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Bread Of Life Mission

Bread of Life Mission, oil on canvas, 45 x 69 inches, copyright ©1988
Bread of Life Mission, oil on canvas, 45 x 69 inches, copyright ©1988

This is the first urban landscape that I produced after moving to Seattle. I had done some shipyard and Queen Anne neighborhood subjects, beginning when I was still living in Spokane. Those paintings had been shown at Foster/White Gallery. I believe that I was still showing at Foster/White when this was completed and sold, but I began showing at Davidson Galleries shortly thereafter. It is the first time that I had tackled a complex street scene with multiple figures.

I no longer know where this painting is. It was purchased by a law firm that had offices in what was then called Columbia Tower, now called Columbia Center, and I presume it is still in their lobby.

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Broadway Vampires, 1989

Broadway Vampires, oil on canvas, 63 x 68 inches, copyright ©1989
Broadway Vampires, oil on canvas, 63 x 68 inches, copyright ©1989

This is another painting from my first show at Davidson Galleries. The subject is from Halloween night the previous year. I wanted to paint some ghouls, vampires and other creatures of the night. I did several paintings of similar subjects. This painting, which is quite large, depicts a couple of dangerously seductive vampires. The one on the right was the sister of my then girlfriend, the sculptor Heather Ramsay. The one on the left was a stranger that we met in Pioneer Square, and who was happy to tag along as part of our “coven.” ‘Broadway Vampires’ is now in the collection of John and JoAnn Laney, old friends from my New York days.

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Running Man, 1989

Running Man, oil on canvas, 18 X 24 inches, copyright ©1989 | 3/56
Running Man, oil on canvas, 18 X 24 inches, copyright ©1989

This painting was included in my first exhibition at Davidson Galleries in 1989. It was purchased by John Hauberg, a noted businessman and supporter of the arts in Seattle. John Hauberg was also the founder of the Pilchuck Glass School. When he passed away in 2002, many of the works from his collection were sold. However, I was told by my then dealer John Braseth, that this work would remain with the family. I am not certain of the current whereabouts of Running Man, but it has always been one of my favorites among the small early cityscapes that I’ve done.

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Work In Progress: Plaza Guemes, Buenos Aires

Plaza Guemes, oil on canvas, 76 x 96 inches, work in progress copyright ©2016
Plaza Guemes, oil on canvas, 76 x 96 inches, work in progress copyright ©2016

This is a long-term project, a painting of Plaza Guemes. Plaza Guemes is a public square in the Palermo Viejo district of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The painting is based on a small study that I did on location, as well as photomontages, and photographs and other source material that I developed during the course of my working on the study. You can follow the painting’s progress on my “Painter’s Workshop” page here.

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Crossing The River (Monroe Street Bridge)

Crossing The River (Monroe Street Bridge), oil on canvas, 24 x 64 inches, copyright ©2016
Crossing The River (Monroe Street Bridge), oil on canvas, 24 x 64 inches, copyright ©2016

This painting is another view of the Monroe Street Bridge, seen from Post Street, just above Spokane Falls. It’s a venerable old bridge, which I first painted in the early 1980s. That earlier painting is in the collection of Washington Trust Bank, a purchase that was spearheaded by the late Frederick W. “Rick” Scammell, a Vice President of the bank and a true friend of the Arts. That painting, entitled simply Monroe Street Bridge, measures 68 X 105 inches, and still hangs in the Washington Trust Bank lobby. I’ve painted the Monroe Street Bridge a few times since, including a preliminary study that preceded the Washington Trust painting.

This particular view was only recently opened up, due to renovation that took place in Riverfront Park. Down below Post there is a new park that provides even more interesting views, as well as Bicentennial Trail on the north side of the Monroe Street Bridge, which provides vistas of the river, Peaceful Valley and the west side of the bridge. When I’m in Spokane I always feel as if I’m orbiting around the bridge, from the lower South Hill to Browne’s Addition, Peaceful Valley and Vinegar Flats, Rimrock, Fort Wright and spiraling out to Glenrose Prairie, Lincoln Heights and Manito. It’s the portal through which the Spokane River passes after its tumultuous tumble down the falls, on its way out past Deep Creek Canyon and beyond.

I suspect that many current and former Spokaneites have strong feelings for this old bridge, spanning the river that is the heart of the city. I lost a tooth on its pavement, when a car suddenly pulled out in front of my 15-speed bicycle. I guess that you could say that I know the Monroe Street Bridge intimately.

The work is on display, along with other paintings of Spokane subjects, at Dodson’s Jewelry and Fine Art, at 516 W Riverside Avenue.

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Plein Air Class Sale, With A Twist!

I’m currently having a sale on Plein Air Class session credits, with a twist! The first 6 people to sign up, or to add to their existing credits, will get to choose a 9 x 12 inch or 8 x 10 inch class demo, similar to the examples in this slide show. The painting will be finished, signed and framed in a gallery frame. More details can be found on my website here. When these demonstration studies have been exhibited they have sold for between $600 – 800. There is a counter on the website that indicates when the sale will end.

From my website: “Painting ‘en plein air’ is less about representing the countryside or urban environment than it is about becoming aware of life’s underlying rhythms. By sustained looking and listening, the distractions of daily life fall away. We find ourselves more fully occupying the moment. By replicating this pulse in the gestures of our brushstroke, we train our mind on what is essential.”

Plein Air Classes begin in April and go until late October.

Update: I fixed a glitch where the Paypal link did not reflect the sale price.

Update 2: This sale has expired!

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Mar
23

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William E. Elston is a professional artist and teacher living in the Pacific Northwest. He has exhibited for over 40 years, and has works in numerous public and private collections, both in the region and internationally. He is best known for urban and rural landscape images. He is also a founding member of the Northwest Figurative Artists' Alliance.

William Elston teaches ongoing plein air classes during the Spring, Summer and Fall months. Classes are held at various locations throughout the greater Seattle area.

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