Posts

2019 in Canadian Art, My Year in Painting.

In 2010 I set a goal for myself, to paint 25 to 35 new paintings every year and to do at least one thing every year in my art career, that I didn’t think I could achieve. For me goals are important motivators, and as a professional artist who lives a life open to all possibilities, a little structure helps to keep the business side of this career moving forward, and not in circles. Circles are important, they are like pauses to swim in the lake of life, soaking up new experiences, where the inception of new ideas begin. But, I cannot languish in the lake for too long, as I would never get beyond the lake, and I like the challenge that comes with riding the waves of the ocean.

2019 began with a bang, and it took me from my island home of Vancouver Island, across the country, to the USA and even the United Kingdom. When asked the question; “if you could be a famous artist, who would you be?” my answer is always, Brandy Saturley a year from now, as the only one I am chasing is me, and the only one I am competing with, is me.

Here is my 2019 in Art.

January – new work and new ideas

Three paintings into a new series of paintings inspired by my travels across North America, featuring ‘people in the landscape’. The gathering of friends, family and strangers to marvel at the landscape, it is something as familiar as breathing, moments shared contemplating nature.

2019 in Canadian Art

January also included a new initiative, as we began to work on what would become the first fine art offering of it’s kind, ‘The Box Sets’ original art collections.

2019 in Canadian Art

In February, we launched the first ‘Box Sets’ original art collection and I traveled to the Okanagan for some snowy mountain inspiration.

Canadian Art Collection for sale

2019 in Canadian Art

In March, I spent my studio days surrounded by snow with a good amount of the white stuff falling on Vancouver Island. The energy is high when it snows here, it is like a late Christmas present that brings brightness to gray winter days.

Canadian artist at work

in March a new painting inspired by sunrise on Salt Spring Island, in Ganges Harbour was completed. The painting not being quite enough to satisfy, I continued on with painting the crate that would house the painting, adding skateboard wheels for mobility.

salt spring island art painting Brandy Saturley

Then I hit the road again, this time headed to Edmonton for art business.

art business in Edmonton

Coming home through Calgary, with a stop at Fairmont Lake Louise…

Fairmont Lake Louise

an iconic beacon on the continental divide, Mount Robson.

Canadian artist Brandy Saturley at Mt. Robson

April showers bring, more art. New paintings completed for the Mountain Forms Collective, painting collaboration with Calgary artist, Gisa Mayer.

Canadian artist collaboration - painting rocky mountains

A new painting for the People of Canada Portrait Project.

May the force be with you! I don’t mean to be punny. A chance to explore with my camera, the work behind the art. One of my photos, now available to license on Getty images.

image licensing Getty Images Brandy Saturley

A new painting, this time a diptych (two canvasses) inspired by shared experiences in the landscape and the music of the Beatles.

Painting inspired by the Beatles - Because the world is round

The second round of ‘Box Sets’ art collections were launched to the public.

art shipping crate painted with text - Canadian artist Brandy Saturley

June! one month to London, you heard that right. Earlier in the year I was invited to join the Contemporary Art Summer Intensive at the Royal College of Art in London, England. in June I was packing and ordering supplies for my month in the UK.

I also completed a new painting for the People of Canada portrait project, this time a self portrait of the artist and her muses.

Brandy Saturley Canadian artist - self-portrait of the artist

July, I left on a Dreamliner to London, and set up my studio in the Painting wing of the Royal College of Art, Battersea campus. One month of making, talking, exploring art in the world’s financial centre.

Canadian artist Brandy Saturley - Royal College of Art London

Royal College of Art - Battersea

During my time in London I painted four large scale works on loose duck canvas, and a few smaller pieces on paper.

Brandy Saturley - Royal College of art - Painting studios Battersea

I also toured a number of museums and art galleries including; White Cube, Barbican, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Design Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, British Library, and White Chapel to name a handful.

white cube gallery London England

In August, we were preparing for a solo show at Dyson Gallery – 22 artists from around the world. It was the experience of a lifetime.

pop paintings by Canadian artist - Brandy Saturley - Royal College of Art

paintings by brandy saturley at dyson gallery london

Upon returning home from London, I immediately threw myself into new large landscape paintings, influenced by my time working at the Royal College of Art over the early summer.

In September, while I was painting this large landscape I also began a smaller work on stretched canvas. Two red muskoka chairs, by the light of the silvery full moon.

two muskoka chairs by the moonlight

By the time October rolled around I was working to finish the paintings above, and I was talking to a documentary film crew from Winnipeg and Victoria. The Passion Project Series is a docuseries being launched in 2020. I spent two days with the crew sharing my process, talking about my career, and showing a bit of the behind the scenes of my process. We talked about hockey, family, influences, challenges and success as a Canadian artist. I can’t wait to see the series and share my episode with you.

