West to East and East to West – Welcome Home

So let’s go to the East Coast I said, and we did. I was there to make Art at the Pouch Cove Foundation residency, and he came along to see a bit of my home for a month, tour around the Avalon peninsula, enjoy time with friends and eat fish & chips next to ships made for stormy seas and hard working fisher people! One town that captured our hearts and our bellies was Petty Harbour.

Welcome Home to Victoria

Petty Harbour reflections – photo Brandy Saturley

We went with friends and celebrated the end of the first week with a lobster roll and recovery fries, yes you read that right. At Chafe’s near the harbour we ate an East Coast poutine of fries smothered with gravy, cheese curds, dressing, mushrooms, onions, peas and ground beef, filling an entire plate. After a month on the rock, there was a grand welcome home to Victoria, dipping my toes back in the Pacific Ocean of the West Coast of this beautiful and massive country we call home.

Chafes Landing in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland – photo Brandy Saturley

For an artist, Petty Harbour is a living art installation of the most fascinating kind. Dotted along the shores of the harbour sits brightly painted structures in no particular layout or order, the style is more scattered, as if no one was too concerned with developing a town one could navigate. It’s almost like no one expected to stay here for very long, in many ways it feels like a living outdoor museum of the history of the area. There are brightly painted dories, tee-pee like structures, lobster fishing traps, piles of colourful ropes and fish boats of all kinds.

Old Lobster traps in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland – photo Brandy Saturley

The first day we visited the harbour it was a proper fall day in Newfoundland. Fog was rolling and waves at the mouth of the harbour were thunderous and deafening, it was incendiary! Like a cauldron of the ocean gods, I was trying to imagine these little boats crossing through that treacherous mouth protecting the harbour from shear insanity of the seas. This place represents all the best of true Newfoundlandness, at least from this West coaster’s perspective. Upstairs at Chafe’s the music is loud and the thumping of humans feet provides a beat to eat to below. The heartbeat of this place is thunderous and unabashed.

The mouth of Petty Harbour – photo Brandy Saturley

It’s 2024 now, and we are back on the West Coast, in Victoria. We walked ourselves down from the Bard & Banker pub, to a place we call The Mac (The McPherson Playhouse). Two Paloma margaritas and a lobster roll down, we walked up the red carpeted stairs of this beautiful old playhouse to the balcony seats made for tinier ancient times. On stage amongst the guitars, piano and drum kit, there sat a Newfoundland flag, draped over a musicians travelling case. There was also what looked like an antique radio speaker of some sort, it made for some good reverberations during Adam Baldwin’s set, a musician from Nova Scotia, the quintessential maritime character. With bleached blonde hair, and black beard wearing red plaid shirt with arms torn off, and blue collar worker neon yellow t-shirt underneath, his humorous stories of everyday growing up, were painting stories in my mind.

Welcome Home to Victoria

Alan Doyle Welcome Home Tour @ McPherson Playhouse – Victoria BC 2024

Then the Petty Harbour native himself made his fiery entrance, a proper Newfoundlander. Having just been in Petty Harbour we found ourselves getting every little thing Doyle was laying out in his stories. When he leaned into his stories of his perceptions with the East Coast, we laughed LOUD. “I was on Granville Island and someone paddled by the dock in a kayak, just for recreation!”.

Serendipity – Welcome Home to Victoria

I guess the point of me writing this blog post is my eternal belief in universal forces at work, well and how my brain works. How this journey of painting visual stories of Canada began over a decade ago during the Vancouver Olympic games and became what it is today.

Canadian Pop Art Painting

Scenes of Newfoundland – painting by Brandy Saturley 2024

From The Goalie’s Mask painting, to #ICONICCANUCK and then onto painting my ‘Pop Canadianisms’ and taking myself and my art on the road across the country, from coast to coast to coast. I have eight paintings now influenced by my experiences in Newfoundland, and I plan to take the next two months to focus on painting as many more as I can, before I head out on the road once again.

Welcome Home to Victoria

Fiery sunset in Petty Harbour – photo Brandy Saturley

Thank you Alan Doyle and your wonderfully talented group of musicians, poets, singers and storytellers. This night helped to cap my journey from west to east and back again, through this wonderful evening of song, stomping and clapping until our arms hurt.

