This week

Postcard with artwork of cardinal in tree advertising Eastside Artists show, December 2015

Postcard advertising Eastside Artists Annual Show and Sale 2015 (click image for more information)

December 4, 5, and 6, 2015:  I’m one of the Guest Artists at this year’s Eastside Artists Annual Show and Sale held at the Masonic Building (312 College Street, Iowa City, IA).

  • Friday, December 4:
    10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 5:
    10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 6:
    10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

In addition to my watercolors, a variety of other local artists will bring their paintings, photography, fiber arts, jewelry, woodworking, and more. “Local art from hand and heart”!

Posted in Upcoming Events

Fundraiser at the Figge

Watercolor painting of scene at artsBASICS fundraiser by Jo Myers-Walker

The paintings were auctioned off
at the end of the evening

These photos are from October’s “An Evening with Area Artists” held at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa. The event was a fundraiser to benefit artsBASICS, an arts education advocacy organization whose mission is to “[i]ncrease access to arts education for all students in all the arts in Davenport Community District artsBASICS Schools.”

I was one of several artists demonstrating our techniques as we painted from live models and objects arranged on the stage. At the end of the evening attendees could bid on the artwork that they’d watched us create.

Views of artists painting during a fundraiser for artsBASICS at Figge Art Museum

Two views during painting at the fundraiser

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Prairie Wolf Press Review

Photo of two wolves, website header of Prairie Wolf Press Review

(click image to visit website of
Prairie Wolf Press Review)

I’m pleased to have my paintings accompany poetry and prose from a variety of writers in the Fall 2015 issue of Prairie Wolf Press Review, an online anthology.

“Prairie Wolf Press Review values the density of language, the impact of the wisely considered word.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Las Golondrinas

El Rancho de las Golondrinas living history museum near Santa Fe, NM

Buildings at El Rancho de las Golondrinas
where we painted en plein air

Jo Myers-Walker's sketchbook page from El Rancho de las Golondrinas

A value study with color, painted on site
(moving the church around like Charles was doing)

During my stay in Santa Fe for Charles Reid’s workshop we visited and painted at El Rancho de las Golondrinas (“The Ranch of the Swallows”), a historic ranch dating from the early 1700s. It’s now a living history museum “dedicated to the history, heritage and culture of 18th and 19th century New Mexico.”

Watercolor painting of El Rancho de las Golondrinas with a section washed out to re-do

First attempt, after washing out the left side.
I saw many colors in the adobe.

Completed watercolor painting of El Rancho de las Golondrinas by Jo Myers-Walker

Completed first painting,
better after the bath!

Above:  During my first attempt at painting the scene I decided the left side was way too busy, so I took a sponge and washed out that section and then painted over it. Because of the strength of the 140 lb. watercolor paper, we can remove insufficient areas.

Below:  A new value study prepares for a second painting, adding the figure of a museum guide to feed the chickens.

Value study by Jo Myers-Walker for a second painting of El Rancho de las Golondrinas

A new value study adds the figure of the guide

Second watercolor painting of El Rancho de las Golondrinas by Jo Myers-Walker

I imagined the chickens into the scene but was told they were there last year

Posted in Art Tips, Studio Snapshots, Travelogue

Studying in Santa Fe

Watercolor of seated man painted by Jo Myers-Walker during Charles Reid workshop, Santa Fe, NM

Painting from life at the Charles Reid workshop.
(Left side is my work; Charles painted the little figure on the right showing local color.)

Earlier this month I had the opportunity to study with an artist whose work I admire, Charles Reid, during a five-day workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I had studied with Charles five years ago and tried to grasp his techniques and kept painting regularly to learn and own what he was demonstrating. This time I was ready to go beyond and seemed to catch on quicker. It really is just practice, practice…

(I’ll show more of the workshop, and Santa Fe locations I visited and painted, in upcoming posts.)