Randy Frykas interviews Brandy Saturley - The Passion Projects

Randy Frykas documentary film Brandy Saturley Canadian artist

November began with another large format landscape painting, seven feet wide and on un-stretched canvas duck. This time my focus was Lake Louise in Banff Alberta.

Production of my annual art magazine/catalogue was completed – you can get yours here.

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley annual art catalogue 2019

I set up a private art lounge meeting area outside my studio – for collectors, curators and press visits.

Canadian Art Gallery in Victoria BC - The Art of Brandy Saturley

In December, after all the paintings were shipped, gifts wrapped and mail sent out, I jetted off to Las Vegas for a re-charge and to take in some of the best art exhibits in the world. Ate too much, drank too much, and celebrated too much. What happens in Vegas…

brandy saturley in las vegas container park

stardust sign neon boneyard las vegas

tim burton lost vegas neon boneyard

Tim Burton – Lost Vegas at the Neon Boneyard, 2019

The year included the production and sale of 21 new paintings, travel to Vancouver, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary, Banff, Las Vegas and London, England. One exhibition in London, the launch of the Box Sets, a documentary film crew and mountains of snow almost covering my studio windows. There was inventory, newsletters, website updates, and a move of my art vault to my home. I set up a lounge for private meetings and worked on the largest paintings of my career. There were a couple magazine features, but can’t even remember what those were now. I had the privilege of seeing many great art exhibitions, learning new things from talented people and teaching things to eager young artists. I think one of the reasons I write a year in review is so that I can recall what actually happened in a year, and so I can plan for the coming years. I am thankful to those who collaborated with me and to those who continue to collaborate, I am enjoying the journey, what a ride! There were challenging days, and big moves. There was rejection and the sweetest of rewards. What will 2020 hold? for one, there will be limited edition art prints.

Here we go!

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley

Experimentation and Growth: New Art Made in London at The Royal College of Art Summer Intensive

I recently returned home from a month of art making, art talking, and art education experience in London, England. In my previous blog posts I talk about this compressed and intensive art experience in detail. I also explain the impetus for the works created during my time at the Royal College of Art, on the beautiful Battersea campus, just outside central London in the borough of Wandsworth. Known as the ‘brighter borough’ the roadway sign and symbol for this area of London includes the iconic Battersea Power Station, which in outline looks somewhat like the city of Oz, with a rainbow arc above the outline of the city. My previous posts discuss in detail my timeline while at the RCA as well as the detailed stories behind the art.

Wandsworth sign Battersea - Royal College of Art

For this post I am sharing more photos of my studio and the work produced while in London. Please scroll on for photos of these works that I refer to as the ‘Mirrors’ series. These are mirrors of my London experiences and the feelings being pulled from within, while I worked through my three weeks of this intensive contemporary art making experience.

Somewhere over the rainbow, and under the towering skyscrapers of London, these are the ‘MIRRORS’ paintings.

Painting I: Topsy Turvy (Rorschach for the UK)

acrylic on raw canvas, poured and brushed,

72 inches high by 53 inches wide,

Brandy Saturley 2019

Union Jack painting by Brandy Saturley - Royal College of Art

Union Jack Painting Brexit - Brandy Saturley

Union Jack Painting detail - Brandy Saturley

Painting II: Mirror for a Queen (Victoria) 

acrylic on primed canvas, poured and brushed,

added paper collage

72 inches high by 53 inches wide,

Brandy Saturley 2019

mirror painting for Queen Victoria - Brandy Saturley

painting detail mirror for a queen

mirror painting for Queen Victoria - Brandy Saturley

Painting III: The Countess (mirror)

acrylic on primed canvas, poured and brushed,

added paper collage

72 inches high by 53 inches wide,

Brandy Saturley 2019

countess mirror painting - Brandy Saturley

The Countess painting detail - Brandy Saturley

Painting IV: The Metamorphosis (mirror)

acrylic on primed canvas, poured and brushed,

added paper collage

72 inches high by 53 inches wide,

Brandy Saturley 2019

the metamorphosis mirror abstract painting - Brandy Saturley

abstract painting detail - Canadian artist Brandy Saturley

Painting V: The Internal (mirror) diptych

acrylic on sanded arches paper

added pen details

2 – 13.5″ high x 10 inches wide

Brandy Saturley 2019

abstract pour paintings by Canadian artist Brandy Saturley

A view inside my studio at Royal College of Art, Sackler Painting studios, on the Battersea campus.

Royal College of art Sackler painting studios London - Brandy Saturley paintings

Royal College of Art - abstract paintings Brandy Saturley

photo by Hattie Allen Royal College of Art - Canadian artist Brandy Saturley

For more in depth descriptions of the artists’ process and meaning behind these paintings, please read the previous blog post.

