urban sketching

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.

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.

Sketching at the KXLY Morning Show

I had a super early wake up call to be on the KXLY Morning Show-3:30, so I could down to the studio and be ready to go before they started filming at 5 am. Robyn, Derek, Mark, and the film crew all must go to bed really early! I found a spot that was out of the way of the action but still gave me a good view. It was really fun to see how the news casters moved in and out of the small sets around the studio for different clips. 

Ready, set, ACTION! (They don't actually say that. Instead they do a count down until "live.").

Ready, set, ACTION! (They don't actually say that. Instead they do a count down until "live.").

Derek and Robyn at their desk with their coffee!

Derek and Robyn at their desk with their coffee!

Thanks to my lovely Aunt Judy for doing whatever it took to record these clips of me getting interviewed on the Morning show! It is a bit of an odd feeling to watch myself in video, but I think it is something I could get used to! 

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!

Sketching at the Steam Plant

The Steam Plant building in downtown Spokane is a restaurant and brewery and houses offices and store fronts as well, but the name is a remnant of an older time. The building was an actual functioning steam plant for 70 years according to their website. It didn't shut down until 1986. Renovated with a vision toward making the most of the industrial space, many elements of the Steam Plant's past remain which create a unique atmosphere. I know I'm sounding a bit like an ad for the Steam Plant here, but I have a soft spot for creative reuse, adapting to the surroundings and reusing old material in new and exciting ways, so I was thrilled by the aesthetics of the space. There's a lot of inspiration there! 

This is a corner in one of the side rooms of the building. I loved the abstract composition created by the girders and pipes and the way the lighter elements emerged out of the darkness.

This is a corner in one of the side rooms of the building. I loved the abstract composition created by the girders and pipes and the way the lighter elements emerged out of the darkness.

I worked my way across the page from left to right in order to not smear the paint (I'm right handed). Painting this was slow work, but worth it for the final result!

I worked my way across the page from left to right in order to not smear the paint (I'm right handed). Painting this was slow work, but worth it for the final result!

Walking by, this caught my eye. I think it is the front of an old boiler room, but don't quote me on that. Now it is a window into a private dining room, wallpapered in thin pipes. 

Walking by, this caught my eye. I think it is the front of an old boiler room, but don't quote me on that. Now it is a window into a private dining room, wallpapered in thin pipes. 

The pipes that run down the wall here trickle water into a trough made by cutting a large horizontal pipe in half. You can see the fixture it ran through on the left size just above the table. Creative thinking with a great result!

The pipes that run down the wall here trickle water into a trough made by cutting a large horizontal pipe in half. You can see the fixture it ran through on the left size just above the table. Creative thinking with a great result!

This is a sketch done in a long vertical sketchbook two years ago. Done while sitting on a window ledge of the Davenport Hotel (carefully avoiding their decorative spikes!) just before going to the Broken Mic poetry reading at Neato Burrito. The stacks of the Steam Plant are an iconic part of the Spokane skyline and I hope they always will be!

This is a sketch done in a long vertical sketchbook two years ago. Done while sitting on a window ledge of the Davenport Hotel (carefully avoiding their decorative spikes!) just before going to the Broken Mic poetry reading at Neato Burrito. The stacks of the Steam Plant are an iconic part of the Spokane skyline and I hope they always will be!

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!