In May, Echo Boutique in downtown Spokane began displaying paintings and digital art from Donna Preston and Payton Taylor, a local mother and daughter. Suzy Gage is the owner of Echo, a contemporary women’s consignment shop near 2nd & Howard. Their art will remain on display until July 1. As is our custom, F&C asked each of these women one question.
F&C: Donna, what is it like having your art on display alongside your daughter’s?
Donna: This is a first for us, but visual art is something Payton and I have always shared. In fact, with my interior design work and her father being a woodworker, she was always around an environment of creativity. It was important to me that this was never inhibited, and she naturally became passionate about drawing and painting.
In fact, when she came to work with me sometimes as a little girl—3 or 4 years old—she would draw pictures and sell them to my co-workers: one drawing for a quarter, four drawings for three quarters. The focus was getting a candy bar from the vending machine, but the drawings weren’t bad either!
Another memory is from when I was working on one of the oil paintings that is currently hanging in Echo. Payton was still pretty young, but I let her get involved in that one, and she actually painted into it as I was working on it. Of course, she has found her own way. I work with oil and acrylic paints, while she uses graphite, watercolors, and is known for her digital art. She hasn’t ventured into oil, but I haven’t ventured into digital, so I guess we’re even.
F&C: Payton, tell me about your digital art: when did you begin using technology to produce your work?
Payton: At age 10 is when I got more serious about creating artwork on the computer. From there, it became something I constantly did, transitioning to using tablets, and then upgrading the tablets as I went and learning new ways to create using the different new tools available. When I was 13, I produced my first commissioned piece, and that has been a source of income since then—this has certainly fueled my drive to keep drawing.
Creating visual art has always seemed like such a natural thing for me. It is my passion, and I’m glad I grew up in a setting where there is always a lot of sketching and doodling going on. Right now, I have more free time than my mom, so for me it’s a constant thing to be working on new pieces or just playing with different media.
F&C: Suzy, why is Echo committed to supporting our local arts community, and what drew you to Donna and Payton’s work?
Suzy: Art in all its forms nurtures us. To surround oneself with beauty can be quite calming in an often-hectic world. So whether it’s locally crafted jewelry, two-dimensional visual art, or beautiful garments, we are dedicated to making it accessible and affordable. Supporting local artists and artisans is an integral aspect of giving our customers the best visual experience when they visit Echo.
With Mother's Day last month, it was a natural fit to feature art from Donna and Payton, a unique mother and daughter we are lucky to have in Spokane. Their art has been very well received, so continuing to display it this month was an easy choice. Aside from the joy of having their visual art surround me, I’ve enjoyed learning a bit about them. Payton will continue to study art next fall as a college student, after winning a number of student competitions at the local and state level during high school. Donna, who works as an interior designer, finds painting to be meditative and relaxing.