Posted in Studio Snapshots


Jo Myers-Walker and Jan Vander Linden at exhibit opening, October 2, 2015

Jan Vander Linden (on the right) and me, with our respective artwork at the Iowa Artisans Gallery opening
(photo courtesy of Lois Albrecht)

The folks in my paintings travel a lot! Below:  Here the characters inspired by our life drawing models begin their adventure on Dubuque Street, like they stepped out of a story from Prairie Lights bookstore.

The painting “And the Story Begins” is part of my exhibit with friend Jan Vander Linden, going on now through November 8 during gallery hours at Iowa Artisans Gallery (207 E. Washington St., Iowa City, IA).  (Update:  this exhibit has now ended — “thank you” to everyone who stopped by!)

Watercolor painting of Iowa City street scene near Prairie Lights by Jo Myers-Walker

“And the Story Begins,” in progress and completed

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Sketching the city

Shoes on sidewalk, ready to explore

Setting out into the city

I’ve been walking around the city three miles a day and sometimes more. I’ll stop and sketch a little or take pictures for painting, still doing my research on foot.

In Monday’s workshop we were sketching on Linn Street working on one-point perspective. It is lovely outside the Senior Center to draw, lots of students, teachers, folks going to class and shopping, big energy here.

Sketch and beginning of Iowa City street scene watercolor by Jo Myers-Walker

This is how I started the Linn Street painting

Completed Iowa City street scene watercolor by Jo Myers-Walker

Completed Linn Street painting,
looking south toward the library

Posted in Studio Snapshots


Models posing for artists at a life drawing workshop at Summerset Winery, Indianola, Iowa

Models lighted to emphasize the pattern of shadows

Here are two more of our models posing for the figure drawing workshop at Summerset Winery.

Below:  I had fun taking them from the model stage in Indianola, to Linn Street in Iowa City where I pictured them having a glass of wine at a sidewalk cafe. We will have to see where else they show up later! It’s fun to have my models visit my paintings.

Watercolor sketch/value study of models at a life drawing workshop

This sketch/value study shows artist Diana painting from the models

Watercolor painting of life drawing models imagined at a sidewalk cafe, by Jo Myers-Walker

Diana is still in the foreground painting the scene, now transported to Linn Street

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Popping up all over

Pop-up brochure about AMP

Christopher’s drawing enlivens the brochure for Achieving Maximum Potential (AMP)

Pop-ups are popping up all over! For the brochure at right, AMP participant Christopher drew the young person who pops out to give a thumbs-up to the program, “a youth-driven, statewide group that seeks to unleash the full potential for personal growth among foster and adoptive children in Iowa.” The pop-up brochure has the same information that you can find in a regular brochure (like how you can help AMP), adapted to be interactive and encourage people to pick it up.

Below left, my Franciscan Way of Life class met at Mount St. Francis to learn its history and meet the Sisters. For an art project we made pop-up cards with windows, exploring the idea of transformation.

Below right, I’ve had a long-term interest in paper in three dimensions. This sculpture is one of the 3-D “towns” I used to make, in cotton handmade paper, watercolored and dyed, with a bubble cover.

(See previously:  The July 2015 Newsletter features pop-up artwork from June’s Art Iowa Workshop)

Class grouped around table at Mount Saint Francis in Dubuque, Iowa

Making pop-up cards with the
Franciscan Way of Life class

Colorful town depicted in varying levels of paper

This 3-D town is in the Dermatology Department of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Vocation with a view

My apartment building is getting new windows. All one week workers put up scaffolding, then one morning these guys were working outside my living room window. Yeah, more models! They could see as I began to draw them so I showed them what I was doing, and later taped the sketch inside the window for them to see. For the painting I added my view of the city in the background.

Sketch and watercolor painting of high-rise window installers over downtown Iowa City, by Jo Myers-Walker

These high-rise window installers are artists of their trade.
The worker shown on the left also creates custom jewelry —
I asked for his card, and he is on Facebook at 1OAK by AztkWarrior.

Posted in Studio Snapshots