Family portrait with Herky
The Herky on Parade 2 statues will be on the streets for just a few more days. After spending their summer as a public art project, the Herkys will be removed on Tuesday, August 26. They will be displayed together and some sold at silent auction at the Fry Fest on August 29. Some more will be sold at live auction after a special presentation at the Englert Theater on September 12. You can find details on the Auction page of the Herky on Parade 2 website.
According to that website, the Herky that I painted (Herky’s Community) has been pre-sold — I’ll let you know if I find out more!
Our booth at the Fair
(photo courtesy of Pam McKenna)
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, proud of her chicken
(photo courtesy of Liz)
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!
Marg, Joan, and Bonnie painting next to the booth
Talented feet, folding an airplane
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!
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.
My booth under the shade trees
(on the grounds of the Fisher Community Center)
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.
Herky sees us off on our journey
(Leslie, Jo, and Jan)
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.
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.
Our first garden spot
A blue plastic chicken guards the happy patio garden
Linn Street painting in progress
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.
Looking down Linn St. —
you can see the steeple of St. Mary’s
“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.
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. 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 in progress –
his shoes are buses
Daughter Shelby and me,
Iowa River – first wash over masking tape resist, cool dominance, salt resist in distance (new buds).
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!)
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.
My finished street scene from watercolor class.
I added children’s figures for composition and neighborhood feel.