"Be practical as well as generous in your ideas. Keep your eyes on the prize, but remember to keep your feet on the ground." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

 

Spokane is the largest city in Eastern Washington, but it has always been blessed with a friendly, small-town feel. Folks really love living in Eastern Washington's Inland Northwest. Spokane is my home town.

THE BEGINNING ~ Nearly 150 years ago, the first white settler to stake a claim in Spokane Falls ("Falls" was later dropped from the name) was Seth Scranton in 1871. However, James N. Glover is largely credited as being the "Father of Spokane" as he shaped the area that bordered the falls on both sides into a community. The arrival of the railroad, prolific timber and rich ore nearby brought enormous wealth ~ making millionaires of many, although a huge fire burned most of downtown Spokane in 1889, slowing the pace of economic growth for a short while.

KEY PLAYERS ~ Kirtland K. Cutter, Amasa Campbell, Patsy Clark, Louis B. Davenport, Francis Cook, Aubrey White, J.J. Browne, A.M. Cannon, J.P. Graves, William Cowles and others gave the city its complexion. These highly successful men built grand mansions for their families and imposing downtown buildings to proclaim their wealth. Remarkably, many of these structures are still in beautiful condition.

PRESERVATION & THE TOP 10 ~ After World War II, when other cities were tearing down structures, an economic slump had folks here restoring properties. The South Hill in particular is filled with bungalows, foursquares and Colonials built in the '20s, '30s and '40s ~ many as pretty as when originally constructed. Add to that the excellent school system, beautiful parks, manicured golf courses, 70+ lakes nearby, bike trails, ski resorts ~ and the very active Spokane Preservationist Advocates (SpokanePreservation.org) organization. Spokane was recently rated among the top 10 cities in the U.S. for its quality of life by AARP Magazine.

FULL CIRCLE ~ In 2012, Doug and I moved from Seattle back to Spokane. We were both born here, although Doug grew up on Bellevue's Clyde Hill neighborhood. Fond childhood memories inspired much of the art in this Spokane Collection as the community is filled with endless inspiring subjects for an artist like me to recreate. If you grew up here, you'll see dozens of beloved familiar settings below.

SUMMER 2017 ~ SEVEN GROUPS IN THE SPOKANE COLLECTION

I've divided this collection into seven groups with sub-categories. Each group highlights neighborhoods, communities and well-known beloved regional areas. In most cases, the artwork revolves with and reflects the seasons and holidays.

NEW ARTWORK, GROUP PDFS &"THE BIG LIST"

ENJOY ~ and click on Ordering for details on purchasing any of the artwork featured here (now accepting Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express).

 

 

 

 

SPOKANE'S DOWNTOWN DISTRICT (BELOVED ICONIC SIGNATURE STRUCTURES)

The Entire Downtown District Collection pdf ~ Click on this 2-page pdf to see all 7 paintings.

NEW! "Spokane's Historic Steam Plant" (DOWNTOWN SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED OCTOBER 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

 
Spokane’s historic Steam Plant (SteamPlantSpokane.com) was designed and built by the renowned architectural firm of Cutter & Malmgren in 1916. Their handiwork and that of later visionaries inspired this art celebrating the setting’s 100th birthday.

The plant supplied steam heat to much of downtown Spokane’s businesses for nearly 70 years. When providing this service ultimately became too expensive, Washington Water Power was forced to close it, shutting off the last boiler in 1986.

After 10 years of vacancy and an uncertain future, WWP formed Steam Plant Square, LLC. Working with an enlightened team of historic-minded businesses including Wells & Co., life was breathed back into the structure along with two others that were folded into the project. Special care was taken to maintain the Steam Plant’s unique original personality, infrastructure and equipment during the process of creating office, retail and dining space. The iconic stacks on the city skyline were saved for future generations.

Highlight ~ The Steam Plant was the first Spokane building to receive the National Preservation Honor Award (2001) and went on to be listed on the National, Washington and Spokane Registers of Historic Places.

"Flying South Over Spokane Falls & Huntington Park" (DOWNTOWN SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED SEPTEMBER 2004 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Not only did famed architect Kirtland K. Cutter create dozens of beautiful homes and handsome landmark buildings in Spokane, he also lent his design flair to other projects.

This portrayed the majestic Monroe Street Bridge which spanned the river at the west end of downtown Spokane. In 1910, John Ralston, Spokane’s city engineer and designer of the grand bridge, invited Cutter to design its decorative handrails and lookout stations, which featured life-size reliefs of bison skulls.

The photo here showed the bridge just after its construction. In the background was another famous landmark, the Washington Water Power Post Street Substation. Cutter designed that massive brick and basaltic rock industrial building in 1909.

Recently, Huntington Park situated on the south side of the falls was given a formal restoration with the installation of lawn, basaltic rock terraced gardens and assorted decorative plantings ~ creating a very inviting space for folks to not only view the cascading water, but stay a while and enjoy a picnic in the scenic spot.

Highlight ~ WWP’s first president, F. Rockwood Moore, gave Cutter one of his first residential commissions.

NEW! "Spokane's Historic Steam Plant" (DOWNTOWN SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED OCTOBER 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

 
Spokane’s historic Steam Plant (SteamPlantSpokane.com) was designed and built by the renowned architectural firm of Cutter & Malmgren in 1916. Their handiwork and that of later visionaries inspired this art celebrating the setting’s 100th birthday.

The plant supplied steam heat to much of downtown Spokane’s businesses for nearly 70 years. When providing this service ultimately became too expensive, Washington Water Power was forced to close it, shutting off the last boiler in 1986.

After 10 years of vacancy and an uncertain future, WWP formed Steam Plant Square, LLC. Working with an enlightened team of historic-minded businesses including Wells & Co., life was breathed back into the structure along with two others that were folded into the project. Special care was taken to maintain the Steam Plant’s unique original personality, infrastructure and equipment during the process of creating office, retail and dining space. The iconic stacks on the city skyline were saved for future generations.

Highlight ~ The Steam Plant was the first Spokane building to receive the National Preservation Honor Award (2001) and went on to be listed on the National, Washington and Spokane Registers of Historic Places.

"Breaking News at the Review Building" (DOWNTOWN SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JUNE 2013 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This unique building in downtown Spokane was designed and built in 1890 after the Great Spokane Fire by Chauncey B. Seaton, although he left before the construction project was complete. Seaton designed it to fit the unusual shaped lot. It is one of the city’s tallest buildings and houses the principal newspaper, the Spokesman Review (Spokesman.com).

