Homeless Solutions

Homeless Solutions Durrett Chas 007Homeless Solutions were the topic. Thursday night was chilly at Whitworth college but the lecture hall was warm and full of concerned local residents. There weren’t many seats left open. New Hope Resource Center in Colbert WA invited renowned architect/author, Charles Durrett to speak. He began by pointing out that 206 homeless people died last year in Spokane. The deaths aren’t the only problem, there are significant additional costs to our community each year because of homelessness. Costs of $30-60k per homeless person are incurred for increased emergency medical services, law enforcement, and incarceration events. Solving the homeless problem may not be free of charge, but, doing something about it now makes a lot of sense.

Durrett Chas 001

Durrett shared about many of the successful “village” projects he has designed around the world. These communities have produced so many positive outcomes. He shared the grassroots strategies used to enable “doing something now” about homelessness, instead of waiting for a bureaucracy to move on to finding a solution.

Durrett Chas 003Communities voluntarily have worked together to handle finances, planning, and permits, along with materials and labor costs. Working together they have successfully built communities where homeless people have a roof over their heads with a locking door. By providing a safe place to live we allow a person to connect with neighbors and build a community. “Villages” become a place of transition where disconnected homeless people can manage themselves, and then become part of society again.

Durrett Chas 006Charles Durrett revealed methods to solve homelessness now. He talked with many people afterward. We left with a mood full of hope and the motivation to step out and make a difference. Become a part of Homeless Solutions in Spokane WA, and attend a public meeting tomorrow at the North Spokane County Library starting at 9:30 am.

Homeless Solutions
9:30 Saturday
November 5th, 2022
at the
North Spokane County Library
44 E Hawthorne Rd

north spokane library


Coeur ‘d Alene for Figure Drawing

Brooke 220912 aI was so happy to travel to Coeur ‘d Alene for figure drawing class last night at Teri Lee’s studio. This is the first sketch portrait I did of our beautiful model. I used a piece of soft sienna chalk and then started to darken areas with black charcoal. Unfortunately, when the 20-minute timer went off, I had not completed the shadow darkening with the charcoal.

As the model rested, I did the self-critic thing that all of artists do, cause you know we are our own worst critics. Oops! The eyes were way off and crooked, and her corneas were absolutely humongous. It was not an accurate likeness but it was a great start after a few months off. I resolved to pay better attention to width in the next session.

Improving My Art

Life drawing is quite challenging as it strengthens my drawing abilities. It’s a favorite artist retreat for me and it really charges up my batteries. Some of them are my best friends there, and I love to be surrounded by them. The artists that attend are at all levels in the profession, some just learning, some are equal, and a few are phenomenally better than me. Artists are a special breed in the creative pool of life, and it is just fun to be around others like yourself. Learning from another artist is the way to go.

Brooke 220912 b

My third attempt was done using my favorite pencils for sketching which are the Palomino Blackwings. They are gloriously soft and easily darken with very little pressure, but, I wish they were not so expensive.  $2.50 is way too much for a pencil drawing tool, but I do love them.

Carefully placed her features as I remained conscious of making her face closer to me I laid the basic sketch out in the first 20-minute period and then in the second 20-minute session I focussed on rendering each feature in more detail. This sketch was a much better representation of the model even though it was a little too slender. Not bad for not actually measuring every step of the way.



Children’s Church Table

Table Mountain 01A 2nd table for the children’s church is painted for the kids at CCOB (Country Church of the Open Bible). It has a mountain and animal theme and a quote, “I lift my eyes to the mountains,” from Psalms 121:1. I start by painting a snow-capped mountain in the distance below a bright blue sky. There is a purple darkening below the mountain so that a row of evergreen trees will be able to show up.

Table Mountain 02Now the winding river leads down to a small pond or lake surface where I will paint a reflection of the mountain on the smooth water surface.

Table Mountain 03The fun starts here as I put various animals in the scenery which I will hide so that a “Where is Waldo” game can be played. There is a total of how many animals are on the table. Only the children will know.

Table Mountain 10Now I can start to add leaves to the tree going up the right side of the table which will help to hide the critters in the tree and in the sky.

Table Mountain 13

See how the leaves make it harder to see the critters here. Now, I measure to put the lettering in straight. I use a piece of chalk to make lines to follow as I paint the words, it is the best as it does not interfere with the paint.

Table Mountain 14The moose is hiding behind the “s” in the word mountains.

Table Mountain 15There are many more added grass blades in many colors, and lots of leaves until it seems right. The final step is doing two coats of polyurethane varnish so that the table top is easy to clean.

You can see the process involved with painting the first table here.



Hurley the Golden Retriever Poodle
15″w x 11″h watercolor on 140lb wc paper. Portrait of a fun and energetic Golden Retriever Poodle mix (GoldenDoodle) named Hurley.

We said goodbye to Hurley yesterday at the vet’s, there was nothing that could be done.

Hurley J01He was always a truly kind soul and full of fun all of his life. I don’t think he had a mean bone in his body.

Hurley Camera ShyHere is a picture of him when he did not want his picture taken. This big guy came to us with many allergy problems but after we got them figured out, he was a joy to have in our home. He enjoyed getting dirty every day and splashing in his doggie pool often during the hot months so that the dust he’d lay in would stick well. Our house is never spotless. He was the first guy in the water at Elk Park.

Hurley Loves Snow 02He loved cold weather, and he would chase snowballs all day long. He’d go outside and roll all over in the snow and then just lay in it with a smile on his face.

