By Centuries: Artist’s Ahead of Their Time

There are numerous articles and books that talk about Artist’s ahead of their time. Perhaps the most famous painter described as being ahead of their time is Van Gogh. Over the centuries there have been many, who were painting about the culture of the time and their thoughts. So while they were painting what they were living, they were in many ways addressing internal thoughts about the future.

As I continue to explore themes about contemporary Canadian culture and my journey as a Canadian Artist, I find myself intuitively addressing questions that are currently on my mind, through my art. Right now I find myself on a path of painting figurative works about Canada, set against vivid backdrops of shadow, light and saturated colour. With my first few paintings this year, I find myself romanced by outdoor skating on frozen ponds and lakes. I am listening to a soundtrack filled with poetic lyrics that project images of joy and appreciation for life. These sounds are colourful, haunting and even romantic. From Joni Mitchell looking for a river to skate away on, to the Tragically Hip who are ahead by a century, the soundtrack flowing in the studio is important to the flow of my paintbrush.

My hope in posting this article is to share a little behind the scenes experience into how I work in the studio and how this new painting came to live. I carry a large cotton duck canvas of five feet high by four feet wide down to my studio and I begin to sketch out the idea I’ve been developing. A painting about two women, becoming one. One Inuit woman wrapped in a Hudson’s Bay Eight Point Scarlett blanket, and one Caucasian woman wearing a red parka with furry white trim. The backdrop will be Northern Lights (aurora borealis) and the night sky filled with stars, some shooting and some larger than life. One woman with the ear of a wolf and one the antler of a stag deer. Together these two women will appear to be shapeshifting and becoming one under the Aurora night sky. It is a magical, spiritual and futuristic story about friendship and common ground. This painting tells stories of how life should be for all Canadians, and this painting speaks of sisterhood and equality.

While I begin with an initial rough sketch on canvas, I move on quickly to laying down an underpainting through colour blocking in neon hues.

Ahead of Their Time

My palette becomes a furious abstract painting and evidence of an artist busy painting.

Once I have laid down all the underlying colours I move on to painting out the background, blending on the canvas as I go and this leads me to a question, do I want more texture in this painting? and the answer is, yes.

Ahead of Their Time

After the first few days I take the canvas and lay it flat on my studio floor, I begin applying dots of paint through pouring paint in a loose pattern to the background sky of the piece, then the piece has to dry overnight and harden before I can begin the second day of painting. I do this numerous times, and create dots of varying sizes, each by hand, painting over each layer as I work.

I move the painting to my crank easel so that I can work more finely on details in the lower portion of the canvas, thankfully I have numerous easels and lots of space in my studio so that I can work on this canvas from multiple vantage points and orientations.

Ahead of Their Time

Detailing the hair and face in this painting, because my style of working is very much influenced by realism but also pop art. An idealized portrait, and some might refer to it as magic realism. I refer to my style as ‘Canadian Pop Realism’.

Ahead of Their Time

Once the details are done and I feel like the journey of this painting has come to an end, I sit back and take long looks at the piece, contemplating it’s story and overall balance. There has to be ‘a flow’ in the composition, the eye must move around and then land somewhere in the centre of those faces, they are the focal point of this piece.

Once I am finished the front of the painting, the edges get their treatment of texture and colour to compliment the piece.

Ahead of Their Time

Ahead by Centuries, acrylic and gouache on canvas, 60″h x 48″ w, 2023, Brandy Saturley

A painting that perhaps in it’s time, may be ahead of it’s time. See more visual stories on canvas by Brandy Saturley here.

The Romance of Ice and Snow – Outdoor Ice Skating Paintings

Across Canada winter is a time for lacing up your skates and heading out onto the ice. Naturally this would lead me down a path of exploring outdoor ice skating paintings on canvas. For some it may be a frozen lake in the Rocky Mountains, for some it may be a farmer’s field or park that is flooded with water during the freeze. For some it may be skating down the Rideau Canal in Ottawa or in a park in Quebec. If you grew up in Canada, you know how most the of the country celebrates winter, on ice.

