Friday, August 31, 2012

W. Allan Hancock of Saltspring Island

Allan Hancock is one of those fortunate artists who make his home on the artist's haven of  Salt Spring Island, in British Columbia. It's hardly any wonder that Allan loves painting wildlife pictures.

Allan was born with a love of art. His parents have fond memories of him lying idly on the floor of his childhood home, drawing and colouring in colouring books, and when Allan was in school he loved art classes and drawing.

As Allan reflects back to this time, he fondly recalls his times visiting his grandparents in Timmins, Ontario, which was also the town of his birth.  He had a natural love for the the natural world, and he took his art apprenticeship as a boy with watercolours, colouring books and paint by number sets.

Allan's life course took him through university where he got his BA in English and from there to Saskatoon where he got a job working for a greeting card company. It was here that Allan made the life impacting discovery that he was meant to be an artist. "I had the good fortune of going to "work" every day to produce paintings of wildlife - I loved it and knew then that I wanted to paint full-time for the rest of my life."

In 1995 Allan did what so many artists wish they had the courage to do. He sold his house and car, and packed up and headed for the coast to follow his dreams. Indeed, his dreams were realized in more ways then one.  Allan says "I now live on Salt Spring Island, BC with my wife Taryn and our children Ezra (11) and Sage (5)."

Allan can truly be said to be a thankful man, when he reflects on his life journey.

"I have been blessed with many memorable and rewarding experiences.  I have met many wonderful people as a result of art, from artists to art enthusiasts.  I have travelled for art reasons, whether for shows, guest appearances or reference trips. 
I have been blessed with awards for my work.  In 1996, I was selected as Ducks Unlimited Canada's Artist of the Year.  I was informed that I was the youngest artist to receive this award (I am not aware of a younger artist to receive this award since).I am fortunate to have my artwork featured on 2 Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamps, 2005 and 2011. 
In 2009, I was asked by Tundra Books to provide 50 paintings for Margriet Ruurs' book Amazing Animals: The Remarkable Things That Creatures Do.  This led to a solo exhibition of these works at the Peninsula Gallery in Sidney, BC, and the official book launch and exhibition at the Robert & Birgit Bateman Gallery at ArtSpring on Salt Spring Island, BC. 
There is also the personal reward of completing a painting and over-coming the challenges it presented.  Then there is the reward of someone expressing their enjoyment of my work, as well as the collector who purchases the painting.
Perhaps the most rewarding of all is seeing our children's appreciation of what I do and watching them develop an interest in art and nature." 
 When Allan reflects upon which artists most influence him he responds:
"As a lover of art, I enjoy a wide variety of styles of art and the work of many artists in history.  Having an interest in nature, I have been most influenced by the work of artists depicting the natural world.  When I was young, I was influenced by the art of Glen Loates, Roger Tory Peterson and Leon Parsons.  I have been amazed by the work of Robert Bateman since I was 15.  As I grew older I admired works by George McLean, Fenwick Lansdowne, Chris Bacon, Daniel Smith, Terry Isaac, and Ray Harris-Ching.  While the list could go on, I would have to say that Robert Bateman and Ray Harris-Ching have had the greastest influence on me and my style of painting."

The gallery experience, for Allan has, for the most part been successful, although he did get burned on one occasion by an owner who didn't pay him for works he sold.  He is now represented by the Peninsula Gallery in Sidney BC, and his works can be found in "The Birthplace of BC" Gallery in Fort Langley and in the Webster Galleries in Calgary, Alberta.

Like any good artist, Allan is excited by his journey and delights in his growth process.

All in all - He's a remarkable wildlife artist, and his contribution to Canadian wildlife art is formidable.

Allan invites you to check his work out by clicking here to visit his site.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Bank of Canada Takes a Stand

How's that old hymn go?  "I've seen the light?"  In the end, the big light bulb went on over the head office of the Bank of Canada.

