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Signature of The Artist: When Famous Paintings Hide Secrets

Many of the most famous paintings in the world, have secrets left by the Artist who created the artwork. Hidden secrets found in famous paintings include; meanings, texts, objects and even DNA. Perhaps the most iconic paintings with hidden secrets are those of Michelangelo and DaVinci. Creation of Adam, a painting on the ceiling of the Vatican chapel ceiling, holds concealed objects and symbols. The most famous of Leonardo Da Vinci’s works has been closely examined for cryptic messages left there on purpose. The Mona Lisa, holds many secrets including a secret code painted into the eyes of the famous portrait. Botticelli’s works reveal he was quite the botanist, with as many as 500 different plant species discovered in the ‘Birth of Venus’.

As the Artist and creator of my paintings on canvas, I know all the little things hidden in my paintings. The gift to the art collector of an original painting, is daily they will have the opportunity to find some of my hidden details. Perhaps they will discover some that I did not even realize were there, the ‘unique signature’ of the artist. There are a few intentionally hidden secrets in this painting, ‘Salad Days on Ice’, depicting a group of young men playing pond ice hockey against vivid skies. Sometimes I share these things, but usually only with the collector who ends up buying the piece and hanging it on their walls. Hiding secrets within my paintings is something I have done for decades. Not even I remember all the places unique items and messages are layered under paint.

Hidden secrets in paintings

The Artists’ Studio offers more secrets into the workings and process of an Artist. It has been said that the artist’s studio “is central to an artist’s myth and the way that we come to understand a work of art and its meaning in society”, though rarely do many have a chance to visit these creative havens where the artist works. Unless you spend a month in the life of an artist, you will never get the full view or sense of what makes us tick.

Hidden Secrets Art

So, the next time you look at a painting, remember not all is offered or even seen. Much of the beauty held within an artwork, is the discovery beyond what is seen the first time.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley

The Iconic Canuck

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