"Most people have a memory of one special gift ~ either given or received ~ that continues to glow in the mind like a good story." ~ Phyllis Theroux
Thank you so much for your kind interest in my artwork.
During my many years as a fine artist, art director and graphic designer, several significant events and career choices have contributed to my love of the heart-warming "AMERICANA" style.
For most of my career, it's been my signature genre ~ although there is a handful of contemporary creations from the 1970s and 1980s floating around.
A couple of these more modern pieces are hanging in my youngest brother Bob's home. Every time I visit him, I am amazed at where my artistic efforts have taken me over the years.
As much as he loves my contemporary art, I'm glad I embraced, developed and refined my style in the direction I did. This unique genre has brought me decades of joy and personal satisfaction ~ and many friends and patrons along the way. Below I've highlighted several of the milestone events that helped shape my career.
FINGER-PAINTING IN THE FIRST GRADE
Sister Rita Mae Fischer (pictured above with my first grade class) noted in my report card, “She loves artwork of all kinds and is a tireless worker." It is amazing how true that statement still is today. Our beloved teacher (now in her eighties) is thriving at the Franciscan convent in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. I am still in touch with her. Note ~ Find more information on this inspiring woman further down on this page under the "Patti Simpson Ward in the Press" section.
Highlight ~ In summer 2016, Spokane celebrated the Franciscan Sisters' 100 years of dedicated service to the community and surrounding Inland Northwest. Dozens of alumni from Marycliff High School and other parochial grade schools once staffed by the Franciscans filled Saint Augustine's Church for Mass and the reception afterwards. The event was truly "standing-room-only" ~ a beautiful tribute to these dedicated religious educators.
GRADE SCHOOL YEARS ~ More often than not, I remember drawing, writing and pasting up my own magazines, newsletters and booklets at the desk in my bedroom while my brothers and sisters were out playing with neighborhood pals. "Creating" was always my heart's desire.
LATER YEARS ~ Saint Augustine's grade school pal Maggie McCarthy and I have always stayed in touch. She was my best friend from first grade through the sixth grade ~ and I love her. Maggie met and married her husband Wayne Braueur decades ago and moved to Alexandria, Virginia, but every once in a while she comes back for a visit to Spokane ~ not just to see me, but to check in on her cousin Molly Roberts Hannan who lives nearby. On her last visit, she brought several "butterfly" books I created for her when we were in our twenties living in Western Washington. What memories!
"FASCINATING" MR. FLEMISTER
When this picture was taken in 1957, Uncle Ed Flemister (my father's only sister's husband) was vacationing with my Aunt Wanda and cousin Jim at our family cabin at Hayden Lake, Idaho. Ed was taking an R&R break from piloting a small plane for Bethlehem Steel in Venezuela, South America.
When not flying his plane, Ed spent a great deal of his free time painting in oils, sketching with charcoals and experimenting with photography. Ed always had a dark room wherever he lived. On the rare occasions when the Flemisters visited us in Spokane, I begged for art lessons ~ thus this "Peanut People" photo to the left.
TWO FINAL EXHIBITS ~ In January 2009 when Ed was in his mid-nineties, he exhibited his huge personal art and photography collection in a downtown Baker City, Oregon art gallery. In 2010, he moved to Tampa, Florida to be closer to son Jim's family. Four years later, the Tampa Public Library hosted a large exhibit of his work. The Tampa Tribune published a glowing article honoring his talent, enthusiasm and zest for life.
In January 2015 after a creative, adventure-filled creative life, Ed Flemister passed away at 98. He had just celebrated the Christmas holidays with his extended family. On Facebook, Todd Flemister recalled his grandfather as being "one of the most fascinating people" he had ever known. Always a unique individual, Uncle Ed's passing truly felt like the end of an era and we all miss him.
MURALS & MORE AT SAINT JOHN VIANNEY CATHOLIC SCHOOL
In late October of my sixth grade year at Saint Augustine's Grade School, my family moved from Spokane's South Hill to the suburbs of Spokane Valley. Our new neighborhood was called Kokomo and was filled with ranch style ramblers and mid-century moderns. Our new home was the latter. My mother's "dream house" had been featured in Sunset Magazine and she couldn't wait to move in.
At Saint John Vianney School, more often than not I was at the back of the classroom drawing murals with pastels on butcher paper while other classmates were learning long division. Math can still be a challenge sometimes ~ especially during income tax time.
As a Camp Fire Girl for over ten years, I earned many art-related awards. This led to a college summer job between my freshman and sophomore year as a counselor at Camp Dart-Lo north of town on the Little Spokane River. I taught crafts and dramatic arts.
Sharing ideas with the kids was a rewarding way to spend the summer months. I'm pretty sure I learned more from my little charges than they did from me. My campers' most creative project? Elaborate mobiles created from fishing wire and fluttering Origami birds folded from chewing gum wrappers.
HNA, FWC, EWU & MY FIRST FREELANCE DESIGN PROJECT
HNA & FWC ~ During high school years at Holy Names Academy, I enrolled in basic and advanced design classes which included invitations to weekend workshops at Fort Wright College. My parents ~ especially my mother Sally ~ always encouraged me. I had not found my niche yet as most of my creative efforts were still of a contemporary nature ~ but the ONE thing I knew for certain was that I wanted a career in art.