Gloves on a clothesline in Petty Harbour – photo Brandy Saturley

Capturing Newfoundland’s Essence: ‘Love on The Rock’

It was an early October morning, I rolled out of bed in my loft at the Pouch Cove Foundation, and stumbled sleepy eyed down unfinished wooden stairs in my wool socks, trying not to lose footing and slide to the bottom. Today my plan was to make it to Cape Bonavista Newfoundland, a four hour drive each way in one day, all to see an iconic east coast lighthouse and town, two peninsula’s up from my Pouch Cove studio. The gift of rising extra early on this day was a glimpse of a sunrise, in the first place to see the sun in North America. With foggy mornings and ever changing Autumn skies, thanks to constant wind gusts, the light changes rapidly in this place, which is wonderful for an artist who paints and take photographs. It also means you have to work and move quickly, and use your eyes and intuition to capture what may be delivered in any given minute.

Painting Love on The Rock

Sunrise in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland – photo Brandy Saturley

Fast-forward to right now, the month of Love, February. I have been going over my photography and writings of the trip, and finding what speaks to me visually and in my heart. As this series of paintings about Newfoundland continues to grow and evolve, I am finding myself recalling the romance of the wind, rain, cliffs, waves and light. I am connecting to the feeling of the place, even though I am home on the west coast. Every day I walked the town and parts of the East Coast Trail, often crossing back through the cove and sitting above the Cove letting the wind rip through me, returning to my studio with crimson face, the kind where if you put your hand on your cheek it leaves a temporary white imprint of your fingers. More than a few times I got caught in a rain storm as the skies shifted quickly, but I LOVED IT. I wanted to get soaked, cold, salty and tingle. It feels like a clean slate, a new adventure, a fresh perspective, and these are all things I came to Newfoundland for, developing something new in my work.

Painting Love on The Rock

Heart shaped blue rock – Chance Cove, Newfoundland – photo Brandy Saturley

‘Love on The Rock’: a journey of discovery, of connection, and of love

With this new painting I find I am expressing all these things, in a figurative landscape that includes floating rocks, which is something I have painted 3 times now since I began developing this series. Of all the great things that commanded my attention when I was in Pouch Cove, rocks were the number one draw for me, the variety, the colours, the shapes and how each beach I visited had distinctly different selections and colours. The Rock of The Rock is REMARKABLE.

Painting Love on The Rock

Constructing LOVE on the beach – Bell Island, Newfoundland – Brandy Saturley

This brings me to my new painting, titled ‘Love on The Rock’. For in the heart of Newfoundland’s wild embrace, amidst the silent symphony of rocks and waves, lies a love story waiting to be told—a story of love on The Rock.

Love Painting

Love on The Rock, Acrylic Painting On Canvas, 18 x 36 x 1.5 in, Brandy Saturley

 

Adventures in Newfoundland: A Journey through Three Paintings

Embarking on an art residency in Newfoundland, I found myself immersed in a landscape and culture vastly different from my westernmost home on Vancouver Island. In the heart of Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, invited by the Pouch Cove Foundation and James Baird Gallery, I embraced the rugged beauty of this remote hamlet on the East Coast Trail. Culminating in three paintings about Newfoundland.

Artist Residency in Pouch Cove

Pouch Cove, Newfoundland panorama by Brandy Saturley

Exploring Newfoundland’s Unique Landscape: Three Paintings

Throughout October 2023, my days were filled with hikes, encounters with cod, and the creation of art inspired by the unique character of ‘The Rock.’ The resulting paintings, born from acrylic paint and gouache, reflect the island’s towering geography, the iconic Sou’Wester hats of cod fishermen, the Cape Bonavista lighthouse, vibrantly colored fishermen sheds, the dynamic ocean, seagulls, and the ever-changing light of the expansive skies.

Newfoundland Paintings

Pouch Cove Foundation, studio G, Brandy Saturley

Contrasts with Vancouver Island:

As a West Coast Canadian Artist staying on the Easternmost edge of Canada, I couldn’t help but draw comparisons with my home on Vancouver Island. While both islands exist as distinct biospheres, Newfoundland’s wild, wind-swept expanses contrast sharply with the mild, beach-strewn beauty of Vancouver Island. The differences in size, climate, and flora contribute to their individual charms, each offering a unique experience.

