PLEASE JOIN ME! MY LAST 2019 HOLIDAY ART EVENT! DECEMBER FIRST FRIDAY WEEKEND • DECEMBER 6 &7 • Kendall Yards Welcome Center, 1335 West Summit Parkway, Spokane, WA

 

THE HOLIDAYS ~ A TIME FOR GATHERING AND CREATING JOY!

The HOLIDAYS are upon us! It's the season of colored lights, holly branches, fragrant evergreens, Midnight Mass, sledding, photos with Santa Claus, Christmas caroling, sumptuous meals shared with family and loved ones, snow angels, freshly baked cookies, mugs of eggnog, shopping lists, open houses and skating across the neighborhood ponds. As the Andy Williams song reminds us, "It's the MOST wonderful time of the year!

As I shared on my Welcome page, this season makes nearly EVERYONE feel better. Folks seem to be happier, more tolerant ~ and much more open-hearted. Always a good thing!

The photo here pictures my sisters Marilee and Peggy and mother Sally in front of Peggy's giant Crhistmas tree which annually brushed the cathedral ceiling of their home.

For years, Peg hosted a get-together on Christmas Eve for our entire extended family. It was great fun, especially when our nieces and nephews were youngsters, some still believing in Santa Claus. Now they are in their twenties and thirties, creating traditions of their own. Peggy and her husband Jeff are spending most of their time at their lodge-style homr on Hayden Lake, Idaho ~ stunning, but a bit of a challenge to get to in winter. The lake road is treacherous in the ice and snow.

Twenty-two years ago when I met my husband Doug, he had two young sons and a daughter. All are happily married today and have given us two granddaughters and three grandsons ~ ranging from almost 2 yearss to 12 years old. It's amazine how time flies! This year, we hope to see them in late November ~ an early Christmas gift for us and we are SO looking forward to it!

December 2019 will find us connecting with most of our friends by notes in our Christmas cards. This year, by necessity, our HOLIDAY will be alittle more low key ~ a celebration of welcome down-time. Other than a short list of special HOLIDAY ART FESTS (details on my Art Venues page), and a few high points with my Christmas-loving mom and brother Bob's family, you'll find us by our tree with our fee up, watching "White Christmas" and sipping Doug' s eggnog.

BEST WISHES FOR A CHRISTMAS FILLED WITH JOY & A HAPPY HEALTHY 2020!

 

22 NEW PAINTINGS ~ Click here on the 2019-2018 All NEW Art Collection pdf to see thumbnail images of all 24 of the NEW paintings completed this year and last to date. Many of these works are also scattered throughout the Puget Sound, Spokane & More Paintings pages.

 

PITTYPAT GALLERY (OPEN) ~ My gallery is open by appointment and invitation now through the end of 2019. The work hanging there reflects the Heart of The Holidays Collection featured on this web site's What's New page. There is also a generous selection of:

Please phone me at 206.406.1409 for more information about available items and to learn about commissioning original paintings and sketches.

V.I.P. MAILING LIST ~ To be on my V.I.P. list (Very Important Patron), please contact me at 206.406.1409 (talk/text).

Twice a year, I send postcards in digital email format or hard copy via the U.S. Mail. These feature NEW art images and share my schedule of Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter /Holiday venues. Frequently, the postcards offer special savings at upcoming art fests and private PittyPat Gallery events.

You can also find me on Facebook under "PattiSimpsonWardArt."

 

 

This collection of 24 paintings is divided into four group of six images ~ each celebrating the Holidays! The fine art featured below is of settings sprinkled all over the Pacific Northwest. Each has its own special appeal and was created to honor this beloved festive season. Several images are NEW! Visit the Puget Sound, Spokane & More Paintings pages to see many more paintings celebrating Christmastime!

SPECIAL CHRISTMASTIME SETTINGS • 6 Paintings Honoring Beloved Settings Festively Dressed for the Holidays ~ 3 NEW! (Spokane and Roche Harbor, WA)

"THE CRESCENT WINDOW AT CHRISTMASTIME" (THE DOWNTOWN DISTRICT, SPOKANE, WA • JULY 2009 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

The Crescent Department Store was THE place to shop when I was a youngster growing up in Spokane, Washington.

It opened in 1889, the year of the big Spokane fire that virtually destroyed the greater downtown area. The store served faithfully (nearly a century) until 1988 when it was sold to the F&N (Frederick & Nelson) Acquisition Corporation.

