spokane

Mukogawa

At the end of last year I made a foray over to Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute out on the west side of town and was delighted what I found-tall trees lining a long and misty path, surprise public art, a delicately decorated historic church moved from GU’s campus decades ago, rows of brick buildings, formerly barracks and fort offices, now repurposed for the college, a fabulous brick path and more. Thank you to Akihiro Nakahara for the fabulous tour...I was really inspired!

This painting is the result of wistfully thinking about spring as I batten down the hatches for  another snow storm. Koi fly at Mukogawa in the spring time  for Boy’s Day, a Japanese children’s holiday.

This painting is the result of wistfully thinking about spring as I batten down the hatches for another snow storm. Koi fly at Mukogawa in the spring time for Boy’s Day, a Japanese children’s holiday.

In progress shot.

In progress shot.

I had to laugh when I saw the Sisters of the Holy Names Music Center on the Mukogawa campus. I went to Holy Names High School in Seattle and it seems like the order of nuns pops up all over the Pacific Northwest!

I had to laugh when I saw the Sisters of the Holy Names Music Center on the Mukogawa campus. I went to Holy Names High School in Seattle and it seems like the order of nuns pops up all over the Pacific Northwest!

One  of the things I love about the Fort Wright Mukogawa campus is the quantity of tall old trees, especially the ones lining the road into the  campus. I even heard that one of the oldest ponderosa pines in Spokane  is here on campus! Want to take a stroll?

One of the things I love about the Fort Wright Mukogawa campus is the quantity of tall old trees, especially the ones lining the road into the campus. I even heard that one of the oldest ponderosa pines in Spokane is here on campus! Want to take a stroll?

Sketchbook studies of a petite white and gold church decorated with all sorts of interesting shapes. I heard it was moved over the Fort Wright campus from Gonzaga long ago. Anyone have an information about its history?

Sketchbook studies of a petite white and gold church decorated with all sorts of interesting shapes. I heard it was moved over the Fort Wright campus from Gonzaga long ago. Anyone have an information about its history?

A surprising sculpture in an evergreen shrub.

A surprising sculpture in an evergreen shrub.

Gloriously colored and patterned brick make up the paths in some parts of campus.

Gloriously colored and patterned brick make up the paths in some parts of campus.

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

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.

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!

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.

Artist's Eye on Spokane On TV

Exciting news everyone! Artist's Eye on Spokane (and thus ME) made it on tv! KXLY here in Spokane in fact, but now the video has been released to the internet and I am sharing it with you here!

Caroline Flynn of KXLY and I have been in touch since this summer trying to work out a time when our schedules could mesh together and it finally did. Caroline interviewed me about Artist's Eye on Spokane at the historic Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox and filmed me as I painted the iconic sunbeam light in the auditorium. Watch the video to see me in action! Thank you to the wonderful Alison Highberger at the Fox for helping me coordinate this visit. 

I was a bit nervous to be filmed and it is a bit odd to see and hear myself in video form, but Caroline is a total pro and I think the video came out great!

You can also click here for the video along with a short summarizing article. 

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!

The White Elephant-A Spokane Tradition

A bit late thanks to an exciting trip down to the Southwest this past week. I went down for a wedding and decided to take the week with a friend and go to the Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park. It was delightful! Please let me know if you'd like to see some of the paintings I made while on the trip even though it isn't paintings of Spokane! 

Now on with our regularly scheduled programming: The White Elephant!

WhiteElephantOutsideSketch1

The White Elephant with its vintage lettering and proliferation of white elephants all over its building always makes me happy. I mean, who doesn't like cute elephants? A busy camping/outdoors and toy store (a combination that seemed odd to me originally, until I was won over to the White Elephant's ways), it saw plenty of traffic through its doors as I sketched the outside of the building from across the street. 

Why is there a swing set on the roof of this building? Who knows. Also, MORE elephants!

Why is there a swing set on the roof of this building? Who knows. Also, MORE elephants!

This kiddie ride is a beloved toy for all children visiting the store. I saw several delighted kids ride it was I painted at the store.

This kiddie ride is a beloved toy for all children visiting the store. I saw several delighted kids ride it was I painted at the store.

