Canada’s Hardest Working Visual Artist? Taking Care of Business

Taking care of business or TCB was coined by The King himself in 1969, Elvis Presley, who most certainly was the hardest working rock star of his generation. “Taking Care of Business” was a mantra and a point of pride for Presley and his entourage, known as the Memphis Mafia. In 1973, Canadian rock group Bachman–Turner Overdrive, made it a hit song, ‘Taking Care of Business‘, coming out just a year after I appeared on Vancouver Island, Canada.

Taking Care of Business

For me, my life as an artist began when I was very young, as I feel that true artists are born, they feel the pull to make Art from a very young age, to the point where there is nothing else that matters. I became a professional at it when I began exhibiting my work and selling it which was over twenty years ago now. I made it my full-time career about 18 years ago now. I am at that point in my career where personal life and art life are now one, there used to be a separation, like I was two people, but I am now one, The Artist. If you asked me what my priorities are in life they go as follows; Art(work), Spouse, Family and friends that are family. There is no ‘work/life balance for an Artist’ at least no one who is successful at it. I LOVE my work, so much so I would rather be working than doing anything else, and when I am not working, all I am thinking about is the next artwork or blog post or person I need to reach out to, or email I have to answer. I wish it was only email, I get requests and inquiries all over the place these days. Whether it be through InstagramFacebook messenger,  Twitter , What’s App (still not sure) or LinkedIn, by text or phone, I wish everyone communicated in the same way these days. It just used to be telephone, and now its everything, everywhere, all the time.

Banff Centre artist residency

Recently, I was listening to a podcast called Fly on the Wall with Dana Carvey and David Spade, they were talking to ‘The Great One’ – Wayne Gretzky for the non-hockey fans reading this diatribe. Nicknamedthe Great One, he has been called the greatest ice hockey player ever by many sportswriters, players, The Hockey News, and by the NHL itself. It was so interesting to hear him talk about wanting to do nothing but skate as much as he could every day on the outdoor lakes and ponds in his hometown of Brantford, Ontario. He was obsessed and dedicated from an early age, it was his number one priority and life to him was on that ice. This type of obsession and focus is something I have spoken of many times, including in the documentary, ‘The Iconic Canuck’.

Taking Care of Business

This kind of focus does not come without challenging times, as you are absolutely going it alone and while friends are kicking back and partying on the weekend to escape their 9-5, you just want to work, you don’t need a break from doing something you love so much it commands your attention day and night. It becomes your life and there is no separation between work/life. Where art differs is, it is not something your retire from, it just keeps on going as long as you are able to make it, the making does not stop, like the Rolling Stones who just released a new album, Hackney Diamonds, in their 8th decade of life.

Taking Care of Business

‘Saturley is an artist who is committed to her practice in a most impressive way.’

This brings me back to, Canada’s Hardest Working Artist, which is something that has been said to me on numerous occasions by peers, collectors and friends. I know there are a few of us out there and we are the ones who you likely hear of the most. You don’t build a lifelong career without discipline and hard work, but it is something that many young artists never ‘get’ or ‘get’ far too late in life. That discipline that takes you places in the work itself, is also important outside of the creating, and the wonder and the dreaming of it all. The pop culture persona of the artist is oftentimes a high-maintenance, always shows up late, never answers emails or the phone, alcoholic mess that makes brilliant things when pushed. I myself will agree that we have a distinctive view of life and perhaps are at times a bit narcissistic (a little is good ask your shrink) But at the core of this creative persona known as ‘The Iconic Canuck’, I am fiercely dedicated to my work, on all sides and I have a hard time understanding why others aren’t as fiercely dedicated to this privileged career of Artist.

Taking Care of Business

I am about to take off on a new trip for Art, a residency in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, where I will be painting in a place dedicated to artists along with 8 other artists from around the globe. For outsiders looking in this life looks very exciting and filled with amazing opportunities around every corner, and it is, but a vacation it is not. I am not going to the other side of Canada to meet-up with friends, take tours 12 hours out of my location, or drop in on family in another province. I am going to have an experience, make work, and make connections with other artists and art lovers, based on the experience, and it’s the most fantastic thing in life. Then I will fly home, having worked without interruption, for a month, and through all hours of the day and night. I will return to my home studio on Vancouver Island filled with ideas for new work from the work I did while away. I will be fueled by memory, experience, and have a new collection of drawings, writings, photographs and video. I will return home wanting to immediately get to work, but I will have things to do on the business side before I can get back into the studio. There will be bills to pay and people to see, and it is a challenging thing to do when your head is so full.

Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity

So, while I will never call myself the hardest working artist in Canada, I do know that I work harder at it than most I meet, and it all comes from an inner drive and pull and need to make the work and move to the next level, within, that will exist on the outside.

