Megan Perkins Art at Pottery Place Plus

Hi guys! This past February, I became a member of Pottery Place Plus, a local artist's co-op here in Spokane. This year they are celebrating their 40th anniversary, making them one of the oldest artist co-ops on the West Coast. Pottery Place Plus is located at 203 N Washington St. in the Liberty Building (the same building as Auntie's, Sante's and Uncle's Games). I thought it would be nice to have a constant, regular place to have my art available so that people could come by to see it (or buy it!) at any time of year, whether I'm at an art show or not. Pottery Place Plus has a wonderful variety of handmade items, pottery obviously, but also candles, soaps, ecoprinted scarves, paintings, jewelry, wood working, and more. I'm going to be down there working 10-3 or so on Friday the 13th and I'd love visitors! But no worries if that doesn't work for you. Pottery Place Plus is open 7 days a week, 10 am-9 pm Tuesday-Saturday and 11 am-6 pm Sunday and 10 am-6 pm on Monday. Come on down sometime and take a look! Also, Pottery Place Plus is right near the park so you can get a look at the progress they are making on the new carousel building and see everyone roller skating on the new skate ribbon. I think that plus maybe a quick bite to eat would make for a lovely outing!

 

 My art wall!

My art wall!

 I have cards of lots of my paintings and well as prints!

I have cards of lots of my paintings and well as prints!

KYRS: Sketching on the Radio

KYRS is a non-profit, non-commercial radio station here in Spokane. It is known as "Thin Air Community Radio" and broadcasts at 88.7 and 92.3 FM. According to their website, KYRS's mission is to, "fill needs that other media do not, providing programming to diverse communities and unserved or underserved groups." They have over 40 programs and many volunteer programmers. Art Hour with Jennifer LaRue on Thursdays 3-4pm is one that I will sometimes listen to and I was quite pleased to be on the show myself on the day I came down to sketch at the station. Jennifer and I spent about a half an hour talking about art and my childhood, my Artist's Eye on Spokane project and the fact that we'd both gone to private all girl's schools with "free dress days"! You can listen to KYRS on the radio or steam it live from their website.

 KYRS is inside the Community Building down on Main Street, one of the many lovely brick buildings in town and I loved that they left the interior walls as the rough brick. There are so many different colors and shades to brick! Just delightful.

KYRS is inside the Community Building down on Main Street, one of the many lovely brick buildings in town and I loved that they left the interior walls as the rough brick. There are so many different colors and shades to brick! Just delightful.

 Paul of the Spokane SOS radio program, let me sit in the recording booth with him while he interviewed a groups of former Peace Corps volunteers about their experiences with the Peace Corps. There were four of them plus Paul and an extra gentleman helping with the recording machinery plus me so it was a little tight! I did this painting while sitting on the ground looking up at Paul and I am super pleased with how it came out, except for one thing. Hey Paul, I know this is radio not tv, but how about wearing some color? Haha!

Paul of the Spokane SOS radio program, let me sit in the recording booth with him while he interviewed a groups of former Peace Corps volunteers about their experiences with the Peace Corps. There were four of them plus Paul and an extra gentleman helping with the recording machinery plus me so it was a little tight! I did this painting while sitting on the ground looking up at Paul and I am super pleased with how it came out, except for one thing. Hey Paul, I know this is radio not tv, but how about wearing some color? Haha!

 The view from my corner!

The view from my corner!

 A quick sketch made while Jennifer and I are waiting for the clock to tick down to when we are on air. Not a good likeness of Jenn, but that's how it is sometimes.  All in all, a lovely way to spend the afternoon-drawing and painting, old friends of mine, combined with a first-being in a recording studio! I love how art encourages me to experience new things!

A quick sketch made while Jennifer and I are waiting for the clock to tick down to when we are on air. Not a good likeness of Jenn, but that's how it is sometimes.

All in all, a lovely way to spend the afternoon-drawing and painting, old friends of mine, combined with a first-being in a recording studio! I love how art encourages me to experience new things!

Playing at the Paulsen Penthouse

The Paulsen Building is a historic seventeen story building on Riverside. It has a beautifully decorated exterior and the lobby (which is accessible to the public!) has a painted ceiling, ornamentation above every door, and a display of old elevator mechanics. The Paulsen Penthouse used to be owned by Helen Paulsen and her husband started living there in 1957, according to a Spokesman Review article. Helen lived there in the '80's, even after her husband died, but currently the space is used by Bozzi Media as an event space.

 Being out on the deck at the Paulsen Penthouse. The view was fabulous, all of Spokane spread out below me, but being right up by the rail made me a little dizzy so I decided to focus on the beautifully adorned crown of the Paulsen Building.

Being out on the deck at the Paulsen Penthouse. The view was fabulous, all of Spokane spread out below me, but being right up by the rail made me a little dizzy so I decided to focus on the beautifully adorned crown of the Paulsen Building.