I played with Playmobile toys when I was a kid so I LOVED seeing these three foot tall Playmobile figurines on the shelf at the White Elephant. So fun! The blue rectangles below are a wall of endless Hot Wheel cars. Perhaps the White Elephant needs to be on your Christmas shopping list? (Eep! Sorry for bringing up Christmas shopping! :) )

I played with Playmobile toys when I was a kid so I LOVED seeing these three foot tall Playmobile figurines on the shelf at the White Elephant. So fun! The blue rectangles below are a wall of endless Hot Wheel cars. Perhaps the White Elephant needs to be on your Christmas shopping list? (Eep! Sorry for bringing up Christmas shopping! :) )

Pig Out in the Park

Like many Spokane traditions, I first learned about Pig out in the Park as a freshman at Gonzaga University and it is a tradition I've been fond of ever since. Row after row of delicious food? People watching galore? the Inland Northwest in the fall? What's not to love?

Piggly's Barbeque had meat spinning on skewers and the smokey smell of BBQ filled the air as I sketched the Clock Tower overlooking all the activities.

Piggly's Barbeque had meat spinning on skewers and the smokey smell of BBQ filled the air as I sketched the Clock Tower overlooking all the activities.

The kettle corn booth was fascinating. Corn kernels were popped in a wide open kettle that was then flipped into the barrel of caramel syrup as the man stirred frantically and steam rose from the barrel. The guy had to wear a protective face mask!

The kettle corn booth was fascinating. Corn kernels were popped in a wide open kettle that was then flipped into the barrel of caramel syrup as the man stirred frantically and steam rose from the barrel. The guy had to wear a protective face mask!

Pig Out isn't just about food, there are plenty of concerts as well! I had a great time sketching the lunch time crowd while enjoying fabulous live music.

Pig Out isn't just about food, there are plenty of concerts as well! I had a great time sketching the lunch time crowd while enjoying fabulous live music.

These next three images are close ups of the sketch above.

These next three images are close ups of the sketch above.

    

 

 

    

 

 

Here is a sketch of a concert at the Clock Tower field at last year's Pig Out in the Park.     Did any of you go to Pig Out in the Park? What was your favorite thing to eat? I had a gyro, but was sorely tempted by a block of fries!

Here is a sketch of a concert at the Clock Tower field at last year's Pig Out in the Park.

 

Did any of you go to Pig Out in the Park? What was your favorite thing to eat? I had a gyro, but was sorely tempted by a block of fries!

August Sketch Grab Bag

This week is a bit of a grab bag. The process going to sketch the building below started a couple weeks ago when I came across a Spokesman Review article by Nick Deshais about how this historic building at S 119 Stevens is going to be demolished to make room for surface parking. I loved the sign and the intricate brick work across the top so I made the time to drop by. Sitting on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street, I sketched and thought about the time and effort taken to do the decorative work on the building, the uniqueness of the sign and the way that things change.

S. 119 Stevens, soon to be a parking lot. I hope the sign gets preserved. If they were going to throw it out, I'd take it!

S. 119 Stevens, soon to be a parking lot. I hope the sign gets preserved. If they were going to throw it out, I'd take it!

This is the Museum of Art and Culture out in Browne's Addition. I've always loved the statue of the animals stacked on top of each other. I wonder what their story is?

This is the Museum of Art and Culture out in Browne's Addition. I've always loved the statue of the animals stacked on top of each other. I wonder what their story is?

The other bronze animal sculptures at the MAC definitely have a story according to Zachary Wnek of  Spokane Historical. 

The other bronze animal sculptures at the MAC definitely have a story according to Zachary Wnek of Spokane Historical. 

Weasel Sculpture
This is the Weasel, negotiating with the Two Leggeds. 

This is the Weasel, negotiating with the Two Leggeds. 

Here is the Salmon preparing the way to the River. I just thought they were chubby goldfish with a penchant for destruction of public property.

Here is the Salmon preparing the way to the River. I just thought they were chubby goldfish with a penchant for destruction of public property.

salmon finding way sculpture
And this Salmon has the money! Now I want to go back and find all the other figures that are part of the story! What fun! The maker of these sculptures is Tom Otterness if you'd like to check out the rest of his work.

And this Salmon has the money! Now I want to go back and find all the other figures that are part of the story! What fun! The maker of these sculptures is Tom Otterness if you'd like to check out the rest of his work.