Newfoundland Paintings

Tinkers Point Path, East Coast Trail, Newfoundland – Brandy Saturley

Natural Wonders of Newfoundland:

The windiest points in North America reside in Newfoundland, contributing to a fierce winter. The landscape, reminiscent of Canada’s prairies, reveals vast flat expanses with stubby trees and thick forests. The rugged cliffsides, golden junipers, and vibrant hues of the ocean near the shoreline create a visual feast. The beaches, adorned with rocks in every conceivable color and texture, provide a unique canvas for exploration.

Newfoundland Paintings

Rocks in Newfoundland – Brandy Saturley

Cultural Identities:

Despite their shared insularity, Newfoundland and Vancouver Island fiercely guard their distinct identities. While Newfoundland is deeply Irish, Vancouver Island leans towards its British roots. Indigenous culture thrives on Vancouver Island, whereas Newfoundland, tragically, saw its Indigenous heritage wiped out.

Culinary Contrasts:

From the culinary perspective, Newfoundland’s traditional fare revolves around cod and potatoes, with dressing, gravy, and chips forming their unique take on poutine. Vancouver Island, on the other hand, boasts Fanny Bay oysters, locally grown greens, and a rich variety of vegetarian and vegan options, reflecting a diverse and health-conscious culinary scene.

Architectural Character:

Homes in Newfoundland, square or rectangular with vivid colors, reflect a sense of time standing still. In contrast, Vancouver Island’s residences showcase diverse styles, influenced by natural elements such as cedar, moss, rock, and beach aesthetics.

Newfoundland Paintings

The Battery, St. John’s Newfoundland – Brandy Saturley

A Love Letter to Newfoundland through three paintings

In the paintings born of my Newfoundland adventures, I aimed to capture the vivid palettes and dreamlike ambiance of this timeless place. The rhythms of traditional Newfoundland music, from jigs and reels to artists like Alan Doyle and Great Big Sea, infused my studio, creating what I affectionately call my ‘love letter to Newfoundland.

The ROCK and ROLL

Newfoundland Paintings

The Rock and Roll, 56×36, acrylic and gouache on canvas, 2023 – Brandy Saturley

Of Whiskey Jigs and Floating Floors

Of Whiskey Jigs and Floating Floors, 48×36, acrylic on canvas, 2023 – Brandy Saturley

I Lost my Sou’Wester in Pouch Cove

I Lost my Sou’Wester in Pouch Cove, 64×28, acrylic on canvas, 2023 – Brandy Saturley

As my residency in Newfoundland concludes, I carry with me not only three new paintings but a deep appreciation for the distinct beauty, culture, and identity that define ‘The Rock.’ It’s an experience that has enriched my artistic perspective and left an indelible mark on my creative journey.

Newfoundland Paintings

Brandy Saturley Studio – Victoria BC Canada

Painting in Rural Newfoundland – Artist in Residence at the Pouch Cove Foundation

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I spent the month of October in Pouch Cove Newfoundland, as one of the artists in residence at this unique invitation only residency. I spent my month in the stellar company of Leah Frances, Iia Madsen, Yvonne DuBourdieu, Robyn Asquini, Julio Alan Lepez, Marianne Barcellona, Katie Morley & Steve York (Grey Swans). Hailing from Easton PA, Skogan Denmark, Edmonton, AB, Toronto ON, Buenos Aires Argentina, New York City and Victoria BC. All of this is made possible by the generosity of James Baird of the James Baird Gallery – An October Artist Residency in Pouch (POOCH) Cove.

Artist Residency in Pouch Cove

Pouch Cove Foundation Residence and James Baird Art Gallery, in Newfoundland, Canada.

Having spent November 2022 as an artist in residence at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, this opportunity had me trading snowy Rocky Mountains for sharp cliffs, a vigorous Atlantic Ocean, sea salt laced air and some of the windiest hiking in North America. 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. Coming to Pouch Cove, it was my first time on the Atlantic coast of Canada, offering experiences that would fill gaps in my artworks about Canada, now a decade in the making.

