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 still floating around.
A couple of these more modern pieces are hanging in my youngest brother Bob's home. Every time I visit his family and see these works, I am amazed at where my artistic efforts have taken me over the years.
As much as Bob appreciates 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 on 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 nearly 90) is thriving at the Franciscan Sisters' 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 in our community once staffed by the Franciscans filled Saint Augustine's Church for Mass and a wonderful 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, ultimately moving 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 (more on Molly below). On a recent visit, Maggie brought several "butterfly" books I created for her when we were in our '20s 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 a much needed break from piloting a small air craft for Bethlehem Steel in Venezuela, South America.
When not flying his plane, Ed spent a great deal of his free time painting with 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" snap-shot 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 pictorial 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. We all miss him.
MURALS AND 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 residence 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.
10 YEARS OF CAMP FIRE ~ As a Camp Fire Girl for over ten years, I earned many art-related awards. This spawned a summer job between my freshman and sophomore college years 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 with fishing wire and fluttering Origami birds folded from chewing gum wrappers.
HNA, FWC, EWU AND 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 Mom" ~ 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 (Justin Mary) 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 re-connection 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 just months after our reunion at the event. You'll find more about the 125th anniversary festivities in the "The Holy Names Sisters" section below.
EWU ~ When I attended Eastern Washington State University, it was still a college. During my time there, I designed the graphics for a friend’s successful 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 car dealership ads I created on billboard above the highway.
With EWU and the design project behind me, Peggy and I lived together with a group of women students in a couple of big houses (one a Cape Cod and the second, a Foursquare in the University of Washington District). These homes are pictured in the painting I created for my sister when she married her sweetheart Jeff Barton in 1976. Find the "The Peggy Places" painting near the top of my Commission page.
Some of these roommates 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. 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 house-mate Dawn Tannerberg'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 ~ Another early portrait of this home (I've painted five of these) is part of "The Peggy Places" mentioned above 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 a couple years in Kirkland's 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 essential 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 taking my camera with me everywhere 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 MacBook Pro 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 and Seattle's "Sister City" at the time, Tashkent.
While in Tashkent, I made friends with several women including an educator, a medical student and a museum curator. The introduction to the art curator proved to be fortuitous, as with the help then Seattle Mayor Charles Royer's Russian-born wife Tatiana, 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 were very similar. Far south of the government seat in Moscow, Tashkent felt much more open and relaxed.
Highlight ~ Visiting the Soviet Union changed my life. It opened my eyes 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" movement 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 United States.
CREATING MY FINE ART CALENDARS AND JOURNALS
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), my sister Marilee suggested I design a calendar to include 12 NEW pieces of artwork a year.
Highlight ~ The image to the left was the cover of the first edition ~ yes, once again featuring a portrait of the beloved Codd House completed in 1993.
In 1994, I initially had about a dozen printed. This year, with my three 2019 25th Anniversary editions, I've sold hundreds, shipping them all over the United States and beyond. A handful of clients have collected them since the very first one. Amazing!
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.
Find previews of three current 2019 25th Anniversary editions featured in detail on the Calendar page of this website.
SPOKANE'S BROWNE'S ADDITION AND THE FIRST "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 many 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 very first ArtFest in 1997, I exhibited 18 works of fine art, including portraits of three well-known residences designed by renowned architect 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 fine artwork to Spokane for the first time.
The Amasa Campbell House served as the Cheney-Cowles Museum until the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (The MAC) complex was complete. This allowed restoration to begin on the historic mansion which had been donated to the community by Amasa Campbell's wife, Grace. Amazingly, K.K. Cutter's sample book was discovered in the servants' linens room in the attic ~ ensuring a truly authentic result.
I've completed 27 painting of Browne's Addition Settings (Browne's Addition Collection pdf) ~ the most recent piece, a NEW portrait of my grandfather Edward Smith and my mom (Sally) and uncles (Ed and Willie) as youngsters in front of the Campbell's Coach House unloading Christmas Trees from their vintage red pickup for the Campbell family.
Highlight ~ A few years 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 nice fit for their exhibit, "Children at Play in Washington State."
