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, April 25, 2017

Positively Remember to Live


Why? Since I posted this visual journal entry two weeks ago, four people I have known have passed away from cancer, and I have also remembered even more special people who have lost their battle.

One of my students that I taught at Crestwood School in grade four died recently. She was only 29 years old. She was a very special person. I remember writing about her in grade four that she had a smile as beautiful as a spring rainbow. She had the sweetest voice and admirable enthusiasm for what ever she did. She stayed after school helping me put on the finishing touches for a fur trading day. I remember her dressing up for our fur trading day in costume and sitting in the cardboard church that the students made singing Jesus Loves Me. I remember her singing with her grandparents in the church. She had every group of students and parents singing in the church. She was a kind a caring person who volunteered to help others.

Her parents were so thankful for her teachers, that every year they would invite her teacher and her teacher's family to their home for a delightful supper. I remember sitting in their living room listening to her playing the piano. What a special family and evening!



She posted on her Facebook page not too long ago, "Remember to live".

To celebrate knowing her, I remembered to live tonight. It was raining, but I invited my son Bryan to venture out to visit a nearby owl's nest. This morning I spotted an owlet poking its head out of the nest with its mother. I have been watching the nest since February, and updating my students on the progress each day.

After school, the mother and father were out of the nest and I spotted three little owlets poking their downy covered heads out of the top of the nest. So after supper, we ventured out in the rain and along the busy highway to get a closer look. The pictures ended up not the brightest, it was raining and the sun began to go down.


I think I can see four owlets.





We were treated to a conversation of hoots between the mother and father and me.


video

Please excuse the shakes.  I was standing on a slanted ditch.

After, a hawk swooped in and screeched, "Hello, I am watching you!"
  

A Blurry in the rain, but still important.  Showing life!


Later, the parents were getting nervous, so we hopped in the vehicle and drove to another nest. I noticed a head with white poking out this morning and was curious to identify the bird. As we were sitting in an approach nearby, two Canadian geese flew very close to the nest and then veered off. Sure enough, it was a Canadian goose nest high up in the tree top. We could see the beak, the white band and the tail feathers over the edge of the nest.

We decided to continue the journey down one of the range roads and were treated to the sightings of many, many deer. It was amazing how easily and gracefully they could leap over the barbed wire fences.

 I was asked today if we will still go on our field trip tomorrow if it rains. Yes, yes we will. It will be a reminder that just because it rains, we do not have to stop living.

 Thanks, Sonja for the reminder!  I will positively remember to live!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Holidays are Positively Joyous




For me and I imaging for most people, holidays are positively joyous.  This week I celebrated my time off by completing some art.

This above multimedia piece was started in the fall in an acrylic painting class I took.  I missed one class, and never seemed to be able to catch up.  I am a slow poke when it comes to painting and I always seem to be the last one done.  Anyways, this painting has stood on my art desk begging to be completed since then.  Finally, I told myself to get it done so I can move on.  The part that was holding me up was the plant area.  To me it didn't belong, even though it was in the original photograph.  After many months of stewing and pondering, I figured out the problem.  When I drew the plant, I left out the rocks and that made the plants look like they didn't belong!  At last, the problem has been solved!!!

To add actual texture, we used different gel mediums that had things like glass beads and sand  to the rocks.  We also used molding paste, crackle medium and a few other mediums.  It was a bit challenging painting over some of the applied textures.  The trick to this painting was paying attention to the shapes of the negative spaces and not think about painting the rocks or the plant.

I love rocks because there are no two alike, just like people!

Here are a few more journal pages that I did this week.  I used washi tape to create sections.



This second journal page was completed for Sketchbook Skool's Drawing A Day Prompt: Flourish.


Today I was testing my rubber stamps that I made in Expressing, with Penelope Dullaghan, in last year's klass, but was left with a page of randomness to deal with.  My challenge was to make a bunch of random objects flourish together.  I ended up with this flourish page. I have an acreage and a bunch of barn cats.  The cats will do ANYTHING to flourish, even if it's going to make them look RIDICULOUS!

I hope you too had a holiday full of joy and art.  Happy Paint Friday to you!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Visual Journaling is Positively For Me!

Visual journaling is positively for me! I haven't posted much in 2016-2017, but I have been actively pursuing my goals of improving my art.  I have taken two art classes and have thoroughly enjoyed learning from them.  However, they always require precision and planning and lots of concentration. There are many times when I just do not want to fuss.  I want to embrace creativity, and be okay with just having fun and I give myself permission to explore and make mistakes, because my journal is a place for me to be me.

Here are a few things that I have been working on:
1. Improving in drawing faces, no pencil and erasing allowed, using shades of grey






















2. Using my visual journal to express myself  emotionally with colour, text and illustrations
3. Using different media









4. Making mistakes and learning from them
5. Using ephemera from my daily life to help capture memories and feelings, experiences


























If you have never tried visual journaling, and want to make art, but are afraid to ruin that expensive canvas or paper, visual journaling is perfect for you!  Visual journaling is positively perfect for me!

