Farewell to Herky

Daughters and granddaughters posing with Herky's Community statue

Family portrait with Herky

After spending their summer as a public art project, the Herky statues have been removed from the streets. They were displayed together and some sold at silent auction at the Fry Fest on August 29. Some more will be sold at live auction at the Englert Theater on September 12, after a special presentation of a documentary about the Herky on Parade 2 project. You can find details on the Auction page of the Herky on Parade 2 website.

The Herky that I painted (Herky’s Community) won’t be up for auction — it was purchased by its sponsor, the Iowa City Downtown District! I’ll let you know if I find out more about Herky’s future travels.

Posted in Upcoming Events

State Fair 2014 scenes

Booth in the Cultural Center at the 2014 Iowa State Fair

Our booth at the Fair
(photo courtesy of Pam McKenna)

Watercolor painting demonstration at the 2014 Iowa State Fair

Demonstrating and painting
with others at the Fair

At this year’s Iowa State Fair I shared a booth in the Cultural Center with artist friends Pam McKenna, Tina Rice, and Amber Russell-Zepeda. In the evening when the bands began to play across the street at the Anderson Erickson stage, things quieted down in our building. The Fair folks let me set up a painting table next to our booth to demonstrate on during my shift, mostly in the evenings about 7 to 9.

Liz with painting done at Iowa State Fair demonstration

Liz, proud of her chicken
(photo courtesy of Liz)

Jo with painting done at Iowa State Fair demonstration

Me with chicken painted during demonstration
(photo courtesy of Liz)

During the slow times I met a man who could make a paper airplane out of one of my not-so-good watercolors, using just his feet and toes. Then we flew the airplane around the booth. Only at the Fair!

Painting table at the 2014 Iowa State Fair booth

Marg, Joan, and Bonnie painting next to the booth

Paper airplane being folded using only feet and toes

Talented feet, folding an airplane

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Friends at the Fair

Painting on fabric by Jo Myers-Walker at Taag Studios in Iowa City

My new painting space
(note the Delaware Blue rooster on the wall has a Delaware Blue hen in his sights)

I’m getting ready for the Iowa State Fair, painting my State Fair friends the sheep, cows and pigs, in my new painting space at Taag Studios in Iowa City. This photo shows painting on some cotton fabric from my studio storage (one more item to repurpose).

Update: the 2014 Fair has ended, and I’ll post some photos soon. Mark your calendar for next year’s Fair!

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Arts in Marshalltown

Jo Myers-Walker at the 2014 Linn Creek Arts Festival

I won 2nd best of show!

We had beautiful weather to go with good food and bands at the Linn Creek Arts Festival in Marshalltown on July 19. I hadn’t done an away-from-home outdoor show since I had to give up my big red van that would fit anything into it. Now I’m back on the road again in my red Honda. I had a much simpler white door display that fit into the car, all from recycled parts from my storage unit. I guess it is really all about the artwork and not so much the display.

From my booth you could see the beautiful Christian Petersen sculpture that is part of the Central Iowa Art Association’s collections at the Fisher Community Center. Their amazing Impressionist Collection in the Fisher Art Gallery really got me excited about painting in France.

Jo Myers-Walker's booth at the 2014 Linn Creek Arts Festival

My booth under the shade trees
(on the grounds of the Fisher Community Center)

Sculptures at the Fisher Community Center in Marshalltown

Christian Petersen’s final sculpture, “A Dedication to the Future,” is showcased in a pond on the grounds

Posted in Uncategorized

Road trip

Leslie, Jan and I went road tripping to Maquoketa and Stone City, in search of the perfect hillside, taking lots of photos of the landscape to paint from. We were on the Grant Wood Scenic Byway and a few dirt roads dodging tractors, cars and semis which gave an edge to our work.

Leslie, Jo and Jan pose with Herky

Herky sees us off on our journey
(Leslie, Jo, and Jan)

Rolling hills surround a road in Grand Wood Country (eastern Iowa)

Rolling hills in Grant Wood Country
   

We were kindred spirits on an Inward and Outward Journey, composing with the same eye. The patterns and interlocking shapes of the rolling hills excited us the most, with lush greens and lighting that changed as the clouds moved across the fields. We saw folks riding bikes and walking on the dirt roads, enjoying the day with us. We chatted about how fulfilling our lives have been painting and I sure was given some new insights. This type of journey is what I did in Assisi and would like to do with my trip to Rouen this fall.