Artist Residency in Pouch Cove

Pouch Cove Newfoundland, Canada

My goal for this residency was to paint three large pieces 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 paintings I will create while in residence. Aided by music, I find the mood of the piece and begin 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 beautiful sunny Autumn day, walking through a grassy field of gold, the sky cobalt and the wind swiftly lifting my strands of auburn hair. I could hear ocean waves crashing against cliffsides. Crow, Starling and Blue Jays outside the tall sliding glass doors of my loft studio. On the second day of my residency the light broke through and the skylights began to beam golden streams onto my studio walls.

Artist Residency in Pouch Cove

While my first week was spent exploring the massive island and some key locations, including Cape Spear and Cape Bonavista lighthouses, the second week began swiftly with loose and un-primed raw duck canvas being stapled to my studio walls. My medium of paint and specifically acrylic paint (fluid, heavy body and gouache), 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. On this trip I planned to experiment with painting directly on the raw canvas and allowing the fluid acrylics to ‘stain’ the canvas, producing a  very soft and feathered effect much like watercolour, with the durability and workability of acrylic.

Artist Residency in Pouch Cove

My time in Pouch Cove and Newfoundland at large was, invigorating, challenging, isolating, uplifting and prolific. It was a regenerative experience that was welcomed after a vigorous year in and outside of the studio. 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 daunting 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 three large paintings on canvas. I also focused on gathering imagery and information to fuel an entire series of paintings based on my time in Newfoundland. 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 Newfoundland was to access local art community and have work now presented by James Baird Gallery on ARTSY, because of my time at the Pouch Cove residency. Perhaps a future showing of the entire body of work and films with James Baird Gallery and The Rooms.

Artist Residency in Pouch Cove

What’s next for you on your artistic journey after this program? Continued development of a painting series informed by my time in Newfoundland, I am teaching an emerging artist mentorship group with Mastrius in November 2023, and I will be performing my duties as juror of the 2023 Canada International Art Competition.  My work is now available through James Baird Gallery on ARTSY, as a result of this residency in Pouch Cove. My work continues to be available through my website as well as my dealer in Banff, Canada – Willock & Sax. I have my eye on a residency at Landfall Trust (where Rockwell Kent lived and painted his famous landscapes and met Lawren Harris) in Brigus, Newfoundland and hope to be back in Newfoundland in Summer 2024. These are all opportunities on my mind right now.

Brandy Saturley on ARTSY

There will also be a continuation of my Polar Bear King paintings as the polar bear icon continues to permeate my visual stories of my travels in Canada. There may even be a collaboration with a revolutionary new clothing brand based in Vancouver, but that’s all I can tell you right now.

Right this very moment, my paintings made in Newfoundland are being stretched and I will be putting the finishing touches on them soon. Always more to come!

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley

Brandy Saturley studio – North Saanich, BC Canada

Making Art in a Different Place; What is an Artist Residency?

An artist residency is a unique program or opportunity that grants artists dedicated time and space to immerse themselves in their creative work. Often set in an environment distinct from their usual surroundings, these programs come in various shapes and sizes, differing in terms of duration, location, and the level of support provided. However, they all share a common objective: to foster artistic growth, stimulate experimentation, and offer artists a supportive community of kindred spirits.

What is an artist residency

Pouch Cove Foundation, Newfoundland, Canada

Artist residencies prove to be invaluable experiences for artists at different stages of their careers, affording them the time and resources essential for exploring their creativity, embarking on new projects, and connecting with like-minded individuals within the art world. The specific benefits and experiences encountered during an artist residency can vary considerably, contingent on the program’s structure and the artist’s individual goals.

What is an artist residency

Royal College of Art, London UK

For me, an artist residency is an invitation to engage in experimentation, exploration, and a deeper dive into my creative realm. The ideal residency provides me with a space where my art is my constant companion, 24/7, making it impossible to escape its allure except by venturing out to explore. Regardless of the residency’s level of structure, I arrive with ambitious objectives, intensifying my focus. I don’t predetermine what I’ll create upon my arrival, but I do set goals, which include acquainting myself with the city and the local community, grasping the culture, customs, and history of my temporary home for a month. I make it a point to visit all the galleries and museums in the area and endeavor to establish connections with art collectors. Having nurtured a pan-Canadian identity through collaborations with the people, brands, and artists I’ve encountered in my Canadian travels, I’m always accompanied by invitations to connect, and it feels crucial to honor these relationships.

