Welcome Home to Victoria


West to East and East to West – Welcome Home

So let’s go to the East Coast I said, and we did. I was there to make Art at the Pouch Cove Foundation residency, and he came along to see a bit of my home for a month, tour around the Avalon peninsula, enjoy time with friends and eat fish & chips next to ships made for stormy seas and hard working fisher people! One town that captured our hearts and our bellies was Petty Harbour.

Welcome Home to Victoria

Petty Harbour reflections – photo Brandy Saturley

We went with friends and celebrated the end of the first week with a lobster roll and recovery fries, yes you read that right. At Chafe’s near the harbour we ate an East Coast poutine of fries smothered with gravy, cheese curds, dressing, mushrooms, onions, peas and ground beef, filling an entire plate. After a month on the rock, there was a grand welcome home to Victoria, dipping my toes back in the Pacific Ocean of the West Coast of this beautiful and massive country we call home.

Chafes Landing in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland – photo Brandy Saturley

For an artist, Petty Harbour is a living art installation of the most fascinating kind. Dotted along the shores of the harbour sits brightly painted structures in no particular layout or order, the style is more scattered, as if no one was too concerned with developing a town one could navigate. It’s almost like no one expected to stay here for very long, in many ways it feels like a living outdoor museum of the history of the area. There are brightly painted dories, tee-pee like structures, lobster fishing traps, piles of colourful ropes and fish boats of all kinds.

Old Lobster traps in Petty Harbour, Newfoundland – photo Brandy Saturley

The first day we visited the harbour it was a proper fall day in Newfoundland. Fog was rolling and waves at the mouth of the harbour were thunderous and deafening, it was incendiary! Like a cauldron of the ocean gods, I was trying to imagine these little boats crossing through that treacherous mouth protecting the harbour from shear insanity of the seas. This place represents all the best of true Newfoundlandness, at least from this West coaster’s perspective. Upstairs at Chafe’s the music is loud and the thumping of humans feet provides a beat to eat to below. The heartbeat of this place is thunderous and unabashed.

The mouth of Petty Harbour – photo Brandy Saturley

It’s 2024 now, and we are back on the West Coast, in Victoria. We walked ourselves down from the Bard & Banker pub, to a place we call The Mac (The McPherson Playhouse). Two Paloma margaritas and a lobster roll down, we walked up the red carpeted stairs of this beautiful old playhouse to the balcony seats made for tinier ancient times. On stage amongst the guitars, piano and drum kit, there sat a Newfoundland flag, draped over a musicians travelling case. There was also what looked like an antique radio speaker of some sort, it made for some good reverberations during Adam Baldwin’s set, a musician from Nova Scotia, the quintessential maritime character. With bleached blonde hair, and black beard wearing red plaid shirt with arms torn off, and blue collar worker neon yellow t-shirt underneath, his humorous stories of everyday growing up, were painting stories in my mind.

Welcome Home to Victoria

Alan Doyle Welcome Home Tour @ McPherson Playhouse – Victoria BC 2024

Then the Petty Harbour native himself made his fiery entrance, a proper Newfoundlander. Having just been in Petty Harbour we found ourselves getting every little thing Doyle was laying out in his stories. When he leaned into his stories of his perceptions with the East Coast, we laughed LOUD. “I was on Granville Island and someone paddled by the dock in a kayak, just for recreation!”.

Serendipity – Welcome Home to Victoria

I guess the point of me writing this blog post is my eternal belief in universal forces at work, well and how my brain works. How this journey of painting visual stories of Canada began over a decade ago during the Vancouver Olympic games and became what it is today.

Canadian Pop Art Painting

Scenes of Newfoundland – painting by Brandy Saturley 2024

From The Goalie’s Mask painting, to #ICONICCANUCK and then onto painting my ‘Pop Canadianisms’ and taking myself and my art on the road across the country, from coast to coast to coast. I have eight paintings now influenced by my experiences in Newfoundland, and I plan to take the next two months to focus on painting as many more as I can, before I head out on the road once again.

Welcome Home to Victoria

Fiery sunset in Petty Harbour – photo Brandy Saturley

Thank you Alan Doyle and your wonderfully talented group of musicians, poets, singers and storytellers. This night helped to cap my journey from west to east and back again, through this wonderful evening of song, stomping and clapping until our arms hurt.

Gloves on a clothesline in Petty Harbour – photo Brandy Saturley