Paintings of mountains: beyond the Group of Seven

I remember the first time I saw a painting of a mountain, I was about four and it was hanging on our wall. It was a painting by my grandmother, a minimalist palette of blues to grey and white. Heavy oils and palette knife scratches. Then a decade later I had my first experience with paintings of mountains by Group of Seven founder, Lawren Harris, these were much softer looking mountains, they had a modern feel.

Mountain paintings with people

Even though I could appreciate these Canadian landscapes, I had not yet fallen in love with the mountains. Perhaps growing up on an island, where beaches, ocean, and rainforests were my backyard, I never really thought about mountains much.

I recall my first time putting on skis and taking a bus to visit the only ski area on our island, Mount Washington was further North than my hometown of Victoria. Still not a mountain lover, those slopes had my attention as I was first learning to ski down hills.

Even family trips through the mountains from BC to Alberta were lost on me, maybe it was the fighting with my sister, and the weird things my Dad would do and say, not unlike the National Lampoon Vacation films.

It really wasn’t until about 2010 that I really fell for the mountains. Driving from BC to Alberta to deliver paintings to a gallery in Canmore. In winter, these mountains take on a whole new persona, draped in glistening blankets of shiny ice and snow, with the odd bit of rock peaking its way through, these mountains now became animalistic. These mountains were watching me, as I was staring into their folds of shadow and light. It’s as if these mountains were people, and I wanted to paint their portraits. So, I began to paint the character of the mountains and I began to add humans, sometimes staring, and often having silent conversations with these behemoths of the landscape.

Fast forward to my most recent painting, again I have positioned people in the landscape, with the mountain looking on, because sometimes we see mountains and sometimes they see us.

This is ‘The Kiss’ (love in the Rockies)

Mountain paintings

Sharing The View – Figurative Art

When I am not in the studio, I am outside exploring with my Nikon camera. I have always enjoyed observing life, appreciating the details, and looking for the connections. One thing I have noticed over the years is how the immense beauty of our natural landscapes and events, do not go unappreciated. Whether at the base of a great Rocky Mountain in Banff, or sitting on a dock with a seaside view; nature’s marvelous events cause us to gather, stop, and take notice. They offer a backdrop to a special occasion and a place to return to for celebrations. Sometimes these grand backdrops are simply a place to pause, to gather our thoughts, to process our day, and even help find solutions. Whether you practice yoga, meditation or mindfulness; nature grounds us. It may be a place to enjoy a glass of vino and a good conversation, a place to fall in love, or enjoy that first coffee drink of the day with friends. No matter the reason for seeking a moment in nature, it is something that will always be there as a silent witness, no pressure, just awe-inspiring beauty. Figurative art of nature, these paintings celebrate sharing the view.

Here are three new paintings that speak to these moments of pause, in three distinct landscapes.

figurative art

A Sunset Between Us – painting of sunset on BC Ferries Boat

Figurative Art

Here Comes The Sunset – painting of sunset in Tofino harbour

Figurative Art

Stare Time at Lake Louise – enjoying the view at Lake Louise

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley studio

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley in her studio

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