Renée's first art instructor was her father, well-known painter Tom Forrestall. She holds a BFA and BA in Art Education from NSCAD University, and is an instructor both at Halifax Grammer School and at NSCAD. Her diverse and accomplished background encompasses traditional painting techniques, including a variety of methods used in medieval icon painting. Her work has been widely exhibited and collected in Canada and internationally. While traditional methods are fundamental to her work, she has a distinctly innovative approach. Recent work, though focused on landscape and figures in landscape, uses a variety of inventive techniques that incorporate patterning, fresh and translucent colouring, and a spontaneous sense of image that is refreshing and not overworked.