Becoming An Artist – Talking Art, Passion and Hockey

When does someone become an Artist? What drives the creation of a painting? How many hours are spent making Art? People are attracted to passion, and those who pursue their passions relentlessly, putting it all on the line. Talking with Canadian documentary filmmaker Randy Frykas, about becoming an Artist and the influence of hockey.

In October 2019, a few months before COVID-19 started changing how we navigate our worlds, I invited a Winnipeg filmmaker into my haven, my Art studio. As I stated in a blog post from 2018, art studios “are places typically reserved for artists to create, serious art collectors to view the work privately, and curators to visit and consider works for future art exhibitions.” After a few emails back and fourth, and a telephone conversation, I agreed to the visit and I also agreed to let the filmmaker ask questions without pre-screening. He came to learn and film and arrived with a professional audio engineer, James Humberstone, also originally hailing from Manitoba. I accepted their visit and interest purely on the portfolio Frykas produced when I began asking questions. There seemed to be a common ground in the topic of hockey and my paintings about hockey, so the focus became mostly these works from my oeuvre of the past decade. I had recently returned home from a month studying and making work at the Royal College of Art in London, England, and was in the process of making a new work, a large landscape on loose canvas.

Becoming an artist documentary film

Over the course of two separate days, Frykas asked questions and recorded digital video. Over the course of the coming months the team of The Passion Projects, led by director Frykas, began editing while flying to other locations to film with other talented people driven by their passions. With Frykas and Humberstone also creating their own soundtrack for each short documentary film produced for the project. This truly was becoming a collaborative effort, filled with passion and experience, bringing together film, editing, sound, music and visual art.

As this series began shooting before COVID hit, and was being developed as the filmmakers’ own passion project on the side while he is working full-time TV and freelance gigs, the series is developing organically and is quickly becoming a record of life and attitudes before, during and eventually post COVID.

filmmaker Randy Frykas

I don’t invite many people into my studio, it really is my workplace, and a sacred place I go to escape into my work. I was moved by the enthusiasm exuding from the voice on the other end of the phone line, which was as palpable in person. Vulnerability is another important facet of making great Art, and those days we were filming, we were at our most vulnerable, and I am proud of the film that came from this experience.

Sincere thanks to Randy Frykas and James Humberstone, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Randy Frykas James Humberstone The Passion Projects

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley a.k.a #iconiccanuck

Talking Pop Canadianisms and Confronting the Enormity of the Landscape, in Canadian Art

Typically the ‘art season’ runs September to June, typically my art season as an independent self-representing artist runs the whole year, minus a couple weeks around Christmas holidays. This year I decided to book a month on the Hawaiian Island of Maui in August, and re-connect with nature and nurture my artists’ senses. It was a great adventure and one that will bleed into my work, with many posts about my trip to follow. August was a busy month for me while most of the Art World lay dormant. I finished some paintings, sold some art, showed my work in a Toronto gallery, and spoke with a popular Art magazine in New York City about my paintings of the last decade.

Whitehot Magazine is a one of the leading online art magazines in the world, based in NYC, with contributing arts writers and art historians from all over the world, interviewing artists worldwide. In August, I had the great pleasure of speaking with Andrea Bell, a NYC art historian, critic and writer. Based in New York City, Andrea teaches Art History and Criticism at Parsons School of Design. Bell is a contributing writer for Whitehot Magazine and we spoke about; mountains, Canadianisms, pop culture, and the People of Canada Portrait Project.


Excerpt from the article; “In her most recent work, Saturley has turned once again to the landscape, never really having left. Her new, visionary paintings collage different, unexpected elements of Canadiana rendered in her characteristic pop aesthetic. They 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. The sincerity of their celebration keeps them from tripping over into kitsch. Instead they are otherworldly and transportive, playful and humorous. Confronting the enormity of the landscape has become a crucial aspect in Canadian identity, and a thread that is woven throughout Saturley’s work. The “Canadianisms” series has already toured in both Edmonton and Calgary, and has garnered the artist notoriety as the voice of Canadian Pop Art.” read full article here.