sketching

Spring in Spokane

Springtime in Spokane is one of my favorite seasons. Right now the lilacs are in bloom, but a couple weeks ago was prime time for the arrowleaf balsamroot, my very favorite PNW wildflower. They are so cheery and remind me of sunflowers and I love how they pop up all over town in early spring. Dishman Hills Natural Area out in the Spokane Valley is one of the best places in town to enjoy their beauty. Two weeks ago I hiked out there, looking for some painting subjects and spent a highly pleasant evening sitting among the flowers.

Gorgeous swathes of arrowleaf balsamroot.

Gorgeous swathes of arrowleaf balsamroot.

Dishman also have some fabulous rocks and geological features that are great examples of the uniqueness of the Inland Northwest landscape.

Dishman also have some fabulous rocks and geological features that are great examples of the uniqueness of the Inland Northwest landscape.

Shooting star flowers! They are so delicate and lovely.

Shooting star flowers! They are so delicate and lovely.

Not sure what this flower is.

Not sure what this flower is.

Ink drawing of the trifecta-pine tree, arrowleaf, and rocks!

Ink drawing of the trifecta-pine tree, arrowleaf, and rocks!

In progress

In progress

The finished painting!

The finished painting!

Sketchbook pages

Sketchbook pages

I’m at ARTFEST this year!

I am going to be at Artfest this year! May 31st 12-5, June 1st, 10-7, June 2nd, 10-5! Its at Coeur D’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition, home to this charming structure. This is my first show of the year and I’m looking forward to setting up in the park and chatting with people about art. Hope to see you there!

I am going to be at Artfest this year! May 31st 12-5, June 1st, 10-7, June 2nd, 10-5! Its at Coeur D’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition, home to this charming structure. This is my first show of the year and I’m looking forward to setting up in the park and chatting with people about art. Hope to see you there!

Final UK Sketching adventures

As promised, here is the last of my sketching adventures in the UK, mostly of things I brought back and a little bit of sketching on the way home.

This guy is currently hanging on my mini-Christmas tree in my living room and making me so happy! I love the crazy bangs on the cow and the fact that he is playing the bagpipe. ADORABLE.

This guy is currently hanging on my mini-Christmas tree in my living room and making me so happy! I love the crazy bangs on the cow and the fact that he is playing the bagpipe. ADORABLE.

I confess, I haven’t actually eaten this. I stashed it in my luggage in case I needed a snack at some point in our journey and then forgot to eat it or throw it away so it came all the way across the pond with me. I cam down with a cold as I was flying home so I didn’t want a candy bar for a couple weeks afterward as I recovered and now it is old. What does one do with an old, strange foreign candy bar?

I confess, I haven’t actually eaten this. I stashed it in my luggage in case I needed a snack at some point in our journey and then forgot to eat it or throw it away so it came all the way across the pond with me. I cam down with a cold as I was flying home so I didn’t want a candy bar for a couple weeks afterward as I recovered and now it is old. What does one do with an old, strange foreign candy bar?

My beloved blue luggage, sketched while waiting in Seatac for my flight home to Spokane to distract myself from the way my sinuses were pounding.

My beloved blue luggage, sketched while waiting in Seatac for my flight home to Spokane to distract myself from the way my sinuses were pounding.

I drew various bills during the trip and drew the coins when I got home (coins and a couple of fivers were what was left at the end of the trip, no worries, I’m sure I’ll be back in the UK eventually!), adding paint all at the end. Money in the UK is interesting and shows how we’re a bit of an odd duck with our purely paper, one size, all green money. This stuff is plastic-y (goes the wash great, but apparently can get stuck together which is no good when paying bills!), has clear sections, is different sizes at different denominations and comes in all sorts of colors. I enjoyed seeing the difference between bank notes issued by the Bank of England and those by the Bank of Scotland. A theme among everyone though? So many drawings of Queen Elizabeth!