Kendall Yards Night Market

Kendall Yards is a relatively new neighborhood in Spokane, built a top an old rail yard (hence the name), but despite its youth and rough edges (parts are still under construction as I type), it has become crazy popular due to the many fabulous restaurants and businesses there. I myself am a big fan of Central Food (and their patio!) and frequently buy their fresh baked bread to take home. Brain Freeze Creamery is a no brainer (ha ha ha) for something to eat as you stroll down the Centennial Trail. Spark Central is a place to read, explore, play with cool technological widgets and learn! I also always pop into the Marmot Art Gallery and William Grant Gallery for a dose of art (though many of the stores display art for first Friday so you are spoiled for choice!). The Kendall Yards Night Market is a party on the streets as people peruse stalls containing not only fruit and vegetables, but fresh baked pastries, salsa, teas, honey, meat, nuts and more. There are food trucks and Veraci's mobile pizza oven and concerts at the "Nest" (the open plaza) are frequent. Last week also happened to be the "Renaissance Night Market" with dressed performers from the Spokane Renaissance fair strolling among the crowd and demonstrating sword fighting and dancing to all the visitors. 

August is sunflower season at the farmer's market!

August is sunflower season at the farmer's market!

There usually a couple food trucks on site to tempt the taste buds. I was too busy sketching to sample this one's wares, but judging by the gathering of people in front of it, it is good! I believe it is called Beet It Up!

There usually a couple food trucks on site to tempt the taste buds. I was too busy sketching to sample this one's wares, but judging by the gathering of people in front of it, it is good! I believe it is called Beet It Up!

Spokane Sidewalk Games provides over sized games to play on the sidewalk (duh!). Both Connect Four and Checkers were immensely popular with kids of all ages.

Spokane Sidewalk Games provides over sized games to play on the sidewalk (duh!). Both Connect Four and Checkers were immensely popular with kids of all ages.

I attempted to sketch a couple of the Renaissance performers as they went through the motions of a dance. I am planning to attend and sketch the Renaissance Fair in October, which should be a lot of fun.

I attempted to sketch a couple of the Renaissance performers as they went through the motions of a dance. I am planning to attend and sketch the Renaissance Fair in October, which should be a lot of fun.

Folkinception, a local band, gearing up to "Rock the Nest" aka perform in the plaza in Kendall Yards, known as "the Nest" because of a nearby osprey nest and the plaza's position near the edge of the river gorge.

Folkinception, a local band, gearing up to "Rock the Nest" aka perform in the plaza in Kendall Yards, known as "the Nest" because of a nearby osprey nest and the plaza's position near the edge of the river gorge.

I'm not sure that the maker of this red abstract sculpture planned for it to be climbed by children, but I'm sure he or she would be delighted to see their work interacted with in such an enthusiastic fashion. I loved to play with public sculpture as a kid and it still makes me immensely happy today.

I'm not sure that the maker of this red abstract sculpture planned for it to be climbed by children, but I'm sure he or she would be delighted to see their work interacted with in such an enthusiastic fashion. I loved to play with public sculpture as a kid and it still makes me immensely happy today.

Sketching at a Spokane Indians' Game

The first time I ever went to a minor league baseball game it was because a friend invited me. I had no idea that minor league baseball still existed! It was in Everrett and the hometown team, the Aquasox, were playing the Spokane Indians, who beat the pants off the Sox. I was completely charmed by the scoreboard with its manual score cards, the scarves and paraphernalia worn by fans, the fact that trash pick up at the end of the game was done by a Boy Scout Troop. Norman Rockwell's America was right here, at the baseball stadium. Fast forward a couple years and I've attended a few games here in town in support of my now home team, the Spokane Indians. When I'm not chowing down on a hot dog or Dippin Dots out of a miniature helmet, I sketched players and the colorful ads and accouterments of the stadium.

Recently I reached out to the Spokane Indians to see if I could come out and sketch at the stadium in some behind the scenes places and was thrilled when they said yes!

This vendor had a great sales patter routine, a highlight of which was "The sun is hot, this beer is NOT." Luckily, I found a tiny patch of shade to sit in.

This vendor had a great sales patter routine, a highlight of which was "The sun is hot, this beer is NOT." Luckily, I found a tiny patch of shade to sit in.

Sketched from the dancing mascot platform next to the Coors Caboose, you can see the smoke and haze in the air as the sun sets. I had to hurry to finish this painting so that the mascot could take the stage!

Sketched from the dancing mascot platform next to the Coors Caboose, you can see the smoke and haze in the air as the sun sets. I had to hurry to finish this painting so that the mascot could take the stage!

