DreamScape Art and books by René Donovan

On a quiet road in a small house that bears the name “The Enchanted Cottage,” artist René Donovan begins her day meditating and writing in her journal, a practice she has maintained for more than thirty years. Outside the morning sun spreads across the garden warming her view.  A blue and white hammock, a praying Buddha and ornamental grasses paint a scene of summer tranquility on Cape Cod. 

René Donovan is a Cape Cod artist whose artistic vision encompasses a wide variety of subject matter – the seasons, the land, the shore, birds, butterflies, flowers, wildlife – all reflecting her own unique treatment of color and light. René is not a typical Cape Cod artist. Her paintings depict worlds both profound and whimsical yet they incorporate sights familiar on this curving arm of land.

Her paintings offer a new way of seeing the familiar sights of the Cape either through the contemplative stillness of her art or the whimsical charm of her vision as it appears in her popular “Rubber Duckie” paintings. This series depicts the ducks in very realistic, smile-inducing natural scenes rich in play, wonder and happiness.  She is a self-taught realist and master of light who has developed her own technique of applying layers of acrylic colors and glazing to create the effect of light filling the canvas and glowing from within. Donovan has never studied art formally. She began painting as a child in her native Scituate, Rhode Island, named after Scituate, Massachusetts by early settlers. Her art has found its way into private collections from the Cape and beyond.  Word of mouth is her messenger. 




My lastest novel

“The Stone Children”

is now available on Amazon in paperback.

Go to Book Links  to order your copy.


The Stone Children opens at the end of World War ll in Germany. Uriel, a young soldier among those liberating Buchenwald Concentration Camp, sees not only the horrors but also sees images of butterflies, the symbol of transformation, drawn on the floors and walls of the barracks by children who had been imprisoned there. He learns that these images are in every camp and is deeply affected.
     When the war in the Pacific ends Uriel returns to his Cape Cod village, marries his childhood sweetheart Marra and begins his career as a children’s book illustrator. Their home is filled with love but Uriel’s nights are tortured by nightmares of the horrors he witnessed at Buchenwald. Marra, a sculptor, also begins to dream. She dreams of eggs. She dreams of children.  Her dreams swam with the images of smooth-shelled eggs: brown, white, blue, speckled. From deep within the eggs came songs as if their interiors held choirs. She felt the sound in her belly like something growing inside her, something that wanted to be born into the world.
     A force had entered Uriel at Buchenwald, a something that wants to be known. It wants to communicate through him and Marra, guiding their art and bearing a healing message for all humanity. It wants to prepare the world for the children to come, the Lumins, the compassionate children who had died in the Holocaust. This story takes the reader from World War ll through all the years that followed up to the infamous morning of September 11, 2001. Intertwined amid the turmoil and confusion of those years are wonders and changes that raise humanity’s awareness. “There is a noble fragment within us, a kind of beginning, a small secret...coiled love in fluid stone.”




“The Daughters of Time”

On a summer afternoon in 1998, Lizzie Chetwyrd embarks on a journey that will change her life, and the world, forever. 

     Lizzie’s story begins innocently enough when her elderly Aunt Maggie gives her the family’s ancestral home in Concord, Massachusetts. The house is full of memories for Lizzie, who spent childhood summers there, losing herself in the sense of wonder and magic that seemed to dwell in the fabric of the house and its surroundings. 
     But when she drives from her nearby Cambridge apartment to visit the house for the first time in years, she is startled by its appearance. Time, the elements and neglect have diminished its former glory. The once imposing 18th century dwelling stands abandoned in an eerie tangle of vines, peeling paint and sadness that seems to have erased the enchantment and consumed the spirit of the old house. 
     On one of Lizzie’s visits to Aunt Maggie in the nursing home where she is living, the old woman encourages her to spend more time at the house, listening and watching because “Concord has places of deep power and the house rests upon one.” Lizzie, who is accustomed to hearing her aunt spin strange tales, dismisses the notion until Aunt Maggie shows her family daguerreotypes of the era. Lizzie is stunned to see her own image in one of the pictures. 
     Lizzie’s journeys begin through a fold in time—to 1842 where she meets her great-great-great-great Grandmother Sophronia. She befriends the visionaries Emerson and Thoreau who soon suspect that she is more than a visiting relative. As the friendship deepens between Lizzie and the writers, they learn of her otherworldly journeys. Emerson’s writing begin to reflect Lizzie’s experience and his growing belief that “Time and space are just inverse measures of the force of the soul. A man is capable of abolishing them both. The spirit sports with time.” 