I drew various bills during the trip and drew the coins when I got home (coins and a couple of fivers were what was left at the end of the trip, no worries, I’m sure I’ll be back in the UK eventually!), adding paint all at the end. Money in the UK is interesting and shows how we’re a bit of an odd duck with our purely paper, one size, all green money. This stuff is plastic-y (goes the wash great, but apparently can get stuck together which is no good when paying bills!), has clear sections, is different sizes at different denominations and comes in all sorts of colors. I enjoyed seeing the difference between bank notes issued by the Bank of England and those by the Bank of Scotland. A theme among everyone though? So many drawings of Queen Elizabeth!

ARTIST'S EYE KICKSTARTER FUNDED!

WOO! It is so exciting to announce that my Artist’s Eye on Spokane Kickstarter has officially fully funded! I’m so happy to be able to make this book and get it into people’s hands. Thank you to everyone who has supported me thus far, whether that has been by pledging to the Kickstarter directly, sharing or telling someone about the campaign, or just sending me good vibes. It’s all appreciated!

And if you’d like to get a book or a print, its not too late! The campaign ends on the 30th! Books will be available after December 15th at Pottery Place Plus, but this is your last chance to get your name listed in the back of the book as a supporter AND to get a custom Artist’s Eye on Spokane design stamped inside your book!

Clicke HERE to grab a copy of the book.

The number has gone up even more since this photo was taken. As I’m writing this, we’re just above $5,600 dollars, which brings me to the next item!

The number has gone up even more since this photo was taken. As I’m writing this, we’re just above $5,600 dollars, which brings me to the next item!

A custom Artist’s Eye on Spokane stamp! We blew past that stretch goal ($5,500) in one day, so now everyone who buys a book through the Kickstarter will receive a stamp on the inside of their book!

A custom Artist’s Eye on Spokane stamp! We blew past that stretch goal ($5,500) in one day, so now everyone who buys a book through the Kickstarter will receive a stamp on the inside of their book!

Thanks again everyone. I couldn’t have done it without you!   Regularly schedule updates will resume soon. I have the very last part of my UK sketchbook to share!

Thanks again everyone. I couldn’t have done it without you!

Regularly schedule updates will resume soon. I have the very last part of my UK sketchbook to share!

Artist's Eye in Edinburgh

Here is the second to last blog post about my sketching adventures in the U.K. this past August! If you’re getting this on my email newsletter, feel free to click through to the blog to see my previous sketches in Ireland! Updates about my Artist’s Eye on Spokane Book Kickstarter and the shows I’ll be at this holiday season.

Now: SCOTLAND!

We continued on from Dublin to York (didn’t manage to do much sketching there)and then up to Scotland. This is the York Train Station which when it was built in the late 19th century, was the largest train station in the world. I got this scene sketched in pen before Dad came careening around the corner to tell us that our train was here and we needed to MOVE. Mom and I grabbed our stuff and booked it down the very long platforms and caught out train to Edinburgh. I painted it later based on some quick photos and memories.

We continued on from Dublin to York (didn’t manage to do much sketching there)and then up to Scotland. This is the York Train Station which when it was built in the late 19th century, was the largest train station in the world. I got this scene sketched in pen before Dad came careening around the corner to tell us that our train was here and we needed to MOVE. Mom and I grabbed our stuff and booked it down the very long platforms and caught out train to Edinburgh. I painted it later based on some quick photos and memories.

Fancy British train snacks. They really love their trolley carts here.

Fancy British train snacks. They really love their trolley carts here.

The moody view from our hotel at one of the various volcanic mounds surrounding the town of Edinburgh. It rained and was in the low 60’s which was very confusing coming from Spokane August weather.

The moody view from our hotel at one of the various volcanic mounds surrounding the town of Edinburgh. It rained and was in the low 60’s which was very confusing coming from Spokane August weather.

We had dinner in the castle before the Edinburgh Tattoo (an event that has been on Dad’s bucket list since he studied abroad in York in college). I got a seat at the end of the table which I loved because the view was AMAZING! We had haggis (surprisingly good!) and I was delighted that they piped it into the room and back out again.

We had dinner in the castle before the Edinburgh Tattoo (an event that has been on Dad’s bucket list since he studied abroad in York in college). I got a seat at the end of the table which I loved because the view was AMAZING! We had haggis (surprisingly good!) and I was delighted that they piped it into the room and back out again.

