Luke Raffin was born in northern Italy, in 1955. He emigrated to Powell River, British Columbia with his parents and older brother in 1967.
Although neither of them were artists, Luke's parents offered great encouragement and praise for his work. In 1969, they signed him up for a correspondence course which he worked at diligently for three years. Later, he attended the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. His drawing skills were such that he was moved into a fourth-year advanced drawing class.
In 1976, dissatisfied, Luke quit the college to return to Powell River and a job in a sawmill. He might still be there had Ben and Vera Katine not contacted him about showing his work in their new gallery. All the paintings sold within a few days. Encouraged by this sudden acceptance, he held another show at Tantalus Gallery. Luke's work had been selling so well, there was nothing on inventory, and paintings had to be borrowed from customers to hang on the walls.
Luke received 30 commissions from that show. He decided to quit his job at the mill, and he never looked back.
Eventually, Luke yielded to increasing requests that he teach drawing and painting. Not being very outspoken, it was a challenge for him. Many years have passed since the first group of students entered his studio. Still teaching today he remarks, "I feel like the student and Nature are the greatest teachers."
In October 1989, Luke opened his own gallery in Powell River. Sunrise Gallery closed in 2015, with Luke looking forward to devoting more time to teaching, drawing and painting as well as enjoying quality time with family.
Sunrise Studio is now open by appointment only, offering professional custom framing, drawing and painting classes, and featuring the works of Luke Raffin.