 While I was up there, the sunshine began to be eclipsed by the grayer weather. I was still caught up in the details even though my fingers were going numb.

While I was up there, the sunshine began to be eclipsed by the grayer weather. I was still caught up in the details even though my fingers were going numb.

 So I decided to go inside where this lady caught my eye for obvious reasons. She was a part of the frieze on the fireplace mantel.

So I decided to go inside where this lady caught my eye for obvious reasons. She was a part of the frieze on the fireplace mantel.

 There were plenty of beautiful details to be found down in the lobby as well. This is a carved element on the stair newel post.

There were plenty of beautiful details to be found down in the lobby as well. This is a carved element on the stair newel post.

 One pattern lozenge from the painted ceiling.

One pattern lozenge from the painted ceiling.

 Engraving on a wall decoration I think.

Engraving on a wall decoration I think.

The lobby with it's painted ceiling and multiple friezes and carved ornaments are open to the public. If you're ever walking by on Riverside, you should definitely stop in!

Garland Neighborhood

The Garland Neighborhood is such a a fun, artsy area. There's been an proliferation of murals-clockwork owls, Vincent Van Gogh, graffiti inspired craft supplies at Sew EZ Too and more. I visit the area often thanks to my love for knitting supplies, Spokane Art School, and milk shakes!

 When I saw that the Garland Theater sign getting repainted this summer, I knew I needed to do another painting of it. Vibrant and still kicking after all these years! I've seen several delightful movies there in the past and for my brother-in-law's bachelor party, his best man rented out the theater so that all the family could come and watch movies for a night. It was a lot of fun!

When I saw that the Garland Theater sign getting repainted this summer, I knew I needed to do another painting of it. Vibrant and still kicking after all these years! I've seen several delightful movies there in the past and for my brother-in-law's bachelor party, his best man rented out the theater so that all the family could come and watch movies for a night. It was a lot of fun!

 Here's a favorite haunt of mine in the Garland Neighborhood. At one time, it was the Tinman Gallery, a combined bookstore and gallery. Nowadays it houses the Spokane Art School and has frequent shows of local art. The current show is of Maya Jewell Zeller's poetry, illustrated by Carrie DeBaker. Stop by sometime and take a look!

Here's a favorite haunt of mine in the Garland Neighborhood. At one time, it was the Tinman Gallery, a combined bookstore and gallery. Nowadays it houses the Spokane Art School and has frequent shows of local art. The current show is of Maya Jewell Zeller's poetry, illustrated by Carrie DeBaker. Stop by sometime and take a look!

  Mary Lou's Milk Bottle is not the only "Milk Bottle" shaped building in town (There's another one downtown, not far from I-90.), but this one serves milkshakes, burgers and fries. I think they have the best milk shakes in town (But then, I like mine so thick that it is a challenge to suck it through the straw.). Who do you think has the best milkshake in town?

 Mary Lou's Milk Bottle is not the only "Milk Bottle" shaped building in town (There's another one downtown, not far from I-90.), but this one serves milkshakes, burgers and fries. I think they have the best milk shakes in town (But then, I like mine so thick that it is a challenge to suck it through the straw.). Who do you think has the best milkshake in town?

 Flashback Friday! These two paintings were done on location on a hot summer afternoon on Garland. Man, I’m looking forward to sunshine and short sleeves!

Flashback Friday! These two paintings were done on location on a hot summer afternoon on Garland. Man, I’m looking forward to sunshine and short sleeves!

 Here you can see that the paint job is much more faded in the theater sign. Oh for sunny summer days!

Here you can see that the paint job is much more faded in the theater sign. Oh for sunny summer days!

Sketching at the Steam Plant

The Steam Plant building in downtown Spokane is a restaurant and brewery and houses offices and store fronts as well, but the name is a remnant of an older time. The building was an actual functioning steam plant for 70 years according to their website. It didn't shut down until 1986. Renovated with a vision toward making the most of the industrial space, many elements of the Steam Plant's past remain which create a unique atmosphere. I know I'm sounding a bit like an ad for the Steam Plant here, but I have a soft spot for creative reuse, adapting to the surroundings and reusing old material in new and exciting ways, so I was thrilled by the aesthetics of the space. There's a lot of inspiration there! 

 This is a corner in one of the side rooms of the building. I loved the abstract composition created by the girders and pipes and the way the lighter elements emerged out of the darkness.

This is a corner in one of the side rooms of the building. I loved the abstract composition created by the girders and pipes and the way the lighter elements emerged out of the darkness.

 I worked my way across the page from left to right in order to not smear the paint (I'm right handed). Painting this was slow work, but worth it for the final result!

I worked my way across the page from left to right in order to not smear the paint (I'm right handed). Painting this was slow work, but worth it for the final result!