Excerpt from the Bloomberg Businessweek.
Please click  here

The Bank of Canada simply wanted to give its citizens some snazzy new bills that would be more durable and harder to counterfeit. But when it came to the images that would grace the currency’s faces, it was not so simple. First, focus groups felt the draft art on the new $100 bill was racist because it featured an Asian woman looking into a microscope, which they felt reinforced the stereotype that Asians excel in science. Some believed other ethnicities should be represented. The bank eventually released the bill last year, replacing the figure with a Caucasian woman, only to be called out recently by Chinese groups for bending to racism and not representing minorities on currency.
 Despite the criticism, the bank will not be redesigning the note, says Julie Girard, a spokesperson for the Bank of Canada.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Jolifou Inn by Colin Low

Before you watch this short film (10 minutes), you may wish to refer back to an earlier Portrait posting,
'Kreikhoff - a troublesome reputation'  That posting, explores the idea of Cornelius Kriekhoff  painting from a gentile English perspective, and stereotyping Habitants.  You may wish to keep this in mind if y ou chose to view the images in this film.  I am interested in your comments and perspectives.

Jolifou Inn  ,The by Colin Low,  National Film Board of Canada

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sir Isaac Brock and Christian Corbet Revisited

The April 18th Portrait entry, had a newspaper article on sculptor Christian Corbet's effort to create a realistic bust of Sir Isaac Brock. (please click here)

The job's done and the above is as accurate a representation of Brock that Corbet was able to create.
Corbet used his past experience of recreating a  facial reconstruction of an Egyptian mummy.

"We learned about Brock in school in passing with respect to obviously the historical significance of the War of 1812, but not a great deal," he said.
His work to create a forensic facial reconstruction involved using Brock's own hat and coatee, a close-fitting coat with short skirts or tails, a camera obscura and a pastel portrait of Gen Brock.
The portrait shows Gen Brock in the uniform of an officer in the British Army in Canada and was created using a camera obscura, a box containing a lens.

Mr Corbet said his links to Guernsey made the project more personal
They were used by artists to project images on to their paper or canvas and later, with the addition of a light sensitive plate, became a basic camera.
Using a camera obscura from 1810, Mr Corbet realised the artist and Brock were on different levels so the silhouette on which the miniature painting was based was slightly off.
He said: "His face was a little bit more elongated, a little bit thinner than it would have been."
Using his knowledge of European caucasian male craniums of the time period he built a skull, added tissue markers and then musculature to come up with "a new face for Sir Isaac Brock".

source: BBC News online
            please click  here

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Josephine Crease, Watercolour Landscape Artist

Artist: Josephine Crease 1864-1947
Source: BC Provincial Archives
Click Here

This delightful watercolour by Josephine Crease is part of the BC provincial artchives. Its skillfully executed
with a limited palette and it is a careful representation of  British Columbia scenery.  I like the way the artist uses both an exacting hand to paint small details while at the same time she balances her work with a loose flow of water in the background trees.  I like the action of the wind in her bottom right tree. This adds an additional dimension to the work. Anyone who has ever painted in waters can see the proficiency and skill of the artist.

CREASE, Josephine
New Westminster, British Columbia, 1864
Victoria, British Columbia, 1947
Biography synopsis
Of all the Crease family artists, Josephine had the most enduring interest in art, particularly in sketching and in watercolour landscapes. Although she took private lessons intermittently throughout her life, her greatest opportunity to study art came when she and her sister, Susan, were sent to England to meet their relatives. There, they studied art in the Ladies' Department, King's College, London, where they took antique and life classes. Josephine was also fond of organizing sketching expeditions, and frequently explored various areas of Vancouver Island searching for new landscapes to represent. A close friend of many of Victoria's upper class women artists, including Sophie Pemberton, the artist was a founding member of the Island Arts and Crafts Society and exhibited her work in their annual shows from 1919-1941. In addition, she also served on the committee of the Society's School of Handicraft and Design and became its Honourary President in 1939. Other association memberships include the Sketching Club (1900-09; president in 1903), the Drawing and Library Club (1902), the Women's Canadian Club and the Alexandra Club (treasurer 1898). She also participated in exhibitions of the British Columbia Society of Fine Arts (1924), the Vancouver Art Gallery (1934-40) and the Victoria Fair, where she won first prize for her watercolours in 1901 and 1906. Her work can be found in the collections of the Provincial Archives of British Columbia and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

source: Canadian Women Art History Initiative - Artist Database
click here

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What? They Pulled the $100 Bill?

