Posts

Making a Remembrance Day Painting in The Pandemic Year

Talking about making a Remembrance Day Painting, and looking at the artist process behind making a painting in 2020.

In Canada, red poppies seem to conjure thoughts and feelings about Remembrance Day and family that has served, or is currently serving in our Canadian Forces. I have painted red poppies a number of times over the years, but none seemed to touch Canadians as much as this piece created in 2014, inspired by the women of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps.

Perhaps it is because many of us had grandmothers, mothers and even great-grandmothers serve. Many people have sent me the most lovely notes about this piece over the years, it seems to connect with Canadians widely and on a deep level, with many seeing their own mothers in the piece. I have been interviewed about the piece, shown it in public and private galleries and will be offering a print of it in the coming weeks.

remembrance day painting sitting on art shipping crate

A New Painting with Poppies: with this new painting my focus is Remembrance Day, as it is approaching and it has been 6 years since I have referenced the day in my artwork. I am mindful of how this day will look in this pandemic year. As this year is quickly coming to a close, I am looking at the paintings which I have made this year. I feel that this piece here, right behind my bowler hat and white gloves, is my very best of the year.

This piece brings together my pop aesthetic, realistic details, and symbolism – it is striking and simple in my design. I begin painting by sketching an outline of my idea on stretched cotton canvas. Then I outline again and add shading in a complementary colour, to the final colour I will be painting on top. In this case I am using variations of green for the outline and shading details, as the final colours in the piece will be variations of red.

Next, I begin to colour block and lay down big swathes of reds and oranges, using vigorous brushstrokes.

I continue adding layers of colour from background to foreground, repeating the process with more care each time. This part of the process adds depth, fine textures and various tones and shades. I am creating dimension as the piece begins to come to life and pop off the canvas. I also add the flesh tones to the face so that I can assess the overall tonal balance of my palette and within the piece.

I continue to repaint the entire painting, until the desired tonality is reached and definition is achieved. Then I go into the painting with a finer brush and lighter touch and work on the details, linework, and highlights. In this case metallic and interference paints have been added to bring reflective elements to the piece, adding to the overall ‘glow’.

Remembrance Day Painting detail Brandy Saturley

Time for the final review: which has become known as my ‘chair of contemplation’ moments. The time when I stare for a long period of time as my eyes roll back and forth across the canvas and in differing lights, until I am satisfied that the piece is complete.

It has been said that Picasso created 50,000 works in his lifetime, and is known for about 100 of these. Not every painting is a masterpiece, and you must put in the time and make a lot of bad paintings to reach the masterpieces.

I am very happy with how this piece has evolved, and I hope you will enjoy it as well.

I’ll Carry That Weight (Spirit of Remembrance) Original acrylic painting on canvas honouring Remembrance Day 2020 – by Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley. The painting measures 36×36 inches, and is made with acrylic paints on the finest cotton canvas.

painting of woman with red poppies on a wall

You can see more paintings celebrating Canada on my website.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley

Celebrating 12 Years Painting Canada.

July 1, 2019 marked my 12th year as a full-time professional visual artist, painting Canada. This past week I received an email from an art dealer in the Silicon Valley, their first question to me, “how long have you been an artist?” This is always a very strange question to an artist, as artists’ we have all been making art since we were children, and as such we have always considered ourselves artists.

This means, I have been an artist for over 40 years. My professional career, where I began showing and selling my work, began about 30 years ago, while still in high school. Over the past two decades, I have spent a considerable amount of time setting myself up as an independent self-representing artist. For many years I worked a side job, while producing artwork, mostly drawing. I began painting, seriously, about 18 years ago.

The past 12 years have been all about painting, exhibiting, traveling, and selling my art. Over the past 8 years I have worked hard at immersing myself deeply into the Canadian art communities of Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Toronto. I have created two collaborative projects, written for numerous Canadian publications and artist websites and have contributed to the Canadian Arts community through advocacy groups and on public art committees. I’ve visited a few art fairs, won a few awards and been paid to show my work. I have been commissioned to make work for corporations and private clients, and have licensed my work to many unique brands in Canada and the USA. As I head into my 13th year, I am reflecting on some works of the past.

Twelve paintings for 12 years. It was hard for me to pick twelve, as I have painted near 400 now. It was also more challenging to pick favourites as the years increased. I am finding I now have more favourites than I did in the beginning. Maybe it highlights consistency as an artist as my years of experience grow, or as my passion for painting deepens. You would think after 12 years of painting daily my interest would wain, but it is quite the opposite, the intensity and passion grow. Rather than focus on my accomplishments of the past twelve years, I want to focus on the personal side of my journey as an Artist, and how life and art are intertwined and have become one in the same.

