Artists Corner


Suzanne Hawkes

Suzanne was born in Saskatoon and as part of military family she grew up in France, Belgium, and Ottawa.  She is married to Killdeer homeboy Lorne Cole and they live on an acreage near Red Deer, AB.  We were pleasantly surprised when she showed up at last year’s Arts in the Park, rolled up her sleeved and assisted Richard Kimball with the pottery demos.

A self-taught potter, Suzanne joined the Pottery Club at UBC whilst pursuing a degree in agriculture. While working a summer job at the university, she discovered that the pottery studio was basically deserted during the summer months. There in solitude she ran rampant; freely experimenting and learning to make what she thought was good pottery. Since then, she took courses here and there because she wanted to improve her glazing skills. Her best instructors were those willing to share freely of themselves and leave their egos at the door. Suzanne learns the most from people who are passionate about design, flow and technical excellence. In Calgary, she came across an instructor who basically “beat those bad self-taught habits out of me” and her potting abilities improved dramatically. Although she now thinks that technical expertise is very important, she also believes you must make the piece your own. This is accomplished through original design, creative glazing and adding personal touches.

Suzanne primarily creates functional wear; pieces meant to be taken into a home and used as well as being decorative. Right now, she is concentrating on making teapots. They are quite challenging because it takes a lot of technical planning to make them work correctly - to pour properly and for the lid to stay on among other things. She works with both red and white clay, but she prefers red clay because of its homespun feel and the interesting colors that come out after firing. Her inspiration comes from the shapes and forms of nature; like seedpods, vines, grasses and water. Suzanne likes to make her pieces flow organically and they must feel comfortable when held in your hands. This doesn’t always happen perfectly, but it is something she aspires to build into her pottery.

Suzanne’s proudest accomplishment is the studio she designed and built on the acreage. There, she can throw her clay, make her own glazes, set her own kiln and reclaim clay in an environment organized to her taste. Her work is sold to family, friends and through word of mouth. She plans to attend Arts in the Park 2012 to work with Richard on the pottery demos again. And hopefully, Suzanne has some pieces ready and available for sale at the festival!

Jacquie Ryan

Jacquie was born in Rockglen, but spent her formative years in Esterhazy, SK.  She returned to Rockglen after her marriage and settled down to raise a family.  Although she was always interested in art and drawing, Jacquie didn’t get serious about painting until she completed an arts correspondence course. This course, supplemented with classes offered by local artist Sandra Lamontagne, along with plenty of hard work over the years, gave her the technical expertise to create the wonderful images she offers today

Jacquie derives great pleasure from creating something out of nothing. It gives her a feeling of power to be able to take a blank canvas, add paint and end up with a satisfying work of art.  She especially likes her ability to change the perspective of a painting by simply adding color.  Her paintings are mostly three-dimensional realistic scenes, but Jacquie keeps an open mind and she does appreciate a challenge.  She enjoys painting a bit of everything from portraits to murals.  Many of her murals are in private backyards throughout the town, with the most visible one situated near the top of Columbus Drive on the old school unit office.  Jacquie’s favorite medium is oils but she often paints with acrylics just for the ease and convenience of use.  Much of her inspiration comes from the stunning Rockglen hills and the spectacular surrounding countryside.

Her original works and prints are usually available at the Rockglen Information Stationduring summer operating hours. From there, people passing through Rockglen have purchased pieces and provided them with new homes throughout Canada.  They also live in such diverse places as New York, Australia and Arizona. 

When the Information Station is closed, you can gain access to

Jacquie and her work by calling 306-476-2390.

Johnny & Maureen Sabourin

Here are a few thoughts from Maureen regarding her music calling:

Question: Where does your inspiration come from?

Rosanne Cash, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris and Patsy Cline were all favorites.  And of course, the King, Elvis!  I realize that these artists are far removed from who the younger generation are listening to now, but they were relevant when I started.

 Question: Which artists have influenced you and your work?