Oh brother.

They pulled the new $100 bill from circulation because of complaints, that the woman looked 'too Asian'
and that it stereotypes the myth that Asians excel in technology. Now take a good look at this babe?
Do you see Asian eyes?  Do you see Asian women wearing this style of back flip hairdo?

 I can understand it if she was nude - then they would have a good reason to pull it.

Talk about hyper racial sensitivity.

Ok, where do they go now?

Is it racially wrong to have Sir Robert Borden looking so very Caucasian?  Do they put faces of all races lined up side by side across the bottom of bills, to be politically correct?  Perhaps to be racially all inclusive - they should touch up the Queen's portrait, so all Canadians can identify with her: a native headdress, a hockey stick in one hand and a chopstick in the other and sitting on a steel pan drum for good measure.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Death of an Impoverished Artist: Oleh Valenyuk

He arrived in Canada from Ukraine in 2000, fuelled by the promise of artistic opportunity and success.

As both immigrant and artist, he defied the odds by achieving success and recognition immediately following his arrival into Canada.

But 12 years later, Oleh Valenyuk died unexpectedly and virtually penniless, leaving his family unable to pay his funeral costs and Toronto’s Ukrainian artistic community without one of its most prolific creators.

To read this article, written by Katherine Fernandez-Blance
in the Toronto Star, please click here.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

900th Posting: Richard Serra - Shift

Fight for Richard Serra's "Shift" goes on in King Township
"Shift" (1970-72) was originally commissioned by a Toronto art-collector named Roger Davidson. And though Serra went on to become an artist of global renown, over the years "Shift" slowly became something of a secret, known only to area locals and art-historians. That is until recently. The Township of King and the AGO have teamed up to fight to have Serra's out door sculpture saved from destruction by development of the land it sits on. An OMB hearing will be held at 11am - August 13, at Council Chambers, in attempt to have one of Serra's earliest works, designated 'heritage'.

contributor: Maureen Bayliss

Monday, August 13, 2012

Celebration of Bill Reid Totem

James Hart of Haida Gwaii conceived of this pole to celebrate the artistic leadership provided to him and many other indigenous artists by Bill Reid. Hart worked with Bill Reid in the 1980s on monumental works such as "The Raven and the First Men", "Mythic Messengers" and the large Killer Whale, "Chief of the Undersea World" with which visitors to the Vancouver Aquarium are familiar.

Two young Haida artists, Ernest Swanson and Bill Reid's grandson, Tyson Brown, assisted him at his studio in Masset on northern Haida Gwaii. When the carving of the pole was in its final stages, it was brought to the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver where the finishing touches were added by Hart, his son, Carl Hart and Ernest Swanson. The pole was raised on February 21, 2008.

Unique features of the pole are the large double Killer Whale fin and the Wolf's tail on the back of the Wasgo. The Raven -- trickster, cultural hero, and one of Bill's crests -- crowns the pole.

Other crests on the pole include the Wasgo, (half Wolf and half Killer Whale) at the bottom, supporting the other figures, the Wolf, emerging from the den between the ears of the Wasgo, the Thunderbird in the centre of its right ear and the Killer Whale/human in its left ear.

Between these small figures and the Raven there is a large Copper with the face of a Wolf. Hart created the Copper in his Masset studio with the help of his son GwaLiga. James Hart states the CopQuick Facts:
The pole was carved from three old-growth red cedar trees, each over 500 years old, felled in the Yakoun Valley on Graham Island, Haida Gwaii.
The pole is more than one metre in diameter and stands 6.7 metres tall.
James and his assistants used more than 50 different tools to carve the pole.