 Walking by, this caught my eye. I think it is the front of an old boiler room, but don't quote me on that. Now it is a window into a private dining room, wallpapered in thin pipes. 

Walking by, this caught my eye. I think it is the front of an old boiler room, but don't quote me on that. Now it is a window into a private dining room, wallpapered in thin pipes. 

 The pipes that run down the wall here trickle water into a trough made by cutting a large horizontal pipe in half. You can see the fixture it ran through on the left size just above the table. Creative thinking with a great result!

The pipes that run down the wall here trickle water into a trough made by cutting a large horizontal pipe in half. You can see the fixture it ran through on the left size just above the table. Creative thinking with a great result!

 This is a sketch done in a long vertical sketchbook two years ago. Done while sitting on a window ledge of the Davenport Hotel (carefully avoiding their decorative spikes!) just before going to the Broken Mic poetry reading at Neato Burrito. The stacks of the Steam Plant are an iconic part of the Spokane skyline and I hope they always will be!

This is a sketch done in a long vertical sketchbook two years ago. Done while sitting on a window ledge of the Davenport Hotel (carefully avoiding their decorative spikes!) just before going to the Broken Mic poetry reading at Neato Burrito. The stacks of the Steam Plant are an iconic part of the Spokane skyline and I hope they always will be!

Boulevard Mercantile

Boulevard Mercantile occupies a wedge shaped brick building at the intersection of Monroe, Indiana and Northwest Boulevard. Perched there at the apex of the wedge, it has a friendly facade and many antenna projecting from the roof. I am a frequent customer as the owners of the store are great treasure hunters and the store is filled with a display of frequently rotating wonders. Recent purchases of mine have included an enormous coffee table book on the paintings of John Singer Sargent (score!) and an antique cast iron Christmas Tree stand that I got as a present for my mom. Their window displays never fail to make me smile, even when I'm stuck in my car at the red light. Currently they have a huge red star light up sign with a plane on it and it sparkles from behind the glass. Sometimes I day dream about buying that star. But WHERE would I put it?!

 I love the shape of the Boulevard Mercantile building. It reminds me of the Flatiron building in New York. I also love the antennae and other doodads on the roof. It makes it seem like the building is somehow alive and listening to all the bustle going on around it. I stopped by one rainy day to admire it and this painting is the result.

I love the shape of the Boulevard Mercantile building. It reminds me of the Flatiron building in New York. I also love the antennae and other doodads on the roof. It makes it seem like the building is somehow alive and listening to all the bustle going on around it. I stopped by one rainy day to admire it and this painting is the result.

 Splashy in-progress painting.

Splashy in-progress painting.

 Peeking in the windows of Boulevard Mercantile whenever I drive by always makes me smile. Here a lion and light up star sign share the stage. I think the big red star would look great in my studio! I'd just have to move some furniture! Haha! If you need a Mother's Day present (It isn't too early to get that nailed down), stop in and shop around!

Peeking in the windows of Boulevard Mercantile whenever I drive by always makes me smile. Here a lion and light up star sign share the stage. I think the big red star would look great in my studio! I'd just have to move some furniture! Haha!
If you need a Mother's Day present (It isn't too early to get that nailed down), stop in and shop around!

See My Art at Bellwether Brewing

Hi Guys!

I'm the featured artist at Bellwether Brewing for the month of March. I'll be there this Friday the 2nd 5-7 pm if you want to drop by to see the art and chat! I will have a lot of watercolors from my Artist's Eye on Spokane Series up and hanging and Bellwether has some great beers to enjoy as well. The art will be up all month so feel free to stop by!

Bellwether Brewing: 2019 N Monroe Spokane, WA

Boyd-Walker Sewing Machine Co.
Diner Customers
HighBridgeinFall

Go Zags!

As an alumnae of Gonzaga, I have a soft spot in my heart for college basketball and the Zags. I was thrilled to be able to make the Zags a part of my Artist's Eye on Spokane project and spent this past Saturday's game (versus Pepperdine) sketching near the media section. Was I a little teary eyed as the Zombie Nation blasted from the speakers and the crowd of students all began jumping in unison on the bleachers to make an almighty pounding noise? Maybe.

     

 

 

 The students at Gonzaga are really the ones who make the atmosphere at the Kennel. Chanting, dressing up, turning up the volume and bringing "Big Head" signs of players to the game results in a pumped up game experience. I couldn't resist drawing this section of the crowd where a student wearing a Panda head stood next to two students holding Big Head signs. Other outfits sighted? A Cardinal (as in the religious figure, not the bird), a cow, lime green footie pajamas, a lion and more.

The students at Gonzaga are really the ones who make the atmosphere at the Kennel. Chanting, dressing up, turning up the volume and bringing "Big Head" signs of players to the game results in a pumped up game experience. I couldn't resist drawing this section of the crowd where a student wearing a Panda head stood next to two students holding Big Head signs. Other outfits sighted? A Cardinal (as in the religious figure, not the bird), a cow, lime green footie pajamas, a lion and more.

