Riverfront Park’s Clock Tower from Above

Plein Air Landscape

This is a view of the Riverfront Clock Tower from a bridge railing in Riverfront park. Looking from above the Washington Street viaduct with a constant flow of cars entering downtown underneath seemed almost surreal. This specific view is a cozy little oasis (off-the-beaten-path) with it’s own cool bench. Virtually, a perfect place to set up water, brushes and paint to your hearts content with minimal interference from foot traffic. Initially, I was worried there would be no interesting views to paint at Riverfront park but I was proven so very wrong. I only had to open my eyes, to see great nature views, or people enjoying the nature views.

clock tower reference photo
above the clock tower

I am a member of the Spokane Watercolor Society, and we have a group of plein air painters meeting once a month on the last Friday of the month at high noon to paint together. If you’d like to join us feel free to contact us and let us know at our Facebook page Plein Air and Urban Sketching – Members of SWS. It is a monthly artist event that I look forward to every month. Fellow artists sharing ideas and methods and challenging each other to continue to improve.

It is simply a lot of fun!

I took some time to sketch the clock tower carefully before heading down to the riverside level. Subsequently, trying another view, nearer where the rest of the group was painting at next.

clock tower above sketch
clock tower sketch

Working from memories and pictures taken at the scene, I finished this painting back at the studio on 4/5/2019.

Riverfront Clock Tower from Above
9″w x 12″h watercolor. Riverfront Park’s Clock Tower from Above D2219

 

 

Plein Air painting at Riverfront Park

clock tower reference photo
clock tower

Spent the afternoon (Friday) plein air painting at Riverfront Park in Spokane WA.Painting outside in a beautiful park with friends. We were a group from the Spokane Watercolor Society who met near the clock tower at high noon. Sounds like the meet up at the OK corral doesn’t it?  It is amazing how many people use this park, it was full of people. They were a constant stream of people running, walking dogs, sitting and admiring the scenery.

Plein Air Off the Beaten Path

I was able to discover a great view of the tower a little off the beaten path, and overhead. It was truly sublime. Initially, trying to render that clock tower in an impressionistic manner proved impossible. Paintbrush sketches produced awkward, leaning towers. There are so many angles and doo-dads on that riverside brick tower with a clock. As a result, another tactic was required. Architectural subjects need accuracy, don’t they? Finally, resorting to using the old artist pencil measure trick with outstretched arm, got the job done.  It was worth it to take the time to do that sketch. The layout is in pencil now, and ready to work on in the studio. I took a ton of photos, to be able to finish it up.

clock tower above sketch
clock tower sketch

Second Painting Location

pavilion reference photo
pavilion willow photo
pavilion willow
pavilion with willow

I joined the gang from SWS at the ground level down by the river next. Next to Gay W., I found a great view of the pavilion cables over the ice rink, that had a willow tree getting orange branches in spring. What a vision. Hope it comes out, cause it was quite a cool view. Luckily, I was able to get some washes down before I had to pack up and leave.

Artist Thoughts…

Unfortunately, there was a man playing the bongos next to the river. I kept thinking, he needs to get some other musicians to sing and play instruments with him to break up the monotony. The “bong, bong, bong” started to get on my nerves later in the afternoon, so, I cut the outing short.

While spending the day in that beautiful riverside park I noticed a sad thing. There were couples and friends sitting or walking together, not looking at each other or the view, but instead looking at their phones.

What is with that?

Going to a beautiful park, to walk and sit next to the river with beautiful waterfalls cascading all around. Then choosing to enter into oblivion? Are we loosing our humanity by getting together, to ignore each other and nature’s beauty around us? 

As a society, are we so addicted to “blue screen” time that we miss important things?

In conclusion, this Friday painting day outside in the warm air was a beautiful nature wonderful “artist date”!

Plein air inspiration

Monroe St Bridge
Monroe St Bridge in process.

Inspired by a memory of a brilliant sunset recently.

 

I am working on completing a plein air watercolor painting of the Spokane river today. This started with a group outing at the Spokane library last month. The day waswa cold gray winterwday so I  exercising the artist perogatvepto improvise. AddingAthat gorgeousgsunset to the winter scene. It is a work in process will share more later.

SWS Member Show 2019 announced

Granite Falls HikeWe just got the information at our monthly meeting last Saturday that the Spokane Watercolor Society here in Spokane WA will have our SWS Member Show 2019, again at the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy
Community Building lobby
opening on First Friday in April 2019.