Although I sang in school choirs and the Glee Club it wasn't until I married a musician, my husband Johnny that I started to get serious with my music.  First learning on the flat top guitar and then found the bass more to my liking.  So I guess Johnny was my inspiration and teacher for the most part.

Question: What advice would you give to younger artists just starting out?

While it is somewhat natural to attempt to copy whoever is popular at the time, try to develop your own sound.  The music industry is usually looking for unique talent, even though you do hear a lot of artists that sound the same and try to be the ‘flavor of the week’.  You and your audience will benefit from you being your natural self.

Question: What is the best advice you have ever received?

Some of the best advice came from a fantastic drummer from Louisiana that we had the honor to play with.  He said ‘respect everyone's effort to play music and to respect every audience you play for’.  I would add that like anything, there are exceptions to the rule, but if you are entertaining the public try to keep your professional attitude and carry on!

Rosemarie Robson

Rockglen is fortunate to have many talented Artists and Rosemarie Robson is one of them. Rosemarie’s passion is Wood Carving.  Her work is admired by many.  Be sure to see her exhibit at the upcoming Arts in the Park.

Question: Where does your inspiration come from?  

My passion comes from Art, Photography, Portraits and Animals. 

Question: Which artists have influenced you and your work?  

My carving instructor, Bill Judt, who lives in Saskatoon has influenced me.  

Question: What is your favorite medium?  

I prefer to use soft woods such as Maple and Ash.

Question: What advice would you give to younger artists just starting out?   

To practice and study the various type of  woods.

Question:What are you working on now?  

 I am currently working on a Western Carving.

Bob Robson and his wife (Rosemarie) moved to Rockglen a few years ago.  They are active in the community being involved in Tourism and Arts in the Park. 

Question:How long have you practiced the  craft of Knife Making?

            About 18 years.

Question: What are you working on now?  

I have several knives in progress.  I also hold Knife Making classes.

Question: What is your proudest accomplishment? 

My knives have been sold world wide.

Question: What advice would you give to younger artists just starting out? 

Don’t give up.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions. 

Wanda Knoss

Wanda has always been interested in photography and now her passion has grown into a business.  She is also on the Arts in the Park Committee. 

Question:Where does your inspiration come from?

My surroundings. Landscapes, people, I love to photograph people! Also macro and designs in nature etc………

Question: Which artists have influenced you and your work?

 There are many.

- Ansel Adams, an American landscape photographer best known for his black and white photography.

- Daryl Benson, born and raised in Alberta, he has photographed Canada and the world.

- James Page, a Canadian photographer living in B.C and who plans on retiring in Val Marie. He loves the grasslands. I have attended many of James’ seminars.

- Andre Gallant, another great Canadian photographer.

- Also Larry Easton, Brent Parkin, DeLee Grant (all of the Regina Photo Club).

They are a great group of people with a common passion.

- My photo friends Laura Ellis and Marg Wieb.

Question: What is your proudest accomplishment?

I was asked to display at the Prairie South Art Exhibition at the Shurniak Art Gallery.

Question: What advice would you give to artists interested in learning photography?

 Take the time to learn the manual side of your camera. This is the creative side of the camera. You will be amazed at what you can create once you become familiar with that side of the dial.

I believe photography is a very expressive art form. I love its endless and creativepossibilities. Create challenges for yourself and of course work hard! Most of all enjoy!!

Question: What are you working on now?

 I’m working on HDR images (High Dynamic Range) . It is still a young art form. It is a post processing task that either takes one image or a series of images and combining them produces wonderful shadows, highlights and tones. I like to work with three to five images and process for an artistic effect and also realism. I use Neutral Density filters and polarizer’s, I believe these add to the dynamic effect of a landscape.

I also have found a wonderful way to shoot from photographer Mike Stobbs – Painting with light at night.

Question: What is the best advice you have ever received

 Larry Easton insisted that we shoot on the manual side of the dial. Thank You Larry.

Question: Have you any upcoming shows?

I will be showing some of my work at the Kay Cristo room in Assiniboia for the months of September and October 2011.


