Celebrating The Center

Logo of the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center

(click image to visit The Center’s website)

Last Thursday the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center had an open house to celebrate its 35th year in operation, and this article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette gives you a sense of why The Center is so popular in the community.

I’m in the fourth photo at the top of that article, doing a watercolor demonstration. Contrary to what the caption says, my current series of workshops at The Center is not every Monday, but twice a month (January 11 and 25, February 8 and 22, March 7 and 21, and April 11 and 25). There are still some openings if you’d care to join us!

Posted in Uncategorized

January 2016 Newsletter

Click the link below to view or download:
Watercolor portrait by Jo Myers-Walker from Santa Fe workshop taught by Charles Reid

(click image to download PDF newsletter)

In this edition:
  • Looking forward, looking back
    (the Life Stories Project)
  • Charles Reid and me
  • At the workshop
  • Around Santa Fe
  • Painting from life
  • Rummage ReDux
Posted in Newsletters

A Christmas walk

Instead of a regular Christmas tree, this is my slumped-acrylic nativity scene with St. Francis on the left. I’ve been using the walker while I wait for a bit of surgery, and was trying to get in the Christmas spirit by decorating it and walking with Francis. I think Christmas could be every day as the Light comes into the world.

Walker decorated for Christmas, with painted acrylic nativity scene made by Jo Myers-Walker

Taking baby Jesus out for a walk with the Holy Family and St. Francis

Posted in Uncategorized

Registration open for new workshop series

Scene on Linn St. in Iowa City, Iowa, watercolor painting by Jo Myers-Walker

   

(Update: this course has started, but registrations are still being accepted.)

Registration is now open for the new Monday Watercolor Workshop series at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center (Iowa City, IA). We will meet from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the following Mondays:
    January 11 and 25,
    February 8 and 22,
    March 7 and 21, and
    April 11 and 25, 2016.

If you enjoy watercolor painting, come enjoy four and a half hours of bliss in the Monday Watercolor Workshop! I think this format works well because the longer duration of each workshop gives me more time to teach and see what everyone is doing, and the longer space between workshops gives students more time to work on what they’ve learned.

Registration is for the series of eight workshops. You can sign up at The Center’s Online Registration site, or see the Spring Program Guide for more information. Registration is required, but membership in the Senior Center is not required for this class. “The program is designed for people near or beyond 50 years of age.”

Posted in Uncategorized

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

Reappearance

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