The Discomfort Zone – Making Art at The RCA in London, England

I am continually trying to make choices that put me outside of my comfort zone, it is the only way I know how to grow. When I find myself ‘too comfortable’ in life and in my art practice, I get agitated and anxious, and I need to get out and test myself and push my boundaries. I call it the ‘discomfort zone’ and sometimes it comes with kicking and screaming, but it always delivers! At the beginning of the year I decided to accept an invitation to join the contemporary art summer intensive at the Royal College of Art in London, United Kingdom. Yes, this Vancouver Island artist, born in Victoria British Columbia, hit London this summer, during Queen Victoria’s 200th anniversary party, for some zone pushing of the contemporary art kind.

It was a transformative experience, as I talk about the programme in detail in my previous blog post. During my month in London I created four new large format paintings on unstretched canvas, and two smaller works. These new works are visceral and come from deep down within. When looking at how and what I would paint during my time at the RCA, I began with looking at the current political state of affairs, with Brexit and Boris Johnson dominating the media coverage in the United Kingdom. As I have been commenting on Canadian popular culture for the past decade, I thought I might find some common themes in London. The first painting I created upon arrival in my studio at the Sackler building at the RCA, was a painting of the Union Jack flag. Much like Canada, the UK has a very strong ‘brand’ and identity based on their flag. The appeal of the flag to this Canadian artist is undeniable, and I had to have a go at creating a comment on the undercurrents felt upon my arrival. I decided to begin with raw canvas, no layer of gesso or primer, I began to pour the paint Jackson Pollock style on the raw canvas, while laid on the floor of my studio. After, rather than take my brush and spread the paint around, I chose to fold the canvas in half, then stomped with my feet and used my hands to spread the paint like peanut butter between two slices of bread. I was creating a mirror image, a Rorshack if you will, offering symmetry between the two sides and many opportunities to see things within the abstract application of paint.

union jack painting Brexit - Brandy Saturley

Once dry, I hung the painting on the wall. Many images were appearing to me and I decided to grab a brush and add some depth and dimension to the piece, as well as a contrast of Indian yellow, an orange-yellow to the composition. I wanted to comment on the ‘topsy turvy’ nature of the nation and the feeling of ‘which way is up’, as I felt this undercurrent throughout my time in London. I began to turn the canvas and settled on a vertical display, adding to the comment on the uncertainty of the times in London.

Union Jack painting by Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley - Brexit

As I moved through my work at the college I was looking to keep pushing the boundaries and go deeper, more visceral, and more personal. The next painting began after taking in the Queen Victoria exhibition at Kensington Palace. I found the show to be very moving as it touched on her difficulty with child birth and her responsibilities as Queen. Throughout the show paintings of the Queen are framed ornately in circular frames of carved wood gilded with gold, I began to create next, what would become mirrors on canvas. Perhaps influenced by my visit to Kensington Palace and into the archives of a Queen, whom my city is named after. Being born and living in the capital of British Columbia, Victoria is close to my heart.

Developing a body of work – an ode to Victoria – Brandy Saturley in Sackler studios at RCA Battersea campus.

 

Rorschach painting after Queen Victoria

Mirror of My Soul – poured painting with painterly brush details and paper collage, by Brandy Saturley 2019 – created in the Sackler studios at the RCA in London UK

As I came to complete my second painting, I found a new direction and the potential for a series of paintings based on the ‘mirror reflection’ theme. I also confirmed a consistent size for these pieces on unstretched canvas. At 73 inches long by 53 inches wide, they were lovely large draped pieces, almost like tapestries. I began to create the next two pieces side-by-side, in conversation with one another. This time I decided to paint the background of the canvasses in raw umber and red tones, reaching deeper into the soul.

Mirror Mirror – these two paintings were poured first, then painterly brush details were added after hanging. The palette of each piece includes gilded gold tones on the outer edges, reminiscent of the frames seen in both Kensington and Buckingham Palace. 2019 Brandy Saturley

During my time in London I also visited Buckingham Palace, which was showing another elaborate Queen Victoria exhibition. The lavish textures, deep jewel toned hues, gilded gold frames and trims were burnt into my brain, clearly influential in the creation of these new paintings.

Framed painting of Queen Victoria as seen at Kensington Palace in London UK. Exhibition celebrating the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria.

In the final group exhibition I chose to show the three works that were consistent with the ‘mirrors’ theme. With my signature vivid palette and rainbow hues, the three paintings became portals, and beings of their own. I also created two other works on paper which were not exhibited in the final show, but were nice compliments to the three larger works. I am very pleased with these new paintings and am looking forward to how this time in London, influences my future work.

paintings at Royal College of Art Dyson gallery

Final works created by Brandy Saturley at Royal College of Art Summer Contemporary Art intensive, July/August 2019. Shown here in the artists painting studios in the Sackler building at RCA Battersea.

Final exhibition: ‘What is an Image’ at Dyson Gallery, Royal College of Art in Battersea London, United Kingdom.

For more information about these paintings please email us. See the full portfolio of paintings by Brandy Saturley here.

 

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.