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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The Verve: Aryn Lindsey Fields is moving with purpose into the life of an artist

Aryn Lindsey Fields likes running through fields of clay. Though she paints, sketches and makes lithographs, clay is her medium of choice. Working in a studio on the South Hill that was designed to be a garage, she hand-forms 3-D portraits. “I enjoy creating personalities,” she said. “I want the viewer to look at one of my faces and wonder what they are thinking, what their history is.”

DeRoulet strives to capture ‘aesthetic arrest’ on canvas

While a female subject sits comfortably in a chair, John deRoulet stands at an easel and studies her. He holds up a viewfinder and peers through it before marking the canvas. As he works with quick and steady brush strokes, he occasionally pauses to squint at the model and hold up a pencil horizontally and then vertically, memorizing the distance of one facial feature to another.

The Verve: DeRoulet strives to capture ‘aesthetic arrest’ on canvas

While a female subject sits comfortably in a chair, John deRoulet stands at an easel and studies her. He holds up a viewfinder and peers through it before marking the canvas. As he works with quick and steady brush strokes, he occasionally pauses to squint at the model and hold up a pencil horizontally and then vertically, memorizing the distance of one facial feature to another.

Tessa Groshoff finds safety in art

On a white sheet of paper, Tessa Groshoff spills her secrets. She swirls, lines and scribbles to tell her stories in the universal language of art that words simply cannot convey.

The Verve: Catherine Freshley preserves beauty of landscapes through her work

Artist Catherine Freshley could easily be called a historian; years from now, people will look at her work and see, through her eyes, the simple beauty of the past. “I can’t not respond to the beauty of the landscapes I see. Most of the time, my presence in any given place is so finite, even fleeting, since I often paint from photos I take while driving, that I want to hold on to it somehow,” she said. “I feel somehow connected. So I paint it.”

The Verve: Potter finds meditative qualities of clay as he works

For many years, Mike Buck’s artistic nature stayed dormant. He did a little art in elementary school and then in college, but that was more than 40 years ago. He grew up in California and attended Southern Oregon College for four years, but didn’t earn a degree.

The Verve: Krysten Parmley finds making art a creative way to cope

Krystn Parmley is following her bliss. “If I didn’t make art I think I could be a very dysfunctional person. I create because I have to. This is my escape, my way of dealing with things,” she said. “I had thought about doing graphic design but I realized that I need to physically touch the mediums, get my hands dirty, feel the energy from my body, my hands, my fingers, transferring to the canvas or piece of paper, bringing this idea or feeling alive in a sense.”

The Verve: Spokane Film Project works to put city on the map

On this particular Sunday evening at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille, they push small tables together to form a large conference table to accommodate their group. There are about 20 of them, ranging in age from 17 to 40-something, and they all have stories to tell. They banter a bit and laugh a lot.

The Verve: Randi Harris gives organic nature back to man-made items

Randi Harris, 29, grew up in Emporia, Kan., and was heavily involved in art in high school, though she never thought of it as a potential career. She went on to receive a computer programming degree from Kansas State University and she worked odd jobs while doing art on the side. While living in Joplin, Mo., and studying art education, a catastrophic event had her rethinking her life.

The Verve: Webbers’ artwork often goes against the grain

There are females and males, exposed. There are branches and leaves, wings, skulls, bones, guns and dark images mixed with light. It is all the world has to offer, unfiltered and exaggerated with hints of sarcasm. Not meant to be taken literally, the works are the extensions of artists Troy and Susan Webber, whose philosophies are to go against the grain, to not live life in fear, and to maintain their individuality in a world where so many refuse to stray from the paved path.

The Verve: Webbers’ art work often goes against the grain

There are females and males, exposed. There are branches and leaves, wings, skulls, bones, guns and dark images mixed with light. It is all the world has to offer, unfiltered and exaggerated with hints of sarcasm. Not meant to be taken literally, the works are the extensions of artists Troy and Susan Webber, whose philosophies are to go against the grain, to not live life in fear, and to maintain their individuality in a world where so many refuse to stray from the paved path.

The Verve: Josh Gillen’s mind keeps evolving

In November 2012, as Josh Gillen’s life was spiraling out of control, he looked up and asked for a sign. Not long after, he felt wrong and went to the hospital. He doesn’t remember a lot.

The Verve: Tom Norton hopes to inspire others to create

Tom Norton grew up in Spokane. At Gonzaga Prep, while the priests gave their lessons, Norton would draw figures with eyes widely spaced; a subtle representation of vulnerability like animals of prey. Now, many years later, his subjects still exude a kind of meekness, and yet they are strong and carrying on.

Lynne Blackwood’s pizzazz fuels her creativity

While planning her second wedding about 19 months ago, Lynne Blackwood found that the wedding dresses she was looking at lacked the pizzazz she desired and so, she fixed that. “Fixing ugly or out-of-date is very easy,” she said.

Spokane artist Valerie Woelk releases ‘Expressive Faces’ exhibit

Valerie Woelk has always made things; she’s been drawing and coloring as long as she can remember. She also used tools at hand, including a hammer and nails at her father’s and grandfather’s contracting business jobsites. “My job was to straighten the nails. They gave me scrap lumber to hammer little dots on with the nail head and make drawings with,” she recalled. “I spent hours drawing with my hammer, tapping to show them a dog, horse, flower or sun while we loaded up at the end of the day.”

The Verve: Freuen mixes forms, utilizing clay and drawing

In a large detached studio on her property near the Little Spokane River, Gina Freuen contemplates the past, the present and the future – all coming together using a pencil, carving tools and chunks of clay. She shares her findings and tells her stories through her finished products, sculpturally and narratively driven vessels and teapots. Known for her teapots, Freuen describes the form as figurative and ceremonial.

The Verve: Art a ‘lifelong friend,’ artist says

As a child, Erica Horton made art like most children do – as a form of play or a means to express things children have no words for. Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”