Our annual tradition, as it was with many Spokane families at the time, was the yearly visit to the downtown Crescent Department Store for pictures with Santa Claus. I was six when this photo was taken ~ and my sisters and me were dressed in red plaid taffetas created by my mother Sally. After photos, we always stopped by the signature animated store window which was filled with lights, baubles and figures (Santa, his elves and more) that moved in time to Christmas music.

Highlight ~ At the 2014 Arbor Crest Art & Glass Festival, one of the men responsible for the animated Crescent Store window stopped by to take a look at this artwork. He recognized the elves and colorful candy confections as some he had created decades ago ~ sharing stories with me and clients at my booth about his 30+ years at the beloved department store.

NEW! "KRIS KRINGLE COMES TO THE CLIFF HOUSE (ARBOR CREST CELLARS)" (THE SPOKANE VALLEY, WA • OCTOBER 2018 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

I painted this Holiday portrait of the Cliff House at Arbor Crest Cellars to honor a special tradition that occurred in the early 2000s in the Spokane Valley.

An avid aviator who flew his small plane out of Felts Field decorated it for several years to look like Santa In his sleigh. On Christmas Eve (weather permitting) he would take off and criss-cross the skies above the neighborhoods in the Valley for about 15 minutes. Folks of all ages came out into their streets to watch and wave to Saint Nicholas as he made his annual visit late in the evening. It was magical ~ thus the theme for this piece.

Royal Newton Riblet built his Florentine-style Cliff House Mansion to take advantage of the stunning view from his property’s perch overlooking the Spokane River. The grounds included a waterfall that continually recycled from bottom to top, a tram that went down his cliff to the river below, a life-size chess game and other marvels. When I completed this piece, the MIlke family owned the estate, home of Arbor Crest Cellars. 

Highlight ~ This artwork was created for Arbor Crest Cellars' 2018 Holiday Art Fest.

NEW! "ICE RIBBON AT RIVERFRONT PARK" (THE DOWNTOWN DISTRICT, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JULY 2019 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8x10-INCH)

In early December 2017, Spokane opened the first ice ribbon on the West Coast ~ a fun addition to Riverfront Park which was part of the updating plans happening on what was once the site of Spokane’s Expo 74 environmental fair.

The ice ribbon promised a wonderful urban experience with its 16-foot wide 700-foot trail curling around the west end of the park. Fire pits, an ice lounge and more promised a great experience for skaters young and old.

Summer offered roller-skating instead and other activities, so the ribbon could be enjoyed year round. I filled this artwork with skaters enjoying the crisp winter day and pictured Riverfront’s pavilion and iconic clock tower in the background of this piece honoring the ice ribbon’s opening day.

Highlight ~ Ice Ribbons are extremely rare and at the time this was built, it was the only one of the west coast of the United States.

"ROARING FIRE AT ROCHE" (ROCHE HARBOR , SAN JUAN ISLAND, WA • PAINTED MAY 2012 • ACRYLIC-ON-CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Christmastime at Roche Harbor (RocheHarbor.com),~ I pictured my husband and me with friends singing carols and toasting our backsides in front of the blazing fire.

When I visited Roche Harbor for the first time in 2000, the space in front of the fireplace was grass. Last summer, when my nephew was married there, this was paved into a large patio ~ thus the revision to the original painting.

Decades ago, a huge stone fireplace was built by Roche Harbor founder John S. McMillin in what was once the banquet court adjacent to his Hotel de Haro.

Frequently the setting for his sumptuous barbecues and banquets, he had the masonry inscribed with “Friendships fires are always burning.” The walkway leading from the hotel to the Roche Harbor pier bid his visitors adieu with the Scottish phrase, “God be wi’ ye till we meet again” ~ a fitting holiday greeting!

Highlight ~ Several years ago, my sister Peggy's son Michael and his fiance Mikaila were married at this resort at a lovely destination Summer wedding.

NEW! "THE CHRISTMAS LOOFF CAROUSEL " (THE DOWNTOWN DISTRICT • PAINTED JULY 2017 • ACRYLIC-ON-CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

I.D. Looff finished his carousel (SpokaneCarousel.org) in 1909. It was elaborate in every detail with dozens of multi-sized mirror panels and 180 glittering lights. Too expensive for its original home at Natatorium Park at a price of $20,000, Looff struck a special deal. If the park would allow his son Louis Vogel to run the carousel and other concessions on a percentage basis, Looff would ship the carousel to the park as a wedding gift for his daughter Emma.

