A colorful preview from new building owner Tina Rice
The “bank” building has changed hands, and I’m thrilled to be passing on the baton (or the paintbrush) to its new owner, artist Tina Rice. You may have met Tina at the Transformation Sale. She writes about her plans for the building:
“Jo Myers-Walker has started something wonderful by bringing art to this little bank. I am honored to continue her tradition!
The Bank will be in transition until Thursday, June 13th when we will open the doors again. At that time, come see our new shop! We will feature fine art from several artists, as well as a huge selection of Happytape (washi paper tape), handmade jewelry, greeting cards, soaps, baskets, scarves, and other colorful life accompaniments! Order delicious cookies, cakes, coffee, and cokes from our kitchen. Beginning this fall we will offer art classes, retreats, and parties for children and adults. We can’t wait!”
You can see some of Tina’s jewelry, and watch for news of her new shop, at clarkavenue.blogspot.com.
Exuberant faces: Larry and Bonnie Dix discover some finds while Jo Myers-Walker and Tina Rice celebrate the new “Sold” sticker
Steve and Randi Peters stopped by to get a trunkload of artwork
Thank you to everyone who stopped by for the Transformation Sale! You can see exuberant faces in the photos, including new building owner Tina Rice. Tina has some exciting plans for the little Bank building, which I’ll tell you about in an upcoming post.
Update: The Left Bank Studio is now closed (Tina’s new business will open in June). I’m excited at the prospect of more freedom to travel and paint with others, do workshops, and be with family. Stay tuned!
Molly buckles up for safety before she goes on tour (she found a good home with Lisa Cooper)
Lisa with frog chair and other treasures, including the Provence lady “coming and going” door
The girls are out! (Chickens in the foreground, cool against warm)
At my recent watercolor workshop in Maquoketa, we practiced color mixing using chickens! Each practice chicken is a small experiment in how different combinations of colors mingle with each other on the paper. Selecting three colors to use in a painting (two cools and a warm, or two warms and a cool) establishes color dominance, and helps the composition hold together and not be so “busy.” The workshop was on “the figure in the landscape,” so then the students took their chickens and put them into a scene.
The Maquoketa Art Experience is a wonderful space to teach in, and the whole place is something of a mecca. There are many talented artists in that area, and it’s truly inspiring for me to be in their midst. Rose Frantzen, a native of Maquoketa, has a gallery in town with her husband, artist Charles Morris (Rose’s “Portrait of Maquoketa” oil paintings were exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution).
Maquoketa is an old town full of historic buildings — they value it, and have preserved what they have. Some buildings have architecture similar to the “bank” in Gilbert (if not earlier), which made me feel at home! I stayed in the lovely Squiers Manor Bed and Breakfast, a restored 1882 brick house furnished with antiques. I was in the Harriet W. Squiers room, which has a pineapple motif symbolizing hospitality. The Squiers Manor was very hospitable and welcoming — they just pamper you, with dessert at night in addition to an excellent breakfast. I hope to return!
Some of the 10 workshop participants at the Maquoketa Art Experience
Squiers Manor Bed and Breakfast in Maquoketa
(I stayed upstairs)
Update: The Transformation Sale is now past, and The Left Bank Studio will be closed after May 4, 2013 — but I plan to keep painting, exhibiting my artwork, teaching classes, and leading retreats after my move. You’ll still be able to keep track of me here on my website!
Working with painting water, at the fountain area in the Reiman conservatory
Painting by the fountain in the conservatory was a great prelude to Easter, enjoying the warmth and sunlight! We worked with the mirror effect and capturing water’s movement. Underpainting first, we then went back in and painted between the leaves (the negative space) in the mysterious background, and practiced techniques like using plastic wrap on wet paint for the rocks.
(The Prairie Watercolors course has ended, but the conservatory is open year-round with admission to Reiman Gardens.)
Conservatory at Reiman Gardens
(composition sketch, and 10-minute wet sketch)
Look what we’ve been doing at Reiman in the conservatory — smelling the flowers, and painting! Starting with a composition sketch on cardstock, and painting a 10-minute wet sketch before we paint “the big one.”
March, viewed through Reiman Gardens windows (work in progress)
Here’s a work in progress from last week’s watercolor class. We were painting on location inside Reiman Gardens, with smells of spring and flowers blooming around us. Outside, there was melting snow and cardinals at the bird feeder. We worked with basic drawing techniques and overlapping shapes. Looking through these windows gives the scene a vertical dominance and a very stately quality, and some wonderful reflections for the observers to work with.
Watercolor workshop at the Hearst Center, Cedar Falls
Last week I was in Cedar Falls for a watercolor workshop at the Hearst Center for the Arts. I arrived the night before to attend a get-together held by local watercolorists (many of whom also attended the workshop). It was a treat to visit with other artists and see what they’re up to! I’ve known some of them for quite a few years. They’d heard about my plans to move, and were interested in where I’m going and how I’m going to continue my art.
As I told them, when you move or do something new, the first thing to do is find a community. You can get so much more done when you can network with people. I’ve already found a sketchers’ group in the Iowa City area; they wander around, meeting in coffee shops and people’s homes. It’s not about being in charge, or teaching, just having a good time drawing with others.
The watercolor workshop was about finding the story in your paintings — not doing the same thing over and over, but stretching into being more authentic. Paint your authentic self, your authentic moment in time; nobody else has done that, and your work will be truly original! I’ve seen how judges are drawn to original material, which has essence or depth. When you’re painting “in the moment” — allowing it to develop on its own, not prescribed — the painting has its own life.
Family members, neatly arranged
Things are moving along in my plans to move — here my lovely family members are lined up, waiting for me to come to Iowa City. They’ve posted on Facebook that their mother/grandmother is looking for a housesitting position, and that “she walks dogs, waters gardens, and will probably paint you a watercolor!” (I’m grateful that they want me there!)
With my current gig nearing an end, I’d like to thank my current housesitting hosts for the wonderful opportunity to eat good food, meditate among the plants, and enjoy their beautiful home and its surroundings.
Painted chair for a child, with mirror
I’ve been busy painting furniture. I’m finding old furniture (and furniture parts!) in my pink building and repurposing them. Stop by The Left Bank Studio and see!
(Everything is getting painted in preparation for my Transformation Sale in April – check back here for updates!)