Highlight ~ At the summer 2013 Holy Names 125th Anniversary Celebration, I reconnected with the woman who encouraged and influenced me the most as a young art student. Sister Shirley Mallory taught the fundamentals of design ~ but always stressed being true to your own creative passion. As you can see by this photo, both of us enjoyed our heartfelt meeting that summer. I was so grateful to have had the opportunity to thank her in person for everything she taught me. Sadly, this very talented educator passed away within months of our reunion at the convent. You'll find more about the 125th anniversary festivities below in the "The Holy Names Sisters" section below.
EWU ~ When I attended Easternn Washington State University, it was still a college. During my time there, I designed the graphics for a friend’s winning campaign for student body president. (John Allen went on to create "Vino," a very successful Spokane wine shop.) A couple years later, The National Syndicate Advertising Agency commissioned me to sketch 50 pen & ink sketches for a year's worth of print ads to sell cars with an "All American" theme ~ my first commercial design project.
SETTLING IN SEATTLE WITH MY SISTER
Highlight ~ In Seattle, I moved in with my youngest sister Peggy after wrapping up the National Syndicate project. While driving up Aurora Avenue, I was amazed to see one of the ads I created on large billboard above.
With EWSC and the design project behind me, Seattle's University of "The Peggy Places" painting near the top of my Commission page.
Some of these young women were students at the university and others worked for nearby businesses. I got a job in at the flagship store for The Bon Marche (eventually absorbed by Macy's) as a sign-maker and graphic designer.
Two life-changing events occurred at that time. I received a coffee table book of Grandma Moses Christmas-themed paintings and I discovered Charle's Wysocki's primitive artwork in a very early edition of his "Americana" calendars. (Wysocki's calendar was tacked to a roommate's bedroom door.)
I was intrigued by Grandma Moses' warm family-friendly paintings and Wysocki's attention to detail in his New England-inspired imaginary settings. My dream was to try my hand at painting portraits of actual settings in this "Americana" style. To the right is one of my first works from 1975 picturing our old South Hill home, the Codd House. This piece is part of my personal collection and reminds me where I was when I began my fascination with "Americana."
NOTE ~ Amother early portrait of this home (I've done five) is part of "The Peggy Places" on my Commission page.
In the mid-1970s, a Bellevue gallery hung and sold several very early pieces similar to this one. Later in the 1980s, my expanding collection was featured for over a year in a gallery at Kirkland's burgeoning "art walk" district.
Years passed and I continued to refine my style. I added more perspective for depth and focused even more on all the details that I found necessary for telling the personal story of a client's home or a beloved landmark. I also designed an icon for my signature which I still use today ~ my name with a circle around it and a red heart.
I began packing my camera with me so I could shoot photos the moment anything caught my eye. This was a bonus when my sister Marilee and I visited Port Townsend's Tour of Historic Homes in the late 1970s. That trip inspired over a dozen paintings (Port Townsend Collection pdf) of the vintage Victorians there. Now I use my iPhone and can "air-drop" images into my computer immediately. Digital media has truly changed our world.
HONORS IN UZBEKISTAN
In the late 1980s, I traveled to the U.S.S.R. with two-dozen associates from varied professions ~ including media consultants and motivational speakers. Destinations included Moscow, St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
While in Tashkent, one of Seattle's "Sister Cities," I made friends with several women including a teacher, a medical student and a museum curator. The introduction to the art curator proved to be fortuitous, as with the help of the wife of then Seattle Mayor Charles Royer, she arranged to have two of my Tashkent-themed paintings displayed in the National Art Gallery of Tashkent. One is here and the other on my More Collections page.
The "sister city" relationship between Seattle and Tashkent was a natural fit because the climate and personality of Tashkent and Seattle are similar. Far south of the government seat in Moscow, Tashkent felt much more open and relaxed. Plus Tashkent had several large Aeroflot factories and during that time Seattle's largest industry was Boeing Aircraft. Microsoft and Amazon were decades away from making their mark on Seattle.
Highlight ~ Visiting the Soviet Union changed my life. It opened my eyes as to how lucky I was to have been born in the United States. The U.S.S.R. was stunningly beautiful and the people incredibly hospitable thanks to Gorbechov's Peristroika program at the time. Much of the U.S.S.R. was a culture and history-lover's dream, but the trip made me grateful for the priceless freedom and opportunities we enjoy here in the U.S.A.
CREATING MY CALENDARS & FINE ART JOURNALS
NEARLY 25 YEARS OF CALENDARS ~ To dovetail with my exhibits and events (and to placate family members who had received one piece of artwork too many), I designed my first calendar in 1994.
Highlight ~ The cover art for this first edition was my third painting of the Codd House, a piece that really helped move my art focus from hobby to future career. By the early 1990s, I had learning how to capture this and other subjects in a more thoughtful, heartfelt way.
The calendar started as a family Christmas gift, but has growng into several editions and printings. Some clients have collected the calendars since the first in 1994. I have received orders from folks throughout the United States and beyond. 2019 will mark my milestone 25th edition.
Over the years, I've found that many of us who grew up in the Pacific Northwest (especially Spokane) have very special memories of this family-based city with a small town feel. The parks, beautiful old neighborhoods, landmarks, nearby forests and lakes provide the folks who live here with a wonderful quality of life.
NEW 2018 issues are featured in detail on the Calendar page of this website. You'll also find fine art journals in two editions ~ Spokane and Washington State. These feature 44 paintings with photographs and histories accompanying each fine art image.
