Peace Pole

Peace Pole decorated by Linda White and Jo Myers-Walker

Linda White and me with Peace Pole

Linda White and I painted Peace Poles Saturday afternoon before Easter Vigil at St. Thomas Aquinas Church. It was a lovely peaceful experience, except when we caught the Peace Pole in the tree. We used PVC pipe, spray paint, acrylics, stencils and Linda’s beautiful lettering.

(Now what to have coming from the top?)

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Painting the neighborhood

These paintings are from last week’s Watercolor and Drawing class at the Senior Center. This was the sixth day for the Thursday morning class, and the class felt confident that they were on their way to a pretty good painting. Their work shows strong values and composition.

Watercolor painting of trees by Jo Myers-Walker

My painting of trees at the Senior Center to demonstrate layering and value

Paintings by watercolor class at The Center

Our work “in progress” with underpainting a neighborhood scene, echoing colors, dark against light, and variety of values and greens

Posted in Studio Snapshots

E.T. Art Club

Ecumenical Towers Art Club

Fabric painting at Ecumenical Towers

Here’s the Ecumenical Towers Art Club painting on fabric to make pillows or wall hangings. Some members didn’t own a sewing machine to finish their pillows, so the others offered to sew for them.

We’ve been building community through art including painting, jewelry making, mixed media, journals, poems and music.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Making floorcloths at Hen & Chicks

Making floorcloths at Hen & Chicks studio

Making a floorcloth with a roller, stamp, printing, etc.

These photos are from the floorcloth workshop at Hen & Chicks Studio this past Saturday. The painted canvas can not only make a floorcloth but also pillows, placemats, chair covers, table runners, journal covers, etc. We apply a base coat, mark the hem and sew, begin second background or layering (by masking out, stencils, stamps, sponges, direct brush work, wet-in-wet techniques to name a few), and have fun experimenting. Finally a protective coating is applied and a rubber backing is sewn on the back to prevent slipping.

The workshop has inspired me to add a splash of color in my home! My next project is to make canvas slip covers for my small sofa and chair using this process. You can find more pictures from the workshop on Heidi’s blog:

It is always a pleasure to stop by Hen & Chicks, check on the door room dividers I painted and see what creative projects are going on, maybe even spend the night.

Dorothy's floorcloth at the Hen & Chicks workshop

Dorothy showing off her floorcloth, using stamps and sealed with Polycrylic®, a clear protective water-based finish

Heidi's floorcloth at Hen & Chicks workshop

Hen & Chicks owner Heidi showing off her floorcloth, using sketches from her Art Journal

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Painting at The Center

Watercolor and Drawing class at The Center, Iowa City, Iowa

Class members at The Center and their artwork

Here’s my winter Watercolor and Drawing class at The Center in Iowa City, admiring their work on the 8th week. Several of them were taking a painting class for the first time, and they were amazed looking at the progress in each other’s work.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

IWS newsletter; France in the future

Cover of Iowa Watercolor Society newsletter with artwork by Ken Harskamp

Iowa Watercolor Society
Winter 2013–2014 newsletter
(cover art by Ken Harskamp;
click image to visit IWS website)

The Iowa Watercolor Society’s Winter 2013–2014 newsletter includes an item about my Assisi pilgrimage and paintings, along with other watercolorists’ artwork, ideas, and articles on technique, and news about IWS events. You can download a copy from the Newsletters page of the IWS website.

As the newsletter mentions, I’m planning a trip to Rouen, France later this year, to immerse myself in the culture and to paint. I’d like to have a few people join me for about 10 days during that time, to paint en plein air at nearby sites, including the Rouen Cathedral. Send me an email ( if you’re interested!

Posted in Upcoming Events

3D journal making

Journal makers working at table filled with art supplies

Six journal makers joined in

These photos are from a recent journal-making workshop in a private home, where we used an artful meditation process to create 8-page pop-up journals on “Painting the Inward Journey.” We focused on our Treasure, Daring the dark (Sister Moon), Creativity meditation (with Brother Sun), and our Transformation into the light.

Even though I was leading the journal making, what a gift they all were to me as I learned how to celebrate our oneness. I could feel the Spirit move through these delightful people.

3D page from a journal

A page out of a meditation journal

Journal makers working with 3D elements

Getting into the 3D!

Posted in Studio Snapshots

San Rufino

Cathedral of San Rufino, watercolor painting by Jo Myers-Walker

Cathedral of San Rufino in Assisi

Another scene from the trip to Assisi — this painting shows us outside the Cathedral of San Rufino, where Francis and Clare and several other Brothers were baptized. This was the only baptismal font in Assisi until 1924. I was baptized while we were there, as were all the Pilgrims in our group; it was very meaningful for me as sort of a new beginning in my spiritual life.

Clare’s family may have lived next door to the cathedral, on the left. She worshiped there and heard Francis preach, and on Palm Sunday of 1212 she was inspired to leave home and journey to Porziuncola where she dedicated herself to a religious life.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Packing up the Christmas tree

My Christmas tree this year was made from painted slumped acrylic, shown below left with some of the crèche figures. St. Francis is credited with starting the tradition of the Nativity scene in Europe, portraying the birth of Jesus Christ using living people and animals for the first time in western Christianity. In 1223 he had the people of Greccio, Italy come up the mountain to a cave, carrying torches to light the way, to see the manger scene illustrating Jesus’s birth while Francis preached.

Below right, the evergreen tree is going back into the Christmas bag to come out next time with more animals I hope.

Slumped-acrylic Christmas tree and Nativity scene

Christmas tree and crèche before Jesus arrived (I gave some of the animals to my grandchildren)

Acrylic figures loading tree into bag for storage

The crèche figures lend a hand in packing up the Christmas tree into the bag

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Opening in Maquoketa

Jo Myers-Walker and Louise O'Donnell

With Louise O’Donnell
at the Maquoketa Art Experience

It was a cold wintry night on December 13th for the Artist Opening of my show with Louise O’Donnell at the Maquoketa Art Experience. Thanks to David Voy for this photo — you can visit David’s blog for more photos and a video walk-through of the exhibit (update: January 11 was the last day of the exhibit).

Artist Rose Frantzen, a cousin of Louise, came to the opening and afterward we visited her studio in a high-ceilinged old building with artwork all around. She was working on a beautiful large canvas, and I was so inspired to go home and start work on a full sheet!

Posted in Studio Snapshots