"Accomplishments will prove to be a journey, not a destination." ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
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 ever-growing appreciation of the heart-warming, detailed, colorful "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 "modern" pieces are hanging in my brother Bob's home. Every time I visit him, I am amazed where my artistic efforts have taken me over the years.
As much as he loves the contemporary works, I'm glad I stuck with, 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, and 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 Franciscan order filled the South Hill's Saint Augustine's Church to attend 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,II remember drawing, writing and pasting up my own magazines, newsletters and booklets at my bedroom desk while my brothers and sisters were elsewhere playing with neighborhood pals. Being able to "create" was always my heart's desire.
LATER YEARS ~ Maggie McCarthy and I have always stayed in touch. She was my best friend from Saint Augustine Grade School years and I love her. Maggie met and married her husband Wayne Braueur decades ago and moved to Alexandria, VA., 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 with her several "butterfly" books I had created for her when we were in our twenties living near each other in Western Washington. What endearing memories!
"FASCINATING" MR. FLEMISTER
When this picture was snapped 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's Sunset Beach. Ed was taking an R&R break from piloting a small plane for Bethlehem Steel in Venezuela, South America. His first love was flying and he shared that he had been among the initial pilots who started Wein Air Alaska which later became Alaska Airlines. In those early days, he recalled that he and the other pilots flew their planes by whatthey saw and felt ~ not instruments!
When not flying his airplane, 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-90s, he exhibited his huge personal art and photography collection in a gallery in downtown Baker City, Oregon. In 2010, he moved to Tampa, FL to be closer to his son Jim's family. Four years later, the Tampa Public Library hosted a second ambitious exhibit of his work. The Tampa Tribune published a glowing article honoring his talent, enthusiasm and zest for life.
In January 2015 after a rich, 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 called his grandfather one of the "most fascinating people" he had ever known. Always a unique individual, his passing felt like the end of an era. We all miss him.
MURALS & MORE AT SAINT JOHN VIANNEY CATHOLIC SCHOOL
The day after Halloween of my sixth grade year at Saint Augustine's Grade School, our family moved east from Spokane's South Hill to the suburbs of Spokane Valley. Our neighborhood was called Kokomo and was filled with ranch style ramblers and mid-century moderns. Our new home was the latter ~ my mother Sally's "dream home.'
At Saint John Vianney School, I was frequently in the back of the classroom drawing murals with pastels on butcher paper while classmates learned long division. Math can still be a challenge (but that's why God created accountants and my neice Kelly is a good one!!).
As a Camp Fire Girl for 10+ 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 truly rewarding way to spend the summer months. I'm pretty sure that I learned much more from my little charges than they did from me! My campers' most creative project? Elaborate mobiles created from fishing wire and dozens of fluttering Origami birds folded entirely 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 special 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 contemporary ~ but the one thing I knew for certain was that I wanted a career in fine art and design.
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 me the fundamentals of design ~ but always shared the notion of being true to your own creative passion. As you can see by this photo, both of us enjoyed our heartfelt meeting four years ago. 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 Unversity, it was still a college. During my years there, II 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 line drawings for a year's worth of print advertisement to seel cars with an "All American" feel ~ my very first commercial design commission!
SETTLING IN SEATTLE WITH MY SISTER
Hghlight ~ In Seattle, I moved in with my youngest sister Peggy soon after finishing the National Syndicate design project. While driving up Aurora Avenue, I was amazed to see one of the advertisements I created on a large billboard beside that busy street.
With EWSC and the design project behind me, Seattle's University of Washington district became my home. Peggy, a handful of other women and I lived in a big pea green two-story foursquare there. (See it on "The Peggy Places" neighborhood painting on my Commission page.)
Some were students at the Univeristy of Washington 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. With my living expenses handled, I dusted off my dream of creating fine art.
Two life-changing events occurred. I received a coffee table book of Grandma Moses Christmas-themed paintings and I discovered Charle's Wysocki's magical primitive artwork in a very early edition of his "Americana" calendars.
I was intrigued by Moses' heart-warming, 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 "real" settings in the "Americana" style. To the right is one of my first works completed in 1975 picturing our family home, the Codd House on Spokane's South Hill. It remains part of my personal collection and reminds me where I was when I began my fascination with this style.
Note ~ my first portrait of this home (I've done five) is also 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 in 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 to be crucial 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 a subject or setting caught my eye. This was a bonus when my sister Marilee and I visited Port Townsend's to do their Tour of Historic Homes in the late 1970s. That trip spawned over a dozen paintings (Port Townsend Collection pdf) of the magical Victorians in the historic distric there. Now I use my iPhone and can "air-drop" images to my computer immediately. Digital media has 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. Our destinations included Moscow, St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) and Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
While in Tashkent, Seattle's "Sister City" at the time, 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 renditions of Tashkent settings hung in the National Art Gallery of Tashkent. One is pictured here and the other on my More Collections page.