Now, as Jerry Saltz would say, get to work you big babies (artists)

Sincerely Yours,

Iconic Canuck (a.k.a Brandy Saturley)

Painting with Lawren Harris – putting myself in the forefront

Lawren Harris is considered one of Canada’s most prominent painters of the 20th century, known for his distinctive style that captures the essence of the Canadian landscape. I am a contemporary Canadian painter, and one of the many artists who have been inspired by Harris’s work. I have created a number of paintings,  that pay homage to Harris’s artistic legacy and also make a statement about putting Canadian women artists in the forefront. These pieces are about representation, inclusion and achievement in the Canadian Art world. I am painting with Lawren Harris.

I want to talk about four paintings I have created that reference Harris’s ‘Baffin Island (1931), ‘North Shore, Lake Superior’ (1926), ‘Mountain Forms (1926) and ‘Sun and Earth’ (1945), respectively. In these works, Harris depicted the rugged and majestic Canadian landscape in a stylized, almost abstract way. Using bold colors and geometric shapes to create a sense of the landscape’s essence. My paintings similarly capture the essence of the Canadian landscape, but with their own unique style and perspective.

My use of bright, bold colors and geometric shapes is reminiscent of Harris’s style. I also add my own personal touch by including myself in the forefront of the painting, along with other elements and symbols that represent contemporary Canadian culture.  I have spoken about the influence of Harris on my work, his paintings have inspired me to explore and depict the Canadian landscape in my own way. I have also spoken about the importance of paying homage to Harris and other Canadian artists who have paved the way for contemporary painters in Canada.

I have taken inspiration from Harris’s distinctive style and used it to create my own unique vision of the Canadian landscape and culture, while also paying homage to Harris’s legacy. Through my work, I am adding to the rich and diverse tapestry of Canadian art, continuing the tradition of artistic exploration and innovation that Harris helped to establish.

Here I will discuss these four paintings by Lawren Harris, and how they influenced my comment on the current culture and conversations in Canada.

Let Your Backbone Rise, 2016 – Brandy Saturley

Painting with Lawren Harris

This was the first painting where I used a painting by Lawren Harris as reference for the background of the painting. The background shows a segment of the painting, Baffin Island, painted by Harris in 1931. My career at this time was rising as I had just booked two public gallery solo exhibitions in the province of Alberta, the shows were retrospective shows of my paintings about Canadian culture and landscapes over a period of five years. I have painted myself into the painting wearing my red military style coat and wearing my the white gloves usually associated with handling artwork. My hair gathered into a formal french twist, facing the landscape boldly with arms raised. Running down the outside of the back of my coat a backbone is visible with vertebrae running outside the coat and over the spinal area of my back. I am definitely making a statement about the time in Canada, and my time as a rising woman on the Canadian art scene.

Baffin Island, 1931 – Lawren Harris

“I paint myself into these paintings because I suppose I am looking for myself in the world.”

With Hearts on Our Sleeves, 2017 – Brandy Saturley

Painting with Lawren Harris

The second painting I created with a Lawren Harris reference features a self portrait facing the viewer. The background of the piece features an abstract snippet from the Harris painting, ‘North Shore, Lake Superior’ from 1926. In this painting the ‘God’s rays’ of light through the clouds put the focus on the figure in the foreground. The year is 2017 and I made this painting while my public gallery retrospectives were moving from a gallery in Edmonton to a gallery in Calgary. In the self-portrait I am wearing a Hudson’s Bay toque and a plaid shirt (the symbol of the blue collar Canadian worker) The shirt features a heart sewn on the sleeve, with sleeves unrolled and folded backwards I am making a fist. Here I am channeling ‘Rosie the Riveter’ in my pose and gaze, though I am holding my fist tightly with head tilted down like a prize fighter.

North Shore Lake Superior, 1926 – Lawren Harris

“What Harris did in painting this mountain and it subsequently selling for millions is make it possible for someone to acquire and carry this landscape wherever they roam.”

A Landscape To Go, 2017 – Brandy Saturley

lawren harris homage painting

The third painting with Lawren Harris is a little different. Rather than placing myself in the foreground and Harris in the background, I have placed myself in the background and I have extracated the most famous Harris landscape in the foreground. ‘Mountain Forms’ painted in 1926 became the most expensive Canadian artwork ever to sell at auction in 2016 for a whopping $11.21 million. Mountain Forms, is a renowned painting of Alberta’s Mount Ishbel in the Sawback Range of the Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park. In the painting I am holding the painting in cupped hands as I examine it closely, again dressed in my military style red coat. The lake below the mountain runs off my hand. I am examining the landscape, holding it in my hands. When you are in the Rocky Mountains of Canada you are dwarfed by the gargantuan size of these mountains. What Harris did in painting this mountain and it subsequently selling for millions is make it possible for someone to acquire and carry this landscape wherever they roam. I was also thinking about how many hands this painting has moved from during it’s time on Earth. An examination of the Canadian art market, and injecting myself into the conversation.