SPOKANE'S BROWNE'S ADDITION ~ THE BEGINNING OF THE MAC'S "ARTFEST"
In 1997, the Eastern Washington Historical Society invited me to exhibit at its first outdoor art festival ~ today known as "ArtFest."
Coeur d'Alene Park and Browne's Addition comprised Spokane's oldest residential neighborhood. It was filled with mansions that were designed for Spokane's wealthy timber, mining and railroad businessmen. Many of these beautiful vintage structures are still standing, although some were divided into small apartments to accommodate returning World War II veterans in the late 1940s. Today, there is a movement to restore many of these back to the status of single-family residences ~ a wonderful thing.
At the first ArtFest, I exhibited 18 works of fine art, including portraits of three well- known residences designed by renowned Kirtland K. Cutter ~ the Patrick Clark Mansion, the Wakefield House and the Amasa Campbell house. My 1997 "Pacific NW Memories" calendar did very well and introduced my artwork to the community.
The Amasa Campbell House served as the Cheney-Cowles Museum until the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (MAC) complex was completed. This allowed restoration to begin on the historic mansion which had been donated to the community by Amasa Campbell's wife Grace. Amazingly, Cutter's sample book was discovered in the servant's linens room in the attic ~ ensuring a truly authentic result to the project.
I've completed 12 Campbell House pieces of both interior and exterior scenes (Browne's Addition Collection pdf) with more "in-the-works."
Highlight ~ Not long ago the restoration of the Coeur d'Alene Park (FriendsofCDAPark.org) band pavilion was completed. I gave the park stewardship organization permission to use my artwork (right) to raise funds for their organization. Learn more about the milestone 125th birthday celebration of Coeur d'Alene Park further down on this page.
In the 1990s, I was honored by Lt. Governor Brad and Mrs. Linda Owen, advocates of Washington State's many diverse fine artists. Patricia M. Prince met me at that first ArtFest mentioned above and recommended my work to the Owens. She admired my portraits of settings from all over Washington State ~ and knew the Owens would find them a good fit for the exhibit.
They invited me to join several others exhibiting in Olympia's State Capitol Legislative Building. The opening of "Children at Play in Washington State" was followed by a reception attended by state dignitaries, legislators, visiting school children and more. Doug and I met Congressman Dino Rossi who later ran for the office of governor. My husband Doug and I had been dating for just a short while and it was an honor to include him in the festivities.
This exhibit and reception inspired my portrait (pictured to the left) of the grand Legislative Building, "Happy Holidays at the State Capitol." When I finished this painting, Governor Gary Locke was in the midst of his second term of office. I gave both Governor Locke and the Owens framed artwork of this Christmas scene at the Capitol. "Children at Play" was just one of four art events I went on to appear in during the 2000s.
Heading up a committee of committed volunteers, the Owens worked hard to promote the work of all of us. The halls of the elegant Legislative Building proved to be a spectacular backdrop for the creative efforts of everyone involved and the setting did a great deal to promote the careers of many fine artists.
Lt. Governor Brad Owen recently retired from a long life of public service to Washington State. All of us who were involved with these creative ventures are very grateful to this generous couple.
THE HOLY NAMES SISTERS
You never know what ripple effect the smallest gesture can have. In 1997, I finished a portrait of the four-story brick Victorian on Spokane's North Side that had once housed my high school. I filled the spring-theme piece with Holy Names sisters, educators and classmates as a tribute to four inspiring years at the Academy. My class is about to celebrate our 50th class reunion.
Highlight ~ John Stockton, the famed Utah Jazz basketball player grew up across the street from my high school.
When Gonzaga Prep began accepting women students, Holy Names Academy and Marycliff HIgh School (the other all-girls high school) just couldn't compete with Prep's co-educational platform. The declining enrollment caused the academy to close its doors in 1975. After ten-plus years of neglect, local developer Harry A. Green renovated the abandoned building into an upscale uniquely beautiful retirement center that retained much of the original architectural detail. The Academy is a Merrill Gardens Community and rarely has vacancies.
In spring 2001, I sent an art card with my portrait of Holy Names to our beloved principal Sr. Eileen Rose at the Fort Wright Convent. Soon I heard from Communications Coordinator Becky Sullivan and Director of Development Sr. Celine Steinberger asking if they could feature my artwork in a future publication devoted to creative alumni. My portrait of our high school was featured on the cover of the newsletter ~ quite a honor!
FOUR SEASONS OF HOLY NAMES ~ In summer 2013, I donated four framed prints of the two Holy Names Academies in the Pacific Northwest province (Spokane and Seattle, Washington) and the convent grotto at the sister's Spokane convent. These gifts commemorated their 125th Celebration (more on this below) and are still hanging at the sisters' convent, recently relocated to from Fort Wright to the South Hill. These four pieces are pictured below:
A SPECIAL THANK YOU ~ I owe a huge debt of gratitude for the generous love and support the Sisters of the Holy Names have given me over the past 50+ years. In addition to all of the activities, benefits and celebrations, when life has presented challenges, the first person I phone for emotional support and prayers is Sister Celine Steinberger. She and the sisters have prayed for many special intentions ~ most recently, helping my husband Doug through some serious health issues including a risky, lengthy surgery. The sisters were with Doug and me all the way, sending their good thoughts and prayers for his complete recovery. They are indeed "Angels on Earth."