 Trying to catch some of the action as the players ran up and down the court. It was an action packed game and way too close a match for this Zags fan for most of the match, but the Zags pulled it out and won in the end!

Trying to catch some of the action as the players ran up and down the court. It was an action packed game and way too close a match for this Zags fan for most of the match, but the Zags pulled it out and won in the end!

Spokane's State of the City

Thanks to a connection made with Mayor David Condon, he and I met a few months back to talk about my Artist's Eye on Spokane project. He was enthusiastic about the idea and a couple weeks after we met, his staff got in touch about having me be involved in the State of the City Address on February 9th, using my paintings to visually illustrate the narrative of the mayor's speech. Since I am trying to tell the story of our city with my art, I felt like this would be a good fit!

 Clearly, this one was not painted from life-though if any one wants to put me in a helicopter to paint, I would love to! This was painted from a photo provided by the city. I love the blue of the Spokane River winding its way through the city. It really is a remarkable landmark.

Clearly, this one was not painted from life-though if any one wants to put me in a helicopter to paint, I would love to! This was painted from a photo provided by the city. I love the blue of the Spokane River winding its way through the city. It really is a remarkable landmark.

 While in progress-I couldn't resist doing the river and greenery first!

While in progress-I couldn't resist doing the river and greenery first!

 The mayor's staff liked the painting so much that they asked me to make prints that could be provided as a give away at each table. I was thrilled! Take a peek, under the bake you can see info sheets about me-you can just see the White Elephant Ride beneath the carrot cake plate here in the front.

The mayor's staff liked the painting so much that they asked me to make prints that could be provided as a give away at each table. I was thrilled! Take a peek, under the bake you can see info sheets about me-you can just see the White Elephant Ride beneath the carrot cake plate here in the front.

 The painting was also used in the printing material for the talk and the original painting was presented to the Mayor for his birthday (which was the day of the speech!). 

The painting was also used in the printing material for the talk and the original painting was presented to the Mayor for his birthday (which was the day of the speech!). 

 I also attended the State of the City and painted the mayor as he presented, live! I was sweating a bit, trying to get it all done in time, but I think it came out well. 

I also attended the State of the City and painted the mayor as he presented, live! I was sweating a bit, trying to get it all done in time, but I think it came out well. 

You can read about the speech and see a picture of the Mayor talking in front of my painting of the Fancher/Trent Railyard here.

 Here's the report for the city that was handed out to all the attendees. Photographed just below the circle with the Pavilion in it, is the Coin of the City, which was presented to me at the end of the speech. I suppose it is like the traditional Key of the City.   Here's to Spokane and its future!

Here's the report for the city that was handed out to all the attendees. Photographed just below the circle with the Pavilion in it, is the Coin of the City, which was presented to me at the end of the speech. I suppose it is like the traditional Key of the City. 

Here's to Spokane and its future!

Revitalized Sprague

Sprague has recently undergone some big changes-new crosswalks, landscape, bike racks, bus shelters and more. It is spiffy and welcoming and ready for you to come visit! Maybe to Bennedito's for beer and pizza? Or the Ivory Table for crepes or the Tin Roof for furniture and beautiful house decor?

 Best Asian Market down on Sprague! I love the Art Deco building and the bike rickshaw perched on top. It is always fun to go into the store and buy things just based on how much I like the packaging. It has a sister building on Market St. in Hillyard that I saw last week that currently has an auction company in it. I hear that they both use to house Safeways back in the day. Any one have memories of that?

Best Asian Market down on Sprague! I love the Art Deco building and the bike rickshaw perched on top. It is always fun to go into the store and buy things just based on how much I like the packaging. It has a sister building on Market St. in Hillyard that I saw last week that currently has an auction company in it. I hear that they both use to house Safeways back in the day. Any one have memories of that?

 To compare-here is a marker sketch done from life on the sweltering sidewalk during the heat of summer about two years back.

To compare-here is a marker sketch done from life on the sweltering sidewalk during the heat of summer about two years back.

 I was walking down Sprague and was thrilled to see this car pull up to the street. What a fun colorful trio!

I was walking down Sprague and was thrilled to see this car pull up to the street. What a fun colorful trio!

 I started the painting with the fire hydrant and I was tickled by the contrast between the fully realized fire hydrant and the drawing.

I started the painting with the fire hydrant and I was tickled by the contrast between the fully realized fire hydrant and the drawing.

 I've always been charmed by the Boyd-Walker Sewing Machine building. Great signage and wonderful to have a small business repairing and servicing sewing machines still in operation. I have bought a couple attachments for my sewing machine there and I always have warm feelings when I drive by.

I've always been charmed by the Boyd-Walker Sewing Machine building. Great signage and wonderful to have a small business repairing and servicing sewing machines still in operation. I have bought a couple attachments for my sewing machine there and I always have warm feelings when I drive by.