They invited me to join several others exhibiting in Olympia's State Capitol Legislative Building. The opening of the exhibit 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 Washington State 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 majestic Legislative Building, "Happy Holidays at the State Capitol." When I finished this painting, Governor Gary Locke was servingf his second term of office. I gave both Governor Locke and Lt. Governor Brad Owens framed fine art of this festive Holiday scene at the State Capitol.
"Children at Play" was just one of four fine art exhibits that pieces from my Spokane Collection were featured in during the 2000s.
Heading up a committee of committed volunteers, the Owens worked hard to promote the work of local Washington State artists. 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 lifelong career of public service a few years ago. All of us who were involved with these creative ventures are very grateful to him and his wife for their generous support.
THE SISTERS OF THE HOLY NAMES OF JESUS AND MARY
You never know what ripple effect the smallest gesture can create. In 1997, I finished my first portrait (since altered and updated in the image below) of the Victorian brick structure that housed my high school on Spokane's North Side. My class of 1968 celebrated our 50th class reunion recently in Summer 2018.
Highlight ~ John Stockton, the famed Utah Jazz basketball player, grew up across the Superior 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 across town) 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(Hank) A. Green renovated the abandoned building into an upscale beautiful retirement center that retained much of the original architectural detail. Recently, the Academy building was purchased by an upscale company from Salt Lake City who committed to do a great deal more restoration work to the historic structure.
AN UNEXPECTED HONOR ~ 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 the Director of Development Sr. Celine Steinberger (sadly this dynamic woman passed away on Christmas Day, 2017), asking if they could feature my portrait of our old school in a future publication devoted to creative alumni. My portrait of HNA was the cover art of the newsletter ~ quite a honor!
FOUR SEASONS OF HOLY NAMES ~ In summer 2013, I donated four framed pieces of the two Holy Names Academies in the Pacific Northwest province (Spokane and Seattle, Washington) and the convent grotto at what was once the sister's Spokane convent near For Wright. These gifts commemorated their 125th Celebration (more on this below) and are still hanging at the sisters' retirement home, recently relocated to the South Hill.
OVERVIEW OF HNA ARTWORK IMAGES 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 phoned for emotional support and prayers was dear Sister Celine. She has only been gone since 2017, but I miss her terribly. She and the sisters prayed for many special intentions ~ most recently, helping my husband Doug deal with some very serious health issues including a lengthy 8-1/2-hour surgery and more. The sisters have been with Doug and me through all the challenges, sending their loving 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 task has always been awarded to a different province. In 2015, the Pacific Northwest Chapter took its turn.
Since the ornament program began in 1994, a Holy Names Sister had always designed the artwork. At Sister Celine's request, I became the first secular alum invited to contribute to this special tradition ~ such an honor. Who knew Celine had only a couple of Christmases left to celebrate.
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:
Office of the Sisters of the Holy Names, Washington Province, Inland Northwest Mailing Address 5919 South Regal Street, Suite 308, Spokane, WA 99223-6024 • Tel 509.328.7470 • Email ProvAdmin@SNJMuson.org.
(25-PLUS YEARS ~ MOST RECENT FIRST)
2017-2019 ~ ART DIRECTOR,UPDATE NEWSLETTER, SPOKANE PRESERVATION ADVOCATES ~ In late December 2016, I met with outgoing Spokane Preservation Advocates (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's goals of preserving historic Inland NW settings. This list includes many prestigious iconic buildings in Spokane's Downtown District and beyond.
Bridget and I tossed around a lot of ideas, but the main one we agreed upon was that SPA needed a little assistance presenting a more polished professional image to the community, i.e. putting their "best foot" forward as the need for preservation grows, expenses expand and grant requests became more substantial. The goal was to help grow the organization and assure the public that SPA's goals deserved real attention and support to keep developers from destroying one-of-a-kind settings in the coming challenging years.
My volunteer project was a complete revamping of the organization's quarterly newsletter UPDATE. Partnering with Executive Coordinator Dave Shockley who gathers and organizes the stories and images from contributors, we freshened up the look and feel of the newsletter ~ adding a table of contents, a revamped "Join Spokane Preservation Advocates NOW" page and presenting the images throughout UPDATE in a more compelling, graphically pleasing way.