2015 CHRISTMAS COMMISSION ~ In 2015, Sister Celine invited me to design the order's annual crystal Christmas ornament and holiday card. Each year, this beloved task has always been awarded to a different province and in 2015, the Pacific Nortwest Chapter took its turn. This commission was a very special honor. Since the ornament program began over ten years ago in1994, a Holy Names Sister had always designed this signature artwork. At Sister Celine's request, I became the first secular alum invited to contribute to this special tradition.
The Nativity image pictured in the pen, ink & pastels sketch to the right was featured on 2015 Christmas cards and holiday tree ornaments sent by the sisters to all the alumni. For those who were especially generous with their annual donations, a line-drawing version was etched on fine crystal ornaments produced by Seattle's Barone Crystal (BaroneCrystal.com).
To learn more about the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in the Spokane area, please contact them at:
Address ~ Office of the Sisters of the Holy Names, Washington Province • 2911 •Tel 509.328.7470 • Email ProvAdmin@SNJMuson.org.
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2017 ART DIRECTOR, FRIENDS OF MOORE TURNER HERITAGE GARDENS ~ The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens were installed in the early 1900s behind the F. Rockwood Moore mansion. After his death, George and Bertha Turner lived there, but ultimately the house was given to the community. It was demolished near the end of the Great Depression due to lack of funds ~ a huge loss as many believed it was Kirtland K. Cutter's first residential commission.
In 1911, the Turners hired Portland's Hugh Bryan to expand their gardens up the hillside behind their home. Bryan installed a tea house, pergola, water features, basaltic rock terraces and more. Sadly, the gardens were a casualty of the Depression as well.
The 1996 ice storm destroyed many of the trees where the gardens had been and and exposed some of its features. Corbin Art Center Director Lynn Mandyke discovered these which led to an ambitious restoration project largely funded by philanthropist Myrtle Woldson. Volunteers joined with the Spokane Parks & Recreation Department and spent countless hours working to reincarnate the gardens with heritage plantings indigenous to the time of their original creation. Soon the stewardship organization "Friends of the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens" was formed to assist both the gardens and the Corbin Art Center. Flanked on the left by D.C. Corbin's mansion (now CAC) and the right by the F. Lewis Clark Mansion (Marycliff Catholic High School for a time after Clark's death), the gardens have become the jewel of Seventh Avenue ~ and the ONLY heritage gardens in Eastern Washington.
In December 2016, I was invited to join the board as art director with the goal of resurrecting and revitalizing "Friends" original viison created by Marcia Smith. (See Marcia's logo at the bottom of the poster.) Her career credentials included being art director for Mary Englebreit, well-known author, designer and illustrator. Over the past few years, the "Friends" original identity lost much of its direction, so my goal has been to guide all communication pieces and accompanying images back to where they started.
In 2017, in addition to summer garden tours led by "Friends" lead docent (an amazing 30 tours!), the organization hosted two annual fund-raisers ~ a Traditional English Tea in springtime and autumn's Art In Bloom. AIB featured 48 works from 18 local artists' paired with gorgeous floral arrangements created by 22 local designers and shops.
I designed the poster (left) and all the collateral graphics for both the Traditional English Tea and Art in Bloom, as well as project managing a large part of AIB. The poster pictured samples from each of participating artist. Both benefits were well received by the community with substantial funds raised for "Friends." Please visit their web site (HeritageGardens.org) for more information on the gardens, their history, membership and more.
2017 ~ ART DIRECTOR "UPDATE" NEWSLETTER, SPOKANE PRESERVATION ADVOCATES ~ In late December 2016, I met with outgoing SPA President Bridget Piper about polishing and updating some of the communication pieces this prestigious group produced to educate the public and promote their organization. We tossed around a lot of ideas, but the main one agreed upon was that SPA needed a little assistance presenting a more professional image to the community, i.e. best food forward as the need for preservation grows, expenses expand and grant requests became more substantial.
My first volunteer project was a revamping of the quarterly newsletter "Update." Partnering with then Communications Chair Ro Lisk, who gathered and organized the stories and images from contributors, we freshened up the look and feel of the newsletter, adding a table of contents and a revamped "Join Spokane Preservation Advocates NOW" page. The spring issue was mailed out early March. Lots of positive feedback came our way on how great it looked and how easy it was to read and navigate. The 2017 Winter "Update" (my fourth issue) is currently in-the-works.
For more information on S.P.A., their annual tour of historic homes and other fundraisers ~ including their huge spring benefit, please visit their web site (SpokanePreservation.org).
2014-2016 ART DIRECTOR, FRIENDS OF COEUR D'ALENE PARK ~ As I shared above, Coeur d'Alene Park in Browne's Addition is the first and oldest park in Spokane. The Friends of Coeur d'Alene Park stewardship group's initial project was to repair and restore the park's ageing onion-domed band pavilion. As mentioned above, I allowed them to use my painting "Pavilion at Coeur d'Alene Park" (pictured above) to assist with raising much needed dollars.
I became more involved as art director when it became clear that the organization needed a signature "identity" for their presence in the community as well as help with communications pieces for print and the web. My first task was to design a series of logos for different uses in varied media. Next came their informational tri-fold, a poster with my painting of the band pavilion and a series of banners for use at fund-raising events and in their booth at the MAC's annual ArtFest every spring.