Mountain Forms, 1926 – Lawren Harris

“As I begin inheriting pieces from my Ukrainian grandmother I am finding that I too have culture, woven with arts, crafts, symbols and stories.”

Dochka Rising, 2023 – Brandy Saturley 

Painting with Lawren Harris

With this fourth and most recent painting the Lawren Harris painting and period I chose to reference is from his abstract period. ‘Sun and Earth’ painted in 1945 features simplified forms of sunrise and mountains. Again I have put myself in the foreground, only this time I am looking up casting my gaze upwards. My face is dressed in shadows casting stripes across my face and hair. On the lower portion of hair you see symbols and pattern from weaving my Ukrainian grandmother made, passed down to me by my mother. At this time in my life my parents are aging fast and things are changing daily. My mother who was my earliest mentor in art and life, is now requiring our care. I am feeling the need to take time and connect more deeply to my cultural roots, which includes Ukrainian, British and Canadian. Growing up in Sooke on Vancouver Island I spent time with Indigenous friends and family members. I always felt that those with Indigenous heritage were lucky, they seemed to have a real connection to their culture and cultural stories, that I did not feel to my cultural heritage. Growing up in Canada I felt like I had no culture, and now as an adult I realize I do, and this realization has come from watching and learning from our Indigenous cousins. As I begin inheriting pieces from my Ukrainian grandmother I am finding that I too have culture, woven with arts, crafts, symbols and stories. I am also affected by war in Ukraine and moved by the stories of the people and the immigrants to Canada. As my career and work as a Canadian Artist continues to ascend, the depth of my work grows with renewed excitement and explorations across Canada.

Sun and Earth, 1945 – Lawren Harris

“in a way I feel like I am having a conversation with Harris even though he passed before I was born.”

Lawren S. Harris Self-Portrait, 1932

Lawren Harris and Brandy Saturley are contemporaries painting in different times, in a way I feel like I am having a conversation with Harris even though he passed before I was born.  Harris is known for his landscapes that showcase his love for the Canadian wilderness, while my paintings are more focused on the exploration of identity and culture. While we both use painting as a means of expression, our works are vastly different in terms of style, theme, and technique.

Harris’ works are characterized by sharp, clean lines, bold colors, and a geometric approach to composition. His paintings are heavily influenced by his interest in theosophy, a spiritual movement that sought to find universal truth through intuition and mysticism. His work is often described as “spiritual,” with the landscapes he painted appearing otherworldly, with a sense of transcendence.

On the other hand, my paintings are more fluid and organic, with a focus on the human form and its relationship to culture and identity. My work is often marked by vivid colors and layered brushwork, giving my paintings a dynamic and almost tactile quality. I often explore themes of gender, ethnicity, and national identity, with a focus on the social and cultural dynamics that shape our understanding of ourselves and others.

While both artists are celebrated for their distinct styles and contributions to Canadian art, their work represents very different approaches to the medium of painting. Harris’ landscapes are an exploration of the natural world, while my paintings are a celebration of colour, human culture and diversity. However, despite their differences, I believe both of us share a deep love of our country and its people, and our work continues to inspire and engage audiences around the world.

Becoming a professional Artist – A Modern Autodidact I AM

Modern Autodidact I AM

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley in studio 2022.

There have been a few stories made about how I became the professional Artist I am today. A modern autodidact I am, self-taught in most areas of Art and the business of representing myself as an independent Canadian artist. My learning has always been hands on, through doing a bit of the thing I wanted to learn about, something that would help me evolve as an Artist and realize a professional level career in the Arts. Along the way I have signed on for short programs in educational Art institutions, but I have no BFA or MFA or PhD, and it has not stopped me from succeeding as an Artist on all levels. From public and commercial galleries to selling my work online through my website. Creating public art, licensing my artwork and custom art commissions. From presenting artist talks, art fairs, and writing articles and interviewing other artists, to developing my own website and network of associates and suppliers. Producing art publications and process videos, to making art on location in self-directed and awarded residencies. I am a professional Canadian artist creating in ALL realms of the Art business in Canada and beyond.

Modern Autodidact I AM

Brandy Saturley and mother in Sooke News Mirror 1972

When did you become an Artist?

The question I get most often from young artists and future collectors is, when did I become an Artist? To really answer this question I have to go back to childhood and growing up with an artist mother, who was influenced by her artist mother. Who we are early on has much to do with who and what we grow up around, and my mom was always making things with me, mostly drawing painting, and crafting. I knew what I liked most at an early age and that was creating my own world from a solitary space. I enjoyed magazines, music, films, the outdoors and making art in the midst of all these influences. I learned from glossy advertising in Vogue magazine, and listened to the Beatles, Billie Holiday, Herb Alpert and the hard rock of AC/DC. I read the European Newspaper and wrote to pen pals in London, England. I grew up in a very small town on a large island, on the western-most tip of Canada. I had a hunger for information about the places, people and cities of the world.

