Known as the painter of ‘Canadianisms’, the Symbolic paintings of Canadian artist Brandy Saturley bear more affinity to the American Precisionists and Magic Realism than to photo realism. Saturley’s approach to painting is figurative and relies on the use of bold colour, symbolism, and a re-organizing of the elements of the landscape; creating a unique expression about our relationship to the land and culture of the time. A prolific Canadian painter and photographer, Saturley has built her art career through exploring relationships both in and outside of the traditional Art Business. Saturley’s work has been featured in numerous publications, websites and blogs including; CBC Arts, Forbes, Our Canada, More Our Canada, Emboss Magazine, Galleries West Magazine, Visual Overture Magazine, Art Avenue Magazine, Victoria Times-Colonist, Okotoks Western Wheel , Sherwood Park News, Canmore Leader News, Monday Magazine, A-Channel News, CHEK 6 TV Island 30, CityTV Vancouver, Sportsnet, and in many Canadian blogs including AllHabs Magazine, Canadian Art Junkie, Puckstruck, Dennis-Kane.com, Independent Sports News, Curry’s Canada, Life As Human, and a Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada. Saturley’s self-published works and portfolio are on file with ARTEXTE in Montreal, Canada.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you.
I grew up on the western-most point in Canada (Victoria BC), on Vancouver Island. I was raised with a great respect for nature and the wilderness and enjoyed many adventurous hikes and time on the ocean, from a very young age. My background in the Arts is broad and includes the Motion Picture Arts – Cinema; as well as Fashion Design, Graphic Arts, Illustration, Photography, Scriptwriting, Art History and contemporary painting. My grandmother painted, and my mother is an artist and through their influence I began making art daily at a very young age. Art is in my blood. My time in the Film Industry and my love of cinema has influenced my way of working in the studio as many of my paintings and series of paintings carry a narrative confluence. My approach to painting is figurative and relies on the use of bold colour, symbolism, and a re-organizing of the elements of the landscape; creating a unique expression about our relationship to the land and culture of the time. I am the, ‘Voice of Canadian Pop Art’ (Whitehot Magazine NYC). My work has been featured in Forbes, Readers Digest Our Canada, on Billboard’s in Times Square in New York City and at Art Fairs such as Scope Miami. I am a Professional Artist, meaning it is my full-time business and career and has been for over 12 years now. My preferred medium is traditional painting on canvas, my photography primarily supports my work as a painter providing my own reference material from my extensive travels. My background also includes; publishing industry, interior design, web design, and Internet.
What is the most challenging part of being an artist?
Being an artist is easy, building a professional career is the challenge and thanks to my eclectic background in and outside of the Art Business, I came into this career better prepared than most artists I have met over my years in the industry. It’s a contradictory business, in that you must be structured in your business and with your production schedule, but you must also remain fluid and be able to react to the needs of your clients and the industry, at a moment’s notice. You must also have time to freely create, and develop new work, which is often very un-structured. I am constantly working, whether I am in or out of the studio and this can be challenging to express to people outside my industry. It’s not a 9-5 job or business, yet I keep a structured studio schedule where I do my core work from 9-5. You must absolutely LOVE every facet of the business to be successful in this career, it’s not only about making art.
Name artists you’d like to be compared to.
I wouldn’t like to be compared to any artist but myself, though there are artists that have inspired my work and informed my learning over the years including; Georgia O’Keeffe, Alex Colville, Lawren Harris, Prudence Heward, Grant Wood and Edward Hopper.
How would you describe the art scene in your area?
The art scene on Vancouver Island is eclectic. In private galleries you will see a lot of landscape paintings, abstracts and Indigenous art. In the Artist-Run Galleries and the independent scene you will see a variety of contemporary work including surrealism, figurative and narrative-based works. There are also two major juried shows that happen each year; the Sidney Fine Arts Show and the Sooke Fine Arts show, running more than 40 years combined, these shows offer the widest variety of what is available on Vancouver Island. The Arts community on Vancouver Island is a tight-knit community and offers something for everyone.
What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received?
My best advice to young artists: Stay the path, be patient and get a good accountant or learn bookkeeping. Best advice I received: If you want to make money paint landscapes, if you want to make art, stay the path. Staying the path is more difficult, but hard work always pays dividends.
What are your future plans as an artist?
Continue making great art, unique paintings that tell stories and hang in museum collections. Continue selling original art, further expanding beyond the Canadian market. Exploring new partnerships in art licensing. Finding a dealer who I can partner with to take my art global.