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!
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
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?
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!
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!
How many of you subscribe to the Spokesman? Do you read articles online or on Facebook?
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!
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 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.
Best wishes for the New Year and stay warm out there!
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?
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.
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! :)
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.
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!
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).
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!
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
Have you been to any fun sports events this summer? Are you looking forward to fall? Drop me a line!
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.
I love all the flags hung along the nave!
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!
As always, if you have any suggestions for where I should sketch, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org 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!