In my senior years of high school I connected intensely with two influential educators, one was my History teacher and one my Art teacher. They both encouraged and influenced my path of the coming years. I knew I wanted to pursue an art career somehow, but found it hard committing to a formal education, largely because I did not have the means. Instead I took shorter courses in Visual Arts and filmmaking giving me a few years of educational appetizers in these areas. Art History, 2D, 3D, pottery, graphic design and filmmaking (from camera to scriptwriting) Three years of education offering a sampling and just enough experience in these areas. During film school I attended a talk by the Oscar winning Director of Photography for Close Encounters of The Third Kind, Vilmos Szigmond. I was captivated by his talk and found myself finishing the program and working in the Victoria and Vancouver film industry for a short couple years.

I left film as a career behind, though to this day I consume cinema just as voraciously as I did when I was younger. I made the decision that painting and photography were the things for me. I continued making Art part-time, as I worked full-time jobs in businesses that would teach me skills that could be useful down the line. During this time I moved from job to job as I learned new skills, each time working my way up until I had nowhere to go (in my mind) but move on to a new job. I worked in real estate sales, interior design retail (tile and natural stone) publishing (advertising coordinator + proofreader) and then I found myself wanting to learn more about computers, during the dot-com boom.

A Modern Autodidact I AM

As I was working these full-time *jobs* I was making Art in the evenings and on weekends. Art was keeping me interested in life. I met someone who was working for an Internet Service Provider

Modern Autodidact I AM

Paintings by Brandy Saturley at Victoria Premium Automobiles

and he would talk about all the exciting things going on with the Internet and websites. It was 1999 and I did not own a computer. Most people I know had one and worked on one, and I decided it was time for me to find out more about this Internet thing. I opened the phone book to the yellow pages, where all the businesses advertise. I flipped to the Internet service provider section and we had four at the time in Victoria, BC. I found the one with the biggest advertisement, which was a double page spread, and I called the number and asked for the manager. Of course the manager was not available, but I left a message and waited a couple days. I then called again, and left another message. I waited a few more days and called again, this time I got through to the manager directly and we had a quick chat and he told me to stop by with my resume. Keep in mind I had NO computer experience and wanted to sell dial-up Internet to people. A couple interviews later I found myself with a job in the Internet business and I had to learn very quickly. I was hired to work sales and customer service in person and over the phone.

My manager at the ISP was creating his own website and learning to write html to create his website. I asked if he could teach me, and he obliged. I began learning how to write html to create my own webpage, instead of eating lunch. In 2020, I created my first website and I posted some of my artwork on that page. This was before Facebook and even MySpace (which I became an early adopter of as an artist)  I think if we were to look at our lives in ‘Internet’ years, it would be more than dog years. I finally got a home computer a year after starting my Internet job. I worked with the ISP for two years, the longest non-Art job I held. I learned so much here; from dial-up to fibre connections and html to domains.

Modern Autodidact I AM

Strathcona County Gallery @501

Fast-forward to Full-Time Artist

The modern autodidact in me found a way to write a business plan for being a fulltime artist, the artist in me found a way to sell my art to a patron who became an investor in my passion and dream. In 2007, I left my day job to pursue my Art with full intensity, energy and from this autodidact approach. Really the self-taught life is the Artist life, it is the true way of the Artist. The thing that makes the title Artist a profession and not a hobby is, I run it like a business and my artwork supports my life. Artist is my full-time career. What also makes me a ‘professional Artist’ is the way in which I pay attention to all the details of the artmaking process; from making the work, to finishing the canvasses that will hang in galleries, museums, and private collections. What I learned in all my jobs over the years provided me with a degree in being a professional self-representing Artist. From managing my website, to writing this blog, I taught myself to do it all. I have also relied on the expertise of others, to help get me where I am. Through sharing skills and supporting one another, I have been very fortunate to make money while I was learning the skills I needed for this career. Now when I look back on the business plan, in many ways it was laughable, as with this career it is ever changing like the ocean tides. Being a professional artist is like being a professional surfer. Sometimes you get the good one (wave) and other times the water is flat. In this profession you have to be ready enough to know how to spot those waves and ride them to the shore. You have to be open, honest and focused on your ride. Over the years I have moved to task lists, goal lists and idea lists to keep me moving between waves.

But you can’t rely on Internet alone
art exhibitions Okotoks

Okotoks Art Gallery

The other part of my autodidact adventures was getting out there in front of people and the Art itself. I have used the Internet to reach out to those people and places I wanted to go to expand my career and learning in the Arts. I wanted to learn more about what the commercial galleries, museums and artist-run centers of Canada were doing and I travel across Canada every chance I get. In the early days of my career it was to see art and meet people working in the Arts. I flew out to Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Toronto to connect with mentor artists (Andrew Valko, Charles Pachter, Gordon Milne, Robert Genn, Chris Cran) who had built great careers in the Arts. I did studio visits, interviewed artists for blog and magazine articles I would write. My first solo show was presented by Visual Arts Alberta (now CARFAC Alberta) at the end of 2013, this is when #ICONICCANUCK was born.  As my paintings about Canadian culture, icons and landscapes developed I began to travel the country more often. Then in 2016 when I was preparing for my 2017 solo shows, I traveled across the country and up into the Northern Territories to make art and capture these places through photography and video, returning home to write about my experiences and make paintings. In 2017 I was invited to present solo shows of my ‘Pop Canadianisms’ at Strathcona County Gallery @501 in Edmonton and The Okotoks Art Gallery in Calgary.