In 1883, Frank Dallam began the Review, which competed with the Spokesman, a newspaper owned by a group of local businessmen. In order to survive, the papers merged into one. Then the Panic of 1893 threatened to kill it, so W.H. Cowles came out from Chicago to salvage the newspaper and became the sole owner of the new Spokesman Review. He later purchased the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

His son W.H. Cowles II and grandson W.H. Cowles III were very influential members of the Spokane community. W.H. Cowles III served as director of the Associated Press for 33 years. When I painted this piece, the generous, civic-minded family still owned and operated the paper.

Highlight ~ Years after W.H. Cowles first took over the paper, his descendents orchestrated the building of downtown Spokane's Riverpark Square Shopping Mall.

"Sunday Brunch at the Spokane Club" (DOWNTOWN SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED SEPTEMBER 2004 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Famed architect Kirtland K. Cutter designed the Spokane Club (SpokaneClub.org) in 1909, and it has always been a stunning jewel in his architectural crown.

Facing north and perched on the cliff overlooking Spokane Falls, Cutter created this handsome building in the Georgian style, using red brick with terra-cotta embellishments. Although the entrance had a distinctly Baroque feel with its ornate facade and columns, until recently a large medallion of a Native American warrior hung over the entrance, reminding members and guests that they were “out West.”

The Spokane Club was designed with an elegant interior, featuring a classic formal dining room, ballroom, luxurious street-front bar and hospitable rooms above ~ making the club a wonderful destination for its guests.

The later addition of its sports facility has been a huge draw for members who want to stay “in shape” or gear up in winter for the Inland Northwest ski season.

Highlight ~ at the time that my parents were members of the Spokane Club, the tradition of their annual debutante ball was still occurring. My sisters and I each were presented to Spokane society on our father Joe’s arm.

 

 

SPOKANE COUNTY & STATE PARKS (CANNON HILL, MANITO, MOORE-TURNER HERITAGE GARDENS RIVERFRONT, MOUNT SPOKANE, RIVERSIDE STATE PARK AND MORE)

Entire Spokane Parks Collection pdf ~ Click on this 4-page pdf to see all 18 paintings.

Coming Soon! NEW Artwork of the Pergola at Manito's Rose Hill.

"Marriage at the Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JUNE 2013 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

The restoration of the stunning Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens (HeritageGardens.org) was a gift to Spokane. They were originally designed in the Victorian style in 1889 as companion gardens to the F. Rockwood Moore home, one of young Kirtland K. Cutter’s first residential commissions.

Prominent Spokane businessman Moore died in 1895 and U.S. Senator George Turner moved into the home. The family hired Portland landscape architect Hugh Bryan to infuse the gardens with an arts & crafts flavor and add permanent structures, making them the largest perennial gardens in the Northwest.

But with Turner’s death in 1932 and the Great Depression, the bank took over the property. Ultimately it reverted back to its natural state and the home was demolished. The ice storm of 1996 caused the gardens to be rediscovered and the painstakingly process of bringing them back to their original splendor began. Research, grants, private funding by a generous benefactor and a great deal of work by many made the re-opening possible in 2008.

"Davenport Fountain at Duncan Garden (Manito Park)" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • JULY 2015 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • X10-INCH)

I recently updated this painting to reflect some of the additional features in Duncan Garden at Manito Park (TheFriendsOfManito.org). The Davenport Fountain was donated in 1956 by the Davenport family in the memory of Louis M. Davenport ~ longtime owner of the downtown Spokane landmark hotel by the same name.

The fountain has long been the focal point of the formal European Renaissance-style “Sunken Garden” ~ renamed John W. Duncan Garden to honor the beloved Manito Park superintendent who took over the management of the park mid-stream and accomplished a great deal during his long tenure there.

Every summer, the garden has been planted with annuals, creating brilliant rainbows of color and making it an ideal setting for hundreds of weddings since its creation. Over the years, “wishing” natives and visitors have tossed coins into the fountain.

Highlight ~ The first park superintendent discovered the rich soil when the property was forested and he found his son playing there. To raise funds for Manito, he began selling the loamy soil to other parks and neighbors in the area, creating the “sunken” effect.

"The Golden Looff Carousel (Riverfront Park)" (DOWNTOWN SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED MARCH 1997 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

The carousel (SpokaneCarousel.org) at Riverfront Park carried hundreds of riders in merry circles during Spokane’s warm-weather season.

I.D. Looff finished it in 1909. It was elaborate in every detail with dozens of multi-sized mirror panels and 180 glittering lights. Too expensive for 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 the 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, housing it then in a protective building so folks could ride it enjoy and ride this it again. Forty-plus years later, the city voted to make some important improvements to Riverfont Park, including constructing a new protective building for the beloved carousel.

Highlight ~ Several key scenes of the movie classic, "Benny & Joon," starring Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson were film near the carousel in the park.

"Riverfront Park Reverie" (DOWNTOWN SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED SEPTEBMER 2012 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Riverfront Park was created as the site of Spokane’s 1974 “Expo ‘74” ~ the first environmental world’s fair.

Located on riverfront property that had been a hodge-podge of industrial businesses like the Crystal Laundry, intersecting railroad tracks and the old railway station, the setting was developed into a beautiful park.

Some folks thought the historic train station was an architectural gem worth saving. After much discussion, a compromise was reached to keep its signature clock tower.

The park went on to house the Looff Carousel, the “Radio Flyer” slide, a pavilion for ice-skating and gondolas that carried folks over thundering Spokane Falls.

Highlight ~ As mentioned above in the "Carousel" story, Johnny Depp and Mary Stuart Masterson’s classic film “Benny & Joon” included several scenes filmed here.

NEW! "Summer Fun at Comstock in the 1959s" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JUNE 2015 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS •8X10-INCH)

In the 1930s, the E.A. Shadles donated 21 acres and $150,000 on the South Hill to create Comstock Park in the name of Mrs. Shadle’s father, former mayor J.M. Comstock.

Comstock was a very civic minded man who worked actively with the Spokane River Parkways Association to beautify the property around the Spokane River east of town ~ especially near Riverside State Park, Seven Mile and Deep Creek Canyon.

In July 1938, Comstock Park was dedicated with its gorgeous, expansive state-of-the-art swimming pool. Most of the kids on Spokane’s South Hill learned to swim at Comstock, including the Simpson youngsters when we lived nearby.

I gave this piece a mid-1950s theme, picturing friends and family of all ages enjoying sports and games at the beloved old pool.

Highlight ~ in recent years, the pool was completely rebuilt and expanded into the Comstock Aquatic Center.

"Riding the 'Jack Rabbit at Nat" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTEDJULY 2009 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Historic Natatorium Park held lots of great memories for Spokane “baby-boomers” (and their parents before them!). The amusement park on the Spokane River had dozens of rides at the height of its popularity, but the two favorites were the Looff carousel (pictured above) and the Jack Rabbit roller coaster.

The Jack Rabbit was an incredibly thrilling ride around dizzying tracks that lasted about a minute and a half. Each trip left its riders breathless and “lunch-less” if they had eaten too many hot dogs and cotton candy.

