watercolor

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.

Ireland is Gorgeous!

We spent several days roaming about Ireland. I know that the UK experienced a severe drought this summer, but it rained several times while we were there and, as a Spokanite, I hadn’t seen rain in months. It was excellent but confusing.

This is a college that was a short walk from our hotel. The rest of the family decided to go to bed early (It was 8pm but we weren’t adjusted to the time zone yet!), but I decided to walk back despite the stormy skies and try to get in a quick sketch. I sat just inside the wrought iron gates in case they closed at a certain hour and I’d have to Indian Jones my way through before they locked me in (High stone walls are everywhere in Ireland!).

This is a college that was a short walk from our hotel. The rest of the family decided to go to bed early (It was 8pm but we weren’t adjusted to the time zone yet!), but I decided to walk back despite the stormy skies and try to get in a quick sketch. I sat just inside the wrought iron gates in case they closed at a certain hour and I’d have to Indian Jones my way through before they locked me in (High stone walls are everywhere in Ireland!).

This drawing got made because we made a miscalculation about when our train back to Dublin left and I got a spare hour to sketch this Gothic beauty that was across the street from the station.

This drawing got made because we made a miscalculation about when our train back to Dublin left and I got a spare hour to sketch this Gothic beauty that was across the street from the station.

Painted later.

Painted later.

O’Neil’s is a sprawling pub in Dublin that had multiple bars on multiple floors. We sat near the Whiskey Bar, but there was also the Lounge Bar, the Wine bar, and more (SO many staircases!)! Food was downstairs and some of it was a deli/cafeteria style but it was also a to-order restaurant. In conclusion, we were so confused and ended up spending a ton of time there trying to figure out what we needed to do to get some food!. We were there so late, we decided to hang on just a little longer when we learned there was going to be live music. We were rewarded for our patience. I drew a million whiskey bottles.

O’Neil’s is a sprawling pub in Dublin that had multiple bars on multiple floors. We sat near the Whiskey Bar, but there was also the Lounge Bar, the Wine bar, and more (SO many staircases!)! Food was downstairs and some of it was a deli/cafeteria style but it was also a to-order restaurant. In conclusion, we were so confused and ended up spending a ton of time there trying to figure out what we needed to do to get some food!. We were there so late, we decided to hang on just a little longer when we learned there was going to be live music. We were rewarded for our patience. I drew a million whiskey bottles.

Surprise live music at the bar! It was fabulous and there were two Irish dancers who performed mere feet from our table. One of those magical moments of travel where you luck into something amazing.

Surprise live music at the bar! It was fabulous and there were two Irish dancers who performed mere feet from our table. One of those magical moments of travel where you luck into something amazing.

We took a little prop plane from Ireland over to England. I was going to give my brother my window seat just to be nice, but then I saw this view and told him, “Offer revoked!”

We took a little prop plane from Ireland over to England. I was going to give my brother my window seat just to be nice, but then I saw this view and told him, “Offer revoked!”

Sketching in Japan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artist Adventures in Japan pt 2

We were fortunate to see Mt. Fuji. Normally she is shrouded in mist. I grew up just south of Seattle and a common phrase there, usually uttered in celebratory tones, is, "The mountain is out!" Back there, "the mountain" is always Mt. Rainer. In Japan, "the mountain" is Mt. Fuji. I love the stamp I got at the post office half way up the mountain. It is SO CUTE. 

Mt Fuiji
Stone lanterns were everywhere. I was also thrilled to discover that many locations have stamps as a continuation of Japanese pilgrimage culture and I made a dedicated effort to find the stamps everywhere we went and put them in my sketchbook.

Stone lanterns were everywhere. I was also thrilled to discover that many locations have stamps as a continuation of Japanese pilgrimage culture and I made a dedicated effort to find the stamps everywhere we went and put them in my sketchbook.

I have never experienced so many fancy toilets as I did in Japan and that is thanks to the Toto Toilet company! These toilets play music, have warmed seats, bidets, and more. They have control panels! Crazy!

I have never experienced so many fancy toilets as I did in Japan and that is thanks to the Toto Toilet company! These toilets play music, have warmed seats, bidets, and more. They have control panels! Crazy!

This Sarubobo Doll is a folkcraft supposed to represent a monkey. They were frequently made by Japanese Grandmothers and given to their grandchildren for good luck/good fortune. Depending on the color they can be for good wishes in school, work, love, and more. The red was the most common and I think it is for a sort of general good fortune.

This Sarubobo Doll is a folkcraft supposed to represent a monkey. They were frequently made by Japanese Grandmothers and given to their grandchildren for good luck/good fortune. Depending on the color they can be for good wishes in school, work, love, and more. The red was the most common and I think it is for a sort of general good fortune.

This was a simple temple not far from our hotel. In a quiet moment I ran out to sketch it. 

This was a simple temple not far from our hotel. In a quiet moment I ran out to sketch it. 