Sponsored by:

Spirit of BC Commissioning Program, Province of British Columbia
Charlie and Gayle Pancerzewski, Mukilteo, Washington
With a contribution by James Hart
The Copper was made by James Hart with the help of GwaLiga Hart and sponsored by Richard and Nancy Self.
Bill Reid Foundation Collection
© James Hart 2007per is a living representation of Bill Reid and will represent him wherever it is taken.

Source: Bill Reid Gallery of North West Art
             Please click here

Friday, August 10, 2012

Splash by Martin Mobbs

When I first looked at Martin's, 'Splash', I was struck by Martin's artistic confidence. Traditional equine art, focuses upon the head or body of the horse, but Martin takes us to the place where the rubber hts the road - or where the hooves pound the earth.

There's so much in this work that grabs the viewer's attention. The action we see is empowered with dramatic splashes of water.  Small bubbles fly everywhere.

I like how Martin focuses on the legs and feet of the horse. Martin doesn't need eyes or a flying mane, or a froth filled mouth to tell his story.

Martin focuses his artistic lens tightly onto, hooves, legs, flying water and earth.  That's about all.  But yet, so little tells so much.

Look at the wet sheen on the animals' legs. It not only highlights wetness and light but it emphasizes the drama within the animal.

The light phtalo blue creates a surface halo effect. The contrasting temperature values between the upper oranges and the light blues emphasizes the tension within the horse. You can see the inner struggle of energy and power working its way through muscle, tendon and bone outwards into external action and then moving to the point of contact with the earth and disippating itself into flying bubbles - where energy bursts into air.

The leftward tilt of the animal and its loose inverted triangular shape with the apex in the bottom right corner and the minimalism of the work contribute to its overall impact.

I don't think that it will be long before this work finds the right home.

To view this and other works by Martin, please click here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Martin Mobbs - A Solitary Artist

I had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with Martin Mobbs. We hung out, drank coffee, and got into a long, art talk. After which, Martin invited me back to his place, in the countryside near the village of Ivanhoe, in Ontario.

Martin came into painting later in life. He is 60 years old.  When he reflects back, he says that he had 40 years of preparation.

Martin was born in England and he emigrated to Canada, as a fifteen year old boy with his family.  There was a degree of transience and disconnect in his early years. Different schools, different towns, and a change of countries.

He found his way into the Ontario College of Art but didn't connect with it. He admits to hanging out in the cafeteria a lot and not taking the experience as seriously as he might have.  He left without graduating.

Martin’s a solitary guy.  He drove a big rig and roamed the highways of Canada and the States carrying produce from city to city.   He developed a strong visual memory and an appreciation of landscape which he has never forgotten.

His life journey took him into the film industry where he spent 30 years as a scenic artist.  These were vital years in his development when he acquired a lot of technical skill.

Martin tells of having to paint coloured set designs and having to match colours without the benefit of a computer. He developed such a strong acumen for colour that he could mix and match paints with flawless precision. He also developed a firm base of technical knowledge which he can draw from in his present painting experience.

When I walked into Martin's studio I was stunned by the large, well constructed, easels which he had built himself, and by the spaciousness, order and precision of his workplace - all of which is replicated in his art.

I came to appreciate and understand a lot about Martin in the time we spent together.  When I walked around his beautiful home in the country setting, and saw the old cedar tree which grew out of the rocks in his yard, and the bridge and stream which can be seen from his patio I felt that I was looking into his inner soul. The serenity and peace of the summer evening seemed  to complete itself in this solitary man with his beautiful inner landscape.

Martin bought a ranch near Osoyoos, BC while working in the film business and he commuted from there into Vancouver.  He raised horses and developed a love for their beauty and character.

He tells of the time after he returned to the east of driving  back to the west, to reexamine the visual image he had of horses running against a western background with the setting sun, and dust and light behind them.  It had to be just right. It had to be photographed and captured in his memory so it could be reborn on canvas.  Sadly, Martin came to realize that life doesn't necessarily work the way we want it to.  "It rained every day...all the way out and I never got to see the scene I searched for."