I wore all the clothes that I packed for the night show of the Edinburgh Tattoo. It was 50 degrees and rained at the beginning of the show enough that my pen wouldn’t write on my paper and I had to switch to pencil. Luckily, the rain cleared up and we were wowed by a Lebanese performance group riding horses and drumming, a Swiss troop that lit their drumsticks on fire, and SO MANY bagpipes.

I wore all the clothes that I packed for the night show of the Edinburgh Tattoo. It was 50 degrees and rained at the beginning of the show enough that my pen wouldn’t write on my paper and I had to switch to pencil. Luckily, the rain cleared up and we were wowed by a Lebanese performance group riding horses and drumming, a Swiss troop that lit their drumsticks on fire, and SO MANY bagpipes.

Sketched while waiting for fish and chips at the Doric in Edinburgh. The Walter Scott monument peeked out from above this wall. It is the largest monument to a writer in the world. Edinburgh is a very literary city.   Next up: Adventures in trying to get home and what I brought back.

Sketched while waiting for fish and chips at the Doric in Edinburgh. The Walter Scott monument peeked out from above this wall. It is the largest monument to a writer in the world. Edinburgh is a very literary city.

Next up: Adventures in trying to get home and what I brought back.

Painting at Priest Lake

Priest Lake is one of my favorite places in all the world. I've been coming here, to a cabin my aunt has, for pretty much my whole life. It is beautiful and peaceful and driving up there, I always feel is a bit like coming home.

The view from my aunt's deck.

The view from my aunt's deck.

Yellow umbrellas on the deck while eating at Cavanaugh's.

Yellow umbrellas on the deck while eating at Cavanaugh's.

We walked, kayaked, paddleboarded and ate a lot. A perfect long weekend. Do you have any favorite summer places?

Sketching in Japan

This is the last of my blog posts about my trip to Japan. We spent the last part of our trip in Kyoto and then Osaka. I'd love to go back. Perhaps I can connect up with Spokane's sister city Nishinomiya!

At every hotel we stayed at, they had yukata or "lounge wear" for visitors to wear while staying in the hotel. This was one of my favorites-a classic white and indigo cotton robe decorated in simply "mon" shaped designs.

At every hotel we stayed at, they had yukata or "lounge wear" for visitors to wear while staying in the hotel. This was one of my favorites-a classic white and indigo cotton robe decorated in simply "mon" shaped designs.

This pond was full of koi, several of whom leaped out of the water to catch the bugs hovering above the water in the evening air.

This pond was full of koi, several of whom leaped out of the water to catch the bugs hovering above the water in the evening air.

Waiting at the airport in Hong Kong for our 8 hour lay over. 

Waiting at the airport in Hong Kong for our 8 hour lay over. 

Watching TV in my seat nook on the flight home. Thanks to Dad's crazy mileage points, we flew First Class home to the US and it was AMAZING.

Watching TV in my seat nook on the flight home. Thanks to Dad's crazy mileage points, we flew First Class home to the US and it was AMAZING.

Back to my beloved Alaska Airlines and the commuter flight from Seattle to Spokane. I decided to make the 40 minute flight a good reason to be really minimalist with this sketch.

Back to my beloved Alaska Airlines and the commuter flight from Seattle to Spokane. I decided to make the 40 minute flight a good reason to be really minimalist with this sketch.

Artist's Eye at Get Lit!

This year is Get Lit's 20th anniversary. Get Lit started back in 1998 as a one day event sponsored by Eastern Washington University Press and EWU's Creative writing program, according to their website. Get Lit is now a week long festival that has so many events that it is difficult to get to them all! There are readings, panel discussions, and workshops all over town. I managed to make it to three events, one not officially in the Get Lit program, but scheduled to take part in all the literary hubbub. Another I attended somewhat accidentally as there was a reading at Auntie's on a day when I was working the evening shift at Pottery Place Plus and since it was quiet in the shop, I hung out by the connecting door way to Auntie's and listened to David Axelrod, Christopher Howell, and several other Lost Horse Press authors read their poems.