The Friends of Coeur d'Alene Park (FriendsofCDAPark.org) had some very ambitious plans to bring the park more in-line with the vision suggested in the 1890s by the famed landscape architects Olmsted Bros. of Brookline, Massachusetts. 2016 marked their 125th birthday. A kick-off benefit dinner was held November 7, 2015 at the Patsy Clark mansion where the park's new "Master Plan" created by Bob Scarfo and a special portrait I painted of how the park looked at the turn of the century were both unveiled. (See "Vintage View of Coeur d'Alene Park" on my Spokane page.)
"Art For the Park" in May 2016 brought more attention to CDA park with a multi-faceted community art event. I designed the logo, poster, signage, banners, brochures and postcards promoting the much anticipated "happening." Art For the Park featured four street intersection mural artists, creative activities for kids and a stable of juried, well-known local artisans set up around the park's famous band pavilion.
September 10 ended the 125th birthday celebration at the MAC (Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture) in Browne's Addition. My "Vintage View of Coeur d'Alene Park" original art was awarded to the winning raffle ticket holder. Funds raised from the season's were targeted to help with future park improvements.
2012 MY INITIAL "FIRST FRIDAY" ART WALK ~ In November 2012 after moving back to the Inland Northwest, I unveiled my second portrait "Snow Chapel at Holy Names" (pictured above) at the E.J. Roberts Mansion's (RobertsMansion.com) First Friday Art Walk.
Mansion owner Mary Moltke completely restored the three-story Queen Anne-style beauty which was built in Browne's Addition in 1889. It became a hugely popular, much sought after inn & event center. Mary hosted the First Friday and unveiling, joined by our mutual friend Molly Roberts Hannan, great-grandaughter of E.J. Roberts.
The First Friday invitation was timely as Spokane was in the midst of the National Historic Preservation Society Convention. This event dovetailed beautifullyl with the nationally sponsored Candlelight Sumner Avenue Tour of historic homes.
First Friday was attended by lots of HNA alumni (Molly Hannan being one) and Holy Names Sisters, including Sister Celinie Steinberger (standing next to me) and talented artist Sr. Paula Mary Turnbull (seated in the foreground). Molly is to the right.
Since this intial First Friday Art Walk experience, my work has been featured at similar events at Barrister Winery, Arbor Crest Cellars, Grande Ronde Cellars, Marketplace Winery and several other venues.
2010 WINNER 1ST PLACE! RSM FINE ART COMPETITION ~ Although I retired as an active member of the Redmond Saturday Market in 2011 (my fifth and final year), I'm proud of the artwork I painted and the poster I designed promoting its 35th season. This beautiful venue is in downtown Redmond on a grassy area next to a grove of tall pine trees that provide much needed shade during the sometimes blistering summer market months.
The Redmond Saturday Market board chose "Meeting at The Market" (pictured below in the "press" section) as 1st place winner in their competition for the best image capturing the RSM experience. It showed vendors with their wares and shoppers with youngsters and pets enjoying a sunny Saturday.
Dozens of posters with my painting were displayed throughout King County's Eastside from May 1st through October 31st, 2010 ~ encompassing the entire market season.
I've also shared the article published about me in the Redmond Reporter below in the "Press" section further down on this page.
To learn more about this popular Western Washington outdoor venue, second only to Seattle's Pike Place Market, visit them on the web (RedmondSaturdayMarket.org).
2010 CO-CHAIR & ART DIRECTOR SAMMAMISH ART FAIR ~The city of Sammamish invited me to co-chair and art direct this ambitious art exhibit/fair after two prior years of vounteering. It took six months of planning, promoting and organizing to bring the 33-artist co-op endeavor cohesively to fruition. In addition to co-charing the event, as art director I handled all the graphic design projects, including:
The city, arts commission, artists and patrons were all generous with their appreciation of the months of the hard work. The event was a huge success with attendance up nearly twice as much as the previous year.
2008 KAC MEMBERS' EXHIBIT ~ In August 2008, my painting of "Springtime Comes to Simpson Street" was chosen for the Kirkland Arts Center (KirklandArtsCenter.com) Members' Exhibit (see the art on my Commission page). It showed a "neighborhood" of homes I've lived in and loved over the years. This painting has always been "fluid" as new family members are added and changes happen to the homes. I'm working on a fourth revision to add our most recent grandchild Nathan Davies.
The upper street depicted Spokane years growing up in the Lincoln Street cottage and the Codd House on Spokane's South Hill before our family moved to the Spokane Valley suburbs. The lower street pictured Doug and my home in Sammamish and the 1937 Spokane craftsman where we moved to in early 2012.
The Peter Kirk (namesake of the community of Kirkland) Building, an ornate three-story brick Victorian, houses Kirkland Arts Center. This wonderful venue hosts art exhibits and offers art classes on nearly on all artistic genres. To see my portrait of this vintage community iconi and learn about its interesting local history, find it in the Kirkland section of my Eastside Collection.
When I first joined KAC, the organizaiton had a second location in the nearby Parkplace Mall where artists and instructors displayed and sold their work ~ a great venue for KAC folks to showcase their talents. It closed in autumn 2015 when the mall began a comprehensive renovation. At this time, Kirkland artists are working on identifying another venue where they can share thier fine art with the public in a similar way.