Happy Paint Friday!  Thank you for taking the time to leave specific comments.  I appreciate you!



Friday, April 7, 2017

Watercolour Paint is Truly Diverse in Usage


Welcome Paint Party friends.  This week's installment is another watercolour multimedia piece.  My goal for this year is to improve on drawing and painting faces.  I used ink to do the background and then adhered paper napkins to create another layer for the background.  Next used some acrylic paint, gelatos, watercolour paint, white pen and marker to add the face, words and little dots.



The second piece is a little study I completed in my watercolour class.  It was the first time that I used masking fluid to block out white in the clouds and the water.  We were also shown how to use a little stub of a brush and to wipe away access paint with a paper towel to blend the paint.  It gets rid of harsh edges and softens the transition from one colour to the next!  I love that technique!  

I was quite excited about the vibrant colours!  I usually end up with very pastel colours.  I have realized that watercolours always dry lighter and that layering is important, but layer after the colour has dried completely to prevent a muddy colour from forming or a puddle of ugly from running across the paper. Finally, mix colours with equal paint to water to create a  more vibrant colour!

I am learning more each week that watercolours are positively more diverse than I at first thought!

May your week be full of peace and art!

Thank you for all of your positive compliments last week, I so appreciate them.  I hope to visit more blogs this weekend, as I am not out of town like last weekend!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Watercolour Painting is Positively Manageable


Many people shy away from watercolour paint, but I absolutely love painting with it.  Once you get to know its personality, it can be your friend.  You can layer it, mix beautiful colours, create textures, scrub it, scratch it, the list of things one can do with it, seems ever growing.

This watercolour  painting is of our horse Weebit ,and dog Lucy, when she was a puppy. They were so curious to meet each other.  

It was fun to layer and to scratch the grass and hair and whiskers out with a razor blade.  I discovered that the Mr. Clean Magic erasers do wonders for scrubbing off mistakes. Some paint bled underneath the tape onto the white boarder and I was able to lift the paint right off!

I can't wait to see what else I can do with watercolours.  

Happy Paint Party Friday!  May your weekend be art filled!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Positively Grand Day... A Great Horned Owl Stays For a Day Long Visit


Don't you love it when you wake up on a Saturday morning with a goal in mind for the day and with quick one second look, the entire day changes?  I do.  With a carefully planned work week, I like to go with the flow on weekends.

My plan was to go shopping, do some art and fiddle around the house.  However, when I looked outside my bedroom window at about 10:30 am, I spotted a great horned owl in my gigantic blue spruce tree.  I stood watching the owl for the longest time.  It was interested in my tabby cat that nonchalantly strolled underneath it and plopped itself onto the ground and rolled in the dirt.  I said to him, "Are you crazy? Owls like to use cats as slippers, get out of there!"  The owl enjoyed the show, and fortunately stayed on its roost.  The cat unconcerned, meowed and journeyed around the house to see if it could catch a spring bird for lunch.  Crisis averted.

Being a photographer, I knew I couldn't delay.  I had to get out soon before the owl decided to move on.  My strategic plan of camera attack was on.  I would wear my coat that had the colours of green and brown and would put up my hood to mask the fresh shampoo scent.  I would then sneak out the back door, not slam it, creep towards my garden shed and pretend that I wasn't interested in the owl. Then I would a few steps at a time, and edge my way towards the blue spruce tree in the front yard where the owl was calmly resting.

One step onto a dry leaf, and I was discovered.  I wasn't fooling that owl at all.  It locked eyes with me and watched me creep towards it.  It allowed me to get closer and closer, until I was right under the tree amongst the branches.  I stood there is disbelief.  There was an owl in my tree and it didn't swoop off when I approached and attacked it with my camera.  Click after click, it stayed put.  We played peek a boo for a while, had a staring contest and I told it it was so beautiful and thanked it for visiting.



To not annoy it too much, I backed up and sat on my picnic bench in front of my house.  I sat there in warm spring sun in disbelief.  Two hours had passed and it was still there.



Hour after hour, and camera setting after camera setting, the owl remained.  It was still there at 5:30 when we left for town.


I love owls and the word owl is in my last name!  I am reading Farley Mowat's Owls in the Family to my grade one students.  When ever I read the novel to my students, I seem to have some sort of owl encounter.  Is must be true that  when you through an idea or a question out to the universe, it answers back. There is a great horned owl nesting down the road from us.  All these signs.  We were meant to meet! What a positively grand day!  I still can't believe the owl stayed for a day long visit!


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Watercolour Class Was Positively Fun


Picture this:  A June Saturday calm sunny morning, eleven artists gazing and admiring green prairie grass on rolling Alberta hills, yellow canaries singing gaily in the surrounding trees, flowers proudly flaunting their delightful blooms... that is what my outdoor watercolour class was like!  It was positively fun!

Key learnings for the day:
1.  Values are very important, squint to see the differences.
2.  Experiment.
3.  Have fun.
4.  Flowers need little paint.
5.  Backgrounds show off flowers.
6.  Don't over paint.
7.  Ask yourself...What colour is it really?


 I can't wait for day 2!