Early in 2021, I painted two pieces about playing hockey outdoors on fields frozen over and lakes at the base of the rocky mountains. These paintings were telling visual stories about the discovery of winter pastimes on skates in Canada. Expressing the love for skating outdoors in the Winter. Shortly after these pieces were completed I moved on to paintings of figure skaters on a frozen Lake Louise in Banff National Park. There is something romantic about these rocky mountain locations in Winter, with frozen glacial hues of teal and undertones of Payne’s Grey, the ice crystals reflecting a myriad of pastel colours from magenta to yellow. Winter is magical in Canada and romantic as we bundle in our Hudson’s Bay blankets and parkas and sit by outdoor fires. The whole landscape is aglow, day and night.

To begin 2023, I again find myself romanced by icy landscapes and skating outdoors, this time the skaters are like most of us, enjoying a skate around a lake or playing on the ice. These new paintings tell stories that celebrate Winter.

Angel of Snow & Ice – Skating on an outdoor pond, a young girl in a yellow parka is found making a snow angel on the ice. A textured piece, a portrait on an abstract background.

Outdoor Ice Skating Paintings

Original acrylic painting on canvas, 36×48, 2023, Brandy Saturley

Glide Away – A group of people skating on a frozen pond, snowy hills and treelined in the distance. Their shadows seem to be gliding away from them as the afternoon sun goes down.

Outdoor Ice Skating Paintings

Original acrylic painting on canvas, 36×48, 2023, Brandy Saturley

See more recent original paintings by Brandy Saturley.

The Best Paintings of 2022 Voted by You, Artwork Of The Year.

Thirty-four original acrylic paintings on canvas, that is how many new works I created in 2022. We narrowed this down to four paintings that we thought were the best this year, and then asked you to narrow it down to one painting, selecting Artwork of The Year for 2022. In a year that included contemporary pop realism paintings of canoes on lakes, polar bears, elk, snowy landscapes and people enjoying many different outdoor activities, the stories I was writing on canvas emitted a joy and love for life. These paintings were filled with wonder and a lust for wandering. Some moments influenced by Canadian popular culture and some by the experiences I was having during my travels of the year. There was a nod to The Queen and Nanaimo Bars. Solidarity with Ukraine and the strength and spirit of men and women. I played with creating in place at the Banff Centre and in Maui, Hawaii. In my Victoria BC studio, I was dreaming up narrative’s about my past and future journeys.

Here are four paintings we narrowed the year down to, telling visual stories on canvas. Listed in order of votes received, the number one painting of 2022 as voted by you, is Dreaming Under Northern Lights.

1. Dreaming Under Northern Lights
Artwork of the year

Crisp northern air, standing under the aurora borealis. A girl in a fur trimmed parka gazes up at the northern sky and watches the dance of light. Dreaming under the night sky and the magical dance of the Northern lights. 

2. Golden Hour in the Heart of Canoeland
Artwork of the year

Two scarlet red canoes meet at sunset, on a lake in Canada. In the distance two snow peaked mountain ranges, and a swoosh of clouds. The tree line bordering the lake sparkles with shades of emerald and lime green. Reflections on a perfect moment shared in nature. Perhaps a skinny dip? where are those canoe lovers.

3. Ukraine Strong
Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley

Portrait of the artist in Ukrainian headdress, honouring her heritage and in support of Ukraine. She wears a blue collar flannel of red and black check, the quintessential Canadian business shirt. A Canadian Ukrainian with a pysanka egg of Ukraine flag yellow and blue resting between bicep and forearm. Against a background of wheat fields and blue sky.

4. Vermillion Canoes
artwork of the year

In the land of Vermillion Lakes, with mount Rundle with it’s distinctive slope outline in the distance. Two red canoes sit at sunset, the owners not to be seen. Perhaps an evening skinny dip or picnic. Filled with hues on sunset from red to orange and pink, a grassy fringe in the foreground frames the piece. Clouds like short brushstrokes sweep the sky. A piece meant for a large feature wall, it measures 3×5 feet. In a series that includes Sunset in the Heart of Canoeland, created in March 2022.

Thank you for reading and voting! See all the paintings Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley made in 2022.

Paintings of Polar Bears on The Road

Have you seen these polar bears? Discovering new sights, sounds, and experiences; these paintings of polar bears on the road, perched on the hood of a red Jeep Wrangler are pure Canadian pop art adventure. Over the years I have captured many moments with my Nikon camera as we drive across Canada, offering opportunities to capture authentic places that I can then incorporate into my pop art style Canadian paintings. These new paintings offer a narrative about the iconic polar bear looking for adventure.