Wandering Hillyard

Hillyard is a charming neighborhood with a gritty rail yard past. On Market Street you can see plenty of historic buildings as well as a multitude of murals. In this painting, my eye was caught by the combination of the bull's eye sign and the vintage minty-green building wall!

 Initial Drawing.

Initial Drawing.

 In progress.

In progress.

 Finished!

Finished!

 The shocking orange and red colors down a side street caught my eye as I was walking around the Hillyard Neighborhood. Then I saw the lovely hand lettering on the sign above the door and all the great peeling paint texture and I knew this had to be a painting! I have no idea if the Olympic Pack & Ship company are still in business, but it seems like this scene has a story to tell.

The shocking orange and red colors down a side street caught my eye as I was walking around the Hillyard Neighborhood. Then I saw the lovely hand lettering on the sign above the door and all the great peeling paint texture and I knew this had to be a painting! I have no idea if the Olympic Pack & Ship company are still in business, but it seems like this scene has a story to tell.

 Initial drawing-only one person!  I'm really starting to lost the lamp posts here in Hillyard.

Initial drawing-only one person!

I'm really starting to lost the lamp posts here in Hillyard.

 And now two!   I loved the green and yellow color scheme on this building. Beautiful! The rest of the scene is a series of subdued neutrals to set off the yellow and green. 

And now two! 

I loved the green and yellow color scheme on this building. Beautiful! The rest of the scene is a series of subdued neutrals to set off the yellow and green. 

Hotel Otis

I subscribe to the Spokane Journal of Business and I learned from their email newsletter that the Otis Hotel has been bought by a real estate developer who is planning on renovating the Otis into a boutique hotel associated with the Hotel Indigo brand. I'd seen the building and its awesome sign multiple times while I was out and about downtown over the past year and thought, "I need to paint that!" Hearing that a renovation was in the works was the motivation I needed to capture this historic beauty before the new owners start making big changes. I'm sure, I sound like a broken record at this point, but I hope they keep or somehow incorporate the sign into the new project! Where do unwanted vintage signs go? I know Las Vegas has a museum of neon for all their old neon signs. It'd be great if there was a museum of vintage signage for these venerable signs to go to!

 Continuing my love of vintage signs and brick buildings-something Spokane has a plenty. I was also charmed by the red fire escape.

Continuing my love of vintage signs and brick buildings-something Spokane has a plenty. I was also charmed by the red fire escape.

 Here is an in progress shot, probably a little before half way done.

Here is an in progress shot, probably a little before half way done.

 My initial drawing!

My initial drawing!

 This building used to exist at 119 S Stevens. It was 110 years and had been a grocery store before being converted into a parking garage according to an article in the Spokesman by Nicholas Deshais. The article continued that it was being knocked down to make a 57 stall street parking lot. After reading said article, I made the time to go sit on the sidewalk and paint its funeral portrait. When I went by the area last month, it was gone. My effort to get out and document the face of Spokane makes me more aware of all the changes-amazing renovations of great old buildings and the destruction of others. Spokane is changing fairly quickly right now (for a city-slightly faster than geologic time, not as fast as people time!) and that lends a certain urgency to my project. Times and places are a changing! But then again, aren't they always? 

This building used to exist at 119 S Stevens. It was 110 years and had been a grocery store before being converted into a parking garage according to an article in the Spokesman by Nicholas Deshais. The article continued that it was being knocked down to make a 57 stall street parking lot. After reading said article, I made the time to go sit on the sidewalk and paint its funeral portrait. When I went by the area last month, it was gone. My effort to get out and document the face of Spokane makes me more aware of all the changes-amazing renovations of great old buildings and the destruction of others. Spokane is changing fairly quickly right now (for a city-slightly faster than geologic time, not as fast as people time!) and that lends a certain urgency to my project. Times and places are a changing! But then again, aren't they always? 

The Spokesman Review

The Spokesman Review building here in Spokane is a very distinctive landmark with it's tower and the way it dominates the corner of this block. It is an icon of an older time, but I love that it is still in use and, for what I believe, is its original purpose-housing our local newspaper!

SpokesmanReviewBuildingPainting
 In Progress!

In Progress!

 This drawing took me a while to do all the windows and arches, especially in two point perspective. Also, I discovered that it is really fun to write/draw in Times New Roman. 

This drawing took me a while to do all the windows and arches, especially in two point perspective. Also, I discovered that it is really fun to write/draw in Times New Roman. 

 These guys (along with many others) line the outer wall of the Printing Annex. Done by Wayne Chabre, these busts depict important people in Spokane's history. They aren't in this order or positioned this close to each other in reality. I just picked four of the busts that I was drawn to to paint (no pun intended!). If you're interested in more, I highly recommend going on down to Monroe to look at it!