They let me up into the press box to sketch the scene below. I clamored up stairs and ramps that led up the back side of the stadium walls and roof into the box where I quickly discovered that when the crowd got excited, the whole box rocked! This made painting both challenging and exhilerating.

They let me up into the press box to sketch the scene below. I clamored up stairs and ramps that led up the back side of the stadium walls and roof into the box where I quickly discovered that when the crowd got excited, the whole box rocked! This made painting both challenging and exhilerating.

I was determined to try to capture a wide lens view of the field and stands from above, but was foiled by the limits of my paper and time. You can see the sky is dark here and before I was able to add color to the players or the crowd in the stands, the last inning was played and I had to clean up and head for home. It was a delightful night. Thank you so much to the Spokane Indians for hosting me!

I was determined to try to capture a wide lens view of the field and stands from above, but was foiled by the limits of my paper and time. You can see the sky is dark here and before I was able to add color to the players or the crowd in the stands, the last inning was played and I had to clean up and head for home. It was a delightful night. Thank you so much to the Spokane Indians for hosting me!

Now for a throw back to the past-a peek into my sketchbook last year when I went to an Indians game with some friends. It is fun to revisit locations I've sketched at before and try to get a new perspective or cover areas that I didn't manage before.

avistastadium sketchbookpage

Have you been to any fun sports events this summer? Are you looking forward to fall? Drop me a line!

St. John's Cathedral

For years and years I have driven past St. John's Cathedral. Sitting on Division on my way down to downtown Spokane, the tower is a distinct silhouette on the lower South Hill and every time I see it, I think, "Man, that looks so cool. I really do need to stop in there sometime" and then I don't. Last week that ended and I can't believe that it took me SIX YEARS to get up there to visit it. St. John's Cathedral is a beautiful refuge and a fascinating example of Gothic architecture. I hope seeing all these paintings will encourage you to go visit this grand landmark here in Spokane.

All my fun facts written below are from "A Guide to The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist" brochure that I found at the Cathedral.

The Tower is 167 ft and 9 inches tall.

The Tower is 167 ft and 9 inches tall.

St. John's Tower Pic
The ceiling beams in the nave are made of California Redwood. 

The ceiling beams in the nave are made of California Redwood. 

nave

I love all the flags hung along the nave!

    

 

 

The baptismal font is made of Tennessee and Italian marble and weighs 2,600 pounds!

The baptismal font is made of Tennessee and Italian marble and weighs 2,600 pounds!

The cathedral can fit around 1,000 people. 

The organ has 4,112 pipes.

The carillon (the bell set) was built and installed by the John Taylor Belfoundry of Loughborough, England. The largest bell is called Big John and weighs 5,000 pounds!

Spokane Youth Symphony practicing in the nave of the Cathedral. I stumbled  upon this by accident and it was fabulous to paint with live music accompaniment!

Spokane Youth Symphony practicing in the nave of the Cathedral. I stumbled  upon this by accident and it was fabulous to paint with live music accompaniment!

Oops! Ran out of paper trying to fit this MASSIVE door front all on the same page. The sketches made at St. John's are some of the largest I've done thus far for the Artist's Eye on Spokane Project.

Oops! Ran out of paper trying to fit this MASSIVE door front all on the same page. The sketches made at St. John's are some of the largest I've done thus far for the Artist's Eye on Spokane Project.

st.johnfrontdoor
The outside of the cathedral is made from stone quarried in Tacoma. The interior of the nave is sandstone from Idaho and the rest is Indiana limestone.

The outside of the cathedral is made from stone quarried in Tacoma. The interior of the nave is sandstone from Idaho and the rest is Indiana limestone.

Volunteer guides offer tours of the Cathedral most Fridays and Saturdays 11 am-2 pm and on Sundays following the 10:30 am service. 

Volunteer guides offer tours of the Cathedral most Fridays and Saturdays 11 am-2 pm and on Sundays following the 10:30 am service. 

I was walking around exploring the darkened corners of the cathedral and then I turned around and saw this view. Absolutely stunning! This is the biggest painting I've ever done on location 16" x 20" !

I was walking around exploring the darkened corners of the cathedral and then I turned around and saw this view. Absolutely stunning! This is the biggest painting I've ever done on location 16" x 20" !

As always, if you have any suggestions for where I should sketch, drop me a line at meganperkinsartstudio@gmail.com or just say hi! I'd love to hear from you. Also, if you know anyone who might like to get a weekly dose of art, feel free to share this with them. Help my project grow!