historic

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!

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? 

Holidays at the Davenport

The historic Davenport Hotel is a grand dame of downtown Spokane. Rescued from dereliction by Walt Worthy, it is a centerpiece of our city. Every year for the holidays, the Davenport host a fundraiser for the Spokane Symphony called Christmas Tree Elegance where decorated Christmas trees and delightful goodies fill the upper balconies and you can buy raffle tickets for the chance to win one. Gorgeous and festive as those trees all are, I still think my favorite tree is the big one in the center of the hotel atrium.

I did this sketch when I stopped in two years ago to take in all the holiday decorations. A live pianist was playing Christmas music as I sketched. It was pretty much perfect.

I did this sketch when I stopped in two years ago to take in all the holiday decorations. A live pianist was playing Christmas music as I sketched. It was pretty much perfect.

Capturing all the complicated paneling and beams was a challenge!

Capturing all the complicated paneling and beams was a challenge!

Who doesn't love a GIANT Christmas tree?

Who doesn't love a GIANT Christmas tree?

Here is this year's take on the giant Christmas tree. Rather than trying to sketch from ground level, I took to the second floor and found a little table to work at. I got an up close look at the giant lanterns as a bonus!

Here is this year's take on the giant Christmas tree. Rather than trying to sketch from ground level, I took to the second floor and found a little table to work at. I got an up close look at the giant lanterns as a bonus!

The Doge's Hall, an intricate gem of a room. is absolutely gorgeous and rather intimidating to draw. Can you believe that the whole thing was lifted out by a crane during the remodel and then returned?   While I was painting this, several people came to admire the room. One woman walked in and promptly laid down on the carpet to take a picture of the beautiful mural on the ceiling. My kind of person!

The Doge's Hall, an intricate gem of a room. is absolutely gorgeous and rather intimidating to draw. Can you believe that the whole thing was lifted out by a crane during the remodel and then returned? 

While I was painting this, several people came to admire the room. One woman walked in and promptly laid down on the carpet to take a picture of the beautiful mural on the ceiling. My kind of person!

The exterior of the Davenport is lovely as well. I had a lot of fun playing with all the different warm and cool tones!  Stop in and visit the Davenport this month while they still have the decorations up and make sure to grab one of the "Historic Walking Tour" brochures at the desk to learn about all the amazing architecture and history in the hotel.

The exterior of the Davenport is lovely as well. I had a lot of fun playing with all the different warm and cool tones!

Stop in and visit the Davenport this month while they still have the decorations up and make sure to grab one of the "Historic Walking Tour" brochures at the desk to learn about all the amazing architecture and history in the hotel.

Spokane Rail Town

Spokane is a town of trains. Grain, oil, coal, and more. Beautiful Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane used to be a giant rail yard, so did trendy Kendall Yards. Hillyard, a neighborhood to the north and east of downtown is named after "Hill's Yard", another rail yard. Trains are still alive and active in many parts of the city, as seen in the raised bridges at the base of Sunset Hill, running through downtown, and most particularly, to the east of the city out to the edge of the valley where grain elevators pop up along Spague, like giant grey mushrooms. I used to work out not far from the Spokane Fair Grounds and stopped for train crossings was fairly common when I was out running errands. I often drove over the Fancher bridge to the Parkwater Post Office and always enjoyed seeing the Yardley train yard to the east of the bridge and the Parkwater Yard on the west side. 

As I sketched this from my position on the Fancher bridge I enjoyed watching the trains come and go. Sketching while surrounded by activity and change is part of my favorite things about sketching on location. When I packed up my kit, the scene looked quite different than when I'd started thanks to trains leaving and new trains arriving.

As I sketched this from my position on the Fancher bridge I enjoyed watching the trains come and go. Sketching while surrounded by activity and change is part of my favorite things about sketching on location. When I packed up my kit, the scene looked quite different than when I'd started thanks to trains leaving and new trains arriving.

On the other side of the bridge, I'd always admired the brick buildings in the yard. They looked like they had a story. Hearsay says that this large building here used to be a blacksmithry, where repairs were done on site for the trains. This yard has been in use for around 100 years! It is also said that these brick buildings are original Northern Pacific Railroad structures, but I don't have a good source for that so, I don't know if it is true. Are there any train historians out there? If so, please contact me, I'd love to learn more! Especially because I heard a rumor that all the bricks used to build these structures were once used as ballast in old ships! (What a romantic notion!). 

blacksmithbuilding
Beautiful brick step detailing along the roof line here.

Beautiful brick step detailing along the roof line here.