The "sister city" relationship was a "natural" as the climate and personality of Tashkent and Seattle are very similar. Far south of the government seat in Moscow, it was open and relaxed. Plus Tashkent housed several large Aeroflot factories. When I traveled there, Seattle's major industry was still Boeing Aircraft. The birth of Microsoft was yet to occur a few years in the future.
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 stunning and the people incredibly hospitable thanks to Gorbechov's Peristroika program at the time. Much of the U.S.S.R. was a culture-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 Dutch Colonial above that really began my career. By 1993, I had mastered more depth and detail in my style and really was able to capture this subject nicely.
What started as a family Christmas gift grew into several editions and printings. Some clients have collected the calendars since 1994. I have received orders from folks throughout the United States and beyond.
Over the past two-plus decades, I've found that those of us who grew up in the Pacific Northwest (especially Spokane) have very fond memories of the small town feel and quality of life ~ with the parks, beautiful old neighborhoods, landmarks, forests and lakes that are so prevalent here.
On my Calendar page I've shared complete descriptions and images for the thee current 2017 calendars. NEW 2018 issues are in-the-works. I've also designed 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 my first outdoor art festival. It was held in Coeur d'Alene Park (more on this magical destination below) and became what is known today 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 wealthiest local timber, mining and railroad businessmen. Many of these fine structures are still standing , although many were divided into small apartments to accommodate returning World War II veterans. Gradually some of them are being restored back to being single-family residences.
I exhibited 18 works of art, including portraits of three Kirtland K. Cutter homes ~ Patsy Clark's, the Wakefield House and the Amasa Campbell house. My 1997 "Pacific NW Memories" calendar did very well and helped introduced my work to the community.
The 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 the surviving Campbell family members. Amazingly, Cutter's sample book was discovered in the attic linens' room ~ 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" for the future.
Highlight ~ Not long ago the restoration of the Coeur d'Alene Park (FriendsofCDAPark.org) band pavilion was completed. I gave the service organization permission to use my artwork (right) to raise funds for their organization. Learn more about the milestone birthday celebration of CDA 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 the Coeur d'Alene Park art fair mentioned above and recommended my work to the Owens. She admired my portraits of remarkable settings from all over Washington State ~ and knew they would too!
The Owens invited me to join several other artists exhibiting in Olympia's grand State Capitol Legislative Building. The opening of "Children at Play in Washington State" was followed by a reception attended by state dignitaries, legislators, visiting students, teachers, friends and families of all the artists.
My husband Doug and I had just begun dating at the time and it was an honor to be able to include him in the festivities. We even met our local Congressman Dinol Rossi.
This event inspired my portrait (pictured to the left) of the imposing Legislative Building, "Happy Holidays at the State Capitol." When I finished this painting, Governor Gary Locke was in the middle of his second term office. The governor and the Owens have framed reproductions of this festive holiday scene celebrating Christmastime at Washington State's seat of government in Olympia.
Heading up a committee of committed volunteers, the Owens worked hard to promote Washington State artists. The halls of the elegant Legislative Building proved to be a spectacular backdrop for the creative efforts of everyone involved. The Owens invited me to display in four more subsequent exhibits over the next decade.
Lt. Governor Brad Owen recently retired from public office. All of us who were involved with these creative ventures will always be grateful to this generous couple for their fine efforts in promoting local talent.
THE HOLY NAMES SISTERS
You never know what ripple effect the smallest gesture can have. In 1997, I painted a portrait of the four-story brick Victorian on Spokane's North Side that had 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 Holy Names Academy.
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 over ten years of neglect, local developer Harry (Hank) A. Green renovated the abandoned building. He finished the ambitious project in 1987, creating an upscale uniquely beautiful retirement center that retained much of the architectural detail of the original structure. "The Academy" rarely has vacancies that aren't filled immediately!
In spring 2001, I sent an art card featuring my portrait of Holy Names to our beloved principal Sr. Eileen Rose at the Fort Wright Convent. Shortly thereafter, I heard from Communications Coordinator Becky Sullivan and the Director of Development Sr. Celine Steinberger asking if they could feature my artwork in a future publication devoted to creative alumni. My painting on ended up on the cover of the newsletter ~ quite a thrill!
FOUR SEASONS OF HOLY NAMES ~ In summer 2013, I donated four framed prints honoring the two Holy Names Academies in the Pacific Northwest province (Spokane and Seattle, WA) 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, currently relocated to Spokane's South Hill from Fort Wright. 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 Sr. Celine Steinberger. She and the sisters have prayed for many special intentions ~ most recently, helping my husband Doug through some serious health challenges including a risky, lengthy surgery. The sisters were with Doug and me all the way, sending their good thoughts and prayers for his quick and complete recovery. In my opinion, the sisters are "Angels on Earth."
