Behind the Brush
Renee is a Canadian watercolour and mixed media artist painting out of her studio in Sherwood Park, Alberta. At a very early age, Renee began to take a strong interest in sketching and drawing often sitting with her mother while she painted in oils. It wasn’t long before she had a brush in her hand and was painting in watercolour and acrylic. Having proven to have a natural talent and sharp eye for detail, Renee started to get noticed winning various awards and having a piece purchased by Strathcona County for their acquisition program. At the age of 17, Renee was awarded a scholarship from Picture This Framing and Gallery to take a class with renowned artist Sue-Ellen Ross. Almost immediately, Renee fell in love with Sue-Ellen’s mixed media style utilizing watercolour, ink, coloured pencil and acrylic. She decided to implement some of the same technique into her own work.
In 2009, Renee was chosen by a unanimous panel of judges to commission a painting for the University of Alberta’s Graduate Engineering Department. The piece called “Unity” can be viewed in the ETLC building at the University of Alberta. After this point, Renee took a break to pursue a life long dream to become a professional ballroom dancer and also to complete her BSc in Psychology at the University of Alberta. Renee completed her degree and achieved her dream after winning a Canadian Championship and placing in the top 25 at the world championships in Belgium in 2015.
Currently, Renee is back to painting as a full time artist focusing on further pushing and continuing to build her skills in watercolour. Her love for vibrant colour, texture and detail allow her paintings to convey a strong sense of emotion and memory. Combining her love for travel and nature, she enjoys painting landscapes, animals, and botanicals experimenting with new techniques, materials and approaches. In 2018, she was invited and accepted the role of Vice President for the International Watercolour Society (IWS) and is enjoying connecting and supporting watercolour artists across Canada.
The human condition allows the melding of feeling and emotion in the perception of moments. Nothing is simply seen, rather it is felt burning a memory in the mind.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but a painting can transport you to another world and enchant your senses. Whether it is a memory of trees swaying in the wind on a warm summer day or a precious moment gazing over a field of flowers with a loved one, I aspire to draw the viewer in to create their own story.
My goal as an artist is to not only stimulate the mind with lucid imagery but also encourage the viewer to use their other senses. Can you hear the sounds of wind through heavy branches by a lakeshore, or the crash of waves on a beach at sunset?
Stimulation of the senses is where mixed media excels. The ambiguities of various mediums brought together mimic the chaotic melding elements in our natural environments. Whether it is imagining the course stiffness of a cougar’s fur or the soft pull of a fishing net fluttering in a breeze.
I hope my paintings succeed in taking you to another place and allow time to stand still for just a moment.