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Civil Architectures – A Snapshot of an Era

Civil Architectures, oil on canvas, 42 X 60 inches, copyright ©1999
Civil Architectures, oil on canvas, 42 X 60 inches, copyright ©1999

This painting is based on the view from the studio of the late Ako Lindley, where I was teaching painting workshops at the time. It’s a gray, overcast day, very typical of Seattle. Ako’s studio was in the 619 Western building, at one time called the Ace Novelty building, later condemned after the Nisqually Earthquake in 2001.

The painting became the cover image for a show at Davidson Galleries, also called Civil Architectures. It appeared on the showcard, and also on a tee shirt that was produced to advertise the exhibition. It was my last show at Davidson before I moved to Woodside/Braseth Gallery for about 6 years. I eventually went back to Davidson Galleries, and had several more shows there before Sam Davidson decided to phase out his Contemporary Painting and Sculpture department to focus on prints.

The opening reception for Civil Architectures was crowded, and music was provided by Jazz singer Jay Clayton, accompanied by the great trombone player and composer Julian Priester.

The painting was sold about 5 years later to Daniel Smith, Inc., the manufacturer and dealer in art supplies. They also leased the image to grace the cover of one of their annual catalogues. The price of the painting exceeded their budget by a considerable amount, so we agreed that I would take the difference in art supplies, some of which I’m still using almost 10 years later.

Today Pioneer Square is being transformed. The Alaska Way Viaduct, also damaged by the earthquake, is coming down and being replaced by a tunnel. Substantial renovation is planned, and galleries and shops that made the area unique are starting to relocate. The gallery scene itself is becoming less concentrated and less focused. The heart of Pioneer Square, Elliott Bay Book Company, moved out many years ago. Pioneer Square has always been at the mercy of land owners and property managers that have generally mixed high rent expectations with a low vision quotient. Older developers tended to favor more interesting mixed use development, but urban renewal fads favoring either high-end office space, or later high-end urban residential seem to create more instability for the neighborhood. I lived there during one of its brief periods of glory, in the 1990s, when the mix of galleries, artists’ live work-spaces, quaint shops and cabarets created rich material for paintings and café culture. I’ve missed it ever since.

Here is another image from those years in Pioneer Square:

3 Men, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches, copyright ©1996
3 Men, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches, copyright ©1996

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Plein Air Classes Beginning in April

On The Snohomish River, oil on canvas, 24 X 18 inches, copyright ©2009
On The Snohomish River, oil on canvas, 24 X 18 inches, copyright ©2009

Plein Air Classes begin mid April, with the first location being in Seattle. Interested parties can still get a deep discount on 8 or 16 Plein Air session credits, just look for the option to tweet about the class on your twitter account, (you’ll find this offer on a few pages of my website, in the sidebar.) Once your tweet is posted, you will be able to access a page that offers the discount, with options to pay via PayPal.

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Last Promo For Plein Air Classes!

Sauvie Island Creek I, oil on canvas, 30 X 40 inches, copyright ©1999
Sauvie Island Creek I, oil on canvas, 30 X 40 inches, copyright ©1999

I’m having one last promotion for Plein Air Classes that begin in April. There is a counter on my website that indicates how long the promotion will last. While the counter is running, you can get deep discounts for 8 or 16 Plein Air session credits. If you’ve always wanted to do plein air painting, or if you are already a pleinairista and want to refine your technique, there is no better time to sign up!

More info at www.williamelston.com.

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Flash Sale Over!

Arboretum Pond, oil on panel, 24 x 18 inches, copyright ©2002
Arboretum Pond, oil on panel, 24 x 18 inches, copyright ©2002

The Plein Air Class session credit Flash Sale is over. My apologies to those that wanted to sign up at the discounted rate. The good news is that I will be having at least one more sale before the plein air season begins in April. Keep checking my classes page for details.

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Plein Air – Foster Island

Rain - Arboretum, oil on canvas, 30X40 inches, copyright ©2001
Rain – Arboretum, oil on canvas, 30 X 40 inches, copyright ©2001

Here is another Arboretum/Foster Island piece that was done in 2001, working alongside my plein air class. It is a location that we will return to this coming plein air season.

#w_e_elston #bill #li_jackboot #jackboot

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Plein Air Class Flash Sale!

Marymoor Park, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches, copyright ©2003
Marymoor Park, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches, copyright ©2003

I’m currently having a Flash Sale for Plein Air Painting session credits, with savings up to $180. There is a counter on my Classes page that is counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds that these discounts will be available. You can BEAT THE CLOCK by signing up right away!

Plein Air session credits can be used during the painting season, from mid-April through late October. Classes meet Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, from 10 AM to 2:30 PM. Session credits are not lost if you miss classes. You can attend those classes that fit your schedule. Unused session credits will be applied to the following year’s plein air season. If you have ever wanted to try painting in the open air, or want to improve your skill and understanding, this is a good time to sign up!

You can view the countdown clock on my Classes page, or at the bottom of this page.

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