In 2019, I found myself on a new type of adventure as I continued my contemporary art education at the Royal College of Art in London, England – at the time the #1 post-graduate arts institution in the world. A place that David Hockney spent some of his education in Art.

I pushed myself to collaborate with the public through my ‘People of Canada Portrait Project’ and through a painting collaboration with an artist in Calgary, Alberta. I created the first artist in residence at Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, painting on site at the museum.

Interview Banff Centre

Brandy Saturley at Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity

In 2021 I joined the artist roster at Adele Campbell Fine Art, a fine art gallery in Whistler, Canada. My first foray into having a gallery represent my work. In 2022, I was invited to do a residency in the Leighton Studios at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity through the Paul D. Fleck Fellowships in the Arts Endowment. I joined my second commercial gallery, this time in Banff, Canada with Willock & Sax.

This year I have been invited to the Pouch Cove Foundation residency in Newfoundland and will be spending a month this fall creating on the very eastern tip of Canada.

I have sold and exhibited my work across Canada, in the USA and London, England.

These are just of few of the highlights from a now 17 year career as a full-time professional artist.

In conclusion, being a modern autodidact has offered me the adventure of a lifetime and a life lived in Art, that is Art itself. Being a professional artist in this day and age, means being prepared for those waves when they come in. I wouldn’t change a thing, here’s to the continuing journey. See all my artwork on my website.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley a.k.a #ICONICCANUCK

#ICONICCANUCK at #HAPPYWALL in Edmonton, Alberta

Artist Flourishing: 2022 in Review

As the end of 2022 approaches and many are writing their year in review lists, I too am looking back at a prolific, venturesome and prosperous year making art in Canada. In any good year I find myself making between 25 and 30 new paintings, this year with all that was on my schedule I would have been happy with 15 new paintings, and as I look back at the year I realize I made 34 new paintings ) 37 if you count the studies that never ended up becoming final works. The year included travel and art making in Maui, Hawaii and Banff, Alberta. Two contrasting climates offering fertile beauty and impressions that will feed hundreds of paintings to come. At the end of each year I prepare for the next with a solid outline of what I plan to accomplish as well as big audacious hopes and dreams. This annual review and plan for the coming year offers balance as I focus on production of new work, art shows, and art sales. It can be challenging to balance artist brain with financial brain, but it is essential in moving to each next level with my art career. Being a successful Canadian artist carries responsibility as success is earned and the rent is due every every single day. Here are some highlights from a year I will call ‘Flourishing’. Cheers to 2023!

January – began with new paintings that were off-the-cuff as I challenged myself to make art in the moment and without the usual photo reference. These paintings offered very abstract backgrounds using shape and intense colour to communicate the landscapes that the central characters would inhabit.

2022 in Review

Modern Canadian Elk: painting of an Elk on a Northern Lights inspired background

February – continuing on my path of exploring Canadian culture I found myself entranced with Nanaimo Bars on Valentines Day

2022 in Review

On Top of Nanaimo Bars: a figure skater perched a top a tower of delicious desserts made in Canada

March – a few more paintings including two showstoppers featuring red canoes

2022 in Review

Brandy Saturley in her Victoria BC studio with two canoe paintings, March 2022

March also included a trip to Vancouver to deliver art and see Yoko Ono: Growing Freedom at Vancouver Art Gallery

yoko ono growing freedom

Growing Freedom: the instructions of Yoko Ono, the Art of John and Yoko

April – new self-portrait for my ‘Pop Canadianisms’ series – solidarity with our Ukrainian friends

2022 in review

Portrait Painting of a Ukrainian Canadian Artist

May – mindful of our Alberta cousins and Indigenous relations

Indigenous Landscape painting

Painting of Blackfoot tribal chief next to red canoe at Lake Louise, Alberta

June – all about Maui, Hawaii – a beauteous place to fill my eyes, nose, ears and brain

HUI NO'EAU Arts Centre Maui

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley at HUI NO’EAU VISUAL ARTS CENTER

Painting inspired by Maui Hawaii residency.