Our first revised issue was mailed out early in March 2017. Lots of positive feedback came our way about how great it looked and how easy it was to read and navigate.
The 2019 AUTUMN UPDATE (my 11th issue) is pictured here with the cover image and article honoring Spokane's oldest church community. To read the newsletter, click on the image left.
For more information on Spokane Preservation Advocates and their activities and events throughout the year, please visit their web site (SpokanePreservation.org) .
SPA'S TOUR OF HISTORIC HOMES ~ Since 2009, the organization has invited me to host a "Meet & Greet" booth in one of the homes on the tour. 2019 marks my fifth year.
My exhibit includes portraits of many of the featured tour residences painted over the years. Learn more about the September 2019 event by visiting my Art Venues page.
2017-2019 (RETIRED) ~ ART DIRECTOR, FRIENDS OF THE 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 home was given to the community. Tragically, it was demolished near the end of the Great Depression due to lack of funds for maintenance ~ a huge loss, as many believed it to be K.K. Cutter's first residential commission.
The 1996 ice storm destroyed many of the trees where the gardens had been and and exposed some of the original features installed by Portland designer Hugh Bryan. The Corbin Art Center director 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 resurrect the gardens with heritage plantings indigenous to the era of their original creation.
THE BEGINNING OF "FRIENDS" ~ The stewardship organization "Friends of The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens" (HeritageGardens.org) 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 on the right by the F. Lewis Clark Mansion (Marycliff Catholic High School for a time after Clark's death), the gardens became the jewel of Seventh Avenue ~ and the ONLY heritage gardens in Eastern Washington. In January 2017, I was invited to join the board as art director with the goal of revitalizing the original viison created by a well-known national artist. After two years, I wrapped up my responsibilities largely due to time constraints and unexpected health challenges in our family. A nearly entirely fresh new board is hard at work on future events. I wish them much success!
2014-2019 ~ ART DIRECTOR, FRIENDS OF COEUR D'ALENE PARK, BROWNE'S ADDITION ~ As I shared above, Coeur d'Alene Park in Browne's Addition is Spokane's first and oldest park. The Friends of CDA Park (TinyUrl.com) stewardship group's initial project was to restore the park's ageing onion-domed band pavilion. As mentioned above, I allowed them to use my "Pavilion at Coeur d'Alene Park" (art pictured above) to assist with fund-raising.
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 logos for different uses in varied media. Next came their informational tri-fold, a poster with my painting of the historic band pavilion and banners to use at fund-raising events and in their booth at the MAC's annual ArtFest.
2019 4TH ANNUAL SPOOKWALK ~ Join Friend-historian MaryLou Sproul for "SpookWalk" on October 25, 26 or Halloween night, benefitting the Friends of CDA Park. Phone 509.850.0056 or visit their website ("ToursBA") for tickets ($20.00 each). Gather at 6:30 p.m. at the Secret Garden behind Browne's Bistro, 1924 W Pacific for apple cider and pumpkin carols. SpookWalk from 7:00 to 8:30 through the neighborhood (including a cemetery) and hear ghostly stories about the spirits who haunt them ~ including Patsy Clark's. I donated this design for the SpookWalk logo and poster.
2014 ART FOR THE PARK ~ In 2014, the Friends of CDA Park presented much needed improvement plans to the Spokane Parks & Recreation Department. The goal was to help bring the park more in-line with the vision suggested in the 1890s by famed landscape architects Olmsted Bros. of Brookline, Massachusetts. 2016 marked the park's 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 the Inland NW Parks Collection pdf.
"Art For the Park" in May 2016 brought attention to CDA park with a multi-faceted community art event. I designed the logo, poster, signage, banners, brochures and postcards promoting the CDA Park "happening." Art For the Park featured four street intersection mural artists, activities for kids, food trucks and local artists with booths by the bandstand.
September 10, 2016 ended the 125th birthday celebration at the MAC (Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture). My "Vintage View of Coeur d'Alene Park" original was awarded to the winning raffle ticket holder. Funds raised from the 2015-2016 events have helped with improvements which have begun to take place at the park.