Here are 12 paintings for 12 years;

2007

The TREES Period: in 2007 I was fresh out of the gate with full days to concentrate on painting, naturally I began with nature. My live/work studio at the time was a 6th floor view of Beacon Hill Park in Victoria, BC – nothing but trees for miles. I guess I had trees on the brain, and still love finding the character in each tree I meet.

arbutus hug painting of arbutus trees

Arbutus Hug – 40×30, acrylic on canvas, 2007, Brandy Saturley

2008

The VEGAS Period: in 2006 I was married in Las Vegas, by Elvis of course! The sheer ‘overload’ and ‘overstimulation’ provided by this loud landscape was putting electric images in my head. The otherworldly shows of Montreal born, Cirque Du Soleil, helped push these ideas as my mind spun like a top.

cirque du soleil painting

Cirque Reflections – 48×24, acrylic on canvas, 2008, Brandy Saturley

2009

The BEATLES Period: this marks the year that I FULLY connected with the Beatles and their entire catalogue of music. I was born years after they broke-up, but once I fully embraced their music, they have played consistently in the background of my studio. The Beatles channel on Sirius satellite radio is a revelation, and the narratives of their music, as well as their album covers continue to inspire my brush. The Beatles Period has never really ended and continues to creep into my work.

beatles inspired painting

Passion Gnu Solo (Glass Onion Soup) – 48×48, acrylic on canvas, 2009, Brandy Saturley

2010

The TRANSITIONAL Period: as I continued to move forward with mastering figurative techniques in my paintings, my romance with the landscapes of Canada remained. This year I moved my home and studio into a space more than double my previous. My view turns to lagoon, ocean and estuary, with birdsong and nature at the helm. The greenness of BC and the trees brought inspiration for my largest painting to date, at 48” wide by 60” wide, this piece is a showstopper of soothing green and abstract forms.

whistler large format painting

Aerial Landscape: Crossroads – 48×60, acrylic on canvas, Brandy Saturley, 2010

2011

The #ICONICCANUCK Period

2010 brought the Olympic games to Vancouver BC – Canadian stereotype and pride was at an all-time high on the west coast of Canada, a place where we usually escape the stereotypical mounties, beer, moose and hockey. It made me think. What does it mean to be a Canadian? I began with hockey; the rest is history.

12 years painting canada

Goalie’s Mask: red, white & Dryden – 36×48, acrylic on canvas, Brandy Saturley, 2010

2012

As I continue with my ‘Canadian’ comment I incorporate the Canadian flag for composition purposes, on the landscape. Travels through the Rocky Mountains imprint on my mind. Emboldening my comment on Canada.

poppies Canada Lake Louise painting

Poppies For Louise – 48×36, acrylic on canvas, 2012, Brandy Saturley

2013

With a Goalie Mask on the Canadian flag, my initial representation of Canada, my focus turns to nature and a black bear skull on the iconic Hudson’s Bay Company stripes. A good representation of Canadian symbolism in art.

Painting Canada

HBC Skull – 36×48, acrylic on canvas, Brandy Saturley, 2013

2014

The CANCER Period: the end of 2014 marked a bit of exhaustion and a diagnosis of cervical cancer, with a radical hysterectomy and lymph node removal, the remedy. In December, I had major surgery. It was another transitional time, and reminder that art does not happen without health. This year changed my outlook on life, and as an artist.

Canucks Vancouver Poppies painting

Dreaming in the Colours of Eh – 48×36, acrylic on canvas, Brandy Saturley, 2014

2015

The CANADIANISMS Period: the beginning of 2015 marked my comeback from surgery and aftereffects. It took me a while to get my core muscles back, as I began the year with some very small works. By the Summer I was back at it with this large format piece, at 48×48 inches. I was thinking beyond the stereotypes of Canada and turning back to the landscapes, nature and our connection to the land.

stag canada painting

Canadian Subconscious – 48×48, acrylic on canvas, Brandy Saturley, 2015

2016

The REBIRTH Period: a new body, a new mindset and a renewed interest in the landscape, this time interjecting myself into the famous landscapes of Lawren Harris and the Group of Seven. My commentary as a female Canadian painter was deepening, as my fearlessness in art and life had grown to new heights. I felt fully prepared to take on the greats and claim my spot in Canadian art history.

inspired by Lawren Harris

Let Your Backbone Rise – 36×36, acrylic on canvas, Brandy Saturley, 2016

2017

The CANADA150 Period: with the past 5 years painting themes of Canadiana, the public galleries came calling for content. With a traveling solo retrospective, numbering more than 30 paintings, my year was filled with celebration, art talks, conversations, and stories that would fill my next bodies of work. As the past paintings connected with audiences in other parts of Canada, I continued to paint myself into the landscape. Marveling at it’s grandeur, examining it’s importance in Canadian art, honouring the land and holding it safely for future generations.

lawren harris homage painting

A Landscape to Go – acrylic on wood panel, 36×36, Brandy Saturley, 2017

2018

The LANDSCAPE AS PORTRAIT Period: with 2018 came another change in life, a move into a new home and studio, my largest studio to date. With this change a need to move my comment on Canada forward. I began looking more to my feelings, expressing these feelings through use of colour and form, while continuing to keep a figure in the landscape. My new, visionary paintings collage different, unexpected elements of Canadiana rendered in my characteristic pop aesthetic. These landscapes oscillate between a graphic realism used for Canada’s famous mountain peaks or views of forest lakes, and the abstractness of the colorful, even psychedelic backgrounds. These new paintings are otherworldly, transportive and playful.

figurative landscapes painting Canada

Raised in The Sky – acrylic on canvas, 36×48, Brandy Saturley, 2018

Onto lucky number 13.

