Steady evolution


Dear Artist,

While giving a workshop at Hollyhock a few summers ago, a painter stood out to me as a maker of bold strokes. Her brush flicked here and there over a cadmium ground, laying in tree and driftwood shapes and casually daubing at counterpoints. Steady in pace and intent, her completed work built up around her like a thickening forest.


“The Escape Route”
acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48 x 2 inches
by Stephanie Gauvin

The following spring, I got an email: “I’ve sold a big one. I’m going to use the money to join you in the Bugaboos.” In the mountains she distinguished herself as the first to rise, the first to complete and the first to do a handstand on the tundra while the helicopter lifted and disappeared behind the peaks. When she went missing at dusk, I found her behind the lodge, toqued and mittened, collecting alpenglow on an 8 x 10.

Stephanie Gauvin was born in Quebec, but lives in the ski-town of Rossland, B.C. where she paints, skis and hangs out with her kids. Like her brush, she’s energetic: printing catalogues, updating her website and blog, entering shows. She’s earned signature status at The Federation of Canadian Artists, a Ducks Unlimited National Portfolio and a Royal Canadian Mint series. As part of her evolution, she’s building gallery representation, too, and tomorrow is the opening of her own gallery in Rossland. “It all seems like an organic progression that brought me to have a downtown gallery,” she says — an open studio that will at times showcase the work of others — “where the art enthusiast can have a direct connection with the artist and vice-versa.”

Many other artists come to mind when I think of Stephanie’s route: multi-tracked and personal. “My work is my play; my ego made visible,” she says. And her own gallery? “A place of creation with a studio tucked in the back.”


“Tower of Power”
acrylic on canvas, 30 x 36 inches
by Stephanie Gauvin



PS: “I am intuitively following my creative path and have come to realize that it is a lifelong commitment.” (Stephanie Gauvin)

Esoterica: Can an artist be an artist and run a gallery, too? Perhaps we all fall somewhere within a spectrum of skills and the nature needed to go for it — and be happy. In March 1963, artist Jack Hambleton opened his namesake gallery in Kelowna, B.C. and created what continues to be a place to discover historic and contemporary Canadian art — most recently including the work of Stephanie Gauvin. “I love looking for things to paint, and I love painting and I love framing them and seeing them in a gallery,” said Jack, “but more than anything, I love to sell them.”

“Keep your shop and your shop will keep you.” (Benjamin Franklin)



  1. I worked in galleries for many years, ten of them owned by an artist. The gallery featured early Californian plein air painters as well as contemporary work and the owner was passionate about both and skillful at handling both…his passion contagious. He’s no long with us but I will always be grateful for having had the experience of working with him, and seeing firsthand how business and art can work together. Thanks for sharing this beautiful art work, and of course, the quote. I know how Jack feels……selling art is a wonderful experience, as is its creation.

  2. Sara, this column lifted my spirits, as I have gone into three spaces in southwestern Utah, and shooting for other states. Thank you for sharing!

    • “…connection to a real family of artists…” touched me, Stephanie. In my mind we are a family, a tribe. I appreciate all the words of Robert and Sara, and all those who comment. A sure smile and heart’s thoughts twice a week. I feel blessed with my gifts as they grow and change, and blessed to share.

  3. What a great story of passion and dedication! Congratulations to Stephanie on her new Gallery and thanks for sharing this interesting progression of an artist in our midst. Love it!

  4. I am a teacher in Sydney, Australia. I would like to try Google Sketchup with my Year 5 class. Your viarutl gallery is amazing! Was Google Sketchup hard to use? Thank you for sharing your wonderful work.

  5. You hold special plecas in our hearts too, more than we can ever show! Just look at these four, they love doing this with you! You have captured and saved a moment in time, one we will have forever! They grow and change so fast, but having these to look back on, will always keep this time in our lives close to our hearts!!!! We love you!!!!!!

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