High on Canada Drive

Canada Drive painting

High on Canada Drive – A Painting About Icebergs in Newfoundland

When I am working as an artist abroad, and on the road, I don’t drive. This leaves me with the opportunity to soak it all up and take notice of things around me, looking for the next opportunity to ditch the car and jump out for a few moments to capture something that catches my eye. I spend a great deal of time as the passenger, on the roads of this continuing journey of Art.

I have always been interested by this perspective, looking through a windshield that sometimes reflects the sunlight, takes on bug splatter, and various elements of weather as we drive across Canada. The photos and video I capture on these trips offering views from the rear view and sometimes a wiper gets caught in the frame. Even when I am captive in a long line of city traffic, there is something to shoot, even if it’s my Nikon on my lap, captured by my iPhone. I am always getting high on the energy of this drive across Canada.

High on Canada Drive

Driving to Tors Cove, Newfoundland – October 2023

With my latest figurative landscape painting, I chose to focus on this perspective from the passenger seat. I found this photo on my iPhone that I took while stopped at an intersection in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. Naturally, being the Canadiana enthusiast I am, I had to take this photo of a sign called Canada Drive. As we waited what seemed like eternity at this intersection, my mind began to drift on the subject of Canada Drive, and then I heard a song come over the Sirius satellite radio.

High on Canada Drive

“Lounging in the living room in long johns
More distant than Victoria to Saint John’s
Trying to use a record to repair my heart
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to start again, my friend
You’re leaving me high and Canada dry
I’m out of your head and I’m losing my mind
Listening to Neil is making me cry
You’re leaving me high and Canada dry.”
Canada Dry is a song by the Canadian Music Hall of Fame Barenaked Ladies, from the album, Fake Nudes. I’ve long been a fan of the Ladies, since their very first album, through their break up and re-launch into the world, when I felt like they were leaving us high and Canada Dry.
High on Canada Drive painting

Brandy Saturley studio – April 2024

Coming home to Victoria, sitting in my studio with feet up and a few finished paintings about Newfoundland, I stared at a new wood panel ready to take on a story through use of acrylic and oil paints. It was April and my friends in Twillingate were hailing the arrival of iceberg season. With my Apple playlist set to the best of the Barenaked Ladies, these lyrics began to penetrate my mind and my eyes began to see the next painting. I saw beautiful glacial teal coloured bergs, against a complimentary orange/red sunset sky, with this street sign of Canada Drive. Rather than paint the entire traffic light I chose to focus on the red light, against this intersection with the icebergs towering high above the sign. While you would never likely see icebergs from this Newfoundland locale, it does offer pause about the climate and the Earth.
High on Canada Drive

Detail view, High on Canada Drive, acrylic and oil on wood panel, 2024 Brandy Saturley

When the painting was finished and I was searching for the title, I was going to go with Canada Drive, for obvious reasons. But that just wasn’t right to me, and instead as I listened to ‘Canada Dry’ over and over I found the title. High on Canada Drive, referencing the height of the icebergs towering over the city, and also if you were to see icebergs from this vantage point, you may be high on life, a dream or some mind altering substance. Or perhaps you’re just an Artist making sense of the world.

High on Canada Drive, Oil and Acrylic on Wood Panel, 12 x 36 x 2 in, 2024, Brandy Saturley

More details and high resolution photos of the painting here.