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.

Family of Artists: from grandmother, to mother, to daughter.

My grandmother had a hard life. Like many of her time, she immigrated to the Canadian prairies in the early 1900’s from the Ukraine and built a life in a one room home on the open prairie of Edmonton, Alberta. Winters were cold and harsh, and so was her job as wife, mother and business owner with her husband. My grandparents were the owners of a popular BBQ restaurant in South Edmonton, which quickly became popular for it’s crispy fried chicken and tender ribs. The business grew to include a nightclub and the family grew to three children, through two marriages. I did not know my grandmother, as she died while my mother was carrying me in her womb. From what I have been told, and the photos I have seen, she was a kind woman who loved to cook, laugh and take care of people. She was a true Ukrainian Baba and was creative in every area of daily living. She would spend the day cooking, sewing, weaving, and eventually found a way to add art into her life. She was always seeking new creative outlets, an escape from everyday life with an alcoholic husband, and demanding business and household on the cold barren prairie.

family of artists

Mom and Baba pre 1970.

When I was a child, my mother would tell me stories about my grandmother, how they shared a very close relationship and how they both enjoyed cooking and finding ways to escape through creative pursuits. I grew up painting, drawing, cooking and reading with my mother, though drawing quickly became my favourite thing. Watching my mom cook became a comforting spectator sport with great benefits of licking the spoon, and sampling the freshly baked loaves of French bread. My mother was endlessly making things with me and drawing everyday, I suppose it is how I came to love it. Early on I learned that my mother spent her school days perched on a corner stool drawing portraits, something I also did in school and it was often a way to make friends and meet new people. I remember finding a book of poetry tucked into a sock drawer and then questioning my mom about it, I grew to learn that she also enjoyed writing, and keeping a diary. My mom always talked about having her own business or going to art school but her father, as he did to my grandmother before her, never saw the point in such pursuits. Cooking remained the daily creative escape for my mother, much like her mother before. Feeding people always gave my grandmother and mother such joy, they wanted to take care of people, that was their job and culturally Ukrainian women are known for their great feasts and long welcoming tables. This was the world I grew up in; long tables, big feasts, gregarious people, and the odd lost soul wandering the street, invited in for dinner with the family.

Family of Artists

Mom and I on the front page of the Sooke News Mirror

My mother never groomed me to take over from her as homemaker, but she did instill in me the love of making art, and I took to it naturally. I wanted nothing to do with cooking, entertaining, or mothering, I wanted to nurture my own career aspirations, which ultimately led to a full-time career as a visual artist. Somehow these women passed down the ‘artist gene’ without any of the pressure to lead a traditional life. There have been societal pressures along the way, from women and men, and it did take me some time to find my way through the gauntlet of expectations, reflected on myself by the faces of society.

Fast-forward to present day. My mother has been working on downsizing and donating things and clearing the clutter of the family home. Earlier this year she gifted me two landscape paintings made by my grandmother. I had seen them floating around various family homes over the years and never really knew the story of the paintings, or how my grandmother managed to get away with painting without my grandfather noticing.

paintings of Victoria BC

While clearing the clutter she also found an old handwritten recipe book of my grandmother, and that in the back there were humorous writings about Hollywood stars beauty regimes. I said that I would love to have it and try to preserve it. Upon reading through the notebook I flipped to some random pages in the back of the book, one page in particular caught my eye. On this page there was a list with a title, “Painting” and underneath a list including painting supplies, frames and even lessons, with approximate costs. It is a budget of sorts and a list of expenditures for painting. What a find, I am so happy that I did not pass on this opportunity to own this piece of my grandmothers creative past. A treasure, bringing me a little closer to the woman who started the family artist ball rolling! With this gift also came some of my grandmothers weaving in traditional Russian/Ukrainian cultural patterns.

artist in the genes

I’m sure there is a lot out there written about the ‘creative gene’ all I know is those early days are important, and burn undeniable impressions onto our being. Those early days define us, and we carry them through life. Often spending our lives running away from them, only to return home, once we understand them more fully. Most recently I talked more about this special connection between my grandmother, mother and me in the short documentary film; The Iconic Canuck, by Randy Frykas.