These guys (along with many others) line the outer wall of the Printing Annex. Done by Wayne Chabre, these busts depict important people in Spokane's history. They aren't in this order or positioned this close to each other in reality. I just picked four of the busts that I was drawn to to paint (no pun intended!). If you're interested in more, I highly recommend going on down to Monroe to look at it!

 We have William H. Cowles, the founder of the Spokesman Review (among other things), Spokane Chief Garry, a remarkable native leader from the turn of the previous century, Mother Joseph, an architect, religious leader, and founder of multiple hospitals, and Aubrey L. White who is known as the father of Spokane's parks. 

We have William H. Cowles, the founder of the Spokesman Review (among other things), Spokane Chief Garry, a remarkable native leader from the turn of the previous century, Mother Joseph, an architect, religious leader, and founder of multiple hospitals, and Aubrey L. White who is known as the father of Spokane's parks. 

How many of you subscribe to the Spokesman? Do you read articles online or on Facebook? 

The Bing Theater

According to the history section on the Bing Theater's website, the Bing Theater has gone through many incarnations since its 1915 inauguration. It started out as the Clemmer Theater, but then became the Audian, the State, the Met, and finally the Bing Crosby Theater. The beautiful coffered ceiling conceals an enormous pipe organ to surround the audience with music and sound, remember now, the Bing was built during the era of silent films! Now a days, it is used for theater, dance, music shows, live acts, and more. Here's to reinventing yourself!

 I am really getting fond of painting neon lights and fun lettering!

I am really getting fond of painting neon lights and fun lettering!

 A peek at my work table inside the studio. It is waaay too cold and wet these days to sit out a paint on the sidewalk like I do the rest of the year.

A peek at my work table inside the studio. It is waaay too cold and wet these days to sit out a paint on the sidewalk like I do the rest of the year.

 The murals on the wall were painted by Ivar Peterson, who also did the murals at the Davenport Hotel a few years early. This was painted on location with me sideways in the theater seat.

The murals on the wall were painted by Ivar Peterson, who also did the murals at the Davenport Hotel a few years early. This was painted on location with me sideways in the theater seat.

 This one is rather different than the other paintings. I'm trying to use Artist's Eye on Spokane to push myself in new directions and experiment, rather than just cranking out the same drawings and paintings the whole time. This is a view from the inside lobby of the Bing. The gold and blue shape on the left is the coffered ceiling reflecting on the inside of the window.

This one is rather different than the other paintings. I'm trying to use Artist's Eye on Spokane to push myself in new directions and experiment, rather than just cranking out the same drawings and paintings the whole time. This is a view from the inside lobby of the Bing. The gold and blue shape on the left is the coffered ceiling reflecting on the inside of the window.

Sketching at the Spokane Courthouse

To me, the Spokane Courthouse looks like a fairy tale castle, magical and mysterious, overlooking the Spokane river and all the more interesting for the juxtaposition against its neighbors (such as the building I said reminded me of Hoth in my previous post). Sadly, rather than being filled with expansive ballrooms, sweeping staircases or grand libraries, this castle is filled with paperwork. Frankly, I'm content to admire it from the outside!

 I love the way the late afternoon light warms the stone on the building and makes such a delightful combination with the blue roofs.

I love the way the late afternoon light warms the stone on the building and makes such a delightful combination with the blue roofs.

 A close up of one of the towers and its decorations, bare tree branches intruding on the view.

A close up of one of the towers and its decorations, bare tree branches intruding on the view.

 This painting is bigger than the others-11" x 14", in an attempt to try to get most of the courthouse in. I decided to try something different, forgoing my beloved Pentel Pocket Brush. The trees in front of the courthouse are beautiful with their bare branches and now make me want to come back and try to capture them in the fall as well.

This painting is bigger than the others-11" x 14", in an attempt to try to get most of the courthouse in. I decided to try something different, forgoing my beloved Pentel Pocket Brush. The trees in front of the courthouse are beautiful with their bare branches and now make me want to come back and try to capture them in the fall as well.

More Monroe Street

I enjoyed my sketching adventures on Monroe Street a couple weeks ago, so I decided to continue my way down the street and capture some other things that have caught my attention.

 My intitial sketch in ink (My beloved Pentel Pocketbrush!). Do you recognize this distinctive landmark?

My intitial sketch in ink (My beloved Pentel Pocketbrush!). Do you recognize this distinctive landmark?

 I've always thought that this building looked like something out of Star Wars, particularly the Rebel Base at Hoth. This seems extra appropriate as it seems we have hit the point in the Spokane Winter Season where the snow isn't going to melt until Spring. If you look at my initial drawing, you can see that I added another tree on the left side of the painting to balance the composition while I was in the process of putting paint to paper. I love it when last minute changes work!