July – Sooke Fine Arts show, Sooke BC Canada

Sooke Fine Arts Show 2022

Ukraine Strong, acrylic painting on canvas, 2022 – Brandy Saturley

August – Society of Canadian Artists 54th Annual Exhibition in Toronto, Canada

Society of Canadian Artists 54th

Society of Canadian Artists 54th International Open Exhibition Features Portrait by Brandy Saturley

September – photography and preparations for the annual art magazine/catalogue

Brandy Saturley Canadian Artist

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley in studio with some of the paintings created in 2022

October – with the passing of Queen Elizabeth II – two paintings honoring Britain and the monarch

2022 in Review

Painting of Queen Elizabeth II by Brandy Saturley, 2022


End of An Era – painting of Union Jack and Canadian Flag at half mast, 2022, Brandy Saturley

Annual art catalogue is completed and printed.

Canadian Art Catalogues

Modern Canadian Pop Mythos – 2022 art catalogue Brandy Saturley

November – bound for Banff, Alberta two week painting residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Brandy Saturley Lake Minnewanka

In Banff, Alberta at Lake Minnewanka

Banff Centre Painting Residency

Thom Studio at Banff Centre – Brandy Saturley Canadian Artist

2022 in Review

Brandy Saturley in Thom Studio at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, November 2022

Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity

Brandy Saturley with final paintings created at Banff Centre residency 2022

December – Art of Winter at Adele Campbell Fine Art

adele campbell fine art

Brandy Saturley northern portrait – part of Art of Winter group show at Adele Campbell Fine Art

December – the Art of Brandy Saturley now represented by Willock & Sax in Banff, Alberta

2022 in Review

The Art of Brandy Saturley – now on view at Willock and Sax Gallery in Banff, Alberta

December – Brandy Saturley awarded residency in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland at Pouch Cove Foundation artist work/live studios

Pouch Cove Foundation artist residency in Newfoundland, Canada.

See more paintings created by Brandy Saturley in 2022.


Interview: Talking with Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity

In November 2022, Victoria, BC artist Brandy Saturley spent 12 days making art in a Leighton Studios residency (recipient of the Paul D. Fleck Fellowships in the Arts Endowment) at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. In an interview with the Banff Centre Social Media Marketing Officer she spoke about about her project and artist process.

Interview Banff Centre

Thom Studio, Banff Centre Leighton Studios

Why did you join us for this residency? In my practice I find that it is important to leave your usual routine and studio behind and seek out new locations to create work in new environments and in new ways. This type of residency keeps the work fresh and challenges my ability to be flexible as an artist. I also had the Banff Centre on my list of places I hoped to do a residency and I am thrilled it finally came together.

What do you love about your art form? I love painting because it is such a fluid and immediate medium. My goal for this residency was to paint a very large piece and make full use of the ceiling height, light and expanse of the wall in my studio. My way of making art begins with capturing the experience of a place through the mediums of photography, video, and writing. I then take all these things and lay out the blueprint for the painting. Aided by music, I find the mood of the piece and being laying down paint on the canvas. All influenced by my time in a place and my journey of getting to the place. My paintings are about the journey and the things I see, hear, feel, taste and touch along the way and in the place where I am making the art. In this case I arrived on a very snowy day, walking through a white out sky and forest to my studio. I could hear squirrels, birds and captured stag and deer resting outside my door. On the second day of my residency the light broke through and the skylights began to clear of snow. The light began to filter through the trees and my windows. This all informed the work that was created while on campus.

Interview Banff Centre

Brandy Saturley, with paintings in progress at Banff Centre – Photo by Kyla Jacobs

What should people know about your artistic medium that may not be common knowledge? My medium of paint and specifically acrylic paint is that it is the most versatile painting medium on the planet. Acrylic paint of today can be applied and reapplied, it can be layered and blended like oils and can be fluid, feathered and stain the canvas like watercolours. It can be laid out to dry on my glass palette and left to dry, and then peeled off like plastic wrap and then adhered to the canvas. I mix my acrylics with retarder if I am looking for it to dry more slowly like an oil, but I like that the medium dries more quickly than oil which allows me to move on at a pace that suits my personality.

Interview Banff Centre

Brandy Saturley painting in her studio at Banff Centre – Photo by Kyla Jacobs

What has your time with your Banff Centre residency been like, and/or, what specifically did you focus on during your time? In short, invigorating, uplifting and prolific. It was a regenerative experience that was welcomed after the past two years under COVID. I focused on creating in place, letting the experience direct the work. I like to challenge myself with every new painting, sometimes that means going in without a concrete plan, which is what I did in this case. It can be scary to arrive in a new place, and create purely on site, but thankfully I am experienced and prepared and brought everything I would need to rely on my daily schedule and practice, so that I could put all my faith in the experience of the place. I focused on creating a very large diptych on canvas. I also focused on gathering imagery and information to fuel an entire series of paintings based on my time at the Banff Centre. I will also produce a timelapse video of the creation of the painting, as well as a video of the entire experience of my journey. Another goal of my time in Banff was to access local art community and have signed on with Willock and Sax gallery because of my time at Banff Centre. Perhaps a future showing of the entire body of work and films with the Walter Phillips Gallery or Whyte Museum, that is the next goal.