2008 WINNER 2ND PLACE! ~ in Mid-July, honoring the community as "The Biking Capitol" of the region.
Three Redmond art- and history-oriented organizations (Eastside Association of Fine Arts, Redmond Arts Commission and the Redmond Historical Society) sponsored a competition for artwork and photography honoring Redmond's history during the community festival. 65 pieces were hung (four of them mine) in the Old Redmond Schoolhouse Community Center. My "Bill Brown Building" painting took 2nd place. It went on to be exhibited alternately between Redmond City Hall and the Redmond Public Library for over a year.
The Eastside Collection pdf shares my Redmond Collection ~ including the award-winning Bill Brown painting pictured here.
In 2012-2013, I designed five large format historical bannerss for Redmond City Hall through my association with Redmond Historical Society. For more information on this very active group, find them at RedmondHistoricalSociety.org.
1990 ~ 2007 THE ARTISTREE GALLERY, COUNTRY VILLAGE ~ From 1990 through the late 2000s,The Artistree Gallery was operated by the Bob James family at Country Village in Bothell, WA. The collection of shops, galleries and cafes are housed in refurbished farm buildings ~ creating a charming destination for folks of all ages to enjoy a relaxing day of shopping.
The family's patriarch Bob James was renowned for designing the massive star and signature holiday decor for Seattle's Bon Marche (now Macy's). His equally famous daughter Robin earned a reputation as a talented illustrator for the much loved Serendipity children's books ~ still available today.
I was one of several artists with an ongoing revolving exhibit at the Artistree ~ displaying there for over ten years. The gallery showcased my collections of paintings of Roche Harbor, Port Townsend, Snohomish, Seattle and the Eastside communities of King County and beyond.
Country Village and The Artistree came alive at Christmastime with strolling carolers, festive decorations, holiday open houses. The one at the Artistree was especially festive with lots of holiday-themed artwork. Santa arrived on his sleigh in the plaza eliciting ooohs and aahhhs from the kids. It was a fun decade and the James family was a dream to work with.
You'll find my portrait of the Artistree Gallery in the North Puget Sound pdf.
ART FAIRS, FESTIVALS & THE FOLKS BEHIND THE SCENES
SCHEDULE OF UPCOMING EVENTS ~ Visit my Art Venues page for a complete schedule of upcoming venues. This page is changes frequently as events are added throughout the year. You'll find details on Spokane First Friday appearances and other annual events like the Arbor Crest Art & Glass Fest, Kendall Yards' Artisans' Fest, Art in Bloom and many others. There is also a list of shops and galleries that carry my artwork locally in the Inland Northwest.
THANK YOU! ~ A huge thank you goes out to these folks for all their help during Art Fair Season:
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2017 THE SPOKESMAN REVIEW ~ "ART IN BLOOM: BACK PORCH • ARTISTS, FLORAL DESIGNERS IN ART IN BLOOM HELP MOORE-TURNER GARDENS, CORBIN ART CENTER ~ Above on this page under the "Art Directing, Unveilings, Awards & More" section, I shared details about Friends of the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens.
This non-profit stewardship group hosts two benefits a year ~ a Traditional English Tea and Art In Bloom ~ raising much needed dollars for the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens and adjacent Corbin Art Center on Spokane's Lower South Hil.
As shared above, no longer a quilt display as past years, in 2017 the pairing was with 48 fine art works from 18 artists enhanced by gorgeous floral arrangements from 22 acclaimed designers and well-known shops. Additionally, there were 9 "Artisan Vendors on the Veranda" and a benefit raffle of donationed artwork by the participants. Shown above is the poster featuring sample images from each of the selected juried artists.
Pictured here are the gardens' lead docent Paula Whitcim, me (Friends of The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens Art Director) and Communications Chair Linda Yeomans (also Spokane "Historian Extraordinare.) NOTE: Linda is the "go to" gal if you want your home listed on the Spokane, Washington State or the National Historic Register.
Visit my Spokane page to see myNEW autumn-themed portrait of the 2017 Art In Bloom event at the Corbin Art Center.
Click on 2017 The Spokesman Review Art in Bloom Article pdf to see more artwork images and to read Pat Munt's story about our event ~ including the sudden unexpected passing of beloved Diane Zahner, Art In Bloom artist for two years.
R CREST CELLARS ART & GLASS FEST ~ The artwork featured prominently in this image is my painting of the Arbor Crest Cellars Art & Glass Fest. In this piece picturing family and friends, I share the fun annuals celebration o fine art on the historic Cliff House grounds of Arbor Crest Cellars.
This poster was designed by Robin Fontaine (Crispy Communications) to promote the festival throughout the communities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Coeur d'Alene and beyond in 2015. Robin also used this image in a print ads placed in the July and August issues of the The Inlander ~ a huge honor for me last summer.
The much anticipated art festival takes place the last weekend of August and features over 75 talented juried artisans. 2017 marked my 5th year of participation in this special event and the second time that my art was used to promote it (the first time in 2015 with my portrait of the Cliff House.
Live music plays during the day Saturday with a well attended evening concert at the close of the event Sunday evening. It's always a wonderful time for both artisans and patrons. The fine wine and beer makes it even better!
