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When the road delivers a story, and that story becomes landscape art.

The road to Art is always ‘fluid’ and the nice thing about this job is it lends itself well to periods of isolation, it is a requirement! But I am used to getting out of the studio pretty regularly between paintings, to experience life in the raw and from new vantage points. Shaking up my perspective is important to my work and feeds my soul. I enjoy the aerial perspectives afforded from the window of a jet plane, but more still, I love riding passenger side in an automobile. I love the feel of the road under the tires, I love the vistas whipping by my window at time-lapse speeds and I love the reflections off the shiny hood of my drivers car.

Last month when travel opened up again I had the opportunity to collaborate with a photographer from Manitoba, so I took off on my first flight. From Brandon, Manitoba to Victoria BC, we went on an 10 day journey of exploring the prairies to the sea, during COVID. It was mentally good to get out and see how other provinces were ‘doing COVID’ and it was mentally uplifting to inhale deeply in nature. From this trip came a number of photos and video that will continue to feed future paintings about Canada. For now, a start with this ‘Group of Four’ – four little landscapes (when I say little I mean smaller than my usual canvasses) The four paintings feature a distinct prairie palette rendered in custom mixed colours ranging from Big Sky Blue, to Canola Yellow, Barn Red and Glacial Lake Teal. Here are a Group of Four landscape paintings, taken straight from the road across western Canada.

Prairie Flight – this painting comes from an evening, on a dirt road that ran between two crop fields near Brandon, Manitoba.

landscape painting of canola field in Manitoba with clouds and big sky - Canadian Art

The Barn – spotted from the highway, this barn and surrounding fields were so vivid that they begged for further investigation in rural Saskatchewan

landscape painting of barn in canola landscape near Saskatchewan - Canadian Art

Video footage captured at this magical location.

The Lake – the iconic view from the cliff-side outside the Prince of Wales hotel in Waterton Lakes, Alberta

landscape painting of waterton lake and view from prince of wales

Video captured in Waterton Lakes

A Long and Winding Road – the road to Red Rocks in Waterton Lakes affords the road tripper wondrous views from roadside wildflowers to rocky mountains

Canadian landscape painting of winding road, prairie, and rocky mountains - Waterton Lakes

Returning home from the road , the painting begins here…

The painting takes place in my studio, but the journey began with my camera and the road.

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley in studio with new landscape paintings

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley

Creating a great work of art, begins long before the physical act of painting.

Artwork is defined as the production of artistic work, such as painting or sculpture, but the work behind making an artwork begins long before the physical production. I just returned from a nine day journey across Western Canada, from Prairies to Salish Sea. The last time I spent a significant amount of time exploring Canada was in 2016, working up to solo exhibitions of my work in 2017. At that time I was fortunate enough to explore the Northwest Territories, BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. As this pandemic year of 2020 has us quarantined to our homes and socially distancing from other humans for the Spring, the recent opening up of the provinces to travel put me in a position to take off and recharge my batteries. On this tour rather than spend time with different art friends in each province, I joined forces with a friend from film-making days. The last time we worked together was way back in 1994 on a live feed satellite TV series for the Royal BC Museum, called SAFARI. With Mrs. Rogers now retired from the film industry and working as a photographer and photojournalist, and with me working as a full-time self-representing visual artist; now is the perfect time to re-connect on a epic journey across Western Canada.

Mid-July we boarded a Westjet flight in Victoria BC and flew into Brandon , Manitoba. Over the course of the next nine days we would make our way across the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC. We plotted a course that would take us through some of the most stunningly unique landscapes Canada has to offer. This journey did not come without challenges, as in the year of COVID-19 our attention to details must be sharp, in order to stay healthy. As we boarded our 6am flight from Victoria, we prepared ourselves with masks, hand sanitizer and a pep talk. From the moment we entered the airport, to the moment we arrived at our destination, we were encouraged by our flight crew and the cleanliness of the plane. On the flight there were a variety moods witnessed by flight crew and fellow passengers, the air was tense but also positive. A young woman boarded the plane with baby and multiple bags, she was visibly upset and those around her, even in this pandemic year, were offering comfort and help with baggage. With sun up and mostly clear skies we settled in to enjoy the summer views of the rocky mountains, and the prairie crops of canola yellow, flax blue and early wheat green.