What is an artist residency

The Stacks at Pouch Cove Foundation

I also come well-prepared. There’s a saying that luck favors the prepared, and I adhere to it. I ensure I have all the necessary supplies, book transportation in advance, and stock up on healthy food to sustain me throughout my residency. Over nearly two decades in the art world, I’ve learned the value of preparedness. I relish the process of making my own discoveries, forging my own connections, and expanding my network organically. Moreover, I revel in the challenge of troubleshooting on my own when faced with issues or the need for specific equipment or supplies. I thrive on solving problems independently.

When it comes to collaborations, I prefer for them to arise organically. My work, patrons, fans, and collectors demand a significant portion of my attention and energy, so a residency is a time dedicated to me and my art. It’s an opportunity for tranquil reflection, writing, exploration, hiking, and simply breathing. I delight in leaving my formal wear behind and embracing a month of living in my jeans, hiking gear, and painting shoes.

Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity – Banff, Alberta

Interestingly, every time I leave my hometown, art sales seem to flourish. While the reasons remain somewhat mysterious to me, it’s undoubtedly a boost to the interest in my work, and my creations tend to fly off the shelves more swiftly when I’m on the road. Although the structure and requirements of residencies may differ, each one is a chance to rejuvenate the artist’s perspective, heart, and soul.

what is an artist residency?

Artist residencies offer a unique and transformative experience for artists like me, fostering growth and pushing creative boundaries. They provide a haven where artists can delve into their work, discover new horizons, and forge connections that enrich their artistic journey. Whether it’s the serene solitude or the organic collaborations that thrive in these settings, residencies breathe new life into our creative spirits. So, every time I embark on one of these journeys, I come back to my hometown with not just art but a reinvigorated passion for the art of creation.

Day 24: Pouch Cove Artist Residency

As the third week drew to a close, my journey of Art through Newfoundland’s landscape continued to be a profoundly enlightening exploration of the Canadian spirit. The eastern expanse of Canada, known as “The Rock,” feels like a world apart. With three oversized paintings in progress, their loose canvases affixed to my studio wall, I find myself on the brink of a final contemplative phase, from the comfort of a new chair, yes b’y.

Journey of Art Newfoundland

Like the lyrics of that famous song suggest, I’ve roamed far and wide. I’ve traversed the highs and lows of the East Coast trails, wandered through neighborhoods, and stood mesmerized by the beauty and the relentless power of the ocean as it carves into cliffs adorned with hues of red, ochre, plum, Payne’s grey, and aquamarine blue. I’ve been drenched by Atlantic saltwater, soaking my waterproof hiking boots all the way through to my skin, even tumbling to my knees once to save my trusty Nikon from the brink of demise. (Always protect the camera, they say.)

making art in Newfoundland

Every day, I’m accompanied by a chorus of crows, sparrows, and, of course, the notorious east coast wind. This wind is as mighty as the sea, capable of leveling all in its path and humbling every form of life. Summer and fall seem to blend here, with some scorching days of sunshine followed by RDF (rain, drizzle, and fog), not too different from my hometown on Vancouver Island during winter.

making art in Newfoundland

As I enter my final week here, my mind brims with the tasks I wish to accomplish before heading home. First and foremost, I’m determined to finish all three paintings and prepare them for their journey home. Once there, I’ll hang them in my studio and meticulously complete the stretching and varnishing process, one of which will be sent back to Pouch Cove. Three visual narratives on canvas, recounting the stories of my adventures on the Avalon Peninsula and along the coast.

making art in Newfoundland

I’ll return home with a belly full of cod and a heart overflowing with affection for this place. In many ways, Newfoundland feels like a step back in time, reminiscent of the 1980s, where the world seems to have frozen in place. From this point on, I’ll affectionately refer to it as “Planet Newfoundland,” a place that seems to float in the sky while the rest of Canada races forward. Despite its size, I see this island as an amalgamation of small towns and communities, each living life on their own terms, tucked away from the rest of the world.