It broke the heart of every Spokane kid when the park closed in 1968, but it had lost money for years with other events going on in the city and folks heading to nearby lakes in summer. To add insult to injury, when Nat closed, the grand roller coaster was dismantled and burned to the ground.

Highlight ~ My cousin Jim Flemister tricked me into riding the roller-coaster just as soon as I was old enough as the regulations said that I could. It scared the living heck out of me, but to this day I remember it as big the most thrilling ride I've ever been on.

 

 

BROWNE'S ADDITION (REMARKABLE RESIDENCES INCLUDING THE MAC'S RESTORED AMASA CAMPBELL HOUSE)

Entire Browne's Addition Collection pdf ~ Click on this 5-page pdf to see all 26 paintings (14 Browne's Addition settings and 12 of the historic Campbell House).

NEIGHBORHOOD MANSIONS AND MORE (LIFE IN SPOKANE'S FIRST AND OLDEST NEIGHBORHOOD)

"Browne's Addition Beauty (Page-Ufford House)" (BROWNE'S ADDITION, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED FEBRUARY 2010 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Built in 1896 of shingle and basaltic rock construction, this three-story Queen Anne was located on Browne’s Addition’s west bluff overlooking Latah Creek. Alba J. Page and his wife Flora lived here first, succeeded a short while later by William and Ethel Ufford ~  thus the name.

When I painted the Victorian, it had recently been purchased and carefully restored by Katherine Fritchie, who transformed it from a down-on-its-heels multi-unit apartment house to the classically beautiful single family residence painted here. Of special interest is the expansive wrap-around porch which had been enclosed as a small apartment.

The process was fraught with unique challenges at every turn, but Kathy persevered. After years of neglect, the house shone with its original integrity and was approved for the Spokane Register of Historic Places.

Highlight ~ I pictured my nieces Isabell Simpson and Brooklynn Barton with me in this spring-themed piece ~ carrying a huge pot of sweet hyacinths for Kathy.

"Fine Felines at the Finch House" (BROWNE'S ADDITION, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED SEPTEMBER 2005 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Located west of the MAC (Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture) in Spokane’s Browne’s Addition, this beautiful four-columned mansion was a fine example of neoclassical architecture.

Designed by Kirtland K. Cutter in 1897-98 for John A. Finch and his wife, Charlotte, it is arguably the most imposing house on this street of grand homes. John Finch was one of young Spokane’s wealthy businessmen, partnering with Amasa Campbell in several successful mining ventures.

The scene was afternoon tea time and I’ve pictured my sisters Marilee, Peggy and me relaxing on the lawn while my mother Sally brought us a plate of freshly baked cookies.

Highlight ~ This piece was created for cat lovers as 14 of them are sprinkled throughout the artwork. (Photo of the Finch house is courtesy of Sally Simpson.)

NEW! "Pretty Poplar Apartments" (BROWNE'S ADDITION, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JANUARY 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This handsome Mediterranean style apartment house near Coeur d’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition on Second Avenue started out in 1905 as a single-family dwelling, built by Albert Held for Mrs. Reuben Weil who was the president of the Palace Department Store.

On Spokane’s historic register as the Weil House, it was eventually converted into 11 apartments ~ each one unique and charming with finely crafted hardwood floors, French doors, fireplaces and the original quarter sawn oak woodwork.

The third floor of this structure was my parents Joe and Sally’s first home after their marriage in 1947. They lived there from 1947 to 1950 when they purchased a cottage on Lincoln Street as their first child (me) of six had just been born. My father Joe launched his law career as an attorney in downtown Spokane’s Paulsen Building while teaching law part-time in the evening at Gonzaga Law School.

This piece pictured my dad and mother with me in her arms strolling through Browne’s Addition with good friends, John and Jean McCarthy and their two little ones, Maggie and Sally.

"Red Bikes at the Reid Bungalow" (BROWNE'S ADDITION, SPOKANE, WA. • PAINTED JUNE 2014 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This Tudor-Revival with bungalow details was designed in 1899 for real estate/mining broker Charles L. Hoffman by Spokane architect Albert Held. This two-story cottage was built on First Avenue and faced the historic Amasa Campbell and W.J.C. Wakefield Houses.

The garage behind the home was once a carriage house. Over the decades it had a number of important owners including the Dr. Peter Reid family who enjoyed life there for the longest period of time ~ thus the name of the residence. As Browne’s Addition was beautiful, level and perfect for bike riding, I added folks headed to nearby Coeur d’Alene Park for a picnic on their red one-speeds.

Highlight ~ when I painted this artwork, the Reid House had been a single-family dwelling for over 100 years. The home held the distinction of never having been divided into apartments, a common fate for larger residences in the neighborhood.

 

THE AMASA CAMPBELL HOUSE (GRACIOUS LIVING FOR THE FAMILY AND THEIR SERVANTS AT THE TURN OF THE LAST CENTURY)

"Kittiewinks at the Campbell House" (BROWNE'S ADDITION, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JANUARY 2001 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8x10-INCH)

I’ve loved this beautiful old mansion since my first visit as a Campfire Girl in the mid-1950s. In those days it was the Cheney Cowles Museum ~ about to begin a remarkable journey of restoration to become the historic focal point of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture (NorthwestMuseum.org) or simply the MAC.

I painted a glimpse of the guest rooms and linen room (with its sewing machine) on the second floor and the library, reception room and servants’ dining room on the main floor.

Our “kittiewinks” were placed in the foreground, waiting to enter the historic Tudor with my husband Doug and mother Sally, who introduced me to the Campbell House those many years ago as a Camp Fire Leader. I dedicated this painting to her.

"Blossoms in the Master Bedroom (Campbell House)" (BROWNE'S ADDITION, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JULY 2011 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Amasa and Grace Campbell slept in this spacious master bedroom on the second floor the northwest corner of their three-story Tudor-Revival mansion. It was decorated with pretty floral wallpaper and carpeting, had a private bath ~ and enjoyed the same beautiful view of the Spokane River as daughter Helen’s room adjacent to it.

Remarkable was the doorway behind the standing mirror adjacent to the fireplace, which led to a windowed sun room.

When Amasa Campbell was still alive, this was a small deck above the veranda, but upon his death in 1912, his wife expanded the veranda and added this enclosed space adjacent to her bedroom.

It may have been a sleeping porch or perhaps a morning room where she planned meals and other details of running her household and tended to her daily correspondence.

Highlight ~ When the family required a servant to attend to their needs, they pushed a small button located beneath the tabletop.

"Gorgeous Blooms in the Guest Room (Campbell House)" (BROWNE'S ADDITION, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JULY 2011 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH))

I painted this portrait of the Campbell mansion’s exquisite signature yellow guest room and filled it with large bouquets of perfectly matching yellow daisies. Crystal vases adorned the occasional tables, fireplace mantle and chaise lounge headboard.

