagined or not, I will never know.  I do know for sure, when she was having troubles doing things in the kitchen or with the laundry on windy days, she would declare, "Oh, sugar in the morning!" instead of swearing.

Dad was a baby in the picture, and I imagined him thinking that he was sorry for splashing up the kitchen and was truly sorry.   
My grandpa never saw my dad until he was six months old, because he was away for training and duty for the Second World War, so there was no,"Wait until your father gets home!" scenario!
This is a new style for me… keeping it simple, a fountain pen, a little purple watercolour and red and purple pencil crayons.  Nothing fancy, but equally fun as the other techniques I have tried. I have to say it was positively enjoyable imagining the baby being thrown out with the bathwater!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Creativity Positively Takes Courage!


Henri Matisse once declared, "Creativity takes courage."   This is a message I was trying to convey to a group of students in my art class at school.  The assignment was to explore how watercolour paint acts and mixes.  The students were to first paint with water in random ways on the paper and then lightly dab with the paint brush loaded with watercolour paint onto the blobs of water, and watch the magic happen.

With watercolour paint, the colour only flows where the paper is wet.  Some of the students began by saying, " Hmmm, what should I make?", thinking they should have a plan before painting.  I told them to let the watercolour blob tell them.  It takes courage to let the magic of science whisper ideas into our minds.

This is a collection of creatures that I created for this exploration.  They all seem to have a Star Wars quality to them.  During the holidays, we went to the new Stars Wars movie, and it opened a whole can of questions for me.  I had never really been interested in Star Wars, but suddenly my interest was peeked and we began a marathon of watching all of the Star Wars movies.  We still have one left to go.


Qui-Gon wisely suggested to Obi-wan Kenobi, " Remember, concentrate on the moment.  Feel, don't think, use your instincts."  This is totally relevant to this exploration.  It is about instincts and not about planning out an idea.  This is quite scary for some people, but I totally enjoy the problem solving process.



This experiment of shape and colour has really pushed me to explore how contrasting colours really work with each other.  I added details with Sharpie pens, oil soluble  pastels and a white pen.  What fun.


I encourage you to have courage to explore.  You will be surprised to see how creative you can be!