The week rushed by with its studio visits, heartfelt farewells, and visits to art galleries in St. John’s. I even caught a Newfoundland Growlers hockey game and shared the warmth of a family gathering with true Newfoundlanders. I instantly felt at ease here; there’s no pretension, just people coming together to share their passions and treasures, all laced with a biting sense of humor.

The residency hosts a diverse array of artists, from painters to illustrators, photographers to musicians. As I immerse myself in my work, I can sense the harmonious energy and bustling creativity that flows through the walls of my studio. There’s an unmistakable synergy in the air.

Journey of Art Newfoundland

Entering my final week here, a profound sense of gratitude washes over me. This experience will resonate within my very being for a long time to come.

 

 

 

Day 13: Pouch Cove Foundation Residency

The air is thick with quietude here—profoundly quiet—until I unleash my Mac’s playlist, filling the studio with a symphony of tunes. It’s Friday the 13th, a misty day enveloping the cove. The week has been a tapestry of fog and humidity, woven with strokes of painting and seaside strolls to inhale the invigorating ocean air. The ocean, the pulse of this place, beats and roars, drowning out even the strongest vocal protests from neighbours. A Pouch Cove Residency Update as I write the chapters of my first two weeks here.

Pouch Cove Residency Update

A curious encounter with a discontented neighbor unfolds. Her abode, perched atop a cliff called Gruchy’s, is a refuge from St. John’s, chosen for love. Yet, for her, the crashing waves are too much, a relentless auditory assault on her single-pane windows. To her, the coastal serenade is deafening. Contrarily, I find the locale eerily silent, akin to a ghost town, save for sporadic traffic and mail deliveries, especially lively around the post office—a communal nexus.

Pouch Cove Residency Update

As I tap away on my laptop, the keys serve as my proclamation to fellow resident artists—I’m alive. My immersion into my creative cocoon and the narratives unfurling on canvas is profound. My mission here: to paint three expansive canvases, a saga to be concluded before my departure. I’ve already decided to transport them rolled up, adding final touches, varnish, stretch, and wire at home—my deliberate and meditative concluding act.

Pouch Cove Residency Update

Two weeks have flitted by, weaving a tapestry of exploration. Pouch Cove, St. John’s, Mount Pearl, The Battery, Quidi Vidi, and Petty Harbour—all dot my creative map. Cape Spear and Cape Bonavista’s lighthouses, with their iconic red-white-red stripes, tell tales of maritime resilience and revival. Cupid’s, birthplace of colonialism, and Brigus, a town adorned with vibrant homes, beckon with stories.

Brigus Newfoundland

Trinity unfolds as a living museum, offering refuge from the hustle of St. John’s. Pizza in Dildo—a fishing hamlet with a Hollywood-style sign—and a drive through towns like Hearts, Content, and Desire add quirky notes to my Newfoundland journey. Old Pelican awaits my exploration, promising more layers of history in Canada’s European mirror.

Dildo Newfoundland

Newfoundland, in my ‘come from away’ eyes, is more than rocks, pounding waves, and cod. It’s a symphony of homes, often uninspired and cookie-cutter, resonating with an Irish accent. The landscape, with its jellybean colors, harbors a distinctive charm. A place where the proud use of ‘fuck’ is a linguistic tradition. I’ve indulged in comfort meals like fish and Brewis and sampled variations of fish and chips, including the intriguing ‘Newfie poutine.’ Sour beers abound, a testament to local taste.

The Battery, Newfoundland

The landscape is strewn with dories, abandoned fish boats, and roadside oddities, offering a glimpse into the island’s soul. Clotheslines dot the scenery, tempting my curatorial instincts for a touch of the unexpected.

Petty Harbour Newfoundland

Spring promises puffins, whales, and icebergs—an encore for my next journey. And then, there are the Mummers, a tale for another post.

Pouch Cove Residency Update

Cheers from Newfoundland! Week three beckons.