I've always thought that this building looked like something out of Star Wars, particularly the Rebel Base at Hoth. This seems extra appropriate as it seems we have hit the point in the Spokane Winter Season where the snow isn't going to melt until Spring. If you look at my initial drawing, you can see that I added another tree on the left side of the painting to balance the composition while I was in the process of putting paint to paper. I love it when last minute changes work!

 This guys with its curly purple roof and winking round windows on top reminds me of buildings I saw when I was studying abroad-particularly the ones in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. It was empty and then under renovation for a long time and I'm happy to see that it has a new residence in the form of some kind of  hair salon. It also happens to be across from Giant Nerd Books, one of my favorite places to look for unusual art books!

This guys with its curly purple roof and winking round windows on top reminds me of buildings I saw when I was studying abroad-particularly the ones in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. It was empty and then under renovation for a long time and I'm happy to see that it has a new residence in the form of some kind of  hair salon. It also happens to be across from Giant Nerd Books, one of my favorite places to look for unusual art books!

 Spokane has a lot of amazing vintage signs and this is one that I've always admired. The crescent moon with gear teeth is such a creative touch! This building is no longer the Crescent Machine Shop (I think it might be being used by the next door restaurant for storage or prep? Unsure), but I'm glad that they kept the sign!

Spokane has a lot of amazing vintage signs and this is one that I've always admired. The crescent moon with gear teeth is such a creative touch! This building is no longer the Crescent Machine Shop (I think it might be being used by the next door restaurant for storage or prep? Unsure), but I'm glad that they kept the sign!

Best wishes for the New  Year and stay warm out there!

Spokane Christmas Scenes

Happy Holidays everyone! This week on Artist's Eye on Spokane, I spent some time wandering around the city, taking in the holiday sights. What do you do for fun around the holidays? Do you have any favorite family traditions?

 On these dark and wintery nights, holiday lights are a welcome addition. Frankly, I'd like it if they went up after Halloween and stayed till Valentine's Day! This is the Holiday Light show at the Gaiser Conservatory at Manito Park. Sadly, I think they might be done for the year, but get out and savor all the other lights that can be seen around town.

On these dark and wintery nights, holiday lights are a welcome addition. Frankly, I'd like it if they went up after Halloween and stayed till Valentine's Day! This is the Holiday Light show at the Gaiser Conservatory at Manito Park. Sadly, I think they might be done for the year, but get out and savor all the other lights that can be seen around town.

 This epic Christmas tree was found in River Park Square Mall. It is SO TALL! Santa was busy with quite a line of children excited to see him and his cheer and kindness warmed my heart. I sketched this sitting next to the escalator in the entryway and for a while, my view was blocked by a high school band group waiting to perform Christmas music. It's a busy season!

This epic Christmas tree was found in River Park Square Mall. It is SO TALL! Santa was busy with quite a line of children excited to see him and his cheer and kindness warmed my heart. I sketched this sitting next to the escalator in the entryway and for a while, my view was blocked by a high school band group waiting to perform Christmas music. It's a busy season!

 I also sketched the same tree last year, using a combination of watercolors, markers, and metallic Sharpies. It is always fun to revisit a subject and try to capture a different element of it. As you can see from my notes, I had musical accompaniment to my drawing this time as well, a choir instead of a band!

I also sketched the same tree last year, using a combination of watercolors, markers, and metallic Sharpies. It is always fun to revisit a subject and try to capture a different element of it. As you can see from my notes, I had musical accompaniment to my drawing this time as well, a choir instead of a band!

 Wheatland Bank has been doing free carriage rides around downtown for the past couple of weeks. Festive and fun! I hitched a ride on the tailgate and enjoyed a horse paced tour of downtown while the kids in the wagon sang Jingle Bells. Have a lovely holiday weekend everyone!

Wheatland Bank has been doing free carriage rides around downtown for the past couple of weeks. Festive and fun! I hitched a ride on the tailgate and enjoyed a horse paced tour of downtown while the kids in the wagon sang Jingle Bells. Have a lovely holiday weekend everyone!

South Monroe Street

I'm always looking for places to sketch when I drive around running errands. I go up and down Monroe a lot, so this week is going to feature some of the buildings that catch my eye.

 Here is the Spokane Public Radio Station with its fabulous Harold Balazs sculpture out front. Spokane Art Supply is right next to it, so I see it a lot! There is a video on the Spokane Public Radio website of musicians drumming and playing with the sculpture and its inauguration.

Here is the Spokane Public Radio Station with its fabulous Harold Balazs sculpture out front. Spokane Art Supply is right next to it, so I see it a lot! There is a video on the Spokane Public Radio website of musicians drumming and playing with the sculpture and its inauguration.

 I've always loved this little building. Seeing these vacuums hanging out on the walls always makes me laugh whenever I drive by. Plus the fact that a small business focusing on sewing machine and vacuum repair still kicking is great. This was painted in my car with the heater on to keep me from freezing. Winter puts a cramp in my plein air painting habit!