This comfortable room was one of two guest rooms and features an enormous walk-infireplace at the west end of it further enhanced by yellow subway tile.

Particularly noteworthy was original family-owned tufted upholstered chaise lounge with a similar armless chair by the vintage steamer trunk (frequently necessary for the wealthy during this era to accommodate large wardrobes).

The large windows that overlooked First Avenue offered a cozy place for guests to relax on a rainy afternoon, sitting on matching cushioned window seats.

"The Lovely Linen Room (Campbell House)" (BROWNE'S ADDITION, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JULY 2011 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Tucked into the southeast corner of the second floor, this room caught the morning sun and must have been a cheerful place to be on sunny days. The north wall had built-in shelves and drawers for storing the bed and other fine linens that a fine residence like the Campbell House required.

Grace and Helen stayed abreast of the latest fashions and shunned ready-to-wear. They visited several salons in New York and ordered garments from there, Boston and San Francisco.

Once or twice a year, a fine seamstress used this room for a couple of weeks to measure and sew for the family. I’ve pictured the wire dress form and the sewing machine ~ no electricity required as this apparatus used “foot power.”

Highlight ~ The dress pictured to the far right of the piece was Helen Campbell’s wedding gown.

 

 

THE SOUTH HILL (CHARMING HOMES AND PUBLIC PLACES ALL OVER WHAT IS KNOWN SIMPLY AS "THE HILL")

Entire South Hill Collection pdf ~ Click on the 13-page pdf to see all 65 images.

lSOUTH HILL NEIGHBORHOODS (CANNON HILL/MANITO, CLIFF PARK, HIGH DRIVE, LOWER SOUTH HILL, ROCKWOOD, OVERBLUFF, SOUTH PERRY DISTRICT AND MORE)

NEW! "Cannon Hill Cottages" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED DECEMBER 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 11X14-INCH)

When I painted these two remarkably pretty Colonial-style cottages overlooking the South Hill’s Cannon Hill Park, they were unique as they were among just a handful of homes located there that were not brick masonry construction.

In the late 1800s, the park functioned as a brick yard, but when the clay resources ran out, the area was converted into a neighborhood park. It was dedicated in 1910 and originally named Adams Park for its benefactors who were related to President John Quincy Adams. Shortly thereafter, it was renamed for historic Spokane developer A.M. Cannon.

The famous Olmsted Bros. of Brookline, MA had a hand in its design. I gave this piece a “Picnic in the Park,” theme with folks gathering for an al fresco meal in summertime.

Highlight ~ Several of my high school classmates lived in these two residences at one time or another over the years.

NEW! "Blandings' South Hill Dream House" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED DECEMBER 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

In 1948, Dore Schary at RKO Studios released “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.” It was the story of an advertising executive living in New York City with his wife, two daughters and housekeeper who decided to build a home in the Connecticut suburbs. Taken from Eric Hodgins’ book by the same name, it was the tale of “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.”

Actors Cary Grant, Mryna Loy, Melvyn Douglas and Louise Beaver (all pictured in this painting) did a great job with the script, creating a very funny film that has stood the test of time.

To promote the movie, 73 homes with the same flavor were constructed in communities all over the United States. Amazingly, one was built on High Drive on Spokane’s South Hill. Although the still handsome residence had a different color scheme when I completed this artwork, I painted it as it looked in 1948 ~ classic white with green shutters.

Highlight ~ when the movie was released, my mother Sally toured this home as a newlywed, sharing that it was completely furnished with merchandise from Spokane’s beloved Crescent Department Store.

NEW! ”Historic Hutton House" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED APRIL 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

The stately Neoclassical Hutton House was built on 17th Avenue in the Perry District by Spokane’s acclaimed architect George W. Keith for Levi and May Arkwright Hutton.

After discovering an extremely rich vein of silver with their business partners the Paulsens, the Huttons achieved huge financial success with the Hercules Mine. But the Huttons didn’t just amass wealth ~ they were huge civic-minded benefactors to their community, building a large downtown office building and the beautiful Hutton Settlement in Spokane Valley which served as one of the most respected orphanages for decades.

May Arkwright also passionately supported women’s suffrage and was influential in securing the right to vote for women in Washington State.

Highlight ~ Over the years the current owners have worked to return the grounds to a "heritage garden" status (plantings original to when the home was constructed at the turn of the last century). When I painted the portrait of the immaculately maintained home, it was festively festooned with flags and patriotic bunting for Independence Day.

"Gathering at the Glover Mansion" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED MARCH 2013 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Often referred to as the “Father of Spokane,” when James Glover built his grand mansion on Spokane’s South Hill, he chose fledgling architect Kirtland K. Cutter who had just begun his career there.

In 1889, Cutter also designed the F. Rockwood Moore home (now demolished) near Glover’s, amid criticism by the local wealthy that these two new homes looked too “old and established.” This was actually Cutter’s goal. Accolades by Dr. Seward Webb (son-in-law of W.H. Vanderbilt) gradually won Spokane over, guaranteeing Cutter a firm place in its architectural history.

Although similar in some respects to the Moore home, it is unusual in that the first two floors were constructed of granite instead of the prolific basaltic rock in the area. Banker and partner to Moore, Glover wanted to make a statement with his home, and the interior is filled with imposing, yet somehow comfortable details.

This painting pictured friends and family gathering for a celebration as the Glover Mansion (GloverMansion.com) later became an acclaimed event center.

"Bungalow Beauty on Cedar Street" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED AUGUST 2015 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This pretty shingle, clapboard and stucco-construction two-story home was built in the early 1900s. Remarkably beautiful were the windows on its main floor ~ embellished with delicate, intricate leaded glass.

Because of the view and its proximity to downtown, in 1905 the Burns Realty Company placed an advertisement in the Spokane Chronicle, describing it as, “The best value of any property on Cannon Hill.” The lot sold in March 1909 and this home was probably built soon thereafter.

Over 100 years later, the family living there when I painted this (their children and pets pictured on the front lawn) enjoyed the same attractive features as those offered decades before ~ expansive rooms, quarter drawn oak floors, built-in kitchen features and more.

Highlight ~ Over the years a unique succession of folks called this bungalow home ~ a banker, a physician, newspaper columnists, professional actors, an audio engineer and more! The place also held the distinction for hosting rather grand parties, especially on Halloween.

NEW! "Gal Pals Picnicking on Stonington Lane" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED FEBRUARY 2017 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS ~ 5X7-INCH)

I completed this little painting as a special milestone birthday gift for my longtime friend Marie Marx Strohm. It was a tribute to our 50 years of friendship dating back to the late ‘60s at Holy Names Academy.

