ART AND THE CITY: From Lady GaGa to Paul Allen, Our Seattle Art Fair Adventure

It has been a while since I have been on an art road trip and the Seattle Art Fair gave me an excuse to strap my camera on, and write a little about the ART AND THE CITY, or should I say, cities as this trip took us from Vancouver, to Lynden, to Seattle and back to my Vancouver Island studio. From Lady GaGa to the Seattle Art Fair and private collection of Paul G. Allen, this is a trip that begins with a city view, and ends with a window open to the future.

view from the 35th floor at Empire Landmark Hotel, Vancouver BC

view from the 35th floor at Empire Landmark Hotel, Vancouver BC

Day 1: Lady GaGa Launches the Joanne World Tour in Vancouver, BC: last night we were celebrating at the opening night of Lady GaGa's World Tour, during Pride week and a heat wave. It did not stop fans from lining up outside Rogers Place many hours before, even though we had assigned seats. It was a sea of costumes, rainbows, Lady GaGa look-a-likes and hand held fans (to cool us down). The concert was a jaw-dropping, incendiary display of costumes, dancers, fireworks and flames, not to mention the serious vocals of the Queen of Pop herself! A celebratory way to begin our road trip to the Seattle Art Fair.

Sitting near the band at the launch of Laddy GaGa's World Tour, JOANNE - Vancouver BC

Sitting near the band at the launch of Laddy GaGa's World Tour, JOANNE - Vancouver BC

Mt. Baker blooms

Mt. Baker blooms

Day 2: Mt. Baker & Lynden, Washington

I may be from Vancouver Island and an ocean lover, but my heart skips and my breath grows deeper when I'm on a mountaintop surrounded by emerald green trees and cool glacier hues. Today we trekked near Mt. Baker. The Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington is a National Forest extending more than 140 miles along the western slopes of the Cascade Range. The skies were thick with smoke from the BC wildfires in Canada, and it was 100 degrees up there today, which meant handfuls of ice and snow on the back of my neck to cool me down. Tonight I'm in the town of Lynden, a quaint US town with a Dutch heritage. The flowers here are straight out of Holland and the quaint town is clearly proud of its gardens and takes great care and pride in their homes and yards. Tonight, I rest my head in a room inside one of the many windmills here, The Mill Inn is boutique at it's best, from the chandelier to the Delft Blue tea set, every room is a work of art.

Day 3: Seattle Art Museum
Today was Seattle Art Museum day. A few pieces that commanded my attention...portraits by Alex Katz, John Wesley, sculpture by Katharina Fritsch, and a stunning textured painting by Anselm Kiefer. Not to mention this enormous Rorschach painting by Andy Warhol (below) Tomorrow we are at the Seattle Art Fair. 

Me and Andy. Canadian visual artist Brandy Saturley with Andy Warhol Rorschack painting at Seattle Art Museum.

Me and Andy. Canadian visual artist Brandy Saturley with Andy Warhol Rorschack painting at Seattle Art Museum.

Day 4: Seattle Art Fair
Under heavily smoke filled skies from BC wildfires and the worst air quality in the US, we spent the day indoors at the Seattle Art Fair and the Museum of Pop Culture. Over 100 art galleries from Canada, the US and Europe converged on Seattle this week and we were impressed by the quality and variety of work. We gained VIP access thanks to Winchester Galleries from my hometown of Victoria BC, the only art gallery from Vancouver Island presenting at this year's fair. Galleries include: Winchester Galleries, Forum Gallery NYC, Castor Gallery, Pace Gallery, PDX Contemporary, Winsor Gallery, Winston Wachter Fine Art and many more. Artists featured below include favourites: Bo Bartlett, Kim Dorland, Jeremy Mangan, Xenia Hausner and many more.  We also enjoyed the Jim Henson and David Bowie retrospectives at the Museum of Pop Culture. From paintings to Muppets and rock stars to guitars, it was a day for art from all walks and POP culture.

Day 5: Pivot Art & Culture & Boeing Tour

brandy saturley at Pivot Art and Culture

Today was all about technology, private art collections and the future of aviation. We began the day at a new and progressive art project space in the Allen Institute building, viewing a small portion of Microsoft founder Paul Allen's private art collection. Allen founded the Seattle Art Fair and is the reason we were in Seattle this week enjoying, connecting and learning. Drawing from the extensive Paul G. Allen Family Collection, Color & Pattern explores the compositional elements of mark making to create pattern, color to compose, and abstraction to organize. The exhibition includes works that are representational, like those by David Hockney and Philip Taaffe and works by abstract artists such as Agnes Martin and Mark Rothko, Damien Hirst and Jasper Johns. We then had an extensive and interactive tour at the Tesla design and concept centre, before jetting over to Boeing headquarters for a tour of their world record holding production facility, which could fit Disneyland + 12 acres. We learned how the jets we fly on are built and what the future of avionics has in store for the world. Pumping out two airplanes per day, Boeing builds 75% of all commercial jetliners. Art + Tech makes Seattle a serious contender for my attention. Another inspirational and eye-opening Art Trip - looking forward to locking myself in the studio for the rest of the summer, until next time, take time for adventure, you never know what it will inspire. 

10 Years, 10 Lessons: Celebrating A Decade As a Full-Time Professional Visual Artist

This is not your average top-ten list, and this is not your average career. Succeeding and surviving as a full-time, professional visual artist for a decade requires hard-work and flexibility, it is more than a job, a career, or a profession, and it is all consuming. Prior to working full-time at it I spent many years working a side job, while making art. After ten years working at my art full-time I have come to realize there is no longer a division between art and life, it is one in the same and it is not something you can turn off, you are always working, whether doing the research that creates the backstory, making art, or handling business, it is a 24/7/365 adventure that traverses the right and left brain. It is a unique balance that requires the ability to leave all that is real behind and live in a self-created world, while popping up and grabbing a breath of reality when required. I have learned a great deal these last ten years about the business of art and about making art. At Seven years, I blogged about 7 lessons learned and it is fascinating to go back and read what I was thinking in 2014. As I celebrate these ten years I spent last night reflecting on what I have learned, and came up with a top ten list of lessons. 












I would like to add that taking care of my health is still very important to my success, as without it, I wouldn't be enjoying this life quite so much.

I have moved through several bodies of work during this time, often inspired by my travels. I have created more than 300 paintings, and captured hundreds of thousands of photos on my travels. Here are a few of my favourite paintings from the past decade...

Gratitude to all who have joined me on this ridiculously nonsensical, sometimes wacky, always surprising, journey that keeps me on my toes and my work moving forward. Here's to the next Ten! Plane leaves now, are you on the list?

'The Getaway' on the cover of Reader's Digest MORE Our Canada Magazine

Last year for Canada Day I was exploring beautiful Yellowknife and soaking up all this Northern City has to offer. This year I am paying it forward with an article I wrote for More Our Canada Magazine, 'To Yellowknife, With Love'. I found out a few weeks ago that one of my paintings inspired by this trip would be featured on the cover of the July issue, 'The Getaway' features a sled dog, the houseboats on back bay and a canoe adventure I enjoyed while exploring. The painting encompasses all that I experienced and feel about the trip, it speaks to freedom and living an authentic life. read the article now

Painting 'The Getaway' by Brandy Saturley on the cover of the July issue of Reader's Digest More Our Canada Magazine

Painting 'The Getaway' by Brandy Saturley on the cover of the July issue of Reader's Digest More Our Canada Magazine