When Nat Park closed in 1968, its property developed into a mobile home park, the carousel was dismantled and stored. With the opening of Spokane’s World Fair, Expo 74 at 100-acre Riverfront Park, one of the most anticipated events was the re-opening of the carousel ~ not just for viewing, but for riding! Housed in a protective building, this merry-go-round was available again to children of all ages.

A few years ago, Spokane's local government asked voters to approve several ambitious improvements to Riverfront Park, one of which was a more robust structure to house the beloved carousel. Once again, the apparatus and horses were carefully dismantled and put into storage. Its new home was scheduled for opening in late spring 2018.

Highlight ~ In 2017, I painted this holiday-themed alteration for Michael Bagley's carousel-themed tree ~ the fifth appearance of my fine art in the Spokane Symphony Christmas Tree Elegance Benefit.

NEW! "HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT THE GAISER CONSERVATORY (MANITO PARKww" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED OCTOBER 2019 • ACRYLIC-ON-CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Manito Park was a huge part of my life growing up in Spokane. My first 12 years as a youngster were spent in a small cottage and then a Dutch Colonial in the Manito neighborhood. The park was within walking distance. In the 1950s and 1960s, kids could take off most anytime they wanted and play safely there ~ with or without chums.

After moving back from the Seattle area, my husband and I bought a brick bungalow near Manito Park and found it to be the gift that keeps on giving. As wonderful as old memories were, we found many new ones.

A favorite has been “Holiday Lights” ~ a magical display of thousands of colored lights decorating the interior of the Gaiser Conservatory. Created by volunteers from the Friends of Manito (TheFriendsOfManito.org), it’s open during the Holiday Season for all to enjoy ~ still at no charge when I painted this piece.

Highlight ~ I pictured my extended family in this piece as my mother, brothers, sisters and there spouses pictured here have all been to see Manito's Holiday Lights at one time or another since this wonderful local tradition started.

 

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS • 6 Homes Dressed Festively for the Holidays (Spokane, Port Townsend and Snohomish, WA)

NEW! "PRETTY PARKER PLACE ON CANNON HILL (GROMBACHER-HERRICK HOUSE)" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED NOVEMBER 2017 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

The historic Grombacher-Herrick House (commonly know as the Dr. Parker House) was built in 1924 on West Shoshone by Joseph J. Lorenze, who lived less that a block away. Several significant families lived here, among them the Grombachers (music shop owners who also managed the Liberty Theater), the Herricks (Milwaukee Lumber Company and Palouse Oil & Gas) and the Winklers (Wm. Winkler Paving Contractors).

But the fifth owners were the most well known. Dr. Robert Parker and wife Jeannie (Marcella) moved into the 2-1/2 story in 1956, raising their family of seven children.

The Parker House was a classic brick Tudor-Revival with a steeply pitched gabled roof, narrow multi-paned windows and stucco cladding. These strong architectural elements were reminiscent of charming, comfortable English/European residences ~ indicative of the development of homes overlooking Cannon Hill Pond from the 1920s to the 1940s.

For decades, Dr. Parker hosted caroling in the late afternoon on Christmas Eve ~ opening his home afterwards to friends and neighbors. Guest of honor Saint Nicholas (a local firefighter?) stopped by the crowd with a bag of treats for the kiddos. Former neighbors remember this annual tradition fondly.

Highlight ~ Last year, when I gave Doctor Bob his Christmas gift of this art, it was titled "Pretty Parker Place on Cannon Hill." For his family, he asked me to change the name to "Jeannie Parker's Pretty Place..." as she insisted he buy this house for her when he was dead set against it decades ago. The Parkers stayed there over 60 years!

"THE HAPPY HOLIDAY HOUSE (HARMON HOUSE)" (SNOHOMISH, WA • PAINTED NOVEMBER 2003 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Built in 1890, this Queen Anne-style three-story home was built in the Snohomish historic district at 322 Avenue C. When I took pictures of this home years before painting it, the Queen Anne-style home was forest green with white trim and had a matching scalloped fence surrounding it.

Later owners went on to give it a new color scheme of chocolate brown and yellow beige. They also replaced the wood fence with a wrought iron one.

