Portapique artist celebrating 25 years of autumn open houses

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PORTAPIQUE – Local artist Joy Laking is celebrating 25 years of autumn open houses at her gallery this weekend and next.

Portapique artist Joy Laking with one of her most recent paintings. The artist is hosting an open house exhibition at the Joy Laking Gallery this weekend and next. Submitted photo

Laking, who owns a gallery at 6730 Highway 2 in Portapique, will showcase an exhibit with 50 new paintings of the province, including nine never-before-seen from Gabarus, Cape Breton.

During this recent painting trip, Laking was treated to Nova Scotia hospitality with many people in Gabarus bringing her food. Her recent paintings feature lively acrylics and watercolours that capture the colours, beauty and charm that is Nova Scotia.

Often painting 11 hours a day when working outside on location, she’s a studio painter for much of the year due to cold weather. When the weather is warm enough, she loves nothing better than to set out with no subject in mind and to drive until something urges her to paint it. Then she puts on her hat and hunkers down on her painting chair and gets to work. 

The subject itself seems to dictate whether it will be in watercolour or acrylic.

“It is an amazing experience, and sometimes quite mentally daunting, to start with a blank canvas or piece of paper and to work until a painting is finished hours later,” a press release on the open house reads.

Recently, Laking was the community artist at the White Rabbit Arts Festival in Upper Economy. During this week, she painted large colourful acrylics of trees and woods and one close up of Queen Anne’s Lace. 

This was quite a departure from her work of June, July and early August, when she was smitten with painting the beauty of skies and her beloved bay.

Everyone is welcome to drop into the Joy Laking Gallery for the open house exhibition, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Oct. 19-20 and Oct. 26-27.

For more information, visit www.joylakinggallery.com, call (902) 647-2816, or email her at joy@joylakinggallery.com.


Geographic location: Portapique, Gabarus, Nova Scotia Cape Breton

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