ROYAL RIBLET ~ In 1924, owner Royal Newton Riblet built the Florentine-style mansion to take advantage of the spectacular view from the cliffs of his property. An inventor and mechanical genius, his estate was filled with marvels for its time like a mechanical garage door, a waterfall that recycled water back to the top of the falls and his unique "square wheel."
His most famous invention was the chair-lift. Up to that point, skiers around the world relied on T-bars, rope tows or just climbing back up the mountain. Riblet visited a mine site and was inspired by watching full ore buckets traveling on a belt from the mine down to the ore cars below, being emptied and then sent back up on the belt to be refilled.
Today the majestic Cliff House is an event center. The grand estate with its picturesque grounds that house Arbor Crest Cellars is owned by the Harry Milke family. This Christmas, the mansion will host its second holiday art event.
Highlight ~ When Royal Riblet was living at Cliff House, the cement factory below on the riverside spewed harmful dust into the air, deteriorating his mansion's facade. He sued ~ and the attorneys who won the first ever case of its kind were associates James Winton and my father Joseph A. Simpson.
2016 CONTEMPLATE NEWSLETTER ~ Published by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration headquartered in Wisconsin, the article "Sister Rita Mae: Furthering FSPA's Mission of Education" came out in the December 2016 issue. Click on the "Contemplate" image here or on Contemplate pdf to read it.
It featured my first grade teacher at Saint Augustine Grade School (now Cataldo Catholic School) in Spokane, WA. I have been in touch with this inspiring woman who has touched my life for many decades. She is pictured in the 1956 class photo at the top of this page ~ to the right of her students wearing her Franciscan habit (as the sisters were doing in the 1950s and 1960s).
2013 DODSON'S PROMOTIONAL POSTCARD ~ This to all the folks attending Spokane Symphony performances during the holiday season, 2013.
Dodson's owners Penn and Debra Fix had the promotional card designed to promote the holiday and winter-themed artwork exhibited by several talented well-known local artists at their downtown shop on Riverside Avenue.
Of the 10 originals they chose from my Spokane Collection, "Vista House View" and "Cavorting at Cannon Hill Pond" were purchased that year by a couple who later commissioned a portrait of their lake cabin on Hayden.
In 2014, Dodsons invited me back and featured 13 of my works including portraits of the Spokane County Courthouse, a Christmas Eve rendition of Saint Augustine's Church, Mount Spokane's historic Frances Cook cabin and lots of holiday pieces like "The Crescent Window at Christmastime" pictured here.
Dodson's is one of most inviting, festively decorated shops in downtown Spokane ~ well worth a visit during the holiday season.
2013 ENTERTAINMENT SPOKANE NEWSLETTER ~ In November 2013, the Arbor Crest Cellars Tasting Room at River Park Square mounted an exhibit of 35 of my seasonal works commencing with a First Friday "Meet & Greet."
Ed Clark produces a weekly newsletter about what's happening in Spokane called Entertainment Spokane, (EntertainmentSpokane.com). His October 30th issue featured this wonterful piece about my event.
My exhibit focused on local winter and holiday scenes similar to the Dodson's exhibit ~ but with 25 additional pieces. Themes included Magical Spokane Memories, Christmas at the Campbell House, Home for the Holidays (residences decorated for the season), Gathering at Gonzaga University, Santa in Scotland (holiday golf-themed) and Mount Spokane & Manito Park.
I unveiled my NEW artwork of the Manito Park sledding hill on the corner of 18th Avenue & Grand Boulevard (pictured here in the Entertainment Spokane article). It featured friends and families in a mid-1950s scene enjoying a crisp, winter day after a fresh snowfall. This work brought back very fond memories for lots of Spokane "baby-boomers." The setting is much the same today.
2013 SNJM WASHINGTON PARTNERS IN MISSION MAGAZINE ~ The fall 2013 issue included a photograph of me with my commemorative painting of Holy Names Academy in a collage of photos on page 10 of the newsletter.
As I shared above on this page, I reworked an earlier portrait of HNA to create "Celebrating at Holy Names." This revised piece honored the Sisters' arrival to the Inland Northwest 125 ago with students and educators in the foreground and a streamer above wavng our school song,"O Holy Names we sing thy praises..."As pictured above, I donated prints of the "Four Seasons of Holy Names" to the sisters for their retirement facility. My dear friend and accomplished local artist Jeannine Marx Fruci had just completed a beautiful watercolor of the academy and she gave them a framed print as well. We were both inspired by wonderful memories!
All five images were on display throughout the weekend celebration. In addition, the artwork that both Jeannie and I donated to the auction portion did well and brought in much needed funds for the Holy Names music school and the sisters' care.
2010 REDMOND REPORTER NEWSPAPER ~ As I mentioned above, my painting of "Meeting at The Market" won first place in the Redmond Saturday Market artwork competition. This colorful work featured a border of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers with arts & crafts vendors and shoppers in the scene. After winning, the market board of directors invited me to design the promotional poster for the market's 35th season (pictured here).
I met with Redmond Reporter staff writer Mary Stevens Decker for an interview ~ our second in four years. We spent a half hour at Redmond's Soul Foods Bistro catching up as there had been lots of changes in both of our lives. Ms. Decker wrote a glowing full-page piece with a photo of me at image of my poster pictured here advertising the milestone season of this beloved Redmond outdoor venue.
Click on Redmond Reporter II pdf or the poster here to read "Meeting at The Market ~ Local Artist spotlights upcoming Saturday Market in Promotional Poster."
