We lived in Spokane for awhile a couple years ago, and there was a store in the Hillyard neighborhood called Hillyard Variety Store. It was a landmark in the area, mainly I think because the store was painted turquoise and obviously stuck out. This sign has been around for thousands of years. You could find anything at the store, kind of like a flea market in one place. I got a metal lunchbox with Ichiro and other Seattle Mariner players on it. I ended up giving it to my daughter for her birthday.
Up on South Hill in Spokane, across the street from Manito Park, right smack dab in the middle of a neighborhood filled with huge mature trees that canopy the street and sidewalks of cottage style homes is Rockwood Bakery. One of my favorite places in the world to get coffee, and an amazing pastry! They bake it all, from scones to muffins to cookies and coffee cakes right there. The thing that truly makes Rockwood a favorite of ours is the many great memories had with each other and with some of the best people in the world, literally, right here in this place from Boise to Germany to Israel to Spokane!
This is an early drawing for the Hillyard Business Association in Spokane. They asked that the pictures be done in black and white but when I got the originals back I couldn’t resist. The Barbary Coast is a neighborhood pub but at one time it was a barber shop and they left the barber’s pole out front to add some character. I liked how highlighting the pole changed the picture. These buildings in the Hillyard district are special because this was my first paid job for any artwork. I guess this is where I lost my amateur status as an artist. Looking at this picture I almost feel guilty accepting payment…ALMOST!
It’s not uncommon to have people stop a second or two to watch you draw, or just see what it is you’re doing. Everyone is very encouraging. Then they say, “I can’t draw a straight line.” Then I say, “me either.” I like this picture because while I was drawing it, a police officer stopped to ask what I was doing. Then he watched for a minute, then left. He wished me a nice day.
Across the river, from the giant wagon/ slide is the clocktower. It was originally part of the Great Northern Railroad Depot and was built in 1902. When the World’s Fair came to Spokane in 1974, the train depot was demolished but they saved the clocktower. Once a week, someone goes up the tower to wind the clock. This was one of my favorite pics to draw.
Downtown Spokane hosted the World’s Fair several years ago and today, the grounds where that site was is a very nice park along the river. Just off the main path beside the river is this giant slide that looks like a Radio Flyer Wagon. Probably every visitor to Spokane has had their picture taken in this wagon. Interesting sidenote: All you sketchers know how every time you start to draw on location inevitably a car or truck will park right in your sight line at some point during your sketch? There are Canadian Geese all over the park. This one waddles away from the others and stands right in front of me, just standing there for quite a while, side pose and everything. He was a great addition to the pic and I thought he was there for me, but I think he was actually showing off for my wife.