Sandra Knoss

Sandra  is a member of our Arts in the Park Committee.  She has instructed classes at Arts in the Park.  Learn more about Sandra on Facebook.

Question: How would you describe your work?

My paintings are rich in colour and form.

Question: Would you have done anything differently regarding your art?

 Finished my fine arts degree.

Question: What is your proudest accomplishment? 

Inclusion in the Mind the Gap art show at the Dunlop Art Gallery.  It is a  show for emerging contemporary artists in Saskatchewan.     

Question: What advice would you give to younger artists just starting out?

 Art is like any other job it is a lot of work. The business and promotion side are very important areas also.

Question: What are you working on now?

A series of paintings of the Grasslands National Park East Block and area.      I have been touring the park with local residents and painting from these experiences. You can see these paintings on Facebook.

Question: Have you any up coming shows/performances?

 I am hoping to have a show in 2012 for the Grasslands paintings. The   Mind the gap show will be touring the province in 2011 to 2012 and will be at the Ottawa Art Gallery in the spring 2011 for the Prairie scene festival in Ottawa, Ontario.

Betty Thomson

In Grade 2 Mrs. Mattson told Betty Thomson that she should write stories as she had a big imagination.  She has attended writing classes for poetry & prose as well as drawing, watercolor and oil painting classes.  Betty has had some of her writings published.  She also enjoys photography and often uses it as a reference in her drawings and paintings.  Quilting can also be added to Betty’s list of ‘hobbies’.        

Question:What is the best advice you have ever received?

" Its only paper.  You can throw it out and start over if you make a mistake." Sandra    Lamontagne.

Question: Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from the world around me.  It makes me happy.  I want to preserve the images forever.

Question: Which artists have influenced you and your work?

Charlie Russell, Bernie Brown, Alan Sapp, Sandra Lamontagne and Jacquie Ryan because they paint things I understand.   Picasso, because I don't like his style.

Question:What is your favorite medium?

            Acrylic.  It is the most forgiving, dries fast and I can paint over it.

Question:What advice would you give to younger artists just starting out?

        Take lessons until you understand your medium.  Paint subjects you enjoy.  Never give up.

Question:What is your proudest accomplishment?

            When a friend saw my painting of wild roses and thought it was a photograph

Laura Ellis has taken her hobby of photography and turned it into a business.  You can view her photos at

Question:Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from people. An expression that lasts only a second can be captured on camera forever. 

Question:Which artists have influenced you and your work?

            Brian Adams, Mike Stobbs, Wanda Knoss

Question:How would you describe your work?

It can be challenging, especially when it comes to little people. Their attention span is very short and you get a lot of blurred images because of movement.  Some people are more photogenic than others. 

Question: What is your proudest accomplishment? 

 My awards.

Question: What advice would you give to beginner photographers?

Take your time.  Be sure to check your background for distracting objects.

Question: What is the best advice you have ever received? 

Check your background.

Sandra Lamontagne

Acwell known painter.  She also dabbles with other art forms.  Many have enjoyed taking her various art classes.    

Question:Where does your inspiration come from?

My inspiration comes from the local scenery, history and events.  I like to paint people and places I know. I also like my paintings to have a little story.

Question:Which artists have influenced you and your work?

There are many, but to name a few:  Bernie Brown and Robert Bateman because they were the first Canadian artists that I realized earned their livings with their paintings.  And Charles Russell for the stories his paintings tell and Howard Terpning for his clear colors and loose brushwork.

Question:What is your proudest accomplishment?

 When I was juried into the Calgary Stampede Art Show.

Question:Do you have any up coming shows?

My show at the Art Gallery of Regina runs until Oct. 4, 2010.

Question: What are you working on now?

I always have several paintings on the go. Right now I have an acrylic of a coyote sleeping under a shelf of rocks on my easel and on the drawing board the beginnings of a watercolor of a cowboy in a slicker with a reflection in a large puddle.

Question:What advice would you give to younger artists just starting out?

Work, work, work. Try as many things as you can. Once you have mastered a medium your style will be developed. Art is an evolving thing.

 To learn more about Sandra, visit