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.

New Contemporary Landscape Art – Capturing the Spirit

As I type this I am listing to Joni Mitchell sing Canadahhhhahhahhhh, intermixed with birdsong coming through the patio door window of my office. I have just finished a new painting, about the spirit of the landscape, something I have been thinking about here in my studio on Vancouver Island where we are surrounded by nature and ocean on all sides. New contemporary landscape art, that captures the spirit of the landscape.

For years now my narrative brand of painting under the persona of #ICONICCANUCK has explored the people, symbols, icons and landscapes of Canada. Over the years I have overheard my work referred to as ‘visual storytelling’ and narrative art. Some have told me the work begs for a story from the viewer. Whatever the case I try not to think about it too much, my intention really comes from my need to communicate, visually, as words have never been my strong suit. Painting, like writing, gives me time to process what it is that I am seeing and my thoughts on these things. I am becoming more and more connected to the work, and less connected to the words, in a verbal sense, writing comes fluidly for me and flows like paint.

I am a human tuning fork, buried into the earth, vibrating outward onto the canvas and the virtual page on this blog and I have a new painting about the spirit of the landscape.

This new painting features an Elk that I met on a trip through Jasper National Park, a hummingbird that sips outside my studio and a Blue Jay. Set against a colourful modern background of sky, mountains, and trees, this is; “Only the Blue Jay Knows”. This original acrylic and gouache painting on canvas measures three feet high by four feet wide, with colours of Yves Klein blue, neon pop art outlines, and gilded gold details. With this painting nature ‘reigns’ and the vivid hues make the painting vibrate with life, like music on canvas.

A few photos and video clip of this new contemporary painting and behind the scenes in the studio;

contemporary landscape art

contemporary landscape art

new contemporary landscape art

This painting is available to own, see the full painting with additional photos here.

Feeling the spirit of the landscape and the nature that surrounds.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley a.k.a #iconiccanuck

The People of Canada Gallery is now open!

The Official Gallery of the People of Canada Portrait Project. Hundreds of photos, dozens of stories, 20 final portraits. You are invited to join us at the inaugural exhibition of the People of Canada Portrait Project.

The paintings in this exhibition span six years. In 2014, I launched this parallel project inspired by the conversations I was having with Canadians across Canada, the project became known as ‘The People of Canada Portrait Project’, in which Canadians submit their best Canadian ‘selfies’ and I paint their portraits. In 2016, I connected with people on the ground in Yellowknife, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. Through these experiences I had even more discussion and it is the people I met, in person and on-line, who set me on a deeper journey questioning, who are the People of Canada? Whether born, immigrated to, or ex-patriot, I wanted to know, the People of Canada. Fast forward to 2017; the photos kept coming in and my journey across the Canadian landscape continued. I was contracted to show my core work ‘Canadianisms’ in solo exhibitions during Canada150. So what began as a project for Canada150, became a project that would develop on the side over a number of years.

During this time I received an email from singer, songwriter, and storyteller, Christa Couture, (Associate Producer for CBC Canada 2017) and the result is this lovely article, shining a light on the project. I also spoke with Andrea Bell at Whitehot Magazine, NYC  who wrote, “By choosing their own photographs, Saturley’s subjects participate in their own self-representation. Yet they also cede control to the artist, who invents a landscape intended to amplify the relationship between the two subjects depicted.”

When I finish painting a portrait I find myself forever bonded to the subjects, through my expression on canvas and through their vulnerability in sharing their stories. It is the vulnerability that creates a great painting, and in this case it is required by all parties involved in the process of creating the portrait.

I spoke briefly with my local SHAW news station, on camera, about the portraits in July 2017, while my solo exhibitions of ‘Canadianisms’ were on view with public galleries in Edmonton and Calgary. Over the course of the project I have had the gracious support of numerous individuals and organizations, who took an interest in the project including; Canada’s Sports Hall of FameAllHabs Hockey Magazine@PeopleOfCanada Penny Rogers Photography, Kiltpiper Marketing, Dennis-Kane.comVisual Arts AlbertaIndependent Sports NewsImagination150CBCSHAW TVGallery @501 Sherwood Park, Alberta, Okotoks Art Gallery, Vimy Foundation, Cop of Coffee and numerous others.

When I look back at where this project began, and how long it took me to get here, I am grateful. This project was created as a ‘passion project’. Something I would create on the side, while I have been working as a full-time visual artist. These portraits are also shifting as my painting style continues to evolve. I think all of these elements produce a more interesting body of work. I am eternally grateful for your support and your patience in the development of this body of work. Sincere thanks to the People of Canada. 

The original goal for the project was 20-25 paintings, and I now have 20 portraits complete. With the closing of galleries across the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and cancellation of art exhibitions, I began looking at new ways to bring this exhibition to YOU, in your home. Thanks to technology, I found a solution! And I am thrilled to present these paintings to you in this virtual exhibition.

The Gallery will be open from May 7, 2020, through May 20th. It is a virtual 3D experience, and it is open 24/7!  So grab a coffee, a glass of sparkling, or a craft beer and take a tour. With each portrait you will find an information link, that takes you through to an interview or back story about most of these portraits. It is a massive undertaking as I interviewed all of the portrait subjects myself, created all the behind the scenes process videos of many of the portraits (including music to set the tone) and created a project website to share all the submitted photos and stories, all on my own. I did not receive a grant through the Canada Council, I did not hire a web designer or an assistant. I did have a pretty smart guy by my side, cheering me on and giving me feedback, but the hands that painted the paintings, produced it all, on her own bank account.

Enjoy the show! and drop me an email and let me know which portrait is your favourite.