Come From Away,

Brandy Saturley

A Ballad for Day Nine: Pouch Cove Foundation Artist Residency

As day nine at my Pouch Cove Foundation residency begins in rural Newfoundland, I am reflecting on this first week of exploring far reaches of the island and downtown St. John’s. My goal with any residency is to immerse myself in the culture, the landscapes, icons and people of a place and Newfoundland is rich with all of these things. Surviving here on the easternmost point in North America takes grit, inventiveness, gratitude, and community. I am writing and painting a ballad for Newfoundland.

Ballad for Newfoundland

As I work through all the imagery, moving and still, I have captured on my Nikon and my iPhone my goal is to have three distinctive visual stories sketched out on three large canvasses stapled to my studio wall, by days end. Writing down my ideas in my black composition notebook, then typing them out on this blog, helps to build the framework for what I decide to paint.

Easternmost point Newfoundland

This morning I am listening to a playlist I built during my Banff Centre artist residency last winter. The playlist includes Joni, Neil, Billie. The Hip and Debussy. Over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend I was down in Petty Harbour, where I heard some live jigs and reels in a place called Chafe’s. I heard stories of Alan Doyle as we ate lobster and ‘recovery fries’. The vessel I am as I travel my homeland and I’ve written my own song, to go along with the days ahead.

Ballad for Newfoundland

Beneath the sou’wester sky, where the ocean meets the rocks,
In Newfoundland’s embrace, where the wind talks,
Jelly bean houses, in colors so bold,
Tell tales of a history, weathered and old.

Newfoundland Sou'Wester

(Chorus)
Oh, Newfoundland, with your dories on the shore,
Codfish dreams, where the lighthouses soar,
In the arms of the cliffs, where the wind does play,
A maritime ballad, echoes every day.

Fishermen cast their hopes, like nets in the sea,
A dance with the waves, as wild as can be,
Siding tales of reships, that sailed long ago,
In the heart of the harbour, where stories still flow.

Oh, Newfoundland, with your dories on the shore,
Codfish dreams, where the lighthouses soar,
In the arms of the cliffs, where the wind does play,
A maritime ballad, echoes every day.

Pouch Cove Newfoundland

The salty air whispers, as the reships set sail,
Journeying through tales, where the ocean is the trail,
And the beer in the taverns, flows like a stream,
In the warmth of the hearth, where dreams find their theme.

In the echo of the wind, and the seagull’s cry,
Amongst the jelly bean houses, where time passes by,
A symphony of stories, etched in the land,
As Newfoundland’s heart beats, with a weathered hand.

Jelly Bean Houses

Oh, Newfoundland, with your dories on the shore,
Codfish dreams, where the lighthouses soar,
In the arms of the cliffs, where the wind does play,
A maritime ballad, echoes every day.

So let the winds carry, the tales of the sea,
From the reships to the rocks, where the heart longs to be,
Newfoundland, in your essence so clear,
A timeless ballad, for every seafarer to hear.

Petty Harbour Newfoundland

Exploring Artistic Inspiration: 15 Canadian Artists at Pouch Cove

As I prepare to embark on a journey to Newfoundland, Canada, a place known for welcoming the first rays of sunlight in the country, I find myself reflecting on the archives of Canadian artists who have been fortunate to experience the creative haven provided by the Pouch Cove Foundation in Newfoundland.

Founded in 1990 by James Baird and officially incorporated in 1997, the Pouch Cove Foundation has served as a retreat for over a thousand visiting artists from all corners of the globe. Nestled on the Northern Avalon Peninsula in the picturesque province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, this residency has played host to not only renowned Canadian visual artists but also writers and musicians. As I meticulously plan, prepare, and pack for this upcoming adventure, I eagerly anticipate the artistic exploration that awaits me on the east coast of Canada, which will be a world apart from my usual surroundings on Vancouver Island.

Canadian Artists at Pouch Cove

Aerial View Pouch Cove, Newfoundland

In addition to the residency, the Pouch Cove Foundation is also home to a unique contemporary art gallery. The James Baird Gallery is an art gallery located in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It was founded in 1989 as a regional gallery on the East Coast of Canada. The gallery has developed a solid base of national and international artists through its intimate connection to an artist residency program. The gallery is housed in the totally renovated Pouch Cove Elementary School. The gallery has curated hundreds of exhibitions over almost thirty years at its facilities in Newfoundland and also at public, commercial, and pop-up spaces as well as art fairs across America and Europe. The gallery is focused on contemporary painting in its many forms and lives by the golden rule – That You Should Only Buy What You Love.