King of the Polar Bears rides on the roof of a scarlet red JEEP wrangler, snow capped Mt. Robson in the background. Taking a road trip through the rocky mountains of Canada. The polar bear wears an outlined King’s crown and rides with confidence, he is King of the North. Adapting to the changing climate, he is out for fun and adventure. Discovering new sights, sounds and experiences.

polar bear jeep painting

Queen of the Polar Bears rides on the roof of a scarlet red JEEP wrangler, stopped on the railroad tracks of prairie Alberta. The electricity of the power lines above tingles and charges her journey. Taking a road trip across Canada. Positioned on the railway tracks, she pauses and takes in the moment. A stormy prairie sky and fields of wheat in the distance. Adapting to the changing climate; discovering new sights, sounds and experiences. This is a companion piece with King of The Polar Bears. 

female polar bear painting on jeep

These paintings offer a graphic and pop art style feeling, with realistically painted elements set against pop art backgrounds and outlines. These paintings are bold and distinctly Saturley.

See more photos and to purchase contact my business manager Robert now.

Lots of new art coming your way!

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley

Paintings of Icebergs That Capture the Spirit of the Landscape

At the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in the Photography wing of the museum you will find some gems. One such gem is a photo of two men resting near an iceberg during the Terra Nova Expedition to Anatarctica, led by Robert Falcon Scott. The photograph by Herbet Ponting was taken in 1910 and makes me think of Lawren Harris and Rockwell Kent iceberg paintings. Painters, explorers and photographers have been drawn to these glacial giants for hundreds of years. Paintings of icebergs will always reflect more than the ethereal beauty of these essential landscapes, for what they capture is more than just a landscape, they capture something that gives and sustains life itself.

iconic iceberg photos

Capturing the spirit of the landscape, transcendental and other worldly. These original acrylic paintings collage together landscapes, people, nature, shapes and vivid colours. Weaving new visual stories on canvas that have a distinctly Canadian pop art style. I have been drawn to the works of Lawren Harris from his Group of Seven period, but also love how he evolved his work into more abstract realms with the Transcendental Painting Group. When it comes to colour play, I often think of ‘Squares with Concentric Circles’ by Kandinsky. maybe this is where the circles are coming from in my recent work.

lawren harris paintings

When I decide on what I am painting, I begin with a central character. Whether that character is a mountain, a moose, or a human matters not, I’m looking for a starting point to my visual story on canvas. These days I rely heavily on intuition to guide me, and even I discover things within my work years down the road, that I did not see when I was creating the piece. I think this is what makes great art, the ability to see new things in the work for years to come. With the heat rising here this summer, and little to no sign of icebergs off Twillingate, Newfoundland, known for it’s famous ‘Iceberg Alley’, I felt compelled to tell a visual tale about icebergs. My contemporary take on landscape paintings of icebergs. Beginning with a painting that features a woman in a bikini, between two icebergs. A polar bear seems to be flying as he leaps from iceberg to iceberg. This is, ‘When Polar Bears Fly’.

spirit landscapes paintings

The second painting about icebergs features a trifecta of bergs, three sisters of ice on the ocean. A woman in a tilley-esque hat, and red coat, scans the horizon for bergs as they continue to evade her view. This is, ‘Looking for The Bergs’.

iceberg paintings

These paintings of icebergs are the two most recent in a body of work that captures the ‘spirit of the landscape’ – these paintings offer visual stories of the landscapes that inspired the art. Here you will find paintings with iconic Canadian imagery such as mountains, oceans and icebergs; set against vivid and playful backgrounds that are sometimes otherworldly. These original acrylic paintings collage together landscapes, people, nature, shapes and vivid colours. Weaving new visual stories on canvas that have a distinctly Canadian pop art style, the vision of a Canadian artist known as the ‘Iconic Canuck’.

Brandy Saturley Canadian Artist

Watch behind the scenes video of these paintings in process, a peek inside this iconic Canadian Artist’s studio.

Paintings of mountains: beyond the Group of Seven

I remember the first time I saw a painting of a mountain, I was about four and it was hanging on our wall. It was a painting by my grandmother, a minimalist palette of blues to grey and white. Heavy oils and palette knife scratches. Then a decade later I had my first experience with paintings of mountains by Group of Seven founder, Lawren Harris, these were much softer looking mountains, they had a modern feel.

Mountain paintings with people

Even though I could appreciate these Canadian landscapes, I had not yet fallen in love with the mountains. Perhaps growing up on an island, where beaches, ocean, and rainforests were my backyard, I never really thought about mountains much.