2015 CHRISTMAS COMMISSION ~ In 2015, Sr. 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, it fell to the Pacific Nortwest Chapter.
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, THE FRIENDS OF MOORE TURNER HERITAGE GARDENS ~ The magical Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens were designed at the turn of the last century on the hillside behind the F. Rockwood Moore residence. After, Moore's death, George and Bertha Turner lived there, but ultimately, the mansion was demolished during the Great Depression due to the lack of funds for maintenance ~ an important historic loss as many believe it to be Kirtland K. Cutter's first residential commission.
In 1911, the Turners retained Hugh Bryan of Portland, OR to expand their gardens up the hillside behind their home. They added a tea house, a pergola, several water features, basaltic rock terraces and more. Sadly, these gardens became a casualty of the Great Depression as well.
The ice storm of 1996 brought down a lot of trees and exposed some of the features of the once beautiful gardens which Corbin Art Director Lynn Mandyke discovered. This spawned an ambitious restoration project largely funded by philanthropist Myrtle Woldson with time spent by many committed volunteers. Efforts to reincarnate the gardens with special heritage plantings (indigenous to the era in which the gardens were created) was the "Friends" vision. Flanked to the left by Corbin Art Center (once home to D.C. Corbin) and to the right by F. Lewis Clark House (Marycliff Catholic High School for a time after Clark's death), these gardens are a jewel in this elegant part of Spokane's South Hill and the only heritage gardens in Eastern Washington.
In December, I was invited to join the board as art director with the goal of helping the stewardship organization revitalize the original image professional designer Marcia Smith created for the group. (See Marcia's logo in the lower left corner of the poster.) Her impressive credentials included her association with world famous artist, decorator and author Mary Englebreit. Over the past few years, the original identity lost some of its "punch" and direction, so I am doing my best to guide communication pieces and accompanying images in all media back to where they started.
In addition to a several summer garden tours lead by qualified Friends of Moore-Turner Heritage Garden docents, the organization hosts two fund-raising events each year.
Saturday, April 29th is their Traditional English Tea with two sittings for guests, a speaker and tours of the gardens. "Art in Bloom" occurs later in the season on Friday, September 22 and Saturday 23. It features special displays of floral designs paired with fine art, live music, vendors and more. Both of these are held at the the historic Corbin Arts Center.
Please visit their web site (HeritageGardens.org) for more information on the gardens, membership and details on these special events.
Highlight ~ The Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens open mid-spring after May 15th and closes after Labor Day in autumn,
2017~ ART DIRECTOR "UPDATE" NEWSLETTER, SPOKANE PRESERVATION ADVOCATES ~ In late December 2016, I met with SPA President Bridget Piper about polishing and updating some of the communication pieces that this prestigious group was producing to educate the public and promote their organization. We tossed around a lot of ideas, but the main one we both agreed upon was that SPA should endeavor to present a more professional image to the community ~ especially as the need for presernvation grows, expenses expand and grant requests became greater.
My first volunteer project was a revamping of the quarterly newsletter "Update." Partnering with Communications Chair Ro Lisk, who gathered and organized the stories and images from contributors, we freshened up the look and feel of the quarterly newsletter as well as adding a table of contents and "Join Spokane Preservation Advocates NOW" page. The spring issue was mailed out in early March with lots of positive comments on how easy it was to read and find things folks were interested in. The summer 2017 issue is currently in-the-works.
For more information on this worthy organization, their annual tour of historic homes, benefits and other special events including April's Gala "Sparkle & Spend," please visit their web site (SpokanePreservation.org).
2014-2016 ART DIRECTOR, THE FRIENDS OF COEUR D'ALENE PARK ~ 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. I gave them permission to use my painting "Pavilion at Coeur d'Alene Park" (pictured above) when the organization first began.
I became more involved as their 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 designed 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 on the grounds of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Browne's Addition. At that time my "Vintage View of Coeur d'Alene Park" original was awarded to the holder of the winning raffle ticket. Funds raised from the season's was targeted to help fund 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" at my first exhibit at a Spokane First Friday Art Walk.
The setting was the spectacular E.J. Roberts Mansion (RobertsMansion.com) in Spokane's historic Browne's Addition with the event hosted by charming Mary Moltke ~ responsible for the magnificent restoriation job completed on the remarkable three story Queen Anne.
Highlight ~ Molly Roberts Hannan picture to the far right in this photo is the great granddaughter of E.J. Roberts.
The invitation at the mansion built in 1889 was timely as Spokane was in the midst of the National Historic Preservation Society Convention. The elegant Queen Anne three-story was the ideal venue for me and dovetailed well with the Candlelight Sumner Avenue Tour.