The magazine celebrates the ever-burgeoning city of Bellevue and other Eastside communities (east of Seattle and Lake Washington) in the "425" area code. To read the article, meet the artists and see the collection of Christmas card artwork, click on the image to the left or on 425 pdf.
For more information or to subscribe, visit 425Magazine.com.
"The Happy Holiday House" portrays the Queen Anne-style Harmon House located in the heart of the Snohomish historic district. To read about the history of the house, click on Snohomish Collection pdf.
A 30-minute drive north of Seattle, this community is filled with restored historic residences built in the late 1800s. It's a great "get-away" destination with B&Bs, restaurants, gift shops and antique emporiums for keen-eyed shoppers.
As I've painted 27 portraits of these remarkable residences, many friends have come my way through my association with the historical society (SnohomishHistoricalSociety.org.). I was invited to do several "Meet & Greets" during their home tours in the fall and at Christmas before Doug and I returned to Spokane in 2012.
2006 REDMOND REPORTER NEWSPAPER ~ When the Redmond Historical Society asked me to join their board, Renee DuVal-Northern approached the organization for help with historic photos for her Stone House Cafe. This was fitting as the restaurant was housed in a unique stone and brick cottage built at the turn of the century.
I offered assistance with this project and shared that in addition to being an art director/graphic designer, I was also a fine artist. Renee purchased a print of the historic stone cottage.
When she opened her restaurant, the Redmond Reporter published a two-page pictorial about the unique setting. She shared my artwork with staff writer Mary Stevens Decker, who phoned me for an interview. Click on Redmond Reporter pdf to read the article, "Redmond Spotlight: Artist Sees Beauty in Old Buildings."
Later, the business was purchased in 2010 by restaurateur Ryan Donaldson who was featured several times on Seattle's KING TV's Evening Magazine. Chef Ryan became famous for his Northwest cuisine, local wines and spirits ~ building a very devoted following.
He purchased a print of "The Stone House" for his establishment and hung it prominently in the main dining room just before Doug and I left the area and moved back to Spokane.
I'm passionate about giving back. It's the least I can do with all of the support I've received over the years from friends, clients and generous patrons.
As I mentioned above, in 2014, I accepted the volunteer position of art director for the Friends of Coeur d'Alene Park. This year, I signed on to lend my design expertise to the Moore Heritage Gardens stewardship group and Spokane Preservation Advocates.
While living in the Seattle area, I was one of the original founding members of the Eastside Heritage Center and served for eight years on the board of the Redmond Historical Society. I've belonged to art societies and museums in Washington State and have been an active member of the MAC (Northwest Museum & Culture) for well over a decade.
Here is the list for the past two years with more to come in 2017:
I've also donated artwork to the Redmond and Sammamish Chambers of Commerce and several Spokane parochial schools. As I mentioned above, my favorite charity is the retirement fund for the Sisters of the Holy Names.
MY ART & DESIGN STUDIO ~ When Doug and I were married 17 years ago, his wedding gift to me was my art studio ~ a huge luxury after the cramped quarters in my small Seattle Capitol Hill condominium. Natural light floods this space which overlooks our back yard and gardens (lots of inspiration there). During our remodel, our contractor Lance Elliott created a built-in armoire from shelves and an old beat-up kitchen cabinet we found in the garage. All my art/design books, laptops for digital designing and painting supplies are at my fingertips. The vintage porcelain laundry sink is perfect for cleaning canvases and paintbrushes. This space also works nicely for tutoring one-on-one and teaching classes.
PITTYPAT GALLERY~ The gallery is typically open by appointment and invitation from May through December and features a revolving exhibit of framed originals and canvas reproductions that changes with the seasons and dovetails with my web site. I offer a full selection of prints (both canvas and high-grade art paper, art cards, NEW 2018 calendars, fine art journals, magnets and more. I also periodically host invitational events with special discounts for V.I.P.s (Very Important Patrons). To be on the list, please contact me. Note ~ I absolutely never share your personal information.
MY DARLING DOUG
Doug and I married in 2000 ~ 18 years next April! How time flies...and yes, we are having fun even though this year has brought my husband some health challenges! A huge thank you to all our friends who have been such a support this year. Doug is doing well and getting better!
My sweetheart is apassionate "scratch" golfer, best friend and easy-to-be-around great companion. He and our two favorite (now dearly departed) kitties are featured in dozens of my paintings.
Even though I'm a driven "artistic worker bee," nothing would be possible without Doug's love and support. I'm SO blessed. He encourages me in a hundred little ways ~ from playing chef when I'm buried in design/production projects to helping me hang my paintings at First Friday Art Walks to loading and unloading crates, fixtures and all the trimmings at art fests and exhibits all over the Pacific Northwest.
The ultimate sacrifice? When I'm really stretched to the limit, he's given up golf games (his first love other than me) to lend a hand. How lucky am I? Doug helps me believe that nothing is impossible and that the best is yet to come.
We are both enjoying this relatively new chapter in Spokane after a dozen years together in the Seattle area. With my mom (who adores Doug) and lots of my family nearby, four beautiful grandchildren a short drive away, wonderful friends that bless and enrich our lives every day ~ what could be better? Even though 2017 threw some fairly daunting health challenges his way, we are meeting them together with high hopes for an easier 2018 filled with good health and happiness.
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