This unique opportunity allows me to bring my artistic journey full circle, spanning two decades and taking me from Vancouver Island to the Northern Territories and now to the extreme east coast of Canada. It’s a coast-to-coast-to-coast perspective that I’ve been striving for throughout my career as an artist.

A year ago, I was preparing for a residency at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, a vastly different experience from what the east coast promises. Banff greeted me with its snowy mountains and forested landscapes, offering a picture-perfect winter wonderland. I have no doubt that Newfoundland will present a stark contrast, and I am thrilled at the prospect of exploring its rugged coastlines, unique geography, and the captivating textures of its rocky terrain. I’ll be on the lookout for those quintessential hints of Canadiana: brightly painted buildings set against moody skies. Immersing myself in Newfoundland’s rich culture and warm hospitality is another exciting prospect, as is embracing the wildness and distinctiveness of the region.

As I delve into the Pouch Cove Foundation’s residency archives, I’m delighted to showcase 15 remarkable Canadian artists in residence from 1990-2023, whose work I deeply admire, and who have drawn inspiration from this exceptional opportunity.

Pouch Cove Nights, Ray Mackey Photography

15 notable Canadian artists who have been invited to create art in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland by the Pouch Cove Foundation:

1. Harold Klunder – Flesherton, Ontario
2. Wanda Koop – Winnipeg, Manitoba
3. David T Alexander – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
4. Jordan Broadworth – Toronto, Ontario
5. Scott MacLeod – Montreal, Quebec
6. Marlena Wyman – Edmonton, Alberta
7. Beverley Hawksley – Toronto, Ontario
8. Sarah Slean – Toronto, Ontario
9. Jim Park – Vancouver, Canada
10. Tim Okamura – New York, USA (originally from Edmonton)
11. Robert LeMay – Edmonton, Canada
12. Nicole Sleeth – Victoria, Canada
13. Andrew Morrow – Ottawa, Ontario
14. Jeremy Herndl – Victoria, British Columbia

Canadian Artists at Pouch Cove

Brandy Saturley at Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, 2022

I can’t wait to join the ranks of these esteemed artists and immerse myself in the beauty and uniqueness of Pouch Cove, Newfoundland. See you soon, Pouch Cove!

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley (#15)

Artist Residency Pouch Cove – Making Art in Newfoundland

On the heels of a residency at The Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, I am pleased to share I will be making art in Newfoundland in October 2023. The Board of Directors of the Pouch Cove Foundation awarded me a residency at the Foundation’s facilities in Newfoundland for the month of October. One of many beautiful things about this opportunity is it will allow me to fill in the gaps in a body of work I have been creating about Canada for more than a decade now. I have been on a journey across Canada looking to understand my land and what it truly means to be ‘Canadian’. My paintings are part biography and part storytelling. I am painting about my experiences and what I see, touch, taste, feel and hear, and I am also painting stories of these travels in Canada. What informed my work began with ‘popular culture’ and stereotype. Over the years I became more interested in ‘authentic experiences’ and I began to travel to gain a true understanding of the collective Canadian consciousness, and in returning home to Vancouver Island, a better understanding of the culture in which I was raised.

Making Art in Newfoundland

Pouch Cove, Newfoundland, Canada

Originally a fishing community, Pouch Cove is now principally a dormitory town for people working in the city and home to a large retirement population. It is at the northern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the eastern edge of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is a town whose motto is, ‘first to see the sun’, as it is the first place that wakes up each morning in Canada. As a Canadian living at the western-most point in Canada, and the last to see the sun, I am excited to delve into the differences and perhaps, similarities, found on both coasts of Canada. Having spent time in Yellowknife, NWT during midnight sun time of year, it will also be quite the contrast to my past Canadian explorations. See you on the eastern tip of Canada in Fall 2023!

Making Art in Newfoundland

Pouch Cove dock, Newfoundland, Canada