The Anne Lamott talk at the Bing Crosby Theater on Saturday night was the head lining event of the festival this year (Well, at least in my opinion.). While I was driving around trying to find a parking spot, I noticed that the line to get in was around the block! A fully sold out show, it was so fun to spot people recognizing friends in the crowd that they hadn't realized were also coming. Anne Lamott dished out advice on writing "shitty first drafts," giving yourself short assignments, and the creative process. Wisdom and laughter, always an excellent combination.

The Anne Lamott talk at the Bing Crosby Theater on Saturday night was the head lining event of the festival this year (Well, at least in my opinion.). While I was driving around trying to find a parking spot, I noticed that the line to get in was around the block! A fully sold out show, it was so fun to spot people recognizing friends in the crowd that they hadn't realized were also coming. Anne Lamott dished out advice on writing "shitty first drafts," giving yourself short assignments, and the creative process. Wisdom and laughter, always an excellent combination.

Stephen PItters's released his latest poetry book, "Unrecorded" at the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture in a event featuring visual artists (me!), amazing jazz music by Jermaine Carlton, and a video of a dance choreographed by Gonzaga University dance students set to a song written inspired by one of his poems. A multi-media extravaganza!

Stephen PItters's released his latest poetry book, "Unrecorded" at the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture in a event featuring visual artists (me!), amazing jazz music by Jermaine Carlton, and a video of a dance choreographed by Gonzaga University dance students set to a song written inspired by one of his poems. A multi-media extravaganza!

I can't wait till next year!

Main Street Explorations

Boots Bakery is one of my favorite places in downtown Spokane. Not only do they have delicious food, but also beautiful murals inside and frequently host poetry slams and a bunch of other creative events. I can't wait for sunshine and warm weather so I can sit on the patio and watch people go by.

I love this shade of blue!

I love this shade of blue!

I painted this during Leadership Spokane's Art day. Thanks to Brooke Nicholson for inviting me. It was great to meet so many lovely people interested in doing exciting things in Spokane! If you'd like to invite me to come paint at your event, please email me at meganperkinsartstudio@gmail.com.

I painted this during Leadership Spokane's Art day. Thanks to Brooke Nicholson for inviting me. It was great to meet so many lovely people interested in doing exciting things in Spokane! If you'd like to invite me to come paint at your event, please email me at meganperkinsartstudio@gmail.com.

This wall of mirrors is inside of Boots. The way the light comes through the front windows is lovely and there is something about the repetition of a objects that makes a collection on the wall very compelling.

This wall of mirrors is inside of Boots. The way the light comes through the front windows is lovely and there is something about the repetition of a objects that makes a collection on the wall very compelling.

Boots is one of the restaurants inside the Longbotham Building. Zola is another one. There is so much going on at street level, I don't know how many people look up to admire the building's crown but with its signage, year, sculpture, crests, rusty bits, and a teal and lime green patina if they aren't, they are missing out! 

Boots is one of the restaurants inside the Longbotham Building. Zola is another one. There is so much going on at street level, I don't know how many people look up to admire the building's crown but with its signage, year, sculpture, crests, rusty bits, and a teal and lime green patina if they aren't, they are missing out! 

I think I need to do a bigger painting of this building-maybe something full scale from the crown to the sidewalk. Another one for the to-do list!

I think I need to do a bigger painting of this building-maybe something full scale from the crown to the sidewalk. Another one for the to-do list!

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!

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!

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!

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.

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!

Zona Blanca

I've been painting a lot of Spokane landmarks with years of tradition stretching back, but this week we're going in a different direction. Spokane is growing and changing and full of vibrant energy. Zona Blanca and Chef Chad is a big part of that. A contestant on Top Chef and a hometown Spokane guy, Chef Chad opened Zona Blanca, a ceviche restaurant, just over a year ago in the Steel Barrel Tap Room, a brewery incubator space.  I found Zona Blanca on Instagram shortly after it opened. The colorful plates of food, wild and creative captivated me and I immediately put it on my list as place to go draw at. I wanted to see if the food tasted as good as it looked!

Spoiler alert.

It did.