First Friday was beautifully attended by many HNA alumni and sisters, including Sr. Celinie Steinberger (standing next to me) and artist Sr. Paula Mary Turnbull (seated). My friend Molly Roberts Hannan (great-granddaughter of E.J. pictured to the right) co-hosted the unveiling of the painting that evening.
Since this intial First Friday Art Walk experience, my work has been featured 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 situated 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.
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 leisurely enjoying a sunny Saturday.
Dozens of posters with my painting were displayed throughout King County's Eastside communities 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 "Press" section further down on this page.
To learn more about this popular Western Washington outdoor venue (second only to the Pike Place Market), visit them on the web (RedmondSaturdayMarket.org).
2010 CO-CHAIR/ART DIRECTOR SAF ~ I received the honor of SAF (CIty of Sammimish Fine Art Fair) co-chair. It took six full 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 all 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 art "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 particular painting has always been "fluid" as new family members are added and improvements are made on the homes. I'm working on a fourth revision to paint in our latest grandchild Nathan Davies.
The upper street depicted Spokane years growing up in a cottage and a Dutch Colonial on the South Hill before moving to the Spokane Valley suburbs. The lower street pictured our place in Sammamish and the 1937 Spokane craftsman where we've spent the last five years.
Highlight ~ The Dutch Colonial is the same Codd House I've pictured above twice and this is my fifth rendition. This art is updated frequently as our family grows.
The Peter Kirk (namesake of Kirkland) Building, an ornate three-story brick Victorian, houses Kirkland Arts Center. To see my portrait of it and learn about its history, see the Kirkland section of the Eastside Collection pdf.
Since 2009, KAC had a retail store at Kirkland's ParkPlace Mall ~ a great venue for both members and instructors to showcase their talents. It closed in autumn 2015 when ParkPlace began a comprehensive renovation. Some of the KAC members are exploring opportunities to create a coop. Look for details as the plans unfold on my Art Venues page.
2008 WINNER 2ND PLACE! ~ REDMOND FINE ART COMPETITION ~ In the summer, Redmond, Washington's Derby Days Festival fallsin 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 winning Bill Brown painting pictured here.
In 2012-2013, I designed five historical panels for the community 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 whimsical Artistree Gallery was operated by the Bob James family at Country Village, a rural shopper's dream in Bothell, WA. The shops, galleries and cafes are housed in refurbished farm buildings, creating a truly charming destination for an afternoon of relaxed browsing.
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) and his daughter Robin gained a noteworthy reputation as an 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.
Country Village came alive at Christmastime with strolling carolers, festive decorations, holiday open houses at the Artistree ~ and Santa arriving on his sleigh in the plaza. It was a fun time to be involved with the gallery 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 fluid 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.
THANK YOU! ~ A huge thank you goes out to my husband Doug and three wonderful women
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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).
2015 ARBOR CREST CELLARS ART & GLASS FEST ~ The artwork featured prominently in this image is my painting of the historic Cliff House at Arbor Crest Winery that I completed in September 2012 after a particularly fun evening with friends and family at that beloved destination.
This poster was designed by Robin Fontaine (Crispy Communications) to promote the annual Arbor Crest Art & Glass Fest throughout the communities of Spokane, Spokane Valley, Coeur d'Alene and beyond in 2015. Robin also used this image in a print ad placed in the August 2015 issue of the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene Magazine ~ such a huge honor for me that year.
The much anticipated art festival takes place the last weekend of August on the stunning Cliff House grounds. It features over 75 talented juried artisans ~ 2017 will mark my 5th year of participation in this special event. Live music plays during the day Saturday with a well attended evening concert at the close of the art fest on Sunday evening. It's always a stunning event!
ROYAL RIBLEST ~ 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.
Highlight ~ When 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.
2013 DODSON'S PROMOTIONAL POSTCARD ~ This design piece was part of the holiday program distributed to all the folks attending Spokane Symphony performances during the Christmas 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 ~ and well worth a visit in December!
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 nice 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 shared 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 for both of us. Ms. Decker wrote a glowing full-page piece with a photo of me at the market 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.
"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.
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 that 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've 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 artwork that changes with the seasons and dovetails with my web site. I offer a full selection of prints (both canvas and high-grade paper, art cards, calendars, 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 ~ 17 years this April! How time flies...and yes, we are having fun!
Doug's a sweetheart, passionate "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?
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ARTWORK OR CONTENT?
iPhone ~ 206.406.1409 (Texts & Voicemail)PittyPat Gallery & Studio ~ Now OPEN! (Please Phone for More Information)
Email ~ email@example.com
On the Web ~ PattiSimpsonWard.comPlease Visit my Facebook Page "PattiSimpsonWardArt"