THE BROWNE'S ADDITION NEIGHBORHOOD COUNCIL ~ Although recent health issues for our family have curtailed my time, I still help "Friends" and the Browne's Addition Neighborhood Council as my schedule allows. In Spring 2019, I designed a large Browne's Addition flag, plus their Annual Summer Concert Series poster and program cover.
2012 ~ MY FIRST SPOKANE "FIRST FRIDAY" ART WALK ~ In November 2012, after moving back to the Inland Northwest from the Seattle area, I unveiled my portrait "Snow Chapel at Holy Names" (pictured above) at the E.J. Roberts Mansion's First Friday Art Walk in Spokane's Browne's Addition.
Mary Moltke still owned and managed the mansion at the time of this event, although she recently sold it after her long successful career as an innkeeper. After decades spent restoring the 1889 three-story Queen Anne into a hugely popular, much sought after inn/event center, Mary has gone on to embrace her retirement years.
This First Friday event was attended by lots of HNA alumni and several Holy Names Sisters. These included Sister Celine Steinberger (beside me) and Sr. Paula Mary Turnbull (sadly, this fine artists has also passed away). My lifelong pal who also remarkably is E.J. Roberts great-granddaughter, Molly Roberts Hannan is to the right.
The First Friday invitation was timely as Spokane was in the midst of the National Historic Preservation Society Convention. This event also dovetailed beautifully with the nationally sponsored Candlelight Sumner Avenue Tour of historic homes in Spokane that year.
Since this initial First Friday Art Walk, my work has been featured at Barrister Winery, Markeplace Winery, Arbor Crest Cellars, Grande Ronde Cellars, Lindaman's Bistro and many 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 months when the market is opej.
The Redmond Saturday Market board chose "Meeting at The Market" (pictured below in my "Patti Simpson Ward in The Press" section below) as 1st place winner in their competition for the best image capturing the RSM experience. It showed vendors, shoppers and families with pets enjoying a sunny Saturday.
Dozens of posters featuring my painting were displayed throughout King County's Eastside from May 1st through October 31st, 2010 ~ encompassing the entire market season.
I've shared the article published about me in the Redmond Reporter below in the "Patti Simpson Ward in the Press" section.
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 volunteering. It took six months of planning, promoting and organizing to bring the 33-artist co-op endeavor cohesively to fruition. In addition to co-chairing the event, as art director I handled all the graphic design projects, including:
The city, its 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 painting 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 grandchildren Nathan Davies and Piper Elizabeth Ward.
The upper street showed years growing up on Spokane's South Hill Lincoln Street cottage and the Codd Dutch Colonial on 25th Avenue before our family moved to the Spokane Valley. The lower street pictured Doug and my home in Sammamish and the 1937 craftsman we moved into in late 2011 on 18th Avenue on Spokane's South Hill.
The Peter Kirk (namesake of the community of Kirkland) Building, an ornate three-story brick Victorian, houses Kirkland Arts Center. This wonderful venue hosts exhibits and offers art classes covering nearly on all artistic genres. To see my portrait of this vintage community icon and learn about its interesting local history, find it in the Kirkland section of my Eastside Collection pdf.
When I first joined KAC, the organization had a retail location in the nearby Parkplace Mall where artists and instructors displayed and sold their work ~ a great venue for KAC members to showcase their talents. It closed in Autumn 2015 when the mall began its extensive renovation. We all miss that special space!
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 annual community bike-oriented Summer 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 entire Redmond Collection ~ including the award-winning Bill Brown painting I'm with pictured here.
In 2012-2013, I designed five large format historical banners for the Redmond City Hall through my association with Redmond Historical Society. For more information on this 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 late Bob James and his two daughters Robin and Wendy at Country Village in Bothell, Washington. The collection of shops, galleries and cafes were housed in refurbished farm buildings ~ creating a charming destination for folks of all ages to enjoy a leisurely 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 house and more. 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 all 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.
NOTE ~ Sadly, at the writing, I've learned from my sister Marilee who lives in the area, that beloved Country Village has been sold to a local developer for a large new mixed-use project. It will be missed by everyone in nearby communities and beyond.