This has me gearing up to concentrate on plein air painting outside to get a great piece to enter between now and then. I am heading out the door on snowshoes with my dog, Max to discover great images as I walk today.

The Spokane Watercolor Society Membership Show 2019, has a show theme of, “Nature” this year. There is an opening reception as part of Spokane’s First Friday Art celebration on April 5th from 5-8pm. All of the hanging watercolor paintings by our members will be for sale and will be on display from April 5th through April 26th 2019. The Inland Northwest Land Conservancy Lobby hours are weekdays 9AM-4PM (no weekend days).

The host is the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy
Community Building lobby

which is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that helps willing landowners place conservation easements on their properties. They are focused on protecting land in watershed areas. The show location is in their Community Building lobby, at 35 West Main Avenue, in downtown Spokane WA 99201 (corner Browne and Main).

We invite you to come meet the artist’s and enjoy refreshments or even learn to paint at our teaching table. We may have some of our plein air artists painting at the event. Artistic fun at the opening reception and raffle on First Friday 5-8pm. That night there will be unframed additional small works and cards for sale.

Plein Air Competition north of Spokane

Skyhomish Hwy2 plein Air
2015-painted alongside Hwy 2 in Snokhomish WA just north of Goldbar.

There was talk between the artist’s present at the Elk painting day 7/21/2018 at my home of doing plein air painting again together soon . Here is the next outside painting event that I know of that is close.

2nd Annual Plein Aire Competition

Wednesday
August 15th, starting at 10am

is hosted by the Evergreen Art Association in Newport WA Continue reading “Plein Air Competition north of Spokane”

Plein Air Painting Elk, WA

SWS Plein Air Painting

Saturday July 21st, 2018

We had an artist “fun time” at our house. Above is the invitation that I handed out at the Spokane Watercolor Society Meeting a couple of months ago. I created a Facebook event for it and sent it to all the Watercolor Society Members emails. I also sent it to my friends on Facebook right before the weekend.

Out of all the invitations sent 4 wonderful artist’s showed up. What a great day, except for the bees. Wow there is sure a lot of them here this year. Aaaargh.

Who was there?

In the morning there was my neighbor Rose Coston with her 2-year-old daughter Allie. We painted on the kitchen table while Allie painted some pictures of her own, then she played with legos and log homes. Rose hasn’t painted in a long time but she was ready to try her hand at it and was surprised at the way watercolors work, she is a great person to paint beside.

SWS Member Sherrie Thies, arrived ready to paint, just as Rose and Allie were preparing to leave. Sherrie and I were able to get to know each other some before we decided to go walk through the garden and check out what we would like to paint. Sherrie is a high school art teacher and I bet her students just love her. I found out that I judged one of her student’s shows at ESD101 a few years back and we were able to share some changes we thought should be done in judging that venue. Wow, we really have great people in the group.

While we were checking things out in the garden, Allison Kromer Hsu, who is a longtime family friend arrived along with SWS member Kelly Burk. We went back up the hill and settled on the deck for a bit and decided to go ahead and eat our potluck, good cooks, Yay! Then back out on the deck we watched hummingbirds and began to setup and paint and visit.

What did we do?

Sherri got some great photographs with her phone of the hummingbirds and painted multiple images that looked great but I did not think to photograph them before she left. Am  hoping she will post them here for us to see. I’d like to paint the one I looked at closely.

Allison was working on a painting she had already started which was a seascape with shoreline foliage, she was interested in seeing the SWS member’s entries into our show coming up and said she’d like to attend one of our meetings. Allison, you can post your painting here too, if you would like.

Kelly did multiple paintings and sketches, please feel free to post your images here. Kelly did one watercolor pet portrait that she gave to me, and I just love it. It is of our dog named Max, he is a half Swiss Mountain dog (Swiss 3 color Rottweiller), half Pitbull 1-1/2 yr old puppy. What a great portrait and so fast. Thank you!

Max Woelk by Kelly Burk

I started a watercolor of hummingbirds in flight in the trees. Here  it is now but it is still in progress.

Hum Birds in Trees progress

Our Plein Air day was great!

I am so happy to have been able to spend some time really getting to know these artist friends. I realize I should have reminded everyone more often and maybe put a stricter time to start and end but still I’d love to do more of this painting with fellow artist this summer! It is really a great way to inspire true creativity and to spend time with others who love to paint as much as I do.