and painting", Luke recalls, "have been part of
my life since early childhood." He has always been visually
attracted by simple things, like the changing hues of a sunset
in a world full of colour, light and intricate details.
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.