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' Fes ttand 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:
(LAST 15 YEARS ~ MOST RECENT FIRST)
2019 ~ "THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PATSY CLARK • MINING PIONEER" ~ Author John H. Richards, the great-grandson of world famous mining mogul Patsy Clark, gathered information for his definitive biograprahy for over a decade.
He poured over hundreds of family photos and proprietary journals in addition to spending hours at the Spokane Public Library and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture ~ just to name a few important sources. His anticipated biography went to press in late 2018.
The book included some unique finds from the Clark family archives that were never shared before ~ which makes this book a "must have" for any Inland Northwest history-lover's library.
John Richards and his wife Mary are not only clients, they became friends over the years and my portrait of the Patrick Clark mansion hangs in their home. I was honored when he asked me if he could include the art in his book. It was featured as one of two full-color plates.
When I finished this art in 1997 (image left), the mansion was serving Spokane as Patsy Clark's Restaurant. Many remember this one-of-a-kind opulent setting fondly and miss it to this day.
When Patsy's closed, a group of attorneys purchased the historic property, acoomplishing a great deal of further restoration work. The second floor housed offices and they offered the first floor to the public as a special event center.
Recently, the attorneys announced they were putting the historic property on the market. It will be interesting to see what new hat this grand setting wears.
Find "Autumn Afternoon at Patsy Clark's" along with a short history on my What's New, "Group 6 ~ Giving Thanks with Friends and Family" section.
2017 ~ THE SPOKESMAN REVIEW ~ "Art In Bloom: Back Porch • Artists, Floral Designers in Art In Bloom Hlep 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.
As I noted above, this non-profit stewardship group hosts two benefits each year ~ "The Traditional English Tea" and" Art In Bloom" ~ raising much needed funds for the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens and adjacent Corbin Art Center on Spokane's Lower South Hill.
No longer a quilt display as in past years, in 2017 and 2018, the pairings were composed of an exhibit on the first floor of the Corbin Art Center pairing works by well-known local artists with arrangements created by talented florists.
Additionally, there was a benefit raffle of donated items from all 13 fine artists. Instead of Artisan Vendors on the windblown veranda of the mansion, they sold artwork and more from booths on the second floor of the Corbin Art Center. Shown above is the poster featuring sample images from each of the selected juried artists. The 2018 5th Annual Art in Bloom took place on September 21-22, 2018.
Pictured here are the gardens' lead docent Paula Whitcom, me (Friends of The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens Art Director) and Communications Chair Linda Yeomans (also Spokane "Historian Extraordinaire"). NOTE ~ Linda is the "go to" gal if you are interested in having your home listed on the Spokane, Washington State or the National Historic Register.
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 passing of beloved Diane Zahner, Art In Bloom participating artist for two years.
2017 ~ THE ARBOR CREST CELLARS ART & GLASS FEST ~ The artwork featured prominently in this poster is my painting of the Arbor Crest Cellars Art & Glass Fest with the historic Gatehouse (once the servants' quarters) in the background. It pictures family and friends enjoying this much anticipated late August event.
The 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 2017. 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 Arbor Crest Art & Glass Fest features over 50 juried artisans. 2017 marked my 5th year of participation in this special and the second time that my art was used to promote it ~ the first time in 2015 with art of the Cliff House. This year for the third time, Arbor Crest will use my NEW Christmas painting of the mansion to promote their Holiday Art Fest.
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 third annual holiday art event. Visit my Art Venues page for more information.
Highlight ~ When Royal Riblet was living at Cliff House, the cement factory below on the riverside spewed harmful dust fragments 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 still doing in the 1950s and 1960s).
2013 ~ DODSON'S PROMOTIONAL POSTCARD ~ This went to all the folks attending the Spokane Symphony performances during the Holiday Season, 2013.
Dodson's owners Penn and Deborah Fix hosted 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 Pat and Kathleen Dix. The couple later commissioned a portrait of their lake cabin on Hayden at Sunset Beach near my brother Bob' place.
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.
STORE CLOSURE ~ After three generations of owners and decades of doing business in the Inland Northwest, this beloved jewelry store closed its doors forever December 2018. This fine establishment will be missed by many loyal Spokane customers.