Rocky Mountains photo aerial black and white

Landing in Brandon we were met with muggy heat and drowned canola fields from the recent flooding, which means LOTS of bugs that like to dine on human flesh and blood. The skies were overcast shades of payne’s grey against canola yellow and cutouts of sky blue, the light was changing rapidly, the perfect set-up for two artists with Nikon camera’s in tow. Nature was busy painting and we were busy capturing.

westjet flight over prairie fields of canola

With three days in Brandon to pick up and pack a car, say a quick hello, and explore a few sites our choices were diverse, giving us a broad overview of the Wheat City. Beginning in Gladstone, we then branched out to Souris, Oak Island, Griswold and the canola and wheat fields around the city. With the wheat still green, the canola neon yellow against dramatic skies of blue to grey; it was a feast for a painter’s and photographers eyes.

photo of canola and rainbow in Brandon Manitoba

Canadian Artist Brandy Saturley in Brandon Manitoba

Day 4 we set out to Saskatchewan. Stops included; Indian Head, Moose Jaw, and Swift Current. My first time in this prairie province, I was romanced by the vast fields and skies that go on forever. Canola yellow, early wheat green, big sky and flax flower blues. A feast for a painter’s eyes, and information for future palettes.

Saskatchewan barn and fields

Saskatchewan roadside fields of flax blue and canola yellow

Day 5 we were off to Alberta. Stops included Medicine Hat, Bow Island & Waterton Lakes. Now we are getting hilly as we head into the mountains, not so flat and many more people to be found heading into Waterton.

travelling by bike through Alberta - Brandy Saturley

reflections off motorcycle helmet

Day 6 found us Waterton Lakes bound, this was the BIG stop on the tour, tucked in for two nights to explore the flora and fauna of the area, hike a mountain and take a boat tour of Waterton Lake, crossing over the border momentarily into the USA.

Waterton Lakes National Park July 2020 Summer tourism

Day 8 we hit Creston and explored the old town.

Creston BC heritage buildings

Tivoli theatre Creston BC

Day 9 Osoyoos met us with heat, Indigenous lands, abundant orchards and vineyards, and desert-like vistas.

Spotted Lake Osoyoos BC

Spotted Lake Osoyoos BC July 2020

Fernandes Farms Osoyoos - BC fruit season

Day 10 homeward bound on BC Ferries vessel, Coastal Celebration from Tswassen terminal to Swartz Bay terminal.

Penny Rogers Photography and Writing - Canadian Photojournalist

Brandy Saturley Canadian Artist - Painting and Photography

Duelling Nikons - D750 and D810

While the tour is over, the work is just beginning. For Penny Rogers it will be editing, cataloguing, writing and posting photos to Getty Images. For me it will be downloading, editing and compiling photos, followed by sketching out ideas, developing colour schemes or palettes, mixing paints, and then painting. Later on process videos and recorded video from the landscapes and trip will follow. While on this tour I was posting daily to my Instagram page – hashtag for this trip is #gowestroadtrip2020 . More to come!

This is the WORK behind the making of artwork. Whether it be film, video, writing, photography, or painting. This process takes time, and the payoff? Something original, one-of-a-kind, this is something enduring and worth investing in, something that will be enjoyed and exist for generations to come.

Sincerely Yours,

Brandy Saturley

The photos in this story were shot by Brandy Saturley on iPhone and Nikon D810, Both photographers were shooting using Nikon cameras D750 and D810 – full portfolio of both photographers will be available to view in the coming months.