Rene “Ren” Lonechild is a Plains Cree artist from White Bear Reservation in Saskatchewan. He started creating art at a very young age and being the eldest son of the artist, Micheal Lonechild, Rene spent his childhood influenced and surrounded by art. Spending time in his father's studio, around galleries and art shows helped mould his creativity.
His early art consisted of pen and ink drawing that was inspired by comic books and fantasy stories.
“ I was drawn to the bright colourful art and dynamic imagery of good battling evil”
Rene has been drawing for over 40 years and has since then moved to Ontario. In that time he has developed many different techniques and styles, which he used designing tattoos, Small business logos, T-shirts and even an album cover for a Punk Band, “Kill Matilda”.
In 2016, Rene decided to finally paint, taking himself out of his comfort zone.
“I meet my partner, Sherry, while I was living at the Arlington hostel in Maynooth. As we got to know each other, I told her how I always wanted to become a painter like my father. She smiled at me and simply said… ‘Then do it'. ”
Painting became surprisingly natural to Rene, and soon he had his first art show with fellow artist Ken Balme. Then in the spring of 2017 Lonechild was approached by Johl Ringuette, Owner and head Chef of Nish Dish Marketeria (Toronto). Johl had hired an artist to paint the face of his Marketeria but was not pleased with the outcome and had asked Rene if he could take over the project. He agreed, resulting in a captivating birch forest in the middle of downtown Toronto, complete with images of peeling bark, chaga and elders peering within the trees.
Since then Rene has had a solo art show and has participated in a documentary. He continues to paint, his topics range from wildlife, landscapes and the elders of his people.
“ I enjoy painting the elders because they can tell a story just by simply looking into their eyes. You can tell they have seen a lot.”
Painting is still relatively new to Rene Lonechild as he is still developing as an artist. He’s constantly evolving.