I pictured (L to R) Marie, her accomplished artist sister Jeannine Marx Fruci and me on the front lawn of Marie's new cottage on Stonington Lane. The three of us were about to head out for a bike ride and picnic on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Our mode of transport? Three jewel-toned Schwinn one-speeds.

Marie's front basket held a bottle of red, a French bagette and red and white gingham napkins with matching tablelcoths tied to the back. A watermelon took up most of Jeannie's basket with a huge blanket attached behind. A bunch of daisies and a bottle of white filled my front basket with the loaded picnic basket on the back. Good times!

Highlight ~ it was not an accident that our striped tees matched our Schwinns ~ I pictured each of us in our favorite colors!

 

SOUTH HILL PUBLIC PLACES (iCONIC CHURCHES, SCHOOLS AND BELOVED SMALL BUSINESSES)

"Family, Friends & Flowers (Saint Augustine's)" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED OCTOBER 2014 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This was the fourth painting I created of Saint Augustine’s parish ~ honoring it in all four seasons.

Although it was formed in 1914, this structure was the second church that served the folks who worshipped there. Designed by the John Maloney architectural firm, it opened its doors in September 1950. Pastor Stephen P. Buckley spearheaded the creation of stunning terraced gardens honoring the seven sorrows of Mary, but the flower beds that framed the church were equally lovely.

Planted with dozens of tulips, I painted them in full bloom here ~ a breathtaking backdrop for the spring celebration of family and friends pictured in this piece.

Highlight ~ The folks attending Mass were the McCarthy girls Maggie and Sally as youngsters in the yellow dresses; the Arpin family; niece Kelly Barton and her sweetheart David; daughter Leah, husband Sean Davies and sons Connor and Nathan; and my sisters Marilee and Peggy and me as youngsters on the bench in the background.

"Marycliff in May" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED APRIL 2003 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Designed by famed architect Kirtland K. Cutter, this English-style half-timbered Tudor residence was built for F. Lewis Clark in 1898. The rear grounds of the walled estate also included a water tower ~ a glimpse of which was shown in this painting.

In 1909, the house on Seventh Avenue was sold to the Burgess Lee Gordons who donated “Undercliff” to Bishop Charles D. White in 1929, and it opened as “Marycliff,” a private high school for girls. This building was named Gordon Hall and served the students as the music center. Marycliff High School celebrated “Mother Mary Day,” a coronation festival held every May in spring ~ the theme of this piece.

The school closed its doors for good in the early 1970s, leaving its students and faculty with decades of fond memories. The beautifully preserved building later became an office building, taking the name of “Undercliff” again.

Highlight ~ At one point in time, the Clarks had a small three-hole golf course installed on the property between their estate and F. Rockwood Moore’s nearby mansion.

"Ice Cream at the Benewah Creamery" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED MAY 2015 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

When I was a youngster growing up on Spokane’s South Hill, the weekend began with a stop at the Benewah Creamery’s signature milk bottle dairy store to purchase four gallons of milk ~ enough to last our ever-growing Simpson family for another seven days!

Located on Cedar and Third Avenue, the creamery served the community until 1978. It was one of two structures (originally six were planned) designed by the architectural firm of Whitehouse and Price ~ famous for the Hutton Settlement and other important local buildings. These were built with a fairly hefty price tag of $3,700 each for the times.

The North Side bottle building was constructed on Garland Avenue in 1934 and the one here on Cedar Street in 1935. The Great Depression may have been the culprit that allowed for only two of the half dozen planned. I gave this piece a 1950s theme, including a Ford “Woody” station wagon and vintage teardrop trailer in the parking lot.

Highlight ~ The Benewah Creamery milk bottles shone throughout the decades as fine examples of “literalist” architecture ~ functioning beautifully as their own advertisements.

"Monroe Mansion in Bloom" (THE SOUTH HILL, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED SEPTEMBER 2015 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8x10-INCH)

When I painted this piece, the residence was serving folks as the elegant Silver Spoon Tea House (SilverSpoonTeaHouse.com). I pictured the owner/proprietor Sylvia Erickson with her granddaughter on the front lawn as guests made their way up the sidewalk for a well-deserved break from a day of shopping.

This three-story Queen Anne was built in 1902 on 6th Avenue in Spokane’s Cannon Hill neighborhood and was home to the Levi Monroe family for over 50 years. Spokane was a “railroad” town, so many successful businessmen were able to build grand homes like this.

He worked for years for the Spokane Chronicle and later served as the secretary for the Spokane Chamber of Commerce. During the Great Depression, he was the assistant to James Sullivan, director of the Columbia Basin Commission, which allowed Levi to become involved on the federal, state and local levels with the planning of Grand Coulee Dam.

 

 

THE NORTH SIDE (HANDSOME HOMES, GONZAGA UNIVERISTY AND BELOVED PUBLIC PLACES)

Entire North Side Collection pdf ~ Click on the 5-page pdf to see all 24 images)

THE NORTH SIDE (CHARMING RESIDENCES ON INDIAN TRAIL, THE UNIVERSITY DISTRICT, WEST POINT ROAD AND MORE)

"Historic Bleeker House" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED MARCH 2009 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This was a portrait I completed of the historic North Side home built for Harry and Katherine Bleeker in 1909. A Dutch descendent, Bleeker was once secretary/vice president of Spokane's Washington Water Power Company.

Famed architect C. Ferris White designed the home in the Dutch Colonial Revival style, influenced by 1700-1800s farm houses in New York's Hudson River Valley.

Architectural details included multi-paned windows, louvered shutters and rare flared-roof eaves. In 2009, the folks who owned the home at the time of the MAC (Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture) Mother’s Day Tour of Home, had completed a remarkable renovation ~ bringing the residence back to its period beauty. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Spokane.

Highlight ~ One of my high school classmates Heather Hennessey grew up in the magnificent home overlooking the Spokane River and Fort George Wright.

"Scarlet Geraniums at Sally Court" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED JANUARY 2014 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This comfortable split-level friendly family residence was built in a pretty suburban neighborhood on the North Side near Indian Trail Road in the 1980s on Sally Court. I became the home of good friends Jim and Linda Dean

Linda was a classmate of mine at Holy Names Academy (pictured below), joining our student body in our Senior year. In 2010, Linda and I reconnected at a class reunion party held on Whidbey Island at Kathy Ryan Gould's summer home there, and I shared with Linda that Doug and I had plans to relocate back to Spokane in 2012.

After the move, Linda and Jim did everything they could to make us both feel welcome at home here, making our first year back in this community an easy transition after decades spent in the Seattle area.

Linda generously opened doors for me as a fine artist, invited me to join her knitting and book clubs, PEO ~ and loaned Jim to Doug and me for afternoons on the golf course.

