This week

  • This Saturday, November 1, is the 33rd annual Santa’s North Pole Village arts and crafts sale (Ankeny, IA), benefitting the Ankeny Art Center. More than 200 exhibitors will be at three different locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a shuttle service available. Pam McKenna and I have been assigned booth 79 at Ankeny’s Northview Middle School — stop by and see us! Links to maps, a coupon for discounted admission, and more information are on the sale’s website.
  • 33rd annual Santa's North Pole Village, Nov. 1, 2014, benefits the Ankeny Art Center

    Santa’s North Pole Village promo
    (click image to visit event website)

Posted in Upcoming Events

A brief glimpse

Palace of Versailles:

Portrait of Queen Marie Antoinette and her children, on display at Palace of Versailles

“Marie Antoinette and her Children at Versailles” by Vigée Le Brun (1788)

Chandeliers and painted ceiling in the Hall of Mirrors

Hall of Mirrors
at the Palace of Versailles

Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris:

Stained-glass rose window viewed from inside Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris

The cathedral’s rose windows
date from the 13th century

Exterior view of Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris

View from the Seine

Musée d’Orsay, Paris:

Sculpture of elephant outside Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Life-size elephant sculpture
by Emmanuel Frémiet (1878)

Viewing Paris through glass clock face at Musée d'Orsay

Looking out of the Musée d’Orsay clock tower
with a view of the Louvre

Posted in Travelogue

Rouen shops

Dame Cakes in Rouen housed in former ironworks artist’s workshop

Outside Dame Cakes building
on rue St. Romain

We enjoyed lunch at Dame Cakes tea shop, housed in the former workshop of Ferdinand Marrou (link to machine-translated page), an artist in ironworks who created the tower on the Cathedral.

Shopkeepers in Rouen are proud of their products, truly individual like a signature of who they are. We say Bonjour and so do they when we come into their shop. They are very respectful and do not hard-sell but let you absorb the amazing displays. When we leave they say Au revoir, or good-bye and have a nice journey. Much grace and you always speak quietly, especially in a cafe — no hurrying about, but enjoying the down time.

I had my first hat fitting with a delightful milliner on rue St. Nicolas, and had a wool hat made to cover my ears for winter. She even gave me a beret in trade for a painting!

Milliner fitting a hat on rue St. Nicolas in Rouen

The hat designer at work
   

Hats at lovely Rouen shop

An inviting selection
at the milliner’s shop

Posted in Travelogue

Runestone and a watchful eye

Replica of the Jelling runestone marks Rouen's Viking history

Replica of a Viking runestone
next to St. Ouen’s Church, Rouen

Near the Church of St. Ouen, a replica of a runestone commemorates Rouen’s Viking history. Vikings (some of my ancestors maybe?) took over the city of Rouen many times and went home in the winter. Then they got smart and appreciated the soil and easier climate, and settled here.

The Church of St. Ouen, a Gothic building started in the 14th century, is well-supplied with gargoyles to watch over things. Gargoyles seem to be everywhere around Rouen — on St. Ouen’s, Rouen Cathedral, the hall of justice — pretty scary at night!

View of the medieval Gothic Church of St. Ouen in Rouen

View of St. Ouen’s with flying buttress outlined against the sky

Row of gargoyles on St. Ouen's Church, Rouen

Those projections along the walkway are a row of gargoyles, keeping an eye on passers-by

Posted in Travelogue

Travels in watercolor

Pages in Jo Myers-Walker's Rouen sketchbook

My sketchbook helps me get started
designing the next painting

Watercolor painting using a photo of Rouen rooftops for reference

Painting at night from a photo
taken during the day

Watercolor painting of Rouen rooftops by Jo Myers-Walker

Rooftops of Rouen —
fascinated with the shapes here

Watercolor paintings taking over artists' Rouen apartment

Our apartment “gallery”
is closing in on the kitchen!

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Travelogue

Around town

Vegetables and flowers for sale at Rouen market

Our market in Rouen where we can get everything —
food, clothes, antiques, used clothing, even toilet paper —
five days a week

Finds from the Rouen market modeled by Jeanette and Bonnie

Shopping not just for vegetables
(Jeanette and Bonnie
show off some finds)

Carving stone to repair Rouen cathedral

A morning TV show reports as a large piece of stone is carved to repair the cathedral, using a chisel and grinder to cut the ornamentation

Pastry shop in Rouen

Every day a new dessert,
have to try them all!

Jardin des Plantes, Rouen

Sunday afternoon in the botanical garden
(link is to a machine-translated page)

Posted in Travelogue

Painting on a rainy day

Artists working at La Page Blanche studio in Rouen

Marie, Agnès, and Adeline work in their studio on a rainy Monday.
They use the wind, a flute, other music and poems (to name a few)
to paint by, to keep the line moving.

Sketch of artists working at La Page Blanche

While the artists were
painting, I was drawing them
to put in future work.

Rue des Chanoines, Rouen

The studio is off of this narrow walkway that the tour guides say is the oldest passageway in Rouen.

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Travelogue

Monet’s gardens

Lily ponds, a famous subject of Monet's paintings

Water lily pond
at Giverny
   

Worker maintaining beautiful gardens at Giverny

Gardener cleaning out dead leaves. Monet kept the garden very pristine for his painting.

These photos are from Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny, where he lived and painted for many years, and his and wife Alice’s children played. He would paint in his boat en plein air and trees were planted for different kinds of light settings. When we visited the fragrance was wonderful, and the bees and spiders were free. It was like everything was caressing the atmosphere, genial and at peace.

I enjoyed the bright-colored rooms of Monet’s house, with numerous Japanese prints whose influence you can see in his work. His home was filled with the works of Cézanne, Pissarro, and many others in the Impressionist movement. I wonder if he traded like me with other artists.

House formerly owned by Claude Monet in Giverny

Monet’s house

Chickens at Claude Monet's former residence at Giverny

Giverny has chickens!

Posted in Travelogue

Rouen sketchbook

Sketch of table at Rouen market

Buying scarves at the market where you can buy vegetables, meat, recycled clothing, antiques, etc. — my kinda place!

Sketch of Palais de Justice, Rouen

Palais de justice, with gargoyle noted (link is to a machine-translated page)

Value study drawing of Rue Martainville, Rouen

Value study, Rue Martainville
   

Sketchbook used to help compose a painting

Using a “paper doll”
to help with figure placement
   

Painting of Rue Martainville, Rouen

The result: Jeanette looking up Rue Martainville to a favorite cafe,
La Walsheim

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Travelogue

Revisiting the studio

Side street in Rouen painted by Jo Myers-Walker

I painted this side street
during our return visit

Painting critique at La Page Blanche

Critiquing my use of values (Jo, Adeline, Marie, Agnès; photo courtesy of Bonnie Dix)

During our studio visit on the weekend, we were invited back to La Page Blanche to paint. New friends Agnès Dévé, Marie-Antoinette Girard, and Adeline Gouarné all studied in Paris. It was a good opportunity for me to receive their critique!

Movie theater in Rouen

After painting, we went to see Shirley: Visions of Reality, a movie inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper

View of rooftops and cathedral spires in Rouen

View from a top-floor apartment above the studio, with cathedral view — amazing shapes and unique perspective

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Travelogue