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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Kettle Falls artist captures Old West

Two intrepid hunters make their way across the blustery high country in John Peterson’s oil painting, “Windswept Passage.” “I like depicting a historical scene,” said Peterson of Kettle Falls, Wash., “but not portraying a specific time or place so that the viewer can finish the story.”

The western and wildlife painter’s Old West image won him the honor of being the featured artist at the three-day Ride the West All Breed Horse and Trade Expo opening Friday at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

“Each year, we highlight a local artist’s work as the cover of our program guide,” said event founder Susan Rae of Spokane. “This year we selected John’s two mountain men crossing the prairie in a chilling wind. It is absolutely stunning and depicts the flavor and essence of the Old West.”

Also on display will be the paintings entered by Janene Grende of Sandpoint; Carole Peterson of Colbert; Connie Spurgeon of Sagle, Idaho; and Genny Scheel of Coeur d’Alene. All of the artists will have booths in the trade show area.

Grende has been painting the natural beauty of Idaho for more than 30 years ago. Using gouache – an opaque, water-based medium – she captures realistic images of wildlife, birds, landscapes and equestrian scenes. Her designs appear on plates, ornaments greeting cards and posters.

Carole Peterson has loved animals and art all her life. Horses, however, have a special place in her art.

“The horse is a magnificent animal which has an allure that can not be totally defined or understood,” she said. “I truly enjoy capturing this wonderful creature on canvas in its many moods.”

She is showing work in watercolor, oil, colored pencil and mixed media in her booth, Still Waters Fine Art.

Like Peterson, Spurgeon loves horses and has been around them all her life, including training thoroughbreds and riding barrel horses. Her western scenes and realistic portraits of animals are executed in translucent watercolors, other water mediums and dyes on silk. Look for her under the Sweet Creek Studio sign.

Scheel owns The Painted Pony, a tack and equine art shop in Coeur d’Alene. During the expo she will be showing her pastel painting, along with western and English tack and attire from her shop.

“I’ve been painting horses, landscapes and wildlife since 1980 when I lived in Alaska,” said the realistic artist. “I have horses and I love painting them.”

Other art booths include Horse Portraits by Anne Handler, Wildlife Creations’ photography, Pellagrino Art’s photographs and prints, Winterhawk Gallery’s paintings on wood and Rock’N G Rustic Impressions’ barbed wire art.

Gates are open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Day tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the gate (ages 9 and under are free). Separate ticketed events are Friday and Saturday Night Galas beginning at 7:15 p.m. Admission is $6.

For additional information call 466-9639 or visit the Web site at

‘Eternity’s Gate’

Beginning today an extraordinary painting goes on view for only five days in the Great Hall of the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on the South Hill.

“Eternity’s Gate,” a massive painting by contemporary impressionist Rik Fitch of Hawaii, was created on more than two dozen 4- by 8-foot sheets of mahogany. Fitch constructed this installation piece to allow for people to walk into and through the painting.

“The vast, awe-inspiring, biblically based work is a cross between Gauguin and Van Gogh on steroids,” said spokesperson Maria Ranniger. “Paintings of Adam and Eve usher visitors through the front gates from an earthly domain into Fitch’s vision of the journey to paradise.”

Fitch is presenting a hands-on “Art and Religion” workshop on Saturday that examines the expression of religious symbolism in art. “Attendees will create personal artistic renderings of their faith in watercolors and acrylics,” said Ranniger.

The workshop takes place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the cathedral, 127 E. 12th Ave. The cost is $25 and includes materials and lunch. To register call 838-4277.

Richard Schmid at NIC

Known around the world for his masterful oil paintings, Vermont artist and author Richard Schmid favors painting plein air or from life, usually in one session.

“Painting on the spot is the method I learned from the start of my training,” Schmid recently wrote in Plein Air Magazine, “and it’s the one I regard as the most rewarding as well as the most demanding. To my way of thinking, it is still the most challenging and authentic way to paint, because it is about capturing a real experience as it is happening.”

Schmid will be talking about his work during a two-hour slide lecture Friday beginning at 1:30 p.m. in the Edminster Student Union at North Idaho College.

His books on painting techniques include “Alla Prima: Everything I Know About Painting,” “Richard Schmid Paints the Figure: Advanced Techniques in Oil” and “Richard Schmid Paints Landscapes.”

Tickets for the presentation are $15, with proceeds benefiting the building fund for the new Coeur d’Alene Public Library. Because seating is limited, reservations are encouraged. Call (802) 297-2312 or e-mail

The event is being sponsored by West Wind Fine Art in Coeur d’Alene and Stove Prairie Press.

West Wind Fine Art

In conjunction with Richard Schmid’s lecture, West Wind Fine Art is presenting new paintings by Schmid, Nancy Guzik and Timothy Thies.

The subjects of Guzik’s thoughtful, expressive paintings are everyday people and things in her life including close friends, a handful of flowers, her dog and a young lady in quiet thought. Married to Schmid, Guzik lives and works in Vermont.

Thies creates landscapes, portraits and still lifes in luminous oils. The representational artist recently moved to Coeur d’Alene with his wife, Kristen. West Wind Fine Art is primarily an online gallery at

Meet the artists during a one-day public viewing on Sunday from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the White House, 805 E. Sherman Ave. in Coeur d’Alene.

Never Ending Garden Gallery

Artist Kim Saenz is showing her acrylic paintings in “Musings of Myth and Stone” at the Never Ending Garden Gallery.

Her canvases, inspired by world mythology, feature vibrant colors and textures. Pieces of her decorative glass and stone works are also on view.

Meet Saenz on Saturday between 3 and 8 p.m. during an artist’s reception at the gallery, upstairs from The Rock Barn at 14115 E. Trent Ave. The work is up through October and can be seen during regular hours, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The gallery showcases work by 15 artists who create stained glass, watercolor paintings, ornamental iron and other works. For more information, call 922-0279.