HIghlight ~ For her warmth and friendship, a portrait of Linda's home and family of three (painted when they all a couple of decades younger) was the perfect way to share my gratitude.

 

THE NORTH SIDE'S GONZAGA PREP AND GONZAGA UNIVERSITY (FR. JOSEPH CATALDO S.J.'S JESUIT RENOWNED HIGH SCHOOL AND JESUIT UNIVERSITY)

NEW! "Gathering at Gonzaga Prep" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED March 2017 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Gonzaga Prep was establlshed in 1887 by Father Joseph Cataldo and S.J. with eight other faculty members. It became one of four Jesuit High Schools in the Pacific Northwest acclaimed for “preparing students for life.”

Once known as Gonzaga High, from early years it had a solid relationship with Gonzaga University. Gonzaga High was located within the college at one setting or another wherever the institution moved ~ and some years, the tuition from its considerable student body helped keep the college afloat.

The high school split from the college administratively in 1926, but the permanent move to Euclid Avenue did not occur until 1954 after Father Gordon Toner, S.J. purchased 85 lots that ultimately comprised the campus. Ground was broken in 1953 and a year later, Gonzaga Preparatory School, Inc. began teaching its 610 male students. In 1975 with the close of Holy Names Academy (Marycliff High School followed in 1979), Gonzaga Prep opened its doors to women.

Also history making, in the late 1980s, Gonzaga Prep became the first Jesuit school in the United States to hire a lay president. When I painted this artwork, John Traynor’s longtime successor Al Falkner was completing his 43rd and final year of service with plans to retire at the end of the 2016-2017 school year.

Pictured on the right (front to back): Al Falkner, president; Joe Feryn, counselor and track coach; Phil Kuder, teacher and golf coach; and Fr. Peter Byrne, S.J., Superior Manresa community.

Highlight ~ This campus view inspired by Al, pictured the old school building, the Barbieri Student Center and the Chapel of the Three Companions with students enjoying a break between classes.

"Classmates at College Hall (Gonzaga University)" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • JUNE 2013 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Gonzaga University (Gonzaga.Edu) owed its beginning to Italian-born missionary Fr. Joseph Cataldo, S.J. Often in poor health, he was a dynamo nonetheless and was appointed General Superior of the Rocky Mountain Mission in 1877 (eight residences and 38 members scattered throughout the Northwest). Competition with Protestants for access to local Native American tribes was the main reason for founding a Jesuit college in Spokane.

When it opened, applicants had to “know how to read and write, and not be under ten years of age.” Originally only white students were permitted to enroll. Railroad land was purchased in 1881, Gonzaga began educating in 1887 ~ and it was incorporated and able to grant degrees by 1896. A permanent residence and four-story building was completed by 1899. The hall’s entrance was further enhanced in April 2008 by the dedication of George Carlson’s Saint Ignatius statue, a reflection pool and new landscaping.

When I painted this piece, stately “College Hall” was still handling the university’s administrative duties and functioning as the key building on the beautiful campus.

"Bozarth Mansion in Bloom (Gonzaga University)" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • JUNE 2013 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

In 1911-1913, this mansion was built for historic Spokane developer J.P. Graves by the renowned local architect Kirtland K. Cutter for about $100,000.

The famed Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, MA designed the extensive gardens and underground water system.

In addition to owning one of Spokane’s trolley lines, Graves was also reputed to have the largest herd of jersey cattle on the west coast. The estate was originally called “Waikiki” in honor of the island Graves visited in the Hawaiian Island and also because of the nearly two-dozen streams that ran through his property near the Little Spokane River (“Waikiki” means lots of rushing water).

Highlight ~ In 1963, the mansion was purchased by Gonzaga University (Gonzaga.Edu) and began functioning as its retreat center.

NEW! "Daffodils in the Rain at DeSmet (Gonzaga University)" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • MARCH 20163 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Construction began by John Huetter on Gonzaga University’s (Gonzaga.Edu) first and oldest dormitory on 1925.  A stonemason and brick layer, Heutter also built College Hall and the Huetter House ~ the old Bishop White Seminary which became the G.U. Alumni House decades later.

At a cost of $98,000, the men-only facility originally offered students 72 double rooms. In 1924, Gonzaga mounted the acclaimed passion play “Golgatha” for Spokane and raised $7,000 towards the cost of the dorm’s construction. On October 25th, 1927, DeSmet Hall opened, followed by a football game between Idaho and Gonzaga. Gonzaga won 12 to 3 and funds from ticket sales also went to the building fund.

In this piece, I pictured folks in shirts that spelled out “G.U. Bulldogs” ~ Teresa and Sean Mulholland (Sean lived in DeSmet Hall and met Teresa at G.U.); Sean’s folks Bill and Carol Mulholland; me and husband Doug (my father was a graduate of both the university and law school and taught night law classes part time after World War II); and Joe and Mary Doohan (Joe graduated from Gonzaga and Mary spent one year in Italy as part of the G.U. Florence program.)

Highlight ~ Rumor had it that famous crooner/movie star Bing Crosby was kicked out of college when he threw a piano out of DeSmet Hall ~ untrue as he had moved to Hollywood, California in early 1924 construction began on the dormitory.

 

THE NORTH SIDE'S PUBLIC PLACES (BELOVED SMALL BUSINESSES, NORTH SIDE SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES)

"Doyle's Darling Ice Cream Parlor" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED DECEMBER 2015 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Located in the midst of Spokane’s West Central neighborhood on the North Side on the corner of Boone and Nettleton, this whimsical red and white signature “landmark” was built in 1939 as the Pacific Northwest was climbing out of the Great Depression.

For decades, it overlooked the trolley line tracks on Boone Avenue that carried passengers to and from beloved Natatorium Park. It was a favorite spot for folks to stop and purchase ice cream treats. Nat Park closed in 1968 and its site became the San Souci Mobile Home Park.

The West Central area fell on difficult  times, making it quite a challenge for the little ice cream shop to say alive. Years later in the 2000s, the Kendall Yards development began to take shape. This new neighborhood overlooking the Spokane River from the north bank helped to breathe life back into the ice cream shop. It’s recently been spruced up with a shiny new coat of paint and other improvements.

NEW! "Breakfast Bunch at Knights Diner" (DOWNTOWN SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED MARCH 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

Rail car #988 was commissioned by Ohio’s Barney & Smith, Co. and beautifully detailed by the Pullman Car Company of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania in 1906. The luxury dining car served the Northern Pacific Railroad’s Yellowstone Route until its retirement in 1920. Before it became a diner, the rail car served during World War II as an induction hall for the armed services.

Years later when Jack Knight left the elegant Davenport Hotel to open his own business, he converted the fine old dining car into his restaurant ~ thus the name Knight's Diner (KnightsDiner.com). Located in Hillyard (incorporated into Spokane in 1924), in 1989, new owners moved the rail car to its current location on Market Street shown in this artwork. They added new paint, polished all the original fixtures and opened for business.