Hurley Snow 01We were truly blessed to be able to share so much of his life with him. He is already greatly missed.

Children’s Church Table

table 02The children’s church tables needed a facelift because the veneer on top was damaged and yucky looking and getting hard to clean. Linda spent a whole day stripping the top surface off, then scraping and sanding so there was clean wood. I got both the tables on my deck then and began restoring the tabletops. First, there is the primer layer to seal the particle board that was exposed. You should have seen how fast the primer is absorbed into that type of wood, especially when you are painting in 100 degree farenheight weather.

This table design is a bright and colorful statement, “Let Your Light Shine”. So, I start with a subliminal “sun” shining message with an obvious sunburst in the middle fading out to white on the ends.table 03

After the sunburst background dries, I use chalk to draw the letter shapes straight and with enough room for all of the letters. If I try to wing it, there can easily be an “oops” disaster to deal with. For me, safety is the best road for doing lettering. You can see how the words are laid out in the next 4 images.

Now, you can see how each letter is initially just painted with alternating primary and secondary colors. I am just starting out simple.table 09

The basic letter forms are then creatively outlined and decorated to make them interesting. This open-ended design as you go step is my favorite part.table 10

Further embellishments begin with added flowers, leaves, vines, stars, hearts, flowers, and bubbles spread out all over the table. Then little critters are added to become conversation starters for the kids.

table 11Wa La! we are finished after two coats of polyurethane to seal and protect everything.

Assessor’s Board Members

 Tom KONISTom Konis, Spokane Tax Collector is on Facebook.

Meet the Assessor’s Board Members

Did you know that the Board Members of the Spokane Tax Assessor are Realtors/and or/Brokers except for one who is a Lawyer specializing in Real Estate? Does this look like a Conflict-Of-Interest to you? We have Realtors appraising the value of our property at inflated values that in turn will create an increase in the amount of their commission when they sell your place. Sounds like insider trading to me.

Spokane County Tax Assessor

Tom Konis Tax AssessorVoter's Pamphlet The Spokane County Tax Assessor is Tom Konis. It was surprising to find that Konis is listed in our Voter’s Pamphlet as running Unopposed. Is this a good idea for a man who has made over 1-1/2 million dollars in this assessor’s office all ready to be handed the position for the next 4 years without any effort having to be put forth?

He was an appraiser since 1993 (26 years), assessing residential property values in Spokane County. A residential appraiser for 26 years, at $50,884.08 works out to wages in the neighborhood of $1,322,986.08. For 3 years he has been the Spokane County Assessor at a wage of $114,351.57 so, Tom Konis has received a total of $343,054.71 so far in that position. We should get someone to be a write-in candidate to at least make the election have some semblance of fairness.

Wages for our elected officials are listed here.


Big Fish Craft

big Fish Craft 10I made a Big Fish Craft for our church VBS program. The backdrop was made from a 4×8 sheet of mylar that Allison Kromer gave me, she had painted a Riverside High School backdrop on it. Allison your mylar is now, “the big orange fish” at the Country Church of the Open Bible in Elk Washington. The theme is Big Fish Bay teaching about Jonah.

big Fish Craft 03There were paper plates and about 100 clothespins used. big Fish Craft 04To the best of my figuring ability, I was able to find that 6″ diameter plates would fit in a “scale” configuration and allow for about 100 kids to do the fish. big Fish Craft 08It was a quick and fun craft to fill any free time that the children had during their program day. This image shows a very helpful assistant next to “Mr. Big Fish” who is about 1/3 complete.

Art Show Invitation

I received an art show invitation to The Inland Empire Gardeners,

Spokane in Bloom 2019


June 18, 2022 – 10am-5pm

“Homeward Bound!”

There are Six Southside Gardens on the tour.

– 1122 E 20th Ave – Home is Where Our Story Begins

– 1720 S Rockwood Blvd – Home is Where Your Heart is

– 1724 S Rockwood Blvd – Home Sweet Home

– 5815 E 25th Ave – *Love Begins at Home

– 4521 E 56th Ave – There’s No Place Like Home

– 7525 S Regal Rd – The Best Journey Takes You Home

Along with the amazing gardens, there will be garden-related Vendors, Artists, and Music. Our booth will be part of that art this year at, The Best Journey Takes You Home” garden which is a French Country style located at 7525 S Regal Rd. Please come enjoy this day of exquisite gardens and come see the art at our booth.

*Lunch is not included in the ticket price, but, is available at one of the gardens. Tickets are available online through the sponsors, the Inland Empire Gardeners. ” Tickets – $15 available the day of the tour at the starred gardens or may be purchased ahead of time at Barn & Blossom, Blue Moon Garden, Gibson’s, Judy’s Enchanted Garden, and NW Seeds

Dumb and Dumber

McDonalds RemodelCheck this out, are we getting dumb and dumber? Duh.

Is BYE… Biden becoming contagious?

OMG, I had to take a picture of this Mcdonald’s location at the corner of one of the main intersections in Northern Spokane, Washington.

McDonalds Remodel 2It’s the contractor in me that finds this absolutely hilarious. Are we so stupid as a society that we need a sign saying, “closed for remodeling”?

I waved at the guy in the yellow shirt and he said they have had “clueless” people pull in asking where they could pick up coffee. Haha. Seriously?????

The building is gone and they are doing underground work. LOL. Just one quick glance at this and my brain says, wow they demolished Mc Donalds. What are they building there next?

If someone does not instantly understand that this McDonald’s is NOT OPEN, then they must be related to BYE…Biden.  They had better avoid staircases too.