While Martin is new to painting – a paint brush is comfortable and at home in his hand. "I paint with sign painter brushes. They hold a lot of paint and I can get a lot done with them,and I like using straight cut brushes, for I can turn them sideways and draw nice straight lines without running out of paint."

Although he has only painted for 3 years on canvas,  his life training provided him with a valuable apprenticeship  The first equine painting that he sold, confirmed for him that he was on the right track and he never looked back. He knew where life was taking him.

When I experienced the openness of Martin's studio and walked around his home I saw a certain Spartan beauty in it.

When I looked into the countryside around his home,I thought of him driving across the open prairies and of him watching his horses running on his ranch.  He paints just as he lives his life - on a big canvas.

The phone rang as we talked and Martin didn't connect to it: "Let it ring." Martin was focusing on details and the telephone was an outside intrusion  from him searching for a thought or a memory from within his inner landscape.

Look long and deep into one of his landscapes, and you will see an artist who paints with precision and detail.  Look at the upright painted trees into his forest and you will see delicately and beautifully wrought bark with colours which are so exact and  textures which are so perfectly exacted that if you could easily imagine yourself stepping into his painting and running your hands over the trunks and in so doing you would be unable to separate the dimensions of art from reality.

When Martin and I talked, I began to wonder what art is all about. Whhen I probed, I couldn't find the answer.  When I asked him about intuition, imagination, and creativity, he simply said....."Its within you.....either you have it or you don't".  Its all in the way you see life.”

 I was confused. I showed him my most recent painting where I painted with flow and feeling and with gobs of thick paint. "We all paint different, there's no right or wrong," he said simply.

I told him of sharing a teacher learning experience with a friend and student, and he admitted that he had never been taught how to paint. He just painted as he painted. There was no accumulated baggage. Martin literally walked into painting with a fresh intellectual canvas.  There was no hand of another teacher and no visual memory of another artists work overwhelming his imagination.  The only guidance he has is his years as a scenict artist somewhere beyond the camera's lens.

When Martin is finished, he drops his brush into the water (he paints in acrylics) and he leaves it for two days.If  he cannot see any needed corrections, he signs it off and sprays lacquer fixative over it, and the job's done.  And with that the truck driver turns on the ignition, and heads out for the next city.

When I look into Martin's works I see the craftsman artist.   I see the artist for whom the tools of the craft are critical.  "The old masters drew preparatory sketches and gridded"  Martin uses photographs, a printer, acetate sheets and cast images. When I commented to him on me gobbing paint onto canvas to release my mystical and undefinable inner torments he shrugged,  "There's no single, correct way of doing it."

In the end,.when you look into the flow of rushing water around the rocks on the canvas in his studio, there is a subtle magic of colour there where the hand of a master transcends the mechanics of picture construction.  When you look at light bouncing off the sweaty body  of his horses you can see beneath the surface of the coat and feel its inner energy and muscular tension. In the end, you see sheer, poetic, beauty.

There comes a point where craft and art, magic and soul become one.  Its in the finished product.  Martin likes the appreciation he receives. He wants to be recognized, but doesn’t every painter? In his three short years of painting (or were they decades)  he was juried into the McMichael Volunteer Show.

Like many artists he struggles with the public side of it all.  He is caught in the crosshairs of conflicting desires. He loves painting in his studio which looks out onto the woods, but he wants his paintings to sell for thefinancial return he feels they deserve. On the other hand, he struggles to turn his paintings over to galleries because he likes them around and he knows that once he sells them off, they're gone.

Martin has no regrets about not having painted for a lifetime.  He’s packed more into three short years then some artists do in  thirty.  There are some  who take a lifetime to build a name and reputation. I have the feeling that Martin Mobbs is an artist who won’t take long to receive the recognition he richly deserves.

If you wish to see Martin's works, please click here.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Kissed by Brandy Saturley

When I first looked at this painting by Brandy Saturley, I found myself wondering…”What's the title?” “What’s going on here.”   There are so many elements floating around in this painting that it challenges the imagination to create some kind or order to it all, and I wondered if the title would help me.