Thank you Mom.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley

Five Words and Final Thoughts For 2020 – From Fear to Release

As images of the year that was, fly across screens I am reminded that my screen time is down 42% over the previous week, this makes me smile. This year has been unlike any I have experienced in my time on Earth, but isn’t this true for any year we are alive? My biggest realization this year is that FEAR, is at an all time high and FEAR produces two reactions in most humans. It always makes me think of the novel Dune by Frank Herbert, though I never read the book, I did watch the film by David Lynch which has been re-made this year by Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Fear is not a bad thing, it is a motivator, until it is not, and we freeze, then fear is a very bad thing. Fear keeps us from getting killed in dangerous situations.  Cowards (like me) have a knack for survival.  But, like the hero from “Dune,’ sometimes we have to overcome our fear when there is something more important to worry about, like your health. Part of health for me is making Art, and talking with people that have positive outlooks on life. I suppose this is why I enjoy the perspective of those that have spent more time on Earth than I, the stoic ones.

final thoughts 2020

So how about a year in review post, here’s what I did, etc.? How about a poem that marks the year? a funny anecdote, a comedic commentary, not for this year, for this year I am focusing on how I made it through, using five words.

PAINT: it is both a privilege and an honour to make Art, every day. It is my work, but also my therapy. Painting gives me the ability to focus my thoughts and process them in a beautiful and lasting way, not unlike writing. My therapy is also my gift back to the world, that I hope touches another human, in some way.

final thoughts 2020

PHOTOGRAPHY: before and after creating a new work of art on canvas or wood, I take photographs. This year there were fewer opportunities for trips afar, so focused on my backyard and community that surrounds. This year I was moved by my hometown in ways I have not been in a very long time.

2020 in five words

WALK: long walks in nature, down rocky beaches, through rainforest trails, and up mountainsides give me more than I could ever return. It’s free therapy and a reminder that whatever it is the weighs on us, can be lifted greatly in a short conversation with that which does not speak words, only sounds and smells.

2020 in review

BIKE: this year like many I invested in a good bicycle, allowing for longer excursions exploring nature, investigating areas which feet and automobiles cannot take us.

2020 in review

RELEASE: survivor guilt occurs when people who lose families, friends, or neighbors in disasters themselves remain untouched or, at least, alive. My survivor guilt is figurative. First-generation college students, for example, often feel torn by conflicting emotions about their success in school. They want to do well (and their families want them to also), but the students themselves feel guilty that they are getting opportunities that their parents or siblings did not. To “protect” their family members, they may engage in self-destructive behaviors that ensure they won’t make it in school.  Logic would dictate that the family truly wants the student to succeed (and thus bring honor to the family), but this logic is lost on the student. The power comes in releasing yourself from the guilt, and I work hard to remind myself every single day that I deserve this career and all the things I have worked so hard on achieving, personally and professionally.

2020 final review

For most of the year I have remained silent in light of all the struggling that surrounds me, and I have experienced a range of emotions this year, just like everyone else. This year has been hard for ALL, but it really wasn’t that hard, in fact it ‘is what it is’ only the change came so rapidly that it upset us from our comfortable rhythms. What’s that quote, ‘Man plans and good laughs’ or in my mind, it is nature that is laughing at us.

Ultimately, when I look back at 2020 I feel immense gratitude. On the Art side I bobbed, weaved, and hustled and came out having a good productive, year. I painted the shit out of this year, loved hard, peeling back my vulnerability to it’s core. I laughed, cried, danced and fell off my bike (true story). I drank too much, ate too much, and gave more than I had in me to those that needed it more than me. And then the monoliths began appearing.

You have seen that film, ‘A Beautiful Life’ ? It’s pretty fucking grand, isn’t it? Imagine if everything was perfect, pretty, and fair all the time? Boring.

I love you all! Thanks for reading. Shine on.

Cheers to 2021 – another year playing the game of LIFE.

photo of Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley