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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

Portrait of A Landscape: re-framing traditional landscape painting in Canada

Being a Canadian artist means you grow up with the images of Canada as painted by the Group of Seven. 

Whether the landscapes, forests and farms of southern Ontario as painted by A.J. Casson, or  A.Y. Jackson’s Georgian Bay, the grandeur of the rocky mountains as imagined by Lawren Harris, or the raw beauty and Autumn hues of Algonquin park as depicted by the People’s artist, Tom Thomson. The Group of Seven burnished the idea of the Canadian landscape onto our brains, seeping deep into our hearts. I was always drawn to the icy blue palette, idealized forms and light captured in the paintings of Lawren Harris. I was always particularly drawn to his paintings of mountains.

landscape painting in canada

Mountain Forms, 1926, Lawren Harris

As a Canadian painter looking to create my own distinct artist voice on canvas I began to study the works of the world renowned American painter, Georgia O’Keeffe.

Lake George New York, 1926, Georgia O’Keeffe

Famous for her depictions of New Mexico landscapes and still life of flowers and skulls, I began to find similarities between the mountain paintings of Harris and the landscape paintings of O’Keeffe. Both with their precisionist style, idealized forms, and feminine palettes; my affinity for the works of these two painters is leading me down a new path of re-framing the Canadian landscape in painting.

Pelvis with Distance, 1943, Georgia O’Keeffe

landscape painting in canada

North Shore Lake Superior, 1926, Lawren Harris

A landscape as it is, is something to be appreciated, perhaps captured on camera, but nature is perfection and it has never been my interest to paint the landscape as it appears. I am drawn to the details found within the landscape, the story of the landscape is what interests me most, and it is the story I endeavor to tell on canvas. Our connection to the Earth and to nature, this is something I feel in my bones and want to express on canvas.

reframinglandscapepainting

With this new series of paintings inspired by the landscape I am taking distinct elements of the landscape, symbols of the land and nature that surrounds and re-framing the elements on canvas, in portrait orientation.

landscape painting canada

I began 2018 having just returned home form a trip to Maui, Hawaii where I enjoyed the rainforest, landscapes and tracing Georgia O’Keeffe’s footsteps on the island. The first painting of 2018 is an homage to O’Keeffe and inspired by Maui and the Iao Valley.

reframing landscape painting

I guess you could say I am building contemporary portraits of the landscape, and I am excited to see what comes next.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley