Making Art in Canada – Becoming the Voice of Canadian Pop Art, in 2018
Making Art in Canada in 2018 was exhilarating, here is a recap of all that happened during the year I became the Voice of Canadian Pop Art.
January – POP Canadianisms are born
New paintings, new work expressing a symbolic view on our landscapes and culture of the time. What began as #iconiccanuck in 2011, morphed into #Canadianisms in 2017, this year coming full circle, re-framing the idea of landscape painting in Canada. These are figurative landscapes, with vividly saturated palettes.
February – Takashi Murakami in Vancouver
Art & The City Trip: Travel for connecting to a worldwide art market continued with an opportunity to participate in the momentous Takashi Murakami visit and exhibition in Vancouver BC. While the Octopus may have eaten his own leg, I enjoyed hearing why from the mouth of the artist himself at SFU in Vancouver BC. The following days included the members opening and dinner of the International art exhibit presented by the Vancouver Art Gallery. A great way to begin the year, the learning never stops and this was one opportunity this year for continuing education.
March – University of New Brunswick
In March, I was contacted by the UNB requesting use of one of my images for their current project; Pioneer Lies and Propertied Lives: Cultures of Colonial Unknowing on Turtle Island. “Let Your Backbone Rise” painted in 2016, is featured on the project website.
April – Art Collector Homes
Sometimes the art on the walls helps sell the home, and sometimes they want the art thrown in! A collector of my work puts their custom dream home on the market in Cordova Bay, BC and we have the opportunity to peek inside and view the paintings on the walls. The house sold, they did not include the artwork, we shipped that out to their home in Edmonton, Alberta.
May – Collaborative Paintings Taking Shape
Formed at the end of 2017, The Mountain Forms Collective, named for Lawren Harris famous work, is in full creative flow. With two female Canadian painters, one from Victoria, BC and one in Calgary, AB. These paintings are a first in Canada, with two painters working together to paint Rocky Mountain Peaks onto the same canvas. As this project grows more news will follow, for now, here is a little peek at what is to come.
June – Move to a BIG studio & some Vimy Jamming
In June I bid adieu to a condo with an ocean view, my work now taking over the entire living space, it was time to find a larger space to continue my work as my career and the size of my work grows. I finished two portrait paintings for the People of Canada Portrait Project, both presented opportunities to connect with those who serve in military and civilian roles here in Canada. Vimy Jam went on to become one of my most popular paintings of 2018 as it garnered much attention and support across Canada and abroad.
July – Toronto Show & Cover Feature
In July my work, ‘BALANCE’ made it into the Society of Canadian Artists 50th Annual Juried International Art Exhibition. Taking place at Papermill Gallery in Toronto, this show featured the best of the best from across Canada and overseas. My painting also made the cover of the catalogue, which was published to the Library & Archives of Canada.
August – Maui Residency & Whitehot Magazine
Maui was on the docket for the whole month of August, as I continued to re-trace the steps of Georgia O’ Keeffe and find deep connection and inspiration in the landscapes, flora and fauna on the garden isle of Maui. While there I had the chance to discover many new art galleries and institutions including the stunning property at the Hui N’eau Arts Centre in Makawao. I also spent time getting to know photographer Michael Gilbert. Acting as Curator of Corporate Collections at the Waldorf Astoria and Director Napua Gallery, Gilbert originally hails from Toronto, Canada and splits his time between Maui and Paris, both as photographer for hire and as instructor. Other gallery visits included; Paia Art Projects and the many galleries on the Lahaina strip. In August I also found myself talking with Whitehot Magazine, NYC about my Pop Canadianisms and gaining notoriety as the voice of Canadian Pop Art.
September – On the Cover in the UK
In September my painting, ‘Let Your Backbone Rise’ graced the cover of Art Reveal Magazine UK, as I became the featured artist for the September issue. I became a supporting patron of the Canadian art cataloguing service developed by Ryan Mayberry, of Mayberry Fine Art, called ArtMoi. This revolutionary cataloguing service is helping to record the provenance of artworks around the globe through a unique identifier, much like an ISBN number issued by libraries. This year’s commissioned work began as I started in on a large diptych for a client in Victoria for his home in Palm Springs.
October – Art Toronto & The Falls
Art Toronto: founded in 2000, Art Toronto is Canada’s international contemporary and modern art fair, and this year was my second time attending the fair. Highlights included works by; James Lahey, Ivan Eyre, Katherine Boyer and Jason McLean. After the fair I took a road trip to ‘The Falls’, Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. It was my first time visiting the falls and it is one of the world’s natural wonders and must be experienced by all. Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls that straddle the international border between the Canadian province of Ontario and the US state of New York. They form the southern end of the Niagara Gorge. During peak daytime tourist hours, more than 168,000 m3 (six million cubic feet) of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America, as measured by flow rate.
November – Art in Vancouver
My mission in November was three-fold; visit my art crate maker, take in the remarkable opening of Guo Pei at the Vancouver Art Gallery and explore some new landscapes and viewpoints in greater Vancouver. With every trip comes new opportunities for learning and sharing, further inspiring the direction of my work. These trips are a continuing education and an opportunity to connect with others in the industry.
December – Another Magazine and a Charity
My annual self-published magazine is mailed out every December as a thank you to clients who have collected my work over the years. This year the title for the new magazine is #POPCANADIANISMS and offers collectors a look at new work as well as a review of favourite paintings from the past decade. This year my charities of choice included CARFAC Alberta, Nature Canada and BC Children’s Hospital. A favourite painting from the past of a child nose to nose with a polar bear graced the face of thousands of Christmas cards in Vancouver and across Canada, with proceeds going to support the invaluable programming and services of this remarkable organization in Vancouver.
And finally, your favourite nine on Instagram in 2018!
That’s a wrap! Wishing you a healthy, prosperous and art-filled 2019.
Cheers ~Brandy Saturley