Brimming over with Victorians of every size, shape and color, Snohomish has been a shoppers’ mecca for antiques and gifts for decades. It also had several cozy B&Bs and fine restaurants for the weekend visitors who frequented this Western Washington destination.

Highlight ~ This artwork featured my extended Simpson family gathering for the holidays.

"FLEXILE FLYERS IN THE VALLEY (MORAN-HENRY HOUSE)" (THE SPOKANE VALLEY, SPOKANE , WA • PAINTED AUGUST 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVA S• 8X10-INCH)

This Spokane Valley white brick Colonial home was built in 1940 for the Henry family on Boone Avenue on a large, gently sloping lot. Interestingly, its design was slightly asymmetrical as the left side of it was larger in width than the right.

In 1957, Joe and Rita Moran purchased the residence where they would raise their family of five children (L-R Georgia, Curt, Joey, Kathy and Marty) for nearly 20 years.

The property included an orchard to the left, an outdoor “living room” with white wrought iron furniture beneath the giant willow (note the lovely statue of the Blessed Mother) and a swimming pool behind the house ~ the setting for many warm weather gatherings with family and friends.

I gave this artwork a mid-1960s holiday theme, picturing the kids ready to enjoy the frosty afternoon sledding down a nearby slope. (Vintage photograph courtesy of Moran daughters Kathy Denenny and Georgia Ferguson.)

"THE CHRISTMAS HOUSE (LOEWENBERG-ROBERTS HOUSE)" (BROWE'S ADDITION, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED MARCH 1997 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

The Loewenberg-Roberts House on First Avenue was designed by W.J. Carpenter for Bernard Loewenberg in 1889. Loewenberg owned a dry goods store nearby on Riverside Avenue, which floundered financially to the point that he was compelled to trade his home for another in the neighborhood owned by E.J. Roberts.

Built in the Queen Anne Victorian style, Carpenter designed the house using a unique decorative blend of granite, wood and brick ~ resulting in an unusually beautiful home.

In Browne’s Addition where many of the larger mansions had been converted into apartment houses after World War II to accommodate returning soldiers, this the Roberts House remained home to this family well into the 20th Century. 

Mary Moltke purchased this mansion toward the end of the last century and began an ambitious restoration project, re-opening it as an upscale inn and special event center in the 1990s.

Highlight ~ After reaching retirement age, Mary recently made the decision to sell her beautiful architectural gem to new owners.

"DECORATING THE GEORGE W. DOWN HOUSE" (PORT TOWNSEND, WA • PAINTED JULY 2006 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

The George W. Downs House was an absolute Victorian Foursquare confection ~ the perfect setting for this painting celebrating this most festive time of year!

George Downs arrived in the harbor seaport town in 1881 and soon became a very successful Port Townsend’s lumber baron.

He and his wife raised three daughters, Sarah, Cordelia and Cassandra in this handsome home which was beautifully embellished with ornate stain glass windows ~ including a large one of Saint Gabriel from a Tacoma church.It also had a “widow’s walk” in the center of the roof that enjoyed a panoramic view of the harbor.

The house was altered slightly over the years, but by and large it retained its original grace, style and elegance. Highlight ~ one of the three daughters, Cassandra, lived in this residence well into the 1960s.

"KIDS AT THE FUN FOURSQUARE ON MANITO (ANDERSON-TORMEY HOUSE)" ( THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JUNE 2014 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 11X14-INCH)

This portrait pictured the historic Louise Anderson House, designed and built by prominent Spokane architect Randolph Smith in 1922. It has remained one of the most handsome homes on the block.

On scenic Manito Boulevard, the residence was later listed as a historic landmark on the Spokane and the National Registers of Historic Places.

When I painted this piece, retired WSU professor Linda Holloway (note “Holloway Flyer” on the sled) fell in love with the handsome brick foursquare, purchased it and began an ambitious remodeling/restoration project on the property. She worked hard to carefully recreate its original feel and classic simple style, but made certain it was also comfortable and inviting.

Blessed with family and grandchildren nearby, her house became a jolly hub of merry activity at Christmastime ~ as pictured in this scene featuring all of the kids in the foreground.