Canadian Painter Brandy Saturley

Paintings by Brandy Saturley – Photo by Kyla Jacobs for Banff Centre

What’s next for you on your artistic journey after this program? Continued development and work on this series I have begun at Banff Centre. I have work in a group show at Adele Campbell Fine Art in Whistler in December, I have four paintings on view with Willock and Sax in Banff, I have a large portrait commission I have been working on for a client from Calgary, and I am looking for the next location to do a residency. Perhaps the east coast of Canada this time, time will tell.

Brandy Saturley Banff Centre

Brandy Saturley in front of Thom Studio at Banff Centre – photo Kyla Jacobs

Since doing this interview Brandy Saturley has been awarded a residency on the East Coast of Canada, in Newfoundland, through the Pouch Cove Foundation. The Canadian artist will be dedicating the month of October 2023 to this east coast residency.

Interview - Banff Centre

Canadian Art Catalogues – The Annuals of Brandy Saturley

What Is an Art Catalogue? An art catalogue or annual magazine is simply a book of images and details about a specific series of paintings, body of work or collection of art. Canadian Art Catalogues by The Art of Brandy Saturley have become an annual celebration and reminder of artworks produced in a given year. These catalogues have been gifted to collectors that have purchased original artwork from the artist, attended an art opening or have worked to collaborate with Saturley during the year. Every year these annuals are designed and created by the artist and mailed throughout North America and the UK.

If you are fortunate enough to own one of these art collectibles, signed by the artist, you are a lucky art lover. These magazines are limited editions and lovingly created, including photography, writings about the artwork and a personal letter from the artist. These magazines offer a peak behind the scenes and into the world of this Canadian painter, based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Canadian Art Catalogues

These annuals include collections from exhibitions and sometimes annotations and photography from associates of the artist.

Canadian Art Catalogues

These catalogues include paintings and photography from the artist covering a time period starting in 2010, to present day.

Canadian Art Catalogues

For the first time Saturley is now making these unique art publications available for you to purchase. These are not signed copies, but they are beautiful conversation pieces and keepsakes for fans of the Artist.

Canadian Art Catalogues

A coveted edition, this magazine features works from Saturley’s solo exhibitions in 2017.

Art Magazine

As the first annual created, this magazine became a Staff Pick at Blurb.

Artist Annual

The only cover that shows the artist in her studio, the other covers show favourite paintings.

Browse all available publications from The Art of Brandy Saturley now.

What it means to be a top Vancouver Island Artist

For the long-limbed trees and watery landscape of Vancouver Island, read Hundreds and Thousands. Setting aside, who can resist a woman who lived in a caravan in Goldstream Park with a pack of dogs and a monkey and shunned the human race except to attend her own art openings? Only a genius could both paint and write my/her home. This text speaks of Emily Carr, not only a top Vancouver Island Artist, but a famous Canadian artist who made the Island home. There have been and are a few of us artist’s here on Vancouver Island, it is the perfect place to retreat to after showing your work and travelling for your art business across Canada. The island offers scenic solitude and the mild winters offer this artist the opportunity to spend time in nature year-round.

Top Vancouver Island Artist

Being a top Canadian artist from Vancouver Island is a special thing, having found my art education mostly elsewhere in Canada and Europe. Vancouver Island is not the centre of Canada’s art world, but it does offer a place for it’s top artists to disappear and create. When I am showing my work in Edmonton, Calgary or even Toronto, I put on a different hat and wear different clothes and embody my artist persona, the one that show’s up for art world events. This persona takes great energy, but also allows the fun of living in a different body for an evening. Being the intermittent extrovert I am, this ‘Iconic Canuck’ shows up with paintings that tell stories of my travels. It is not often I find myself painting stories of Vancouver Island these days, as my body of work has grown to express my pan-Canadian identity.

It is true I became famous for painting themes of hockey, landscapes, and Canadian pop culture icons, but what I am working on painting these days in our post pandemic times are feelings about my country as a whole and how I view it from a distance as I travel other countries. You may have seen me talk about my work on CHEK or SHAW TV, or through articles in local Canadian newspapers in towns I have shown my work. Or you may have watched the short documentary, ‘The Iconic Canuck’, shot right here in my studio on Vancouver Island.

I was born in Victoria BC, on Vancouver Island and I am a second generation Vancouver Islander and Artist. In my early years I spent time in the same places Emily Carr painted and John Muir hiked. I spent my days beachcombing, hiking the Sooke potholes and drawing my collections of rocks, leaves and skulls. I swam in the ocean and the rivers and learned about the land from Native elders or local tribes. I ate seaweed soup, sauerkraut soup and roast beef dinners with Yorkshire pudding on Sunday nights. I dreamt of travelling and exploring the entirety of my country and my grandparents roots in England and the Ukraine. Top Vancouver Island Artist

It was an eclectic, multicultural and colourful upbringing, just like every other Canadian across the country. As I continue to paint and exhibit my work I am headed to an artist residency at Banff Centre in the Canadian Rockies and look forward to where this journey will next take my work. You can follow this Vancouver Island artist online here. Cheers to the Artists of Vancouver Island, Canada.




