Brandy Saturley is an immensely talented Canadian artist who happens to be a hockey fan. And needless to say, we are big fans of her and her work. We first introduced you to Brandy in a feature titled “Up Close with Brandy Saturley: Red, White and Dryden.” We were also pleased to tell you about her Iconic Canuck Exhibition last January which featured her piece “Goalie’s Mask: Red, White & Dryden.” As an update to her work, we’re proud to present this guest article to you.
VICTORIA, BC. — With a new hockey season in the chute I find myself in anticipation for a new year as a Habs fan, and for an artist, this means every thought bleeds onto the canvas. I just completed a new piece. It is a ‘showstopper’, meaning a large canvas that will be a feature in an exhibition, or on a large feature wall of a collector.
With the feelings of a new hockey season and reminiscing about the last one, with the run to the cup by the Habs, I wanted to express my thoughts about becoming a more invested hockey fan. With any new painting, historical research plays a large part of my process, for many reasons. With any work of art it is the artists hope that the viewer connects with the work, while I cannot control what that connection is, I am hoping that there is a pulling of the heart strings within the viewer’s chest.
With this recently finished piece, ‘Tribe Called Canadiens’, my intent was to express the feeling of working up to a moment, much like my anticipation of the new hockey season and of a new painting. Through my research of the past few years I have learned much about the origins of hockey in Canada. Specifically the origins of hockey found with the First Nations of the Mi’kmaq of the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec. The tribe which spread throughout the Maritimes, were credited in the nineteenth century with creating the ice hockey stick. Recently, an original Mic Mac hockey stick sold for $2.2 million US. Calling on Canadian First Nations history and the legacy and origins of the Montréal Canadiens, I began to sketch an idea for this painting.
I chose to focus on the ‘tribe’ aspect of brotherhood, unity and preparations for the coming hockey season. A tribe is defined as a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader. To me the Habs are a tribe and the fans of the Habs are part of this tribe and the energy and enthusiasm of these tribes, banding together to propel a hockey team forward, are contagious. Above capturing the electric energy through the use of colour and dynamic lines, drawing your eyes to the focal point of the mask, I have made subtle references to the game and team. In some ways the lines come together to create the goalie’s hockey net, the emblazoned yellow maple leaf signifying Autumn, flight, energy. The eye sockets of the mask showing the iconic H (in gold leaf) and a red-rimmed C of the team logo. Then there is the iconic target mask worn by Ken Dryden, a recurring object in my paintings about the Habs legacy. There are many things to see in this painting depending on the viewer and their experience. The piece is about honor and homage. It is about pride.
This painting will be featured in a retrospective of my #ICONICANCUK collection of paintings here this October, 2014.
I am also looking for photos of Canadians for the People of Canada Portrait Project, would love to see more Habs and hockey fans here. The inaugural portrait painting for the project just won an award in Edmonton, during the art exhibition for the Canada 55+ Games.
Thank you to All Habs Hockey Magazine, the fans and to the Montreal Canadiens for the inspiration.