And, sure enough, its title “Kissed” seemed to  give me an intellectual grounding. It's a playful work. It reminds me, of the dreamlike quality of a Pre Raphaelite “Ophelia”.

The naked woman, lies in a fetal  position within an open sea shell.

 Brandy teases us with a variety of symbolic images: eggs within her head which suggest inherent reproductive qualities – possibly within her thoughts, or deep inner drives.

 She surrounds the young woman with a sleeping fawn, a white flower - possibly a sacred datura,  a snail, and a dead bird. She completes the scene with a feather and a skeletal  hand.   I won’t attempt to extricate the depths of meaning from these symbols. For the reality is  I have no idea what Brandy is saying. She invites me to walk down her pathway…but I  don’t know where she is leading me.

The painting is done beneath a fretwork border, and this gives it Euro cultural overtones as if I could expect that the drama could be played out within richly decorated homes.

In some ways I am reminded of contemporary native artwork where lines and symbols intertwine and flow through the works and nature and human life are woven together in a marvelously interconnective manner.  But, try as you might…the meaning, is lost in the depth of dream, and mythology.  Its rather shamanistic in this sense.

The ultimate tease for me is seen in the bottom of the work. Is it a foot in a slipper?  If this be the case, Brandy provides a contrast which reminds us how tiny the sleeping woman is.

This is a work which is more about questions then answers.  We see an explorative artist at work. An artist who provokes our thoughts .  Brandy  kisses us and sets us free to dream.


What a fascinating review of my work ‘Kissed’, thank you for sharing your view.

I have always felt that the once the work leaves my hands it takes on a life of it’s own in the viewers mind and that the viewer adds their experience to the piece, which gives it completion.

My work has been described as both playful and sensual and I suppose that is fitting as I feel like a young child in an adult’s body.

Much of my work is based in dream and I paint while listening to music. I have always loved the dreamy and surreal lyrics of The Beatles or the compositions of Pink Floyd, set against a backdrop of a Mozart sonata and I am sure that this plays into my work.

The symbols in this piece were derived from the work of Georgia O’ Keeffe, one of my favorite painters, not just for her style of abstract imagery, but her personality and character.

The original title of the piece was going to be ‘Kissed by Georgia’ as if, in some way, signifying her affect on me and my work, but I shortened it to ‘Kissed’ referring to her hand lightly grazing my shoulder, like a kiss.
I have painted several pieces that speak on dreaming and influences of music and other artists in my work, ‘Somewhere Between M&M and the Walrus’ seen here is another of these pieces. . (please click)

It is interesting that you see some connection to contemporary native works, I have seen this appearing in my work as well over the years, I suppose it is the influence of the vibrant First Nations culture that surrounds me and was a large part of my childhood. Growing up in a small fishing community on the West Coast of Canada, and attending school with many First Nations children, I spent much time in friends homes on the reserves, as well as at the Royal BC Museum where there is a spectacular collection of First Nations art including The Haida, The Coast Salish and the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples.

Many dreams and realizations still await.

To view this and other of Brandy's works, please click here
And, click here to see Brandy's work in her Victoria International Airport showing. And here for her work  at the Three Degrees of Separation showing in the Showroom Gallery. And here for her showing in the Edge Gallery in Canmore, Alberta.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ontario's Simcoe Day or Civic Holiday

Simcoe Day ? or Civic Holiday?
by Maureen Bayliss

There are many artistic tributes to our first Lieutenant - Governor of Upper Canada, and rightfully so. The name John Graves Simcoe has graced numerous pages of our history books with accounts of
 his supreme bravery, humanity and dedication to responsible governing of the infant Upper Canada.

Walter Seymour Allward was born in Toronto, the son of John A. Allward of Newfoundland. Educated in Toronto public schools, his first job was at the age of 14 as an assistant to his carpenter father. Allward first served an apprenticeship with the architectural firm Gibson and Simpson before working at the Don Valley Brick Works, where he modelled architectural ornaments. There he showed skill in clay mold making. This early training, supplemented by modelling
 John Graves Simcoe by Walter Allward

classes at the New Technical School, prepared Allward for his lifelong career as a monumental sculptor.