Leighton Studios – Banff Centre For Arts & Creativity Painting Residency

In November 2022, I will be spending two weeks at the Banff Centre For Arts & Creativity. An independent self-guided painting residency (on scholarship) in the Leighton Artists Studios, home to ten distinct studios, appealing to a variety of disciplines: writing for stage and screen, composing and songwriting, visual arts including painting, photography, curating, and art theory.  I am looking forward to immersing myself in the pristine natural surroundings and mountain fresh air, letting all my senses soak it up and then push it out onto the canvas. I will be capturing my time in Banff through photography, video and paint. Banff is a place I have visited, but never had the time to pause and soak it up for two full weeks.

Banff Centre Painting Residency

Thom Studio at Banff Centre, Leighton Studios Residency

The studios have played host to many important Canadian artist collaborations over the years including K.D Lang, Joni Mitchell, and Jean Grand-Maître of Alberta Ballet. Séan McCann of Great Big Sea and Canadian Visual Artist Brian Jungen. Banff Centre exists for the advancement of creative potential that enriches our world, and I am ready for this new opportunity to go deep into my painting practice. To experience the power of the mountains, particularly our home on Sacred Buffalo Guardian Mountain and let it flow through me and out to the world.

Banff Centre Painting Residency

My last experience painting in a faraway place was in 2019 when I spent the summer at the Royal College of Art in London, England, painting in the Sackler studios. It will be quite the contrast making work in the mountains as opposed to the big city. I will be painting in the Thom Studio, named after the studio’s designer, Ron Thom, the configuration for this visual art studio is simple and open to allow the greatest degree of flexibility in the arrangement of working components.

Banff Centre Painting Residency

They say that In Banff, the mountains are really close to your head, and you will be seeing my head near these mountains soon.

Banff Art

Celebrating 15 years, 400 paintings – Making Art in Canada

Fifteen years ago I committed to my Art career full-time, and I have made over 400 paintings informed by my travels and obsession with my country, Canada. Reflecting the collective Canadian consciousness, filtered through my eyes and ears, and brush to canvas. July 1st marks a very important day in my life and the collective consciousness of Canadians. Celebrating 15 years, making Art in Canada.

In 2019, I spent the summer studying contemporary art practices at the Royal College of Art in London, UK. This year I joined the artist roster at Adele Campbell Fine Art in Whistler, Canada.

Recently I spoke with YAM Magazine Victoria about about my distinctive style of Canadian Pop Art and what original art adds to a home.

The Peninsula News Review Sidney and North Saanich, popped into my studio and I shared some of the paintings I made during 2020, and the initial COVID-19 shutdown.

In support of the annual Art Gallery of Greater Victoria fundraiser, the TD Canada Trust Paint-In, you will find my work in this year’s virtual guide.

For the 35th Anniversary of the Sooke Fine Arts – my hometown, I will be showing two paintings as part of this years’ virtual programming. This show has become a world-class annual exhibition of Vancouver Island and coastal artists of British Columbia.

More to come!

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley (a.k.a #iconiccanuck)

The Art of Brandy Saturley, now in Whistler.

Brandy Saturley is an internationally exhibited and collected contemporary painter, based in Victoria, Canada. Showing in public and private galleries, and in combination with unique corporate events; the Artist has carved out a niche with her distinctive brand of ‘Canadian Pop Art’. Now, you can also see The Art of Brandy Saturley at Adele Campbell Fine Art, in Whistler, BC, Canada. You can even view, virtually install, and purchase Saturley’s paintings through the gallery website.

adele campbell fine art

Art in the world-renowned resort town of Whistler Blackcomb, one of the largest ski resorts in North America, and a hub town for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. I believe in ‘gut’ feelings, and serendipitous moments. I am excited to join the vibrant Artist roster at Adele Campbell Fine Art, and see where this new opportunity will take my work.”

The gallery is located in the beautiful Westin Resort & Spa, in Whistler village. Established in 1993, Adele Campbell Fine Art is dedicated to showcasing the best of contemporary Canadian art. Owner and Director Elizabeth Harris, and her team of experienced advisors, curates and manages a diverse collection of established and emerging Canadian artists; a comprehensive collection showcasing uniquely Canadian art.

View paintings by Brandy Saturley at Adele Campbell Fine Art Gallery.

adele campbell fine art

The Whistler Art Gallery is a supporter of the Audain Art Museum and the upcoming Illuminate Gala & Auction fundraiser. Established in 2016, the Audain Art Museum is a leading arts organization founded upon the major philanthropic gift of Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa. Located in Whistler, British Columbia and designed by the internationally-renowned firm Patkau Architects, the AAM boasts a comprehensive Permanent Collection of the province’s most celebrated artists.