2019

The LONDON Year: taking my art, International.

As I head into year thirteen, I am preparing for a new adventure and opportunity to push the boundaries of my painting. For one month I will be making new work at the Royal College of Art in London as part of their Contemporary Art Summer program. It will be an intense three weeks of art making in the largest city in the European Union, and one of the world’s major art centres. As I work on preparing materials for my trip, I am looking forward to connecting with my Cornish heritage. Bringing my ‘Canadianisms’ to London – I am excited about this new opportunity to examine my work, through a British lens.

Canadian art studio artist saturley

You can watch my progress in London on Instagram, my Facebook fan page or here on this blog.

Celebrating Flag Day with the Canadian Flag in Art

With a focus on Canada for the past decade, it was only a matter of time before the Canadian Flag found itself into this body of paintings celebrating the True North. Over the past decade of painting Canada on canvas the Canadian Flag, emblazoned with the red maple leaf has appeared in my work more than a dozen times. Here are my top four picks from ‘Canadianisms’ celebrating the Canadian Flag in art.

Poppies For Louise – painting featuring Lake Louise using the composition of the Canadian Flag. Brandy Saturley, 2011

 

On Guard – painting featuring the sport of hockey using the composition of the Canadian Flag and Canadian Rocky Mountains. Colart Collection, Montreal. Brandy Saturley 2013

 

Under a Borealis Sky – painting of The North with the aurora borealis and snowy landscape behind, child floating on an ice drift in the foreground wrapped in the Canadian Flag. Brandy Saturley, 2011

 

The Famous Goalie Mask Painting on the Canadian Flag, after O’Keeffe Shortlisted for the Olympic Trophy in Sport & Art in 2014 – Brandy Saturley, 2011

CELEBRATING CANADA: ‘CANADIANISMS’ opens at Okotoks Art Gallery

Originally published June 15, 2017

Calgary Artist Gordon Milne with Victoria Artist Brandy Saturley at the opening of Saturley's 'Canadianisms' at Okotoks Art Gallery, June 2017. | photo: Penny Rogers

Calgary Artist Gordon Milne with Victoria Artist Brandy Saturley at the opening of Saturley’s ‘Canadianisms’ at Okotoks Art Gallery, June 2017. | photo: Penny Rogers

A celebratory and intimate art opening at Okotoks Art Gallery on June 9. Housed inside an old CP Railway station, CANADIANISMS brought a patriotic and vibrant vibe to the main gallery just in time for Canada150 celebrations. A big thank you to the town of Okotoks and Okotoks Culture and Heritage, as well as the gallery staff for producing a spirited event. This past weekend also included an unveiling of the Canada150 Community Mosaic and the OAG members show inspired by the railway, From Cow-Catcher to Caboose.

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 - Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 – Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 - Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 – Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 - Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 – Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 - Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 – Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 - Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 – Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 - Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

CANADIANISMS: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada at  Okotoks Art Gallery at The Station | June 10 – Sept 2, 2017 | Brandy Saturley

 

With Okotoks Culture & Heritage Manager, Allan Boss and Okotoks artist Annette Resler

With Okotoks Culture & Heritage Manager, Allan Boss and Okotoks artist Annette Resler

 

Talking about ‘Canadianisms’ and ‘The People of Canada Portrait Project’ with SHAW TV

Originally published June 29, 2017

On this Canada Day 2017, the 150th anniversary of confederation and the 375th anniversary of the founding of Montreal, I am mindful of all those peoples who have come before us. All those who have shaped and fought for the country we call home, and all those that cared for the land before our forefathers arrived. I am proud to be a Canadian and my hopes for Canada are high as we continue to learn about, and love one another. I am thankful for all of you reading this Blog, and all of you who have supported my work over the years.

I am also thankful to all those who have submitted photos to the ‘People of Canada Portrait Project’ – the project is in full swing and I have many more paintings to create and stories to share. Last week I spoke with SHAW Community Producer, Kathleen Burton, about the project and the inspiration behind the project. Here is the interview, currently airing on SHAW Community Producers segments on SHAW TV. Enjoy and Happy Canada Day!

Canada Inspires WestCoast Artist – Brandy Saturley talks with the Okotoks Western Wheel

In 2017, Canadian artist Brandy Saturley toured an art exhibition inspired by her travels in Canada. The artist talks with the Okotoks Western Wheel about her exhibition; ‘Canadianisms: A Half Decade Inspired by Canada’ – at the Okotoks Art Gallery near Calgary, Alberta. The show which began 2017 in Sherwood Park, just outside of Edmonton, made it’s way across the province to a town just outside of Calgary, known as Okotoks. This travelling art show includes hand painted art shipping crates, central to the show, which carries 30 paintings, illustrating stories of Canada.

Read the full interview.

Canada Inspires WestCoast artist

 

 

Canada inspires westcoast artist