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 beginning 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, 2013 issue featured a wonderful article 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 framed 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 work 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 and the 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.
"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 portraits of 27 Snohomish 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 September and December Tours of Historic Homes when Doug and I lived in Sammamish in the 2000s.
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 her historic Stone House.
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.
Ryan also 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.
WESTERN WASHINGTON ~ I was one of the original founding members of the Eastside Heritage Center in Bellevue and served for eight years on the board of the Redmond Historical Society. I designed many of the graphics and historic banners for the city of Redmond's 100th birthday in 2013.
EASTERN WASHINGTON ~ As I mentioned above, I serve as the volunteer art director for a number of non-profits including Spokane Preservation Advocates, Friends of The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens and Friends of CDA Park in Browne's Addition. I have also been an active member of the MAC (Northwest Museum &Culture) for nearly 20 years.
I donate my fine art to many Spokane Inland Northwest benefits and silent auctions. One of my favorites is the Spokane Synphony's much anticipated Christmas Tree Elegance. 2018 marked the 6th year that my artwork was featured (Tree #5) at this Holiday extravaganza at the historic Davenport Hotel.
Look for more 2019 listings below as the year unfolds.
LIST OF SPOKANE CAUSES & AUCTION DONATIONS
I've also donated artwork to the Redmond and Sammamish Chambers of Commerce. 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 married in 2000 and purchased our South Hill Spokane cottage in 2002 soon afterwards, one of his best gifts to me was a art studio/gallery suite. This was a huge luxury after the cramped quarters in my 600-square foot view condominium on Seattle's Captol Hill. Natural light floods this expansive 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 huge vintage porcelain double sink is perfect for cleaning canvases and paintbrushes.
PITTYPAT GALLERY ~ OPEN THROUGH DECEMBER 2019 ~ PittyPat Gallery is typically open by appointment and invitation from June through December. It features a revolving exhibit of framed originals and canvas reproductions that changes with the seasons and dovetails with the work featured on my web site. I offer a full selection of prints (both canvas and high-grade art paper), art cards, calendars, fine art journals, magnets, puzzles 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
LIFE'S CHALLENGES ~ Doug and I were married in 2000 ~ 20 years this coming April. How time flies...and yes, we are having fun even though the last two years have brought both of us some big health challenges. A huge thank you to all our friends who have been such a wonderful support to us. Doug is doing well with a very positive attitude. He is fighting the good fight thanks to his awesome team and monthly treatments at Houston's M.D. Anderson. I am getting around much better after crushing my ankle in a bad accident last year that required surgery, screws, a metal plate ~ and a long rehabilitation with months of PT. Regardless, I've been at Dougie's side through most of his Houston treatments and we are racking up frequent flyer miles. More importantly, he's holding own, is in "PR" (partial remissiont) and is #1 in his clinical trial after a year-plus. Every day is a GIFT!
Most importantly, Doug feels pretty good these day and is making the most of his talent as a "scratch" golfer. He loves the comraderie and competition the sport offers as much as I love creating my art. We both do our best to support each other's passions ~ promises we made in our wedding vows. This Augus,t he played five back-to-back rounds at the Medford, OR Rogue Valley C.C.match-play event. He's still a formidable contender!
HIS SUPPORT ~ Truly nothing would be possible without Doug's love and support. I'm SO blessed. He helps me every way he can ~ from playing chef when I'm buried in design/production projects to helping me hang paintings at exhibits to loading fixtures and product at art festivals all over the Pacific Northwest. When I'm really stretched to the limit, he's even given up a golf game or two. Doug (his friends call him "The Turtle") encourages me to put one foot in front of the other and helps me believe nothing is impossible.
We are both enjoying life in smaller Spokane after a dozen years together in the Seattle area. With family nearby who all love Doug, five grandchildren a short three-hour drive away, wonderful friends who bless and enrich our lives every day ~ what could be better? It's a WONDERFUL LIFE!
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ARTWORK OR CONTENT?
iPhone ~ 206.406.1409 (Texts & Voicemail)PittyPat Gallery & Studio ~ OPEN! Questions about Appointments? Please phone me.
Email ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Web ~ PattiSimpsonWard.com