The Journey of Art: creating an oversized contemporary Canadian landscape painting

How long does it take an artist to create an oversized contemporary painting of the Canadian landscape?  It is not an easy question to answer, especially when a painting unfolds during a transitional period in the world. This painting of the iconic Princess Louisa Inlet began after an artist journey to London, England. The painting was created in the last few months of 2019 on loose un-finished cotton canvas duck. The piece appeared in a short documentary film and then went into storage until 2020. Then COVID took over the world and the artist turned her focus back to her work at hand, painting her visual stories of Canada. As the world came to level out again, an opportunity to stretch and finish the canvas for sale. Really GREAT ART, takes time, and a pandemic delivered this gift of time. Chronicling the journey of art, a behind the scenes recap.

Initial painting of the Landscape on un-stretched cotton duck canvas.

Stretching the canvas at Presentation Framing in Sidney, BC

Journey of Art

Now that the painting is stretched to it’s final size, it asks for more details, it is not quite finished yet. A red canoe, a new sky, and some added details throughout.

Journey of Art

Canadian Artist Landscape Painting

Viewing the painting in the golden light outside, partially due to BC Forest fires and a hazy sky.

Journey of Art

Another look in the light after a UV protective varnish is applied.

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley

Temporary hang on wall to sign, examine, and prepare for final documentation of the painting through photography.

Final photo of the piece and installation example. This piece needs a large feature wall in a home or in a corporate office or hotel lobby.

Canadian Landscape Painting

This is the journey of Art and it takes time to create a lasting visual story on canvas. This piece is both contemporary but also has a modern art feel in it’s execution. Experimenting with brush strokes and the actual staining of this canvas in order to produce soft background effects. While the piece is a bit of a departure from my more figurative works, I still managed to retain my ‘pop art style’ and palette. This piece certainly reflects my affinity for Canadian landscapes and the iconic red canoe, which acts as the focal point of the piece. It is a gem that deserves a great big feature wall.

See more detailed photos of this painting.

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.


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