"IN THE DETAILS" by Susan Byrnes
Brian LaSaga shares his techniques for capturing the subtleties of snow and our natural world.
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Brian LaSaga was born in St.Teresa's, Newfoundland on November 1, 1955, and moved to St.George's Newfoundland in 1965. Brian's journey as an artist began when he was just nine years old. He used to draw cartoon characters along with super heroes and colored them with watercolors and colored pencils. Later on he would do watercolors of birds in his teenage years. He has a special place for birds in his life and feeds them throughout the winter months. Although he does not consider himself a bird painter, he may incorporate a bird into his work from time to time. Brian has always been a very visual person and with no formal training, art is more instinctual, full of discovery and experimentation which has continued with him today. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, he has always remained faithful to his subjects, and his imagery. Although he has experimented with watercolors, gouache, egg tempera, and oils, the artist soon realized that acrylics suited his style and technique. Today he paints primarily with acrylics on masonite panel, and prefers acrylics because they dry faster, and this allows him to layer rather quickly. His work is greatly influenced by nature, and feels that he is just a student and instrument of nature. Brian's subjects often include rural settings, weathered textures, landscapes, seascapes, and sometimes he may incorporate figures or some form of wildlife into his work as an extension of nature. The artist prefers to paint familiar experiences and subjects indigenous to his area. An area that he feels is raw and sacred. The artist's main interest is in capturing the essence of his chosen subject.
"Nature is my muse and inspiration simply because of her endless subject matter and surprises. This collaboration offers me something I never even thought of. Although I prefer to paint nature themes, weathered objects and rural settings, I'm open to other things that may catch my eye. As an artist, I feel that I'm just a work in progress, and there is always something to learn. Exploring and collecting material for paintings is a great adventure for me, and always a thrill to wonder what's around the bend or beyond that ridge. I like to create a sense of place that is somewhere but nowhere in particular. I hope each and every viewer sees and takes something a little different from my work and has an experience rather than just be viewing a picture. My goal is not to paint life, but to paint life into my work and create an emotional connection that I hope will inspire my viewers."
Brian's studio is located in his hometown of St.George's, Newfoundland. The island of Newfoundland is Canada's most easterly destination and offers the artist a sanctuary for his work. It has many rugged coastlines, rivers, forests, wildlife, ponds and marshes. It has also been the inspiration for Brian's work for over 40 years. When not in his studio, he can be found hiking, kayaking or making field trips to gather material for his paintings. Many of his works hang in corporate, public and private collections in Canada, United States and Europe.
1981 "Small Works" / Group / Atlantic Arts Ltd., St.John's, NL
1982 "West Coast Realism" / Two man show / Arts and Culture Centre, Stephenville, NL
1983 "Weathered Relics" / Solo / The Ewing Gallery, Corner Brook, NL
1984 "Coastlines" / Group / The Ewing Gallery,Corner Brook, NL
1986 "Images Of A Realist" / Solo / The Duke Of Argyle Gallery, Halifax, NS
1988 "Days Of Yore" / Group / The Duke Of Argyle Gallery, Halifax, NS
1995 "Eastern Images" / Solo / Gallery On The Lake, Buckhorn, ON
1997 "Realism At It's Finest" / Solo / The Sheraton Inn, Fredericton, NB
2005 Public Showing / Solo / Kennebecasis Valley Public Library, Saint John, NB
2005 "Catching The Eye" / Solo / Imperial Theatre, Saint John, NB
2007 Toronto Art Expo / Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, ON
2009 "Constant Observer" / Solo / Christina Parker Gallery, St.John's, NL
2009 Toronto International Art Fair / Metro Toronto Convention Centre / Group / Christina Parker Gallery
2009 "From The Studio III" / Group / Christina Parker Gallery, St.John's, NL
2010 "The Works" / Group / Christina Parker Gallery, St.John's, NL
2011 "Bruno Capolongo Invitational Exhibition" / Group / Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts, Hamilton, ON
2011 "Atlanticus" / Group / Inaugural Exhibition celebrating new gallery space / Christina Parker Gallery
2011 Toronto International Art Fair / Metro Toronto Convention Centre / Christina Parker Gallery
2012 Aspects Of Realism / Peter Buckland Gallery / Saint John Arts Centre, Saint John, NB
2012 Toronto International Art Fair / Metro Toronto Convention Centre / Group / Christina Parker Gallery
2012 "A Year End Celebration" / Group / Christina Parker Gallery
2013 "Summer Exhibition 2013" / Group / Christina Parker Gallery
2013 " A Celebration of Gallery Artists" / Group / Christina Parker Gallery
2015 IGOR 10th Annual Juried Exhibition at Principle Gallery, Alexandria, Virginia / Group
2015 / 2016 "30+1" / Christina Parker Gallery / Group / St. John's, NL
MEDIA / AWARDS AND PUBLICATIONS
1980 Arts And Letters Competition - Second Place / St.John's, NL, Canada
1988 Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Art Gallery / Research Resources / Artists Files
1994 The Georgian Newspaper / In The Arts "Painting Stages"- Stephenville, NL, Canada
1994 CBC Radio Morning Show / Artist Interview
1996 "First" Aboriginal Artists / Artist Profile Newfoundland and Labrador, St.John's, NL, Canada
