Born in Montreal, Renée knew from an early age that she wanted to draw and paint. “I always had a pencil in my hand – although until the age of 13 no-one thought I had any artistic ability, as even my writing was atrocious !” But, somehow in her teens all that changed, and her skills started to assert themselves.
However, the business world and motherhood diverted her from fulfilling her goal until her late thirties, when she began her artistic journey through Concordia University and her first watercolour teachers, Renata Heidersdorf of Beaconsfield, and Ming Ma, a Chinese watercolourist. After that there was no holding her back. She went on to take workshops and courses with many American watercolourists, including Judi Betts, Stephen Quiller and Chen-Khee Chee, to name just a few.
Renée has had solo shows in galleries and community centres in Montreal, the United States, and Ontario. She has participated in many juried shows where she has won awards for her works. Her paintings can be found throughout Canada, the United States and also Holland and Germany. She is a juried member and Past President of the Lakeshore Artists Association, was one of the founding members of the Dollard Artists, and is an Honorary Member of the Beaconsfield Artists and a member of the Dorval Artists Association. She also has been a major donator to the PBS Arts Auction in Plattsburgh, N.Y., has had her works appear in the “MAGAZIN'ART – LE RÉPERTOIRE BIENNAL DES ARTISTES CANADIENS EN GALERIES”, and has had some of her paintings reproduced by “Les Éditions Galerie Imagerie”.
Renée teaches watercolour and drawing , not only in her home studio in Dollard, but also at the Dorval Community Centre and for certain Golden Age groups. “I love interacting with people of all ages, teaching them to look at the world through my kind of ‘rose-coloured glasses.’ I had one elderly widow tell me that she found a reason to wake up each morning since she discovered painting – how wonderful is that !”
Since Renée is a versatile artist – Nature in all it’s shapes and sizes - she is well-loved by her students who learn to paint a variety of subjects. From landscape to florals, animals to people, Renée has tried it all - “I’m not scatter-brained, but I love to try new things all the time and don’t want to get stuck in a rut; variety is the spice of life !” She also loves to experiment with new papers and watercolour methods which she then teaches to other artists through workshops and demonstrations. “Watercolour has so many wonderful nuances and styles to work with; you can be extremely detailed or wonderfully free and loose – it all depends on your frame of mind”.