I cropped off part of the building in order to keep the proportion correct on the sheet of paper that I had. That is part of the challenge of painting on location. You only have the supplies that you brought with you and sometimes they aren't ideal and you have to adapt. I liked how it seemed like a solid "object" on the page and decided to isolate it. I struggle with leaving white space, negative space, so I'm proud that I managed to leave some here.

I cropped off part of the building in order to keep the proportion correct on the sheet of paper that I had. That is part of the challenge of painting on location. You only have the supplies that you brought with you and sometimes they aren't ideal and you have to adapt. I liked how it seemed like a solid "object" on the page and decided to isolate it. I struggle with leaving white space, negative space, so I'm proud that I managed to leave some here.

You can see the age showing on this window edge. Love the old glass in the windows too!

You can see the age showing on this window edge. Love the old glass in the windows too!

The repetitive shapes of the window panes are fascinating.

The repetitive shapes of the window panes are fascinating.

I was attracted to this caboose because of its fabulous color combination of turquoise/teal and bright yellow! Super cute!

I was attracted to this caboose because of its fabulous color combination of turquoise/teal and bright yellow! Super cute!

A road grader? Clearly it doesn't move around a lot, but I love the cheery primary colors.

A road grader? Clearly it doesn't move around a lot, but I love the cheery primary colors.

railgrader
roadgrader

Mount Saint Michael's

I first noticed Mt. St. Michael's on my daily commute down the new North-South Corridor. It perches on a hill overlooking the highway like a large brick layer cake, down to the white architectural "frosting". Mt. St. Michael's has been on that location in 1878 and, according to the official website the area was primarily used as a farm, feeding Gonzaga University from 1881 to 1915. It was used as a training ground for Catholic priests and in 1915 they started building a scholasticate to educate and train Jesuits, which had to be closed in 1968 as the number of Jesuits entering service dropped off dramatically. Another fun fact is that the seismograph from Gonzaga was moved into the basement of Mt. St. Michael's in 1930 and was an important source of data for seismologists. In 1977, Mt. St. Michael's was bought from the Jesuits by the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen. Today, there is a convent of Marian Sisters, a k-12 school, chapel, small historical museum, and large library. It is the only place in Spokane that I know of where you can hear Mass in the original Latin as the organization is run by sedevacantists, who do not adhere to the changes in the Catholic church since Vatican II. 

Mtstmichaelsfullviewpainting
It just goes up and up and up!

It just goes up and up and up!

The frontage of the building is enormous. Birds flitted along the walls, perching on the gutters and architectural molding, adding an air of lightness and fun to the heaviness of the brick.

The frontage of the building is enormous. Birds flitted along the walls, perching on the gutters and architectural molding, adding an air of lightness and fun to the heaviness of the brick.

What a doorway!

What a doorway!

The statue of the angel over the main door interested me. The shield it carries say "Who (is) like God?" in Latin and is the literal translation of the name Michael in Hebrew, so perhaps this is the Archangel Michael.

The statue of the angel over the main door interested me. The shield it carries say "Who (is) like God?" in Latin and is the literal translation of the name Michael in Hebrew, so perhaps this is the Archangel Michael.

I followed a trail down to the grotto, passing under shady trees, which was a relief on the hot day. 

I followed a trail down to the grotto, passing under shady trees, which was a relief on the hot day. 

A shady path into the trees is always a temptation.

A shady path into the trees is always a temptation.

The grotto was built by an injured Jesuit brother who promised to build the Virgin Mary a grotto if he were healed.  He clearly kept his promise.

The grotto was built by an injured Jesuit brother who promised to build the Virgin Mary a grotto if he were healed.  He clearly kept his promise.

Leaving the outdoors....

Leaving the outdoors....

The chapel on the second story of the main building.

The chapel on the second story of the main building.

I really liked these angels on the wall. It isn't often you see a brunette angel!

I really liked these angels on the wall. It isn't often you see a brunette angel!

Sketched this while sitting on a pew. I wonder if painting in a chapel is considered sacrilegious? I doubt it since a service wasn't going on and I was surrounded by so much art aimed at beautifying the chapel ("glorifying god" is probably how it would be termed).

Sketched this while sitting on a pew. I wonder if painting in a chapel is considered sacrilegious? I doubt it since a service wasn't going on and I was surrounded by so much art aimed at beautifying the chapel ("glorifying god" is probably how it would be termed).

I spent an enjoyable few hours wandering Mt. St. Michael's on a hot summer afternoon. The view from the top of the bluff that it is perched on is incredible. I will have to go back at some point and paint the land stretching out below!

In other news-I'll be at the South Perry Street Fair this upcoming Saturday from 10 am-8 pm. Come by and say hi! I'd love to talk to you!