I enjoyed my Octopus tostado by a window and after I drew and ate it (Take that hipsters, I did you one better! No food photos, food paintings!), I admired the view of trains passing by on the elevated tracks, a quintessential downtown Spokane scene.

Elevated train rail!

Elevated train rail!

Delicious!

Delicious!

All gone!

All gone!

 

 

Come see me this weekend at the Urban Art Coop Holiday Show! 10am-5pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday. Free Admission at Urban Art Coop: 3209 N Monroe St, Spokane, Washington 99205. I'll have new prints and cards, including prints of my paintings of Auntie's and the White Elephant!

White Elephant Store Kiddie Ride

White Elephant Store Kiddie Ride

Hurray for Auntie's Bookstore!

Hurray for Auntie's Bookstore!

Auntie's Bookstore

Auntie's Bookstore is a fabulous independent bookstore in the historic Liberty Building in the heart of downtown Spokane. I am a huge bookworm and love to read so bookstores are one of my favorite places to visit (though resisting the urge to add to my giant personal library at home is always challenging).

The sweeping staircases up and around the open atrium at Auntie's is a distinctive part of the store. It is always fun to peer down at everyone browsing their way around the ground floor.

The sweeping staircases up and around the open atrium at Auntie's is a distinctive part of the store. It is always fun to peer down at everyone browsing their way around the ground floor.

Here is Auntie herself, happily reading with a hot cup of tea on her sign outside the store. 

Here is Auntie herself, happily reading with a hot cup of tea on her sign outside the store. 

I always stop at these freestanding bookshelves when I visit. I always find new and interesting books that way. This stand seemed to have a lot of Star Wars and Harry Potter stuff! Not sure how I feel about the Star Wars/Shakespeare crossovers!

I always stop at these freestanding bookshelves when I visit. I always find new and interesting books that way. This stand seemed to have a lot of Star Wars and Harry Potter stuff! Not sure how I feel about the Star Wars/Shakespeare crossovers!

Rick Davis is a local sculpture artist working in metal. Several of his sculptures hang from the railings in the atrium. Large, strange and kind of prehistoric looking, I love seeing them. Definitely not something that they would have at Barnes & Nobles! 

Rick Davis is a local sculpture artist working in metal. Several of his sculptures hang from the railings in the atrium. Large, strange and kind of prehistoric looking, I love seeing them. Definitely not something that they would have at Barnes & Nobles! 

Small Business Saturday is coming up and I highly recommend putting Auntie's on your shopping list. They have books, magazines, journals, cards and stationary, coloring books, t-shirts, fun knickknacks, and more!

Wolffy's Diner-a Spokane Stalwart

Wolffy's is an old fashioned diner with great food and great prices, which makes it popular with all the nearby Gonzaga students! That was my first experience with the place. A friend of mine was obsessed with Wolffy's and went nearly every Saturday, so one day a couple of friends and I went with him. Good memories ensued, so I always have fond feelings whenever I drive past the restaurant.

The restaurant has a really fun retro exterior. I had a lot of fun painting the neon lettering!

The restaurant has a really fun retro exterior. I had a lot of fun painting the neon lettering!

I stopped in to sketch at Wolffy's around 11:30 am and the place was packed! It is a lot of fun to sit at the counter with other people-college students, construction workers, people bringing their out of town visitors...I'm so glad to see the restaurant is doing well and staying busy!

I stopped in to sketch at Wolffy's around 11:30 am and the place was packed! It is a lot of fun to sit at the counter with other people-college students, construction workers, people bringing their out of town visitors...I'm so glad to see the restaurant is doing well and staying busy!

Wolffy'sgrillsketch

I picked a spot at the counter in front of the grill so I could watch the action, even though I had to break the "seat spacing rules" of alternating empty stools. The fry cook was a wonder in action, cooking up multiple orders in a dance of spatulas and sizzle.

A big basket of fries and a milkshake for around $7 is hard to beat, plus you get such great atmosphere. Get on down to Wolffy's and grab yourself a spot at the counter!

A big basket of fries and a milkshake for around $7 is hard to beat, plus you get such great atmosphere. Get on down to Wolffy's and grab yourself a spot at the counter!