 

LET IT SNOW...LET IT SNOW...LET IT SNOW! • 6 Settings Celebrating the Beautiful Outdoors (Spokane, Mount Spokane and Port Townsend)

"FUN & FROLIC AT THE MANITO FIREPLACE" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE , WA • PAINTED DECEMBER 2006 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

At the west end of the Manito Park’s Mirror Lake(also known as the Duck Pond), a massive basaltic rock fireplace was built in 1955 as a memorial to Lt. Lawrence Rist, an Air Force officer who was killed in action in the Korean War. The Friends of Manito (TheFriendsOfManito.org) stewardship organization recently paved its long-time gravel pathway bordering it, creating a much more user-friendly walkway for folks to enjoy in all seasons.

For decades growing up in Spokane, my parents took our family ice-skating during the winter months on Manito Pond. At that time the city and local fire department took pains to keep the surface smoothly groomed for skaters. There was nearly always a fire blazing for folks who were chilled and in need of warming up and a hot beverage. I filled this scene with family and friends doing just that.

Highlight ~ Alas, there will be no skating this winter as the pond is also undergoing a long-awaited ambitious renovation that will keep the water moving throughout warmer months and therefore provide park visitors much cleaner, clearer water.

"SKATING SERENADE" (PORT TOWNSEND, WA • PAINTED DECEMBER 2000 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 16X20-INCH)

I was inspired to paint this large snow scene (a 16x20-inch canvas) years ago after touring Port Townsend's Historic District in the mid-1970s. The quaint, lovely seaside port community has always been an inspiration and I have completed over a dozen paintings honoring this picturesque destination.

One of my favorite Queen Anne's there with the three-story “German Consulate” (OldConsulateInn.com) pictured here (also known as the Frank Hastings House). I planned the entire painting around it.

After positioning the mansion, I added a few imaginary structures and other details to the scene ~ railroad tracks, a whimsical Victorian one-room train depot, white clapboard church and a New England-style covered bridge. I pictured skaters twirling on the ice, sleighs filled with riders slicing merrily through the snow and positioned snowmen here and there around the landscape. After I finally finished this winter-themed scene,

I later completed a second smaller piece, “Cozy Consulate B&B,” that focused just on the mansion. I gave the second piece a spring theme with pots filled with impatiens on the porch and alyssum and petunias in the gardens.

Highlight ~ This ambitious piece took well over 250 hours to complete over a span of ten years.

"SLEDDING ON THE SOUTH HILL (MANITO PARK)" ~ (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED OCTOBER 2013 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS •8X10-INCH)

This piece pictured Manito Park’s (TheFriendsOfManito.org) sledding hill on the corner of Grand Boulevard & 18th Avenue as it looked in the late 1950s at Manito Park on Spokane's South Hill.

I painted friends and family enjoying a crisp winter day at the park after a fresh snowfall ~ something folks in the neighborhood have done since 1904 when the beloved park was established.

In 1959, my parents gave me an aluminum “Flying Saucer” for Christmas. All of us kids had our “Flexible Flyer” sleds, but these metal discs were the latest thing! We sat down in the center, crossed our legs, grabbed the leather handles on both sides ~ and prayed we didn't hit a tree on the way down because steering was out of the question.

Highlight ~ There were two sides of the hill ~ a smaller one by the picnic area for the younger set and a larger one adjacent to the street that the bigger kids poured water on to speed up the ride. This sheet of ice guaranteed a VERY swift trip to the bottom ~ steering sleds was impossilbe. There was always a kid or two every season that ended up at the hospital when a tree stopped their ride!

"'CAVORTING AT CANNON HILL POND" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • JULY 2009 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Cannon Hill Park was created just west down the hill from Saint Augustine’s Parish where I attended grade school.

There was little property for playgrounds in the 1950s-60s, so in winter, the 6th-, 7th- and 8th-graders were allowed to skate on the pond during recess. The boys played hockey and the girls twirled and skated backwards (we all dreamed of joining the “Ice Capades”).

The site of the Washington Brick & Lime Co. in the 1880s (used for many South Hill homes), when the clay deposits ran out, the Adam’s family (relatives of John Quincy Adams) donated 13 acres for Adams Park, later named for real estate developer A.M. Cannon. In 1910, the famed Olmsted brothers designed the park, including a large pond with basaltic rock bridges, two pergolas and a wading pool for children ~ no longer in place.

This work is filled with family and friends ~ including the Roberts, McCarthy and Shelledy kids. The Shelledys lived in the brick two-story shown overlooking the pond.

Highlight ~ Decade later since I skater there as a youngster, folks still flock to this place with ice skate when the pond freezes over.