2001 The Downhomer Magazine / "Super Realist"- St.John's, NL, Canada
2004 Saint John Weekend Newspaper / "Showcase" NL Artist- St.John, NB, Canada
2004 The Telegram/Backstage / "Painter Creates Lifelike Scenes"- St.John's, NL, Canada
2005 The Newfoundland Herald Magazine / Artist Profile - St.John's, NL, Canada
2006 The Newfoundland Herald / "It's All In The Details"- St.John's, NL, Canada
2007 Toronto Art Expo / Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto, Ontario
2007 Centre For Distance Learning & Innovation / Art & Perception: Art Movements: Realism / St.John's, NL, Canada
2008 The Painter's Keys / Quotes
2008 The Painter's Key's / World Of Art Featured Premium Artist / "Forgotten Barn"
2008 The Painter's Keys / World Of Art Featured Premium Artist / "Winter Birch"
2009 Canadian Brushstroke Magazine "Hard Way To Make An Easy Living" / Leduc, Alberta, Canada
2009 The Telegram / Arts & Entertainment / "Real Meets Surreal" / St.John's, NL, Canada
2009 Natural Awakenings Magazine / Cover Art and Profile / Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.A.
2009 Playcast Feature / "September Road"
2010 Kennedy Publishing "Best Of Worldwide Watermedia" Williamsburg, VA, U.S.A.
2010 Monograffi-What Is High Realism
2010 Raymarart Painting Competition / Finalist "Winter Woodpile"
2010 Raymarart Painting Competition / Finalist "Driftwood"
2010 Raymarart Painting Competition / Finalist "Corner Refuge"
2010 Bold Brush Painting Competition / Outstanding Acrylic - "Autumn Canopy" - San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
2010 Bold Brush Painting Competition / Outstanding Acrylic - "Red Squirrel and Stump" - San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A.
2010 Informed Collector / Fine Art Views / Intricate detail bring captivating, realistic paintings to life - San Antonio, Texas, U.S.
2010 Art Kudos International Juried Art Competition & Exhibition - Finalist "Winter Woodpile"
2010 American Art Awards - Category 35 Realism Landscape - 1st place "Winter Woodpile"
2010 American Art Awards - Category 36 Realism Landscape With Figures - 1st place "Driftwood"
2010 American Art Awards - Category 40 Romanticism - 5th place "Driftwood"
2010 Canadian Brushstroke Magazine "All About Light" Finalist "Winter Woodpile / Leduc, Alberta, Canada
2010 Association of Cultural Industries Newfoundland & Labrador / Daily Spotlight
2010 Empty Easel Art Magazine / Featured Artist "Frost-Filled Landscapes" and "After The Blizzard" , Dallas, Texas
2011 Grand Prize Winner International Artist Magazine Challenge No. 61 Issue #77 'Landscape' Competition 2011 "Driftwood"
2011 The Artist's Network 2011 All Media Competition-Honorable Mention - "Wretched Breakwater"
2011 Empty Easel: Feature Artist: Superrealistic Paintings With A Simple Heartfelt Beauty
2011 Arabella Magazine / Summer Dreams issue 2011 Artist to collect "Life & Texture"
2011 Art Kudos International Juried Art Competition & Exhibition - Finalist "Facing The Elements"
2011 Raymarart Painting Competition / Finalist "Facing The Elements"
2011 Canadian Brushstroke Magazine Winner "All About Light" Competition - "Below The Hill"
2011 / 2012 ARC International Salon Competition / Honorable Mention / Landscape Category - "Winter Woodpile"
2012 Canadian Federation Of Artists / Finalist "Below The Hill"
2012 Canadian Federation Of Artists / Finalist "Facing The Elements"
2012 Mutual Art Profile
2012 All Media Art Competition / Honorable Mention / "Facing The Elements"
2012 / 2013 ARC International Salon Competition / Finalist / Landscape Category - "Along The Coast"
2013 Art Kudos International Juried Art Competition & Exhibition - Honorable Mention "Two For Joy"
2013 Raymar Art Painting Competition / Finalist "Along The Coast"
2014 Art Kudos International Juried Art Competition & Exhibition - Honorable Mention "Driftwood"
2015 Art Kudos International Juried Art Competition & Exhibition - Finalist "October"
2015 American Art Awards
1st Place Category 2 ACRYLIC /HUMAN FIGURE "October" 16 x 22"
1st Place Category 35 REALISM/LANDSCAPE "Facing The Elements" 24 x 34"
6th Place Category 36 LANDSCAPE WITH LIFE "Two For Joy" 20 x 28"
2016 Feature in Acrylic Artist Magazine "In The Details" Winter 2016
PUBLIC AND CORPORATE COLLECTIONS
Central Trust Tower, Halifax, NS
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Ottawa, ON
United Nations, New York, U.S.A.
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, St.John's, NL
Confederation Art Centre and Museum, Charlottetown, P.E.I.
J.R.Smallwood Federal Building, Corner Brook, NL
Fox Harb'r Resort,Tatamagouche,NS / Mr.Ron Joyce
Jetport Investments, Burlington, ON / Mr.Ron Joyce
Northgrave Architect, Toronto, ON
Home Depot,Toronto,On / Annette Verschuren
Coachford Mfg.Inc., Toronto, ON
Bird Packaging Ltd., Guelph, ON
Plus many private collections in Canada, United States and Europe.
Copyright © Brian LaSaga. All rights reserved.