Posted in Uncategorized

Traveling garden

Planting a food garden

Irin, Carl, Rick and Jo
excited about summer salads

This spring the Senior Center graciously gave us dirt and plants to create the “Write Garden.” Tomatoes, green peppers, red peppers, kale, brocoli, dill, mint and basil grew in a nearby park — until someone started using our peppers to play catch, when I wanted to make sauce!

The plants were growing in containers, so it was easy to move them on rollers to a more protected spot. We have master gardeners guiding us and will have a homemade pizza party with our vegetables. All this is building community as we are sharing food.

Container garden in its original park location

Our first garden spot

Container garden relocated to patio

A blue plastic chicken guards the happy patio garden

Posted in Uncategorized

Rainy day on Linn Street

Partially completed watercolor painting of Linn St. in the rain by Jo Myers-Walker

Linn Street painting in progress

Completed watercolor painting of Linn Street by Jo Myers-Walker

Completed watercolor of Linn Street in the rain

This is a watercolor of Linn Street with me walking home from Newman Center after church in the light rain. There are always folks on bikes and walkers, and cars. This is my “back yard”; I get my ideas from daily walks and observing Downtown Iowa City energy. Many of the figures in my watercolors are on Herky’s Community.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Preparing for the festival

Watercolor painting of Linn St. in Iowa City, by Jo Myers-Walker

Looking down Linn St. —
you can see the steeple of St. Mary’s

Watercolor painting of Iowa City alleyway by Jo Myers-Walker

“Our” alley, with us in it!
   

I’ve been busy painting more Iowa City scenes, getting ready for the Iowa Arts Festival.

Update: the 2014 Festival is now over — “thank you” to everyone who stopped by! The Iowa City Press-Citizen has some photos from the Carnaval parade.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Secrets unveiled

Herky on Parade 2 statue painted by Jo Myers-Walker, being unveiled

Unveiling “Herky’s Community” – someone took some of the plastic off the night before, probably looking for themselves in the paintings!

Monday was the great unveiling for “Herky on Parade 2,” a public art project that placed 84 uniquely-decorated statues of Herky the Hawk (University of Iowa mascot) around Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty. You can find the Herky that I painted, “Herky’s Community,” at Iowa Ave. and Clinton St. in downtown Iowa City, across from Old Capitol (update: the Herkys are being removed from the streets starting August 26, 2014). Many thanks to the sponsors of “Herky’s Community”: the Iowa City Downtown District, and the City of Iowa City!

Herky is more than six feet tall and could not fit in my apartment, so United Action for Youth allowed me to paint the statue in their Art Space. I drew landmark businesses in the Downtown District and a variety of Iowa City folk, showing the diversity of downtown. I’ve included working people, students, elderly, children playing, homeless, musicians, bicyclists and all the people that make up the Iowa City landscape. I wanted Herky to connect not only to the University, but also to the larger community of Iowa City. After all, they’re all intertwined.

I used acrylic and latex paint and paint markers to gain some of the vibrancy of watercolor technique, but focus more on the drawn images, detail in the faces, and the actions of the people. It was a delight to have people find themselves on Herky. One gentleman told me it may be the only time he would be commemorated in his life, which was very touching and just what I wanted — to honor all in Herky’s Community.

The statues are on public display through August 25, 2014. You can find maps and pictures of all of them on the Herky on Parade 2 website – there are 23 Herkies just downtown!

Herky on Parade 2 statue painted by Jo Myers-Walker, shown in progress

Herky in progress –
his shoes are buses

Herky on Parade 2 statue painted by Jo Myers-Walker, being hugged

Daughter Shelby and me,
hugging Herky

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Iowa City scenes

In-progress watercolor painting of the Iowa River at Iowa City by Jo Myers-Walker

Iowa River – first wash over masking tape resist, cool dominance, salt resist in distance (new buds).

Finished watercolor painting of Iowa River scene by Jo Myers-Walker

Finished Iowa River scene in Iowa City.
Spring has arrived!

These are some scenes around Iowa City. I’m painting what I see around me on a daily basis, and planning a workshop for July 17 to get together and paint “on location” around the Senior Center. (Update: the workshop is past. Keep an eye on the Classes and Events page for future happenings!)

Watercolor painting of Iowa City alleyway by Jo Myers-Walker

On my way to Orange Leaf, looking forward to coffee yogurt. I am fascinated with the alley shapes – the old with the new wiring, renovation addons.

Watercolor painting of neighborhood scene by Jo Myers-Walker

My finished street scene from watercolor class.
I added children’s figures for composition and neighborhood feel.

Posted in Studio Snapshots