Kenrokeun Garden is a beautiful walking-style garden that reminded me of a Japanese Versaille. In thirty minutes I did this speed sketch of a bridge of a river of purple irises. I wish I had had more time to do them justice.     One more post to go about Japan!

Kenrokeun Garden is a beautiful walking-style garden that reminded me of a Japanese Versaille. In thirty minutes I did this speed sketch of a bridge of a river of purple irises. I wish I had had more time to do them justice.

 

One more post to go about Japan!

Japan Adventures

So to add to the excitement of finishing my 52 week painting project, at the end of May I took off for Japan with my parents and brother for a little family adventure. We went to Tokyo, Kyoto, Kanazawa, Takayama, and Osaka. I had a great time and I'd love to go back to Japan just for a painting excursion, though I'm feeling very lucky that we just missed the earthquake in Osaka.

Kando Myojin, a shinto shrine in Tokyo. We watched a BMW get blessed by a Shinto priest in traidtional garb.

Kando Myojin, a shinto shrine in Tokyo. We watched a BMW get blessed by a Shinto priest in traidtional garb.

At most shrines there is a stand or two for people to tie on their wishes and prayers, often on small wooden boards. This one was absolutely packed!

At most shrines there is a stand or two for people to tie on their wishes and prayers, often on small wooden boards. This one was absolutely packed!

Collaged paper with kanji and hiragana on it (left), calligraphy done as a religious prayer/act by temple staff in exchange for a donation to the temple (right).

Collaged paper with kanji and hiragana on it (left), calligraphy done as a religious prayer/act by temple staff in exchange for a donation to the temple (right).

We were in a tour group for the first part of the trip as we shuttled around to all the different cities.

We were in a tour group for the first part of the trip as we shuttled around to all the different cities.

On the bullet train, my brother looking out the window.

On the bullet train, my brother looking out the window.

We left Tokyo and headed up into the mountains and some smaller towns. More to come!

We left Tokyo and headed up into the mountains and some smaller towns. More to come!

52 Weeks of Artist's Eye on Spokane

YAY! I did it guys! The first week of May, I officially completed 52 weeks of painting all over Spokane! What a wild ride! I learned a lot, got to see a lot of cool things that I wouldn't have otherwise and had a delightful time. Thank you everyone for following along with my journey! I thought it would be fun to look back over some of the things I sketched over the past year.

Holiday Lights at the Gaiser Conservatory!

Holiday Lights at the Gaiser Conservatory!

Beautiful fall foliage at the Japanese Gardens.

Beautiful fall foliage at the Japanese Gardens.

A ride made of giant bears at the Spokane County Fair!

A ride made of giant bears at the Spokane County Fair!

A lovely October afternoon at Highbridge Park.

A lovely October afternoon at Highbridge Park.

Pumpkin season is a way off and I'm ok with that. I need to earn some more sunburns before I'm ready for frost again.

Pumpkin season is a way off and I'm ok with that. I need to earn some more sunburns before I'm ready for frost again.

A group of Buddhist monks came to Spokane Community College to make a sand mandala as a wish for world peace. This sketch shows them setting up the preliminary details of a seriously complicated mandala.

A group of Buddhist monks came to Spokane Community College to make a sand mandala as a wish for world peace. This sketch shows them setting up the preliminary details of a seriously complicated mandala.

A building downtown where a skybridge meets a facade covered in classical designs.

A building downtown where a skybridge meets a facade covered in classical designs.

A classic car moment on a sunny, but COLD spring morning on the newly renovated Sprague Ave.

A classic car moment on a sunny, but COLD spring morning on the newly renovated Sprague Ave.

Just over a year ago, this is what our shiny new carousel building looked like. I stopped by this week and the finished building is so shiny and fancy!

Just over a year ago, this is what our shiny new carousel building looked like. I stopped by this week and the finished building is so shiny and fancy!

Lilacs are gone now. We are in the short moment of reprieve just before summer's heat hits us all like a hammer.

Lilacs are gone now. We are in the short moment of reprieve just before summer's heat hits us all like a hammer.

A vendor at a Spokane Indians baseball game.

A vendor at a Spokane Indians baseball game.

Vintage signage on Monroe!

Vintage signage on Monroe!

A burger and fries at Wolffy's Diner by Gonzaga. Get there early, there aren't a lot of seats!

A burger and fries at Wolffy's Diner by Gonzaga. Get there early, there aren't a lot of seats!

The gorgeous light of a winter's afternoon.

The gorgeous light of a winter's afternoon.

The magical castle of paperwork-the Courthouse!

The magical castle of paperwork-the Courthouse!

Our delightful local news anchors who are way more perky than I ever could be at 6 am.

Our delightful local news anchors who are way more perky than I ever could be at 6 am.

Artist's Eye at Get Lit!

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

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

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

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

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

I can't wait till next year!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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!

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?