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

Fall classes at The Center

Registration has begun for fall classes at the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. I’m offering a series of watercolor painting workshops — you can sign up at The Center’s Online Registration site, or see the fall Program Guide for more information. (Membership in the Senior Center is required to sign up for this class.)

Posted in Upcoming Events

Guantánamo clippers

Acrylic painting of clipper ships on Guantanamo Bay by Jo Myers-Walker

Clipper ships

This painting I did more than 40 years ago when my husband and I were stationed at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. This is where I started painting in acrylics and teaching at their small art center on the base. I was fascinated with the old sailing ships. The folklore told of many battles and pirates in the cove, and I went snorkeling with the Marines to see shipwreck sites for myself. I did more research with my neighbor who took photos under water and explained how they would sail before the battles.

I began to paint the wind in sails, often two at a time when my girls took naps. Just graduated from ISU, I was free to paint what I wanted without being graded (my teachers thought I was a bit too free with the brush strokes). It was then that I began to feel the freedom of being a painter.

Many thanks to Judy for sending me this photo, sharing memories and catching me up on her life and family. She and her husband commissioned the painting while they were also at the base. I learned that Judy has extensively studied the beautiful Japanese floral art of ikebana, has taught classes in it and now participates in her local chapter of Ikebana International.

(See previously: Ocean memories)

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Big tent

Photography by Rich Clewell displayed on mesh panels inside tent

Mesh panels provide a surface
for displaying artwork

My big tent has been good for a lot of festival displays, but not so good as a roommate — it takes up a lot of space!

In future I won’t do art fairs as much, especially ones that are far away, so I’m trading off with photographer friend Rich Clewell. He has custody of the tent and uses it at art fairs, and when I’m using it I can use his mesh display panels. He has both black and white mesh walls that provide a surface to hang artwork inside the tent. The tent gets a new life, and the mesh walls are lighter and easier to put up than my old door displays.

This photo shows the tent set up with Rich’s work on black mesh walls. You can get a better view of his nature photography at Rich Clewell’s website.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Thank you for your support

Jo's new stockings

My new tattoos socks

A friend introduced me to the Gold Violin catalog and I ordered these support stockings.

Whenever I wear the patterned pair, people are fascinated with my “tattoos”! I like this painless method of getting ink.

Posted in Uncategorized

Drawing from life

A life drawing model with paintings from workshop at Summerset Winery, July 2015

One of our models admiring our artwork

Artist at work during life drawing workshop at Summerset Winery, July 2015

Diana painting from a model

In July’s figure drawing workshop at Summerset Winery, our models posed for about 20 minutes at a time while we sketched and painted. It’s not easy being a model — you have to be in good shape to hold a pose that long! They were positioned to show the slight S-curve of the body, for the figures to seem animated in the artwork.

We began by finding the shadows to create form. The models were well lighted so we could follow the flow of shadow. I talked about proportion using a little paper “head” as a measuring tool to find the figure’s height and the length of the arms and legs. After students figured out the proportions it was much easier to draw how the body goes together.

Life drawing sketch used to show proportions of the body

Using a paper “head”
as a measuring tool

Life drawing sketch of a sleeping pose

Watercolor sketch of a “sleeping” pose.
Even foreshortening becomes easier
by knowing the proportions.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

July 2015 Newsletter

Jo’s pink bicycle

(click image to download PDF newsletter)

Click the link below to view or download:
In this edition:
  • Summer on two wheels
  • Revisiting old friends
  • Value studies
  • Journal making in Amana
Posted in Newsletters

Red, white and blue

Winter Walk, painting by Jo Myers-Walker

   

Moving from one studio space to another, I rediscovered this painting with colors befitting the holiday. “Winter Walk” is a big painting from when I had a big studio. Two small, faint figures walk by the evergreens, going over the hill; creation is immense and we are small, yet we are all a part of it.

For Independence Day I think of the red foreground as experiencing the freedom to walk in our forests and the opportunity to find peace. The dark trees tell us to not forget those who do not have the same freedom, but to walk toward the light of justice for all by sharing our wealth, time and talents.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Art in Amana

Brightly-colored spirals create a 3-D effect in a journal under construction

Spirals that have messages and open in the journal

Homes in lovely Amana, Iowa, across the street from Amana Arts Guild studio

Homes across the street from the studio in Amana

Last week I led an art journaling workshop in lovely Amana, Iowa, part of the Art Iowa Workshops offered every year by the Amana Arts Guild in cooperation with Grant Wood AEA. The class had 20 very busy students working toward teacher re-certification or on a master’s program. I blew up photos of the class members to use as puppets, which turn up in many of the photos. We used different media, styles and forms of expression in constructing journals and using them for exercises in art technique, free writing and perception. I’ll share more photos of their work in an upcoming newsletter.

Class members from Art Iowa Workshop, June 2015

Fun times with teachers at the Amana Arts Guild.
Having fun is part of being creative!

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Cool and warm

In-progress and completed watercolor paintings of a farmyard scene by Jo Myers-Walker, demonstrating cool dominance in colors

Demonstrating cool dominance (in progress and completed)

To hold a painting together visually, we choose 2 cool colors (blues, purples, greens) and 1 warm color (yellows, reds, oranges) for cool color dominance, or 2 warm and 1 cool for warm color dominance. Echoing the colors pulls the painting together.

Above, the cool dominance is the blues, blue purple, etc. Below, the same outbuilding and chickens using orange, yellow ochre, and a cool blue to demonstrate warm dominance. I mix my colors right on the paper.

In-progress and completed watercolor paintings of a farmyard scene by Jo Myers-Walker, demonstrating warm dominance in colors

Demonstrating warm dominance (in progress and completed)

Posted in Studio Snapshots