I've always loved this little building. Seeing these vacuums hanging out on the walls always makes me laugh whenever I drive by. Plus the fact that a small business focusing on sewing machine and vacuum repair still kicking is great. This was painted in my car with the heater on to keep me from freezing. Winter puts a cramp in my plein air painting habit!

 Hazen Jaeger is a respected funeral service, but what caught my eye was the fabulous signage lettering on the side of their building and the incredible molding and architectural embellishments on the frontage.

Hazen Jaeger is a respected funeral service, but what caught my eye was the fabulous signage lettering on the side of their building and the incredible molding and architectural embellishments on the frontage.

 On the winter afternoon I came by to take photos (no place to park to sketch in my car, sadly), I was struck by the way the fading light hit the upper part of the building and the beautiful structure of the bare branches of the tree planted along the sidewalk.

On the winter afternoon I came by to take photos (no place to park to sketch in my car, sadly), I was struck by the way the fading light hit the upper part of the building and the beautiful structure of the bare branches of the tree planted along the sidewalk.

 The King Building at Maxwell and Monroe has such a regal "crown" (pun intended!), I love the white molding and the name plaque on the edge of the roof. One of our many great brick buildings here in Spokane.  How about you guys? What bit of every day beauty have you seen lately?

The King Building at Maxwell and Monroe has such a regal "crown" (pun intended!), I love the white molding and the name plaque on the edge of the roof. One of our many great brick buildings here in Spokane.

How about you guys? What bit of every day beauty have you seen lately?

Sketching at the Fox Theater

The Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox has a storied history. Built during the Great Depression for a million dollars, it is a gem of Art Deco architecture and styling that was nearly lost to time through decline and neglect. It spent the latter half of the 20th century as a movie theater, all the gorgeous murals and amazing architectural details painted over in red paint. Plans were made to demolish it for a parking lot. Luckily, the Spokane Symphony needed a home and they were able to rally the community to save this amazing building. Today, the Fox hosts dance, live theater, modern music of all genres and more! I was so happy to be able to go to the Nutcracker this year due to the generous gift of tickets to the ballet from Spokane Symphony staff for my role in bringing KXLY to the Fox to film me sketching. I, of course, used this gift as an opportunity for more sketching! :)

 Before the Nutcracker started, my friend Molly and I went over to the Brooklyn Deli for a little something to nibble. While we were waiting for our food to arrive, I sketched the Fox Theater Marque over the 1st Avenue entrance. There's nothing like beautiful, magical theater on a cold winter's night.

Before the Nutcracker started, my friend Molly and I went over to the Brooklyn Deli for a little something to nibble. While we were waiting for our food to arrive, I sketched the Fox Theater Marque over the 1st Avenue entrance. There's nothing like beautiful, magical theater on a cold winter's night.

 I've been itching to sketch the starburst capped panels on either side of the stage since I first saw them at a Gonzaga Choir/Spokane Symphony performance years ago. I finally got my chance while I sat waiting for the Nutcracker to start. Thank you to Alison Highberger for making it possible for me to paint the Fox. Your support and enthusiasm is greatly appreciated!

I've been itching to sketch the starburst capped panels on either side of the stage since I first saw them at a Gonzaga Choir/Spokane Symphony performance years ago. I finally got my chance while I sat waiting for the Nutcracker to start. Thank you to Alison Highberger for making it possible for me to paint the Fox. Your support and enthusiasm is greatly appreciated!

 The murals on the walls inside the Fox depict the transition from under the sea to land. Down here on the ground floor, we're under the sea, with silver, shimmering seaweed. Anthony Heinsbergen created and hand painted these gorgeous murals. I can hardly believe that at one point this dreamy landscape was covered under red paint. I'm so glad it got a chance to get out and shine!

The murals on the walls inside the Fox depict the transition from under the sea to land. Down here on the ground floor, we're under the sea, with silver, shimmering seaweed. Anthony Heinsbergen created and hand painted these gorgeous murals. I can hardly believe that at one point this dreamy landscape was covered under red paint. I'm so glad it got a chance to get out and shine!

 The huge sunbeam in the theater atrium is glorious and awe inspiring. Tackling it was intimidating (Especially since I was being filmed for a clip on KXLY!) and it took four tries before I got the size of the sunbeam on the page correctly, but I'm happy with how this painting came out!   Thank you to Alison Highberger for making it possible for me to paint the Fox. Your support and enthusiasm is greatly appreciated! It never would have worked without you!

The huge sunbeam in the theater atrium is glorious and awe inspiring. Tackling it was intimidating (Especially since I was being filmed for a clip on KXLY!) and it took four tries before I got the size of the sunbeam on the page correctly, but I'm happy with how this painting came out! 

Thank you to Alison Highberger for making it possible for me to paint the Fox. Your support and enthusiasm is greatly appreciated! It never would have worked without you!