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.

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! These paintings are for sale; add them to your art collection today.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley (a.k.a #iconiccanuck )

Painting an iconic landscape in Banff, Alberta – all hail Lake Louise

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.

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 iconic 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.

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

Experimentation and Growth: New Art Made in London at The Royal College of Art Summer Intensive

I recently returned home from a month of art making, art talking, and art education experience in London, England. In my previous blog posts I talk about this compressed and intensive art experience in detail. I also explain the impetus for the works created during my time at the Royal College of Art, on the beautiful Battersea campus, just outside central London in the borough of Wandsworth. Known as the ‘brighter borough’ the roadway sign and symbol for this area of London includes the iconic Battersea Power Station, which in outline looks somewhat like the city of Oz, with a rainbow arc above the outline of the city. My previous posts discuss in detail my timeline while at the RCA as well as the detailed stories behind the art.

Wandsworth sign Battersea - Royal College of Art

For this post I am sharing more photos of my studio and the work produced while in London. Please scroll on for photos of these works that I refer to as the ‘Mirrors’ series. These are mirrors of my London experiences and the feelings being pulled from within, while I worked through my three weeks of this intensive contemporary art making experience.

Somewhere over the rainbow, and under the towering skyscrapers of London, these are the ‘MIRRORS’ paintings.

Painting I: Topsy Turvy (Rorschach for the UK)

acrylic on raw canvas, poured and brushed,

72 inches high by 53 inches wide,

Brandy Saturley 2019

Union Jack painting by Brandy Saturley - Royal College of Art

Union Jack Painting Brexit - Brandy Saturley

Union Jack Painting detail - Brandy Saturley

Painting II: Mirror for a Queen (Victoria) 

acrylic on primed canvas, poured and brushed,

added paper collage

72 inches high by 53 inches wide,

Brandy Saturley 2019

mirror painting for Queen Victoria - Brandy Saturley

painting detail mirror for a queen

mirror painting for Queen Victoria - Brandy Saturley

Painting III: The Countess (mirror)

acrylic on primed canvas, poured and brushed,

added paper collage

72 inches high by 53 inches wide,

Brandy Saturley 2019

countess mirror painting - Brandy Saturley

The Countess painting detail - Brandy Saturley

Painting IV: The Metamorphosis (mirror)

acrylic on primed canvas, poured and brushed,

added paper collage

72 inches high by 53 inches wide,

Brandy Saturley 2019

the metamorphosis mirror abstract painting - Brandy Saturley

abstract painting detail - Canadian artist Brandy Saturley

Painting V: The Internal (mirror) diptych

acrylic on sanded arches paper

added pen details

2 – 13.5″ high x 10 inches wide

Brandy Saturley 2019

abstract pour paintings by Canadian artist Brandy Saturley

A view inside my studio at Royal College of Art, Sackler Painting studios, on the Battersea campus.

Royal College of art Sackler painting studios London - Brandy Saturley paintings

Royal College of Art - abstract paintings Brandy Saturley

photo by Hattie Allen Royal College of Art - Canadian artist Brandy Saturley

For more in depth descriptions of the artists’ process and meaning behind these paintings, please read the previous blog post.