urban

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!

Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral

The white caps and crosses on the top of the towers of Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral peek above the buildings along the Spokane River when viewed from Kendall yards. Situated on Riverside Avenue in a block that holds the Philanthropy Center, the Spokane Club and the old Masonic Temple and just across the street from the Spokesman Review Building, the Cathedral is in good company. Open for short periods of time before and after Mass each day, you can duck in to admire the vaulted ceilings and art. If that doesn't work for your schedule, no worries, there is plenty of beauty to be found in the exterior.

I'd describe the brick that makes up the Cathedral as "salmon," though "pink" works just as well! I am constantly astounded by the range of colors in the brick buildings I find all over town. Brown, orange, burnt siena, umber, pink, salmon, cream, ochre and more!

I'd describe the brick that makes up the Cathedral as "salmon," though "pink" works just as well! I am constantly astounded by the range of colors in the brick buildings I find all over town. Brown, orange, burnt siena, umber, pink, salmon, cream, ochre and more!

The patina on the bronze cast doors was unreal, practically a rainbow! 

The patina on the bronze cast doors was unreal, practically a rainbow! 

This is my favorite of the bronze sculptures above the three entrance doors. I loved how the bronze had a purple cast to it and how that looked next to the salmon pink brick. 

This is my favorite of the bronze sculptures above the three entrance doors. I loved how the bronze had a purple cast to it and how that looked next to the salmon pink brick. 

If you've never made a trip down to Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral, it and the surrounding area are definitely worth a visit, then walk down to the Monroe Street Bridge and along the Centennial Trail to admire the falls!

Playing at the Paulsen Penthouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One pattern lozenge from the painted ceiling.

One pattern lozenge from the painted ceiling.

Engraving on a wall decoration I think.

Engraving on a wall decoration I think.

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

Garland Neighborhood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boulevard Mercantile

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

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

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

Splashy in-progress painting.

Splashy in-progress painting.

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

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

Spokane's State of the City

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's to Spokane and its future!

Revitalized Sprague

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wandering Hillyard

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

Initial Drawing.

Initial Drawing.

In progress.

In progress.

Finished!

Finished!

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

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

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

Initial drawing-only one person!

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

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

And now two! 

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

Hotel Otis

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

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

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

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

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

My initial drawing!

My initial drawing!

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

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

The Spokesman Review

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

SpokesmanReviewBuildingPainting
In Progress!

In Progress!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bing Theater

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sketching at the Spokane Courthouse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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