Located near Esmeralda Golf Course, this piece pictured the owner welcoming a group of lady golfers ~ me, sis Peggy Barton, mother Sally Simpson, niece Kelly Barton and pals Molly Roberts Hannan, Rita Drake and Carmen Perkins. In the foreground, I pictured friends Linda Ebner and Maria Herbert ready to bike home with their breakfasts as husband Doug arrived to treat our grandkid junior golfers Addison and Austin to a meal.

Highlight ~ Recently, I learned that my childhood chum Patty Edwards Hayenga's family owned the diner for a number of years when she was growing up. She shared that her father designed the café's signature sign picturing a knight on his steed poised for battle.

"Celebratiing at Holy Names Academy" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • APRIL 2013 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This artwork was a revision of an earlier painting specially created to honor the 125th anniversary of the arrival of the Sisters of the Holy Names to Spokane, Washington.

It pictured the beloved Holy Names Academy and dear friends (teachers, classmates, my two little sisters and me) at the campus of this beautiful old red brick Victorian structure.

The building functioned as a “normal school” (teachers’ college) before it became a private Catholic school for girls.

Located a few blocks east of St. Aloysius Church, HNA closed its doors in 1975. The empty building sank into disrepair until 1987 when it was developed by Henry A. Green into “The Academy,” a non-denominational full-scale retirement community.

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

"Fresh Flowers at Saint Joseph's" (THE NORTH SIDE, SPOKANE, WA • PAINTED MARCH 2015 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

I painted the portrait of Saint Joseph’s Church (Facebook.com/StJosephCatholicChurchSpokane) to honor its 125th birthday. Jesuit Leopold Van Gorp purchased the West Central neighborhood property at the corner of Dean Avenue and Walnut Street in 1890 and sold it to the Corporation of Roman Catholic Bishops of Nisqually, Washington Territory. A frame church was originally built on the site, but as the parish grew, German-born Julius A. Zittell (named Washington’s “state architect” in 1987) was tapped to design a new church and later a convent.

The church was constructed in 1901 of brick masonry in the Late Gothic Revival style and the convent in 1924 in the Collegiate Gothic style. It featured many fine Gothic architectural details including its handsome steeple, stepped buttresses and beautifully detailed stained-glass windows. It was enlarged in 1909, but other than that, very few exterior alterations were made over its more than 100 years of service. Only Our Lady of Lourdes (1881) parish held the distinction of being older than Saint Joseph’s in the young, thriving community.

Highlight ~ A 1901 issue of the Spokesman Review described Saint Joseph’s as “one of the prettiest small churches in the Northwest.

NEW! "Gathering at the Garland Milk Bottle" (NORTH SIDE • PAINTED MARCH 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This piece pictured Paul E. Newman’s Benewah Creamery’s Milk Bottle building on Garland Avenue, the first of two in Spokane (this one constructed in 1934) of the six planned.

The milk bottle buildings were classic examples of “literalist” architecture as they advertised in a very real way exactly what they were selling. It was the Great Depression and the architectural firm of Whitehouse and Price (famous for the Hutton Settlement and other important local buildings) designed and built each for a hefty price tag of $3,700.

After decades of serving the community, the Benewah Creamery closed in 1978 and the milk bottle when on to house a variety of small businesses. When I painted this portrait, it was a diner that served the Garland District as Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle.

I painted students from North Side high schools ~ Rogers, Gonzaga Prep, North Central, Holy Names Academy and Shadle ~ in their school colors gathering for ice cream treats.

Highlight ~ In 2011, fire nearly destroyed the milk bottle and adjacent Fergusson’s Café, but after a year of rebuilding, the beloved historic icon reopened for business.

"The Spokane County Courthouse" (DOWNTOWN/NORTH SIDE • PAINTED AUGUST • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

29-year-old W.A. Ritchie won the design competition sponsored by the Board of County Commissioner in 1893 for the Spokane County Courthouse (SpokaneCounty.org). Construction in the French Renaissance style began in 1894 on property located just across the Spokane River from the heart of downtown. It was regarded as a masterpiece with its romantic statuesque towers, handsome masonry and intricate wrought-iron metalwork. The center tower and roof were freshened up in 2012. It has been an important part of Spokane’s skyline for over a hundred years.

A dubious honor, the courtyard held the county’s first public hanging on its grounds in 1897, executing a man who had murdered a woman.

Highlight ~ I dedicated this painting to my father, a successful Spokane attorney who spent a lot of time here.

 

SPOKANE VALLEY (ARBOR CREST CELLARS, THE NORTHWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD AND MORE)

Entire Spokane Valley Collection pdf ~ Click on this 3-page pdf to see all 17 paintings (5 of the Barton Snow Fort and 12 others).

"Cliff House at Arbor Crest Winery" (SPOKANE VALLEY, WA • PAINTED SEPTEMBER 2012 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

The handsome, Florentine-style Cliff House was built to take advantage of the view of the Spokane Valley. It was designed and built by Royal Newton Riblet in 1924. An inventor and mechanical genius, Riblet’s estate was filled with marvels for its time like his garage with its mechanical door. He also installed a waterfall that recycled water back to the top of the falls and a life-size chess game on his grounds.

The property with its three-story mansion, basaltic rock out-buildings and marvelous gardens later became the headquarters of Arbor Crest Cellars (ArborCrest.com).

Highlight ~ When Riblet was living there, the cement factory far 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.

NEW! "Gathering at the Gatehouse (Arbor Crest Cellars)" (SPOKANE VALLEY, WA • PAINTED DECEMBER 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This arched basaltic rock gatehouse on the campus of Arbor Crest Cellars (ArborCrest.com) has always been the signature welcoming structure leading to the handsome Florentine-style mansion known as the Cliff House ~ shown to the right side of the gatehouse.  The estate was the home of Royal Riblet who built Cliff House in 1924.

The gatehouse was just one of several stone out-buildings on the property. Another was the structure where folks waited to board the tram that carried them down the hillside to the valley below. Riblet was a famous mechanical genius, best remembered for inventing the chair lift, which upgraded the experience of snow skiers everywhere.

Now the home of Arbor Crest Cellars, this piece portrayed the Art & Glass Fest, the much anticipated annual summer art event hosted on the grounds of the property.

Highlight ~ When I met the owner of the property in 2015, Harry Milke shared that the stone arch once served as the servants’ quarters.

"Millwood's Rosebush Cottage on Marguerite Street" (SPOKANE VALLEY, WA • PAINTED MAY 2013 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This Tudor-influenced Norman Revival cottage was built in 1923 by the general manager of the Inland Empire Paper Company.

