Already well-known for her signature pottery dolls, Lou Gaskin is about to begin a new chapter in her artistic life.
Gaskin is planning to officially open Winsaga Woods Gallery on Wed., Oct. 24 on her 20-acre property on Summit Road in the RM of Rosser.
"I’m going to cut the ribbon myself," she said last week.
Guests attending the gallery opening will see a new side of Gaskin’s work. She will be displaying the watercolour, oil and acrylic paintings she’s been working on during the past year.
"This is the first show that will have my paintings," she said.
Using the natural beauty found within her Winsaga Woods home, many of Gaskin’s paintings feature flowers and trees. She describes her style as impressionist, and gives her work a textured surface by using a palette knife.
"I don’t have to be inspired," she said, adding that she has many ideas for future works.
Gaskin’s love of art dates back to her childhood. She grew up with seven sisters and two brothers on a farm near Culross and attended school in Fannystelle.
Today, her sisters Billie Morison and Pat Tkachyk are members of the Starbuck Art Club while sister Geri Gomela is a painter and jewelry maker in B.C. Meanwhile, her son Mark is an established painter in Vancouver and granddaughter Bonnie Lou is studying art at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
It was a friend’s pottery canister set that prompted Gaskin to take classes at Winnipeg’s Stoneware Gallery and buy a potter’s wheel and kiln. Her husband, Andrew, shared her enthusiasm, and Gaskin proudly displays one of his paintings.
She sold her pottery dolls and functional serving pieces at craft shows and also held two annual shows in May and November in the workshop built on her property. The new gallery was recently added to the building.
Gaskin had to squeeze her painting and pottery work into evenings, weekends and holidays for close to 30 years while she worked as a teacher. Many people who attended kindergarten at Heritage School and others within the St. James-Assiniboia School Division had Gaskin as their first teacher in the 1970s and 1980s.
Although she loved teaching, she was eager to retire in 1990 and have more time to devote to her artwork.
One her artistic inspirations is her pastoral country home. Gaskin loves looking out of the windows of the house she designed 41 years ago, and seeing the hundreds of oak trees growing on her land.
Once her own show concludes Jan. 15, Gaskin plans to open her gallery space to other artists.
Information on the new gallery is available at winsaga.com.