 “Me 'n God in the Coffee Shop

 Me ‘n God in the Coffee Shop is a spiritual journey, a lullaby, an awakening. Its pages hold starlight and the fragrance of new mown grass. With a blending of magic, mystery and ancient beliefs the reader is carried to a place of warm and tender joy, a place that whispers, “You are a miracle!”

To order your copy go to:

                          What if you slept

                          And what if

                          In your sleep

                          You dreamed

                          And what if

                          In your dream

                          You went to heaven 

                          And there plucked a 

                          Strange and beautful flower

                          And what if

                          When you awoke 

                          You had that flower in you hand 

                          Ah, what then? 

                          Samuel Taylor Coleridge—


 Go to next page: Gallery 1

 For information or prices email René at:   rdonovan38@comcast.net


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Pam | Reply 26.11.2014 19.44

You have created an impressive body of work both as a writer and as an artist. Your commitment to both arts and your pursuit of each one is a special gift.

Pam | Reply 28.05.2014 14.03

Rene's new book is a must read. She weaves the past and present beautifully. Her characters live and breathe from its pages. The descriptions are transporting.

Rene Donovan | Reply 31.07.2013 16.32

Have plans on Sat. but would love to meet you sometime for coffee and a chat.
We seem to have common interests. Care to exchange email addresses?

Kathy Mahoney | Reply 30.07.2013 20.39

2 are in Chatham, and 2 are in Wellesley. We are having a cocktail party for Cape Wildlife Center on Sat from 5 to 8 at 186 Champlain. Would you like to come?

Kathy Mahoney | Reply 29.07.2013 21.31

I live in Wellesley, but have a home in Chatham on Stage Harbor-featured in The Cape Cod View. I rescue greyhounds, and my 10th was in the first photo.

Rene Donovan 30.07.2013 18.06

How wonderful to live in such a lovely place! Are the 4 paintings hung in Wellesley or Chatham? I love knowing they're appreciated.

Kathleen Mahoney | Reply 29.07.2013 12.25

I love your work, and have bought 4 of your pieces from the Bartholomew
Gallery in Chatham--including Sleeping under Van Gogh's Sky and Swan's Journey

Rene' Donovan 29.07.2013 15.07

Hi Kathleen,
So good to hear from the person who bought the Van Gogh ducky painting...one of my favorites! Thank you for writing. Where do you live?

Marjorie Perry | Reply 23.01.2013 21.32

What a PLEASURE to scroll through this website! Love the feeling the paintings convey. The color shades are mystical. The duckies a delight.

Dan Mooney | Reply 28.07.2012 11.04

Cathy Sykes told me all about your wonderful rubber duckie art! You are truly a gifted artist. look forward to meeting you one of these days.
Dan Mooney

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Latest comments

03.08 | 05:32

Impressive sharing. I will let my mother know about it after my https://www.goldenbustours.com/seattle-tour-packages/ and hope it will be interesting for her.

31.01 | 14:45

Simply mahvelous....Renee ...what an amazing collections. It pleases me to have met you and see what a wonderful person you are. Perhaps in the sprina

03.03 | 14:10

Hi Cathy, thank you so much for your comments. It's so good to hear from you! Email me and let me know what's going on in your life... rdonovan38@comcast.net

02.03 | 20:44

Rene, I was deleting stuff & found your website. What an amazingly talented woman you are! I am humbled & grateful to have been your friend back then. Cathy.

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