Waldo Rosebush had spent time in France during World War I where he discovered the prototype for this finely detailed, beautifully crafted cottage in the Argonne Forest. He purchased the plans from the French owner and built his home a short distance from the main thoroughfare through Millwood, aptly named Argonne.

In 1936, Rosebush left the mill to work with the army in Alaska and the Pacific, ultimately retiring to Appleton, Wisconsin. However, he loved his charming cottage so much that he kept it as his official residence, returning annually to visit friends and vote in Spokane’s local elections until he died in 1961.

Highlight ~ An underground tunnel connected the home and garage (once the carriage house).

NEW! "Springtime Comes to Simpson Street (Detail)" (THE SPOKANE VALLEY, WA •JANUARY 2016 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS •16 X20-INCH)

This piece pictured a detail of a large 16x20-inch painting of an imaginary neighborhood sharing homes I’ve lived in and loved over the years. I originally painted it in March 2007, but altered it several times to include grandchildren and changes made to our bungalow property since them.

This detail showed our family's 1960s mid-century modern ~ I've painted it three times and it's my mother Sally’s favorite out of all the homes our family shared.

When Bernard Street on Spokane’s South Hill was widened into an arterial, my folks Sally and Joe packed up us kids and headed to the suburban Spokane Valley ~ settling east of Spokane at the foot of Tower Mountain. Our new neighborhood was filled with playmates of all ages and I have kept in touch with many of them over the years.

This piece pictured my brothers Bob (with our dogs, Chum and Andy), Bill and John in the foreground and my sisters Marilee and Peggy (best buds to this day), just returned from a bike ride. Summer meant "al fresco" dining on the front deck of this house, so I painted with my parents and me preparing dinner.

 

EASTERN WASHINGTON AND NORTH IDAHO (LAKES IN EASTERN WASHINGTON AND NORTH IDAHO PLUS ONE W.S.U. SETTING)

Entire Eastern Washington/North Idaho Collection pdf ~ Click on this 3-page pdf to see all 14 paintings.

COEUR D'ALENE, HAYDEN AND PRIEST LAKES

NEW! "Coeur d'Alene Lakeside Getaway" (COEUR D'ALENE LAKE, ID • PAINTED JANUARY 2017 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 11X14-INCH)

Rockford Bay on Coeur d’Alene Lake was the setting for this lakeside portrait of family and friends at one of many 4th of July celebrations. Note the flag billowing from the deck, colorful pots of red geraniums and the comfy crimson Adirondack chairs by the fire pit ~ all in honor of the patriotic holiday.

Purchased in the early 2000s, this beloved home hosted years of fun times ~ creating unforgettable memories for the folks who owned it, their two daughters and nearby friends just down the beach.

There was always something to do around the property ~ from “home improvement” interior cabin projects to puttering on the beach to chopping wood by the shed to sunny days spent on the dock and riding in the Supra.

Pictured in the foreground was a friendly gang of good friends enjoying music by the beach fire while the golden retriever kept them company from the dock. Hot dogs, roasted marshmellows, tasty s'mores and lots of singing by the fire (note the fellow with the guitar) ~ what could be better after a long fun-filled day at the lake?

"Summer Day at Sunset Beach" (HAYDEN LAKE, ID • PAINTED JULY 2015 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 9X12-INCH)

I pictured three generations of the Dix family who have owned this property for decades at Hayden Lake on beautiful Sunset Beach. This is how Kathleen Dix described a magical day there.

“It often starts in the morning before breakfast when many of us go water skiing. Then the fun of building sand castles begins ~ digging, making decorations in the sand and pushing toy boats around in the water.

Nothing’s better than a cold drink and a good read on a comfy chair under the umbrella. It’s great fishing right off the dock. Even a turtle or two can be caught nearby and released to see which one makes it back into the lake first.

As the sun dips below the skyline seen from our wonderful beach, the fire is built for roasting hot dogs ~ and of course, s’mores. The orange, red and golden hues make us smile as one more day at Sunset Beach comes to a end.”

Highlight ~ The Dix family bought their place at Sunset Beach a few decades after my parent's purchased their property in 1956, but have spent many, many summers as good neighbors down the beach from the Simpsons.

"Lunch on the Clark House Lawn" (HAYEN LAKE, IDAHO • PAINTED MARCH 2013 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 8X10-INCH)

This piece portrayed the classically beautiful F. Lewis Clark House overlooking Hayden Lake. The Clarks owned “Undercliff” (see my portrait of this above in the "South Hill Public Places" section), a Tudor-Revival mansion on Spokane’s South Hill.

But 1910, F. Lewis Clark had this equally lavish residence built as a summer “cottage.” It enjoyed a commanding view from a hilltop on the southwest side of the lake. Their huge parcel of property included a zoo of exotic animals, tennis courts, a two-story Cape Cod for their caretakers, a hunting lodge and an ice-house in a bay once used by the Coeur d’Alene Indians as their summer campground.

Clark mysteriously died at the beginning in 1913, his hat found floating in San Francisco Bay (rumor had it he was dying of cancer and committed suicide). Soon out of funds as her husband had run up enormous debts, Mrs. Clark sold “Undercliff” in Spokane and then lost her Hayden Lake estate to tax foreclosure.

During World War II, the still beautiful lake mansion and grounds served the armed services as a convalescence center for recovering soldiers. Decades later after years of neglect, it was restored and re-opened as an upscale country inn in the late 1900s. When I painted its portrait, the Clark House Country Inn was at the height of its popularity with friends and family picnicking on the front lawn.

Highlight ~ In 2014, the structure was purchased from the owner who was experiencing health issues and reverted back to being a single-family dwelling.

"Cast & Blast" (HAYDEN, IDAHO • PAINTED JULY 1999 • ACRYLIC ON CANVAS • 11X14-INCH)

In the 1990s, this rustic log store located in the town of Hayden Lake was THE spot for bait, lures, rods, shells ~ and every possible gift item for the outdoor sports enthusiast. Charming and cozy with the shop walls covered with vintage outdoor treasures, folks passing through the community on their way to Spokane or all points east usually left with some remembrance of the North Idaho "Panhandle."

I painted my sisters, Peggy, Marilee and myself in full fly-fishing gear ~ from vests to boots ~ in front of the Cast & Blast. This was a bit of a stretch, as our summers spent for decades at Hayden were more about sunbathing, water skiing and cruising around the lake in one of the mahogany Century boats so prevalent there in the 1950s and 1960s.

Sadly for all its customers, a short time after I painted this artwork, the unique shop closed its doors as the owners retired to enjoy all of the activities their mercantile had supported for so many years ~ off to fly fish at some nearby pristine setting.

 

Click above on the "The BIG List ~ Spokane Collection" graphic header to access ALL of the artwork titles (by group alphabetically) contained in this collection.

 

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