"VISTA HOUSE VIEW" (MOUNT SPOKANE STATE PARK, WA • PAINTED FEBRUARY 2010 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This artwork portrayed the historic Vista House on a gorgeous sunny day with friends, family and a group of eager young S.S.R.A. racers (Spokane Ski Racing Association) in the scene.

Located at the summit of Mount Spokane (MountSpokane.com) near the top of the #1 chairlift, this unique granite stone cottage was the design of Spokane architect, Henry C. Bertelsen. It was built during the Great Depression in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (C.C.C.) who was headquartered at Riverside State Park on Spokane’s North Side.

It was constructed to blend with its stunning, natural setting. Renovated in 2002 by Mount Spokane State Park, once again it opened its doors to the public on Sundays and holidays, offering light fare and a huge, friendly fireplace.

Highlight ~ Decades later, folks can still find hot chocolate when they hike up to the Vista House during ski season.

"HISTORIC FRANCISC COOK CABIN" (MOUNT SPOKANE STATE PARK, WA • PAINTED FEBRUARY 2014 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This piece portrayed Francis Cook’s Cabin, which was built in 1904 on the west side of Mount Spokane (MountSpokane.com) overlooking the Spokane Valley.

Francis Cook was known as the “Father of Mount Spokane State Park.” When he died in 1920, he transferred his considerable property there to the county with the understanding that it would be a park for everyone to enjoy.

In 1933, the State Parks & Recreation Commission oversaw the enlargement of his original cabin. They replaced the collapsed roof, built a deck and lunch counter for skiers and added living quarters for the park’s superintendent.

In 1940, Federal funds built a handsome new ski lodge near the cabin, but a horrific fire destroyed it completely in 1952. A decision was made to move the facilities to the less windy east side of the mountain and the Cook Cabin public ski area closed for good in 1955.

Highlight ~ As time has gone by, this area that overlooks Spokane from the south side of the mountain became a popular hiking area.

 

HOLIDAY BLESSINGS AT CHRISTMASTIME ~ 6 Paintings Completed over the Years to Honor the Birth of Jesus (Spokane, Olympia and Snohomish, WA and Bethlehem, Judea)

"PEACE ON EARTH AT THE STABLE" (BETHLEHEM, JUDEA • PAINTED DECEMBER 1977 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This quiet little stable scene was another of the seven 1977 paintings.

My parents were "converts" who became devouted Roman Catholics ~ my dad, when a student at Gonzaga University and my mother, shortly after their marriage at Sacred Heart Church in 1947. When we six Simpson kidsI were youngsters, my parents waged the constant battle to of pushing Santa Claus and his merry toy-making elves into the background of the Holiday. They tried to keep Christ in "Christmas," which was of course was the real reason for celebrating Christmas in the first place.

For years, we attended Midnight Mass at Sacred Heart Hospital's chapel. It was a magical place with its sky blue ceiling. The chapel really seemed like "Heaven" with the Sisters of Providence choir singing like angels. In later years, my parents drove our family to the Immaculate Heart Retreat House on the south edge of Spokane's Moran Prairie where the Wessel family also treated the congregation to carols before Midnight Mass. With these fond memories, it was easy to create this little painting honoring the birth of Jesus for my folks.

Highlight ~ For decades, they hung this little painting near their tree every Christmas. My mother Sally recently returned the original canvases of "Peace on Earth at the Stable" and "Puffing by the Post Office" back to me to add into my own mix of decorations.

"SNOWFALL AT SAINT AUGUSTINE'S" (THE SOUTH HILL , SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JANUARY 2014 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8x10-INCH)

When I grew up in Spokane, my first twelve years were spent at Saint Augustine’s (StAugustineSpokane.CatholicWeb.com) where my family attended Mass and grade school on Spokane’s South Hill. The school building  functioned as the church for decades, but in the 1940s, Father (later Monsignor) Stephen P. Buckley drove the fund-raising for a new church.

Designed by the John W. Maloney architects, Walter G. Meyers & Son contractors built the church. They used brick veneer and Indiana limestone for the exterior with a cornerstone of red carnelian granite from Minnesota.

Bishop Charles C. White dedicated the new church on October 1, 1950. Later Father Buckley had landscaped terraced gardens added to honor the Seven Sorrows of Mary ~ creating a remarkably beautiful setting. I completed this work to commemorate the 100th birthday of the parish. Monsignor Buckley left Saint Augustine’s in 1968 and years later my husband and I purchased the brick bungalow where he spent his retirement years (this was the view from the front porch).

