Ten years ago Stephanie Gauvin was at a crossroad.
She had been laid up after a mountain biking injury in Whistler and had been contemplating moving back East to Quebec and leave B.C., her “ski bum” lifestyle and her dabbling in art behind.
That was when she picked up a painting canvas. Once she pushed through the shock of marring the large, smooth white surface she began to paint.
And Gauvin never looked back. Today, she is one of the most accomplished painters in her home of 20 years in Rossland, and is featured in the latest group show Spellbound at the Rossland Art Gallery.
Throughout her journey to where she artistically is now Gauvin has used landscape as her inspiration, and it formed the crux of the meaning for Spellbound.
“Spellbound is the title for how you feel when you get up to the alpine and see all of the flowers in the alpine; it’s kind of like you are in a magic land,” she said.
The full time artist is heavily involved in the outdoors—with mountain biking and skiing—along with her husband and two children, and it is there she finds the subject matter for her art.
Gauvin takes photos on her outings into the region around Rossland and into the Slocan Valley and converts those images into vivid, colourful, acrylic-on-canvas paintings back in her Rossland studio.
“Whenever I am outside I am always in awe and enjoying and noticing every little detail. That is what lights me up,” she said.
Although she obtained a fine arts degree at Sherbrooke College in 1989, she painted children’s murals, painted on glass and when she moved to Whistler she painted T-shirts before she really found her niche as a landscape artist.
“It’s what I am,” she said about painting full time. “I’m never going to stop. I am a painter and I’m never going to stop learning and trying to do new techniques. I’m still going to be wondering how to paint even still when I am 80.”
Gauvin may still be trying to figure out how to seize a feeling of what she wants out of a scene, but people across the province and judges have a good feeling for her work. She has won several awards in shows since 2003, and now, as a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, she is verging on achievement of signature status.
In Spellbound, Gauvin highlights seven large works from the last few months, and two previous ones, along with 18 new smaller works on a back wall of the gallery.
Gauvin’s work is not just for Rosslander eyes only. She sells commissioned works and online as well—marketing, packaging and managing her own career and work—with gallery connections in Fernie, Revelstoke, Whistler and Nelson. After the Rossland show Gauvin’s work moves to the Craft Connection in Nelson for August. Her next Rossland show is in early December as part of a group show.
Juried art shows
• Finalist at FCA juried show; Capturing the Canadian Spirit, 2010 Pond Hockey
• Gold award finalist,West Kootenay Chapter FCA juried show, 2010 Light Shines Through
• Kelowna Chapter`s FCA Artvisions, 2010 finalist Gog Lake
• TNSC FCA, open show, 2011 Hear The Bells?
• Small, Smaller, Smallest FCA juried show`12; Little by Little and The Chase Is On
• FCA juried show,The Hundred Mile Painting Time Is On My Side Nov,2012.