I recall my first time putting on skis and taking a bus to visit the only ski area on our island, Mount Washington was further North than my hometown of Victoria. Still not a mountain lover, those slopes had my attention as I was first learning to ski down hills.

Even family trips through the mountains from BC to Alberta were lost on me, maybe it was the fighting with my sister, and the weird things my Dad would do and say, not unlike the National Lampoon Vacation films.

It really wasn’t until about 2010 that I really fell for the mountains. Driving from BC to Alberta to deliver paintings to a gallery in Canmore. In winter, these mountains take on a whole new persona, draped in glistening blankets of shiny ice and snow, with the odd bit of rock peaking its way through, these mountains now became animalistic. These mountains were watching me, as I was staring into their folds of shadow and light. It’s as if these mountains were people, and I wanted to paint their portraits. So, I began to paint the character of the mountains and I began to add humans, sometimes staring, and often having silent conversations with these behemoths of the landscape.

Fast forward to my most recent painting, again I have positioned people in the landscape, with the mountain looking on, because sometimes we see mountains and sometimes they see us.

This is ‘The Kiss’ (love in the Rockies)

Mountain paintings

Exhilarating ice skating paintings exude feelings of freedom and joy!

Continuing on with a year exploring outdoor sports and pastimes of winter, these active paintings celebrate ice skating on glacial lakes. Beginning in January this year, the celebration kicked off with two new paintings exploring the playful discovery of hockey outdoors. These pond hockey paintings created in the first month of 2021, feature glacial hues and the joy of play, bursting with colour and enthusiasm. Moving through this new body of work, my attention turned to figure skates and the romance, energy, and grace of figure skaters on outdoor ice.

Even though I am tucked away in a basement studio with augmented lighting, I was able to escape to the outdoor skating rinks provided by glacial lakes of the Canadian Rockies, and Lake Louise in particular. It is a place I have visited a few times, both in Winter and Summer, and it continues to command my attention. Perhaps some of the reasons we are continually drawn to this beautiful location, from places all over the globe, are the beautiful color palette, the crisp mountain air, the sounds of nature and the lake. But could we also be drawn to this place for another reason? Recently I did some digging and discovered some very deep ideas about the energy found in this place. There is an energetic geometry found at Lake Louise, which to anyone with a camera, a brush, or a sense of symmetry, you will see immediately. Lake Louise is one of many ‘energy vortex’ locations on Earth which acts as a swirling center of energy, containing more earthly energy than most places. Many believe that energy vortexes exist at the intersections of ley lines or the random lines of natural energy that make up the Earth’s electromagnetic field.

Some other well known energy vortex locations on Earth include Stonehenge, Sedona Cathedral Rock, Haleakala Volcano, Great Pyramid of Giza, Mayan Ruins at Tulum and the Bermuda Triangle. Many vortexes continue to be reported to bring feelings of peace, harmony, balance, and tranquility; while others are believed to promote personal reflection, deep insight, and a clear mind. Others still act as powerful centers of physical or emotional rejuvenation. Some even say they may be the healthiest spots on Earth. It is no wonder that droves of tourists are attracted to Lake Louise annually.

Here are the third and fourth paintings of 2021; filled with scenery, energy, escape and joyful hues. Celebrating ice skating outdoors.

TWIRL: a figure skater twirls and jumps as her blades sketch stories into the glacial lake ice. Aerial views offering a unique abstract perspective.

ice skating paintings

VORTEX: twin skaters with long auburn hair and a lone hockey puck. Dreamy in Canada.

ice skating paintings

These paintings celebrating outdoor ice skating are alive with vivid colours of teal, lime, violet, red and orange against a range of blues. With the palette of each my goal was to capture the electricity and energy of skating outdoors in Winter and specifically the energy found at Lake Louise. To create my signature smoothness and texture, I utilized a myriad of painting techniques I have developed over the last twenty years as an artist. These pieces were created using my handmade Rosemary paintbrushes from England, my gloved hands blending with fingers on canvas, as well as random household bristle brushes to produce the snow and ice effects.

brandy saturley studio

All over the planet humans know how to celebrate long Winters, through making the outdoors our indoors. I hope these paintings transport you to these locations, much like they did during my process of painting them on canvas. These paintings are for sale; add them to your art collection today.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley (a.k.a #iconiccanuck )

Capturing the Feeling of Outdoor Pond Hockey, On Canvas.