Allward's true talent lay in his heroic monuments. These included the design work for the Boer War Memorial Fountain in Windsor, Ontario (1906), the South African War Memorial in Toronto (1910), The Baldwin-Lafontaine Monument on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa (1914) and the Bell Memorial commemorating
Alexander Graham Bell's invention of the telephone in Brantford, Ontario (1917).

Interestingly, Allward had also completed design work on a memorial to King Edward VII but the onset of the World War I prevented it's completion. The figures of Veritas (Truth) and Justicia (Justice) were cast in bronze for the memorial. Discovered in their crates in 1969 buried under a parking lot, in 1970 they were installed outside the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa.

 Allward also designed numerous municipal cenotaphs around the country, including the Stratford Memorial (1922), the Peterborough Memorial (1929) and the Brant War Memorial (1933), but most notably his
design and work on the sculptures of the Vimy Memorial.

The art of Walter Allward lives on in numerous substantial monument and designs in Canada and abroad. Many of his personal tools were bequeathed to his protégé Emanuel Hahn, who in turn gifted some to his protégé Elizabeth Bradford Holbrook. Today some of those tools are being used by Canadian sculptor
Christian Cardell Corbet  as gifted to him by his mentor Bradford Holbrook.

Allward was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and a character in Jane Urquhart's
book "The Stone Carvers"

 In November 2011 the Chief Justice of Canada, Beverly McLachline unveiled a portrait bust by
Christian Cardell Corbet  of Walter Allward titled "Walter of Vimy" at the Supreme Court of Canada,
now a part of the Court's permanent collection.

Walter of Vimy

Friday, August 3, 2012

Brandy Saturley Catches Public Attention

A Half Decade of Inspiration,
A Lifetime Vocation.

When I was a child my favorite things to do were to draw, to hike with the family & dogs, watch old black and white films, dance to our record collection and laugh. I was always happy when I was tucked in a  corner with pens, pencils, crayons or pastels. I didn't need a sketchbook. A scrap of paper, a napkin, a sidewalk, a pool of water would be enough. Drawing was comforting and it was a way for me to translate and process what was going on around me and in my head. Parents of friends always came to my parents with concern, asking if I was alright. My parents always told them I was content and happy doing my thing.

Fast forward to now.

It's hard to believe that this month marks five years since I made the transition from working at a job and following my passion on the side, to realizing my passion as my full-time vocation.

Five years ago, through the sale of five paintings and a fated lunch meeting with a patron, I was able to realize my dream and embark full steam ahead. Destination: the Art World. Plan: to paint every day and to get my work out in the world, increase my technical ability and find my true voice as a painter. Goal: increase my breadth and depth of skills & mediums through further education, travel, mentoring with masters in the field, to make a splash in the Art World, show and sell my work around the world and become a mentor to the next generation.

When I look back on the work I have created over the past five years, over 150 paintings, I smile. There have been ups and downs, with an extreme learning curve to get me up to speed and continue where I left off after Art School in the late 90's.  As with any career in the Arts, you either learn to use rejection as the fuel to keep propelling you forward, or you fold. There is no way I am folding and with five years under my belt I keep on gaining momentum towards my goals. I feel that I have really been very lucky in many ways and have experienced much success in the past five years.

The Art
From vibrant, curvaceous and flirtatious toes to jokers and jesters of Las Vegas. From surreal landscapes to dramatic mountains, portraits to Canadian stereotypes, my style and themes have developed over the years. Reflecting on this body of work I have seen my style emerge, with vivid color and energetic strokes. From the toes to the landscapes, you can see that every painting is detailed with abstract forms that float within representational elements.  Sometimes I inject humor, a narrative or a figure, but everything I paint comes back to the abstract shapes within.  We have compiled some photos of selected pieces from the past five years in a short video here.

The Shows & Press
From Vancouver Island to the United States, my work travels almost as much as I have over the past five years. With group shows, two-person shows and solo shows, my work has been exhibited in Canada: Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver, Edmonton, Canmore & Calgary. USA: California, Miami, New York City, and overseas. My work has been printed and wrapped around public works boxes, appeared as album cover art, on restaurant menus, calendars and even opera posters.