IHighlight ~ I pictured my sisters and our sweethearts enjoying the Nativity scene that always decorated the corner of Bernard and 18th Avenue at Christmastime.

”SNOW CHAPEL AT HOLY NAMES" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED OCTOBER 2012• ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This was the second rendition of my high school Holy Names Academy building painted 15 years after the first, “Celebrating Spring at HNA.” This work was completed in honor of the arrival of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary’s to the Pacific Northwest 125 years ago.

I pictured my classmates and younger sisters working on a chapel made of snow and twigs on the front campus grounds while our teachers looked on.

The Victorian red brick building functioned as a “normal school” (teachers’ college) before it became a private school for girls. Located a few blocks from Gonzaga University, HNA closed its doors in 1975 and the empty building sank into sad disrepair. In 1987, it was developed into “The Academy,” a non-denominational full-scale retirement community by local developer Harry A. Green.

Highlight ~ This building was featured for a few minutes in the movie starring Johnny Depp, “Benny & Joon.”

”EVENING AT SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST"(THE CATHEDRAL DISTRICT, THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED SEPTEMBER 2007 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

The dream of Right Reverend Edward Makin Cross (Third Bishop of Spokane), the project of constructing Saint John the Evangelist (StJohns-Cathedral.org) was begun in 1925 by architect and parishioner Harold C. Whitehouse on the property that once housed Spokane dynamo Francis Cook's Victorian mansion on the brow of the South Hill.

Whitehouse was also responsible for two whimsical Benewah Creamery buildings and the Hutton Settlement Orphanage buildings in Spokane Valley.

This majestic Gothic-style cathedral was French-influenced. Its exterior was constructed of stone from Tacoma, Washington, and the interior with sandstone from Idaho (the nave) and limestone from Indiana. Work on the building project proceeded through most of the 1920s.

The cathedral always prided itself on opening its doors to everyone ~ as its carvings and stain-glass windows included symbols of many faiths. It was built to be a “house of prayer for all people.”

Highlight ~ The spires of this church has always been a highly recognizable landmark visible from the I-90 freeway for folks driving through the community on their travels further east.

”MERRYMAKING AT SAINT MICHAELS"(SNOHOMISH, WA • MARCH 2010• ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This towering structure in the center of Snohomish’s historic district was once Saint Michael’s Roman Catholic Church.

The building was built in the late 1800s under Pastor Michael McCauley, and although the original Snohomish mission was called Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, when McCauley left the area in 1890, the church became Saint Michael’s.

Located at on Avenue C, folks could see its steeple for blocks. I gave my portrait of the beautiful old church a holiday-theme, decorating it with holly garlands, evergreens, a dusting of snow and adding Christmas carolers on the sidewalk.

When historic Saint Michael' closed its doors and retired as a place of worship, a community-minded couple (one was Snohomish Mayor Karen Guzak) converted the structure into a combination residence/studio/art gallery. She was serving as mayor when I painted this artwork in 2010.

Highlight ~ The church was part of the Historic Holiday Tour of Homes presented by the Snohomish Historical Society the year I painted this piece ~ an event that highlighted not only the community's historic settings, but over-the-top Christmas decorating as well.

”CHRISTMAS CAROLING AT THE STATE CAPITOL"(LEGISLATIVE BUILDING, STATE CAPITOL, OLYMPIA, WA • PAINTED DECEMBER 1997 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This was a portrait I painted of the signature Legislative Building in the State Capitol of Olympia, located just south of the Tacoma, Washington.

The artwork featured folks of many different ethnic backgrounds in front of the festively decorated historic site ~ all celebrating and singing Christmas carols together to honor the season.

This piece was completed just in time for Christmas in 1997.

I gave framed and gave a finished print of this holiday portrait of the Legislative Building to both Governor and Mrs. Gary Locke and Lt. Governor and Mrs. Brad Owens to thank them for all of their generous support in promoting local Washington artists by hanging their work at a string of exhibitions in the Legislative Building.

Highlight ~ At the time this piece was finished, I had a large dsplay of two dozen paintings hanging in the "Children at Play" Exhibit at this historic, majestic setting.

 

 

For details on purchasing of any of this painting celebrating the season, please visit my Art Venues and Ordering pages ~ or phone me at the number shared below. Thank you so much and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

 

 

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