The upside of COVID, a return to enjoying hockey, in the great outdoors. Whether on a pond, backyard rink, or an iconic and scenic outdoor lake; we are embracing a return to enjoying playing hockey outdoors. These pond hockey paintings, celebrate a return to the enjoyment of hockey.

In 2020, I let isolation lead when producing new paintings under a pandemic culture. With a new year, a new start and fresh perspective on the paintings I want to make to celebrate what connects us most; our love of nature and celebration of the great outdoors. Working in paintings two by two, I am exploring our Winter pastimes on snow, ice, and ocean. Completed in February this year, my first two paintings celebrate falling in love with hockey again, outdoors. Returning to the child and those pure moments of discovery and enjoyment, on ice. Here are the first two paintings of 2021, filled with ice, snow, innocence, celebration and discovery.

Pond Hockey Days (Salad Days on Ice): whether you play shinny, pond hockey or on the backyard rink; this is where hockey was born and became part of the culture, worldwide.

Pond Hockey Paintings

The Prodigy: looking through the ice upwards to the Northern sky. A shadowy figure of a young boy in a red sweater and toque, with mittens and with hockey skates. He reaches out towards a black rubber hockey puck, the prodigy is born.

pond hockey paintings

These paintings celebrating outdoor hockey are alive with vivid colours of red and orange against a range of blues. With the palette of each my goal was to capture the electricity and energy of playing outdoors in the Winter. To create my signature smoothness and texture, I utilize a myriad of painting techniques I have developed over the last twenty years as an artist. These pieces were created using my handmade Rosemary paintbrushes from England, my gloved hands blending with fingers on canvas, as well as everyday paint rollers to produce the snow and ice effects.

In Canada, we know how to celebrate our long Winter, through making the outdoors our indoors.

Cheers to all the outdoor hockey lovers! The Prodigy has SOLD, Pond Hockey Days is available to own today. Pay in full up front, or finance from $176/month through our partner Art Lease Canada.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley (a.k.a #iconiccanuck )

Painting a famous Canadian landscape in Banff, Alberta – all hail Lake Louise

I have visited Lake Louise on many occasions; during the summer when the lake is reflecting hues of tropical turquoise, and in winter when the ice is so think you can skate, snowshoe, ski, hike and even build castles on the lake. I have painted this famous Canadian landscape and her accompanying peaks nine times, and at different stages of my art career. Most recently, upon my return from London, I began painting immense landscapes on unstretched duck canvas. The first landscape being Princess Louisa Inlet, on the sunshine coast of British Columbia. Princess Louisa Inlet is rumored to have been named for Princess Louise or maybe even after Queen Victoria’s Mother. My second large landscape, measuring seven feet wide, was completed in December and honours the view of Lake Louise, from the Fairmont Lake Louise eastern shoreline facing west.

In summer 2019, my art career led me to London England. My time in London coincided with the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, which meant the opportunity to open the monarchs’ archives and share the mementos and stories of her personal life, a side not often seen and certainly not on this scale. What intrigued me most during my time in London was the exhibition at Kensington Palace, Victoria: Woman & Crown. The exhibition offered a peak behind the royal curtain, and included many stories of her and Albert’s love of the Arts and included many of her own personal paintings. There are many connections between my home town of Victoria, Canada (named after the monarch) as well as the Province of Alberta (named after the monarch’s fourth daughter, Princess Louise Caroline Alberta) the name Alberta itself, the feminine of Albert and derived from German carries a meaning of bright, noble and famous.

In their public lives, both the Queen and Princess Louise were strong proponents of the arts. Louise was an able sculptor and artist, and supporter of the feminist movement. Lake Louise in Banff, Alberta was named after the monarch.

While working on this large Canadian landscape painting, I filmed my daily painting progress in the studio. Filmed in time-lapse mode (super fast painting) the film shows the many layers of acrylic colour; applied in repetition until the desired hues, form, and depth is achieved. I paint using music, it helps me to set the tone in my studio. When editing this short film together, I had to find music to accompany the final piece, that not only matches the tone of the film, but also the tone of the final work itself.

Watch the entire process of painting, Lake Louise Swish here:

See more photos and read about the painting here:

Canadian artist landscape painting Brandy Saturley

See past works inspired by Lake Louise on the artists’  website here:

painting of Lake Louise with red poppies

Poppies For Louise – by Brandy Saturley