From television & newspapers to the on-line world, I have had my work featured by many interesting publishers and personalities. TV: CityTV Vancouver, CHEK Victoria, SHAW. Print: Galleries West Magazine, Canmore Leader News, Art Avenue Magazine, Monday Magazine, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Calendar, Vancouver Island Art Calendar. Web: Visual Overture Magazine, Vogue Italia, Curry's Canada, Liquitex, Visual Arts Alberta, Art News Canada, My ArtSpace, Artists Wanted, BORBAY, Exhibit-V and Life As Human, to name a handful.

The Travels
Part of staying 'fresh' as an artist is taking breaks, to re-energize my spirit and re-fill the vessel. I have enjoyed picking up the camera again (under the influence of my husband, a cameraphile, with years of experience and love for photography) and learning to use a digital SLR instead of film. My pattern seems to be three months in the studio and one month out traveling, learning, showing and promoting. The camera allows me to gain a different perspective and focus on the details of the life that surrounds. Over the past five years we have travelled to the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Mayan Riviera and Mayan pyramid sites, New York City, Maui, Rocky Mountains of Canada, the vineyards of the Okanagan, the Coachella Valley, Joshua Tree and Palm Desert, Seattle, Vancouver and even my own Vancouver Island tour, retracing my roots. Needless to say, I have built a massive catalogue of reference and art photos. Some photos I have licensed through Getty Images and others, which will never see the light of day, but may invoke an idea for a painting or even a book in the future.

The Artists
Along the way I have met, exhibited alongside, been mentored by and corresponded with many artists. Some of these artist's include; Canadians: Don Frost, Barbara Hirst, Bob Fassl, Grant Leier, Mark Heine, Tad Suzuki, Ira Hoffecker, Bob McPartlin, David Foxcroft & Noah Becker. Americans: Kevin Grass, A.D. Cook, BORBAY.

I find great inspiration in the works of Georgia O' Keeffe, Tamara de Lempicka, Alex Colville, Charles Pachter, Gustav Klimt, Cirque du Soleil and The Beatles.

Being a visual artist is not something that is learned, but it is something that must be nurtured to grow, and in order to realize one's full potential, it must be practiced every day of one's life. I was born to be a visual artist. I grew up not wanting to be one, but knowing I am one, and have realized my true happiness following the path my body and mind told me to follow. Success as a visual artist is completely different than being a visual artist. Success comes from working hard, practice, further education, a drive that is unending. But success does not come without support, emotionally and financially, as well as a little bit of luck in 'the right place at the right time.' The further this journey takes me, the deeper I go, within and without. There is no separation between work and play, they are one in the same, and it is all consuming.

Thank you to all who have supported me on my journey by, buying a painting, a drawing, a photo. Providing advice, a reference, a storage space, transport, or a place to show my work. For the interviews, press and attending the shows. For the re-Tweets, for the Facebook shares and likes. For being a patron of my art, my sincere 'thank you' to all of you.

There is much more to come with two big announcements later this Summer. Hint, they have to do with Canadian Sport on a National level and the release of a limited edition collector's print run.

Brandy invites you to visit her website. Please click here.

Fredericks-Artworks Blog, copying policy

The Canadian Copyright act, section 29 reports on fairdealing, that it is not an infringement to reproduce someone else's work for research, study, criticism, review or to report. Which pretty much sums up what this site is about. All content sources, be they artists, printed references, and website url's are respectfully identified on this site. http://http//

Mission Statement
A Portrait of the Visual Arts in Canada, is intended to celebrate the richness of Canada's visual arts, and to promote the arts in Canada.

Statement of Intent
I make every effort to credit the sources of information used in this blog and to obtain the permission and cooperation of all the works presented by living artists. I try, as much as possible to use works from public sources eg. national and provincial collections, of deceased artists. If for any reason, any artist disapproves of anything written about them or their work the artist is encouraged to request withdrawal of the content.