Shop for Lila Mae’s House (sticky post)

Now you can order Creating for a Cause products online at Shop to Shelter for Lila Mae’s House! (external website, shoptoshelter.com)

See my Creating for a Cause page for background on this special collection of notecards, scarves, and bags featuring images from my artwork, developed to promote awareness and to raise money for organizations working against human trafficking. The section Help us “Create for a Cause!” tells about workshops where we make the pouches to bundle the notecards.

(This post is “stickied” to remain at the top of the blog; newer blog posts may appear below.)

Posted in Uncategorized

Video interview

University of Iowa student Grace Wenstrom interviewed me for a project and created the professional-looking video embedded below. Grace is a Pre-Law student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She describes how the video came to be:

    • “I originally found Ms. Myers-Walker through the artist biography page of the Iowa Artisans Gallery site because I knew I wanted to do my project on a local artist. After reaching out to her over email, we did a small interview in her apartment so I could get some footage of her painting as she normally would, then I attended one of her classes to speak with a couple of her students.”

It was a pleasure to meet Grace and interesting to see the process.

Posted in Uncategorized

Getting ready for Eastside Artists 2019

Watercolor paintings, cloth figures, notecards, and other projects by artist Jo Myers-Walker displayed on a desk

Hanging out at my place before the show

Update:
This year’s Iowa City Eastside Artists Annual Show and Sale has ended. Thank you to everyone who stopped by!

Previously:
Getting ready for the Eastside Artists show, my apartment looks like this, with projects everywhere! I enjoyed pulling out former projects like the fabric figures — my mom sewed them up 15 years ago and I got to dress them as characters in a book.

The Iowa City Eastside Artists Annual Show and Sale is Friday through Sunday, December 6, 7, and 8, 2019 at the Iowa City Masonic Building. See my Classes and Events page or the Eastside Artists Facebook event page for details.

Remember to bring a new or gently-used bra of good quality and condition to donate to Free the Girls at my booth, and get a free bird ornament, while supplies last!

Posted in Upcoming Events

Bird bra bonus

Watercolor sketches of birds by Jo Myers-Walker including several ornaments made from the paintings

“Bring in bras for
free 1 chicken ornament”

Update:
This year’s Iowa City Eastside Artists Annual Show and Sale has ended. Thank you to everyone who stopped by!

Previously:
Birds — especially chickens — are a favorite subject of mine to liven up color mixing lessons. After our fundraiser for Free the Girls at Iowa Artisans Gallery, I turned some of my bird designs into little ornaments to help keep the donations going.

Bring a new or gently-used bra to donate at my booth at the Iowa City Eastside Artists Annual Show and Sale (December 6 – 8, 2019) and get a free bird ornament, while supplies last! The ornaments are paper, about 2″ tall.

Bras should be of good quality and condition, and will be sent to Free the Girls, an international non-profit, for survivors of sex trafficking in Mozambique, El Salvador and Costa Rica to sell as entrepreneurs in the second-hand marketplace.

I look forward to meeting friends old and new at the Show and Sale in December. Keep an eye on the Iowa City Eastside Artists Facebook page for previews!

Paper ornaments with designs of watercolor sketches of chickens by artist Jo Myers-Walker

Close-up on some of the little ornaments

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Upcoming Events

Let it Show

Jo Myers-Walker demonstrate watercolor painting at the opening of a show at Bereskin Gallery & Art Academy with help from friend Jeanette and a young art student

Demonstrating at the opening

Jeanette and I demonstrated watercolor techniques with the assistance of a young art student at the opening event for the “Let it Show” exhibit at Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy in Bettendorf.

The exhibit is open now through December during gallery hours, and includes several of my paintings along with a variety of works from different artists. From Beréskin’s website:  “This is the time of year to let it all show. Our artistry, beauty and creativity are meant to inspire your curiosity, passion, and generosity for the world of art and those you hold dear.” (See Beréskin’s Facebook page for updates.)

In addition to the gallery, Beréskin offers art classes for children and adults and STEAM classes from preschool through 8th grade (Wikipedia article about STEAM), encouraging people of all ages to let their creativity show!

Several watercolor paintings by artist Jo Myers-Walker are shown on exhibit at Beréskin Gallery & Art Academy in Bettendorf, Iowa

   
Several of my paintings join the work of other artists for “Let it Show”

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Painting and donating

Class members showing bras they are donating to Free the Girls

The class with bras we brought to donate

Three dimensional cards with watercolor images by Jo Myers-Walker

Adding another dimension to artwork

I’m pleased to be offering classes at Iowa Artisans Gallery, and my first class there was also a fundraiser! Part of the proceeds went to Free the Girls, an international non-profit that collects new and gently-used bras of good quality and condition for survivors of sex trafficking to sell as entrepreneurs in the second-hand marketplace. The organization currently operates in Mozambique, El Salvador and Costa Rica.

In class we painted chickens, other birds, and flowers and cut and folded them into pop-up cards. The gallery posted a short Facebook video of a painting demonstration from the event. Class members also brought bras to donate to the cause!

Iowa Artisans Gallery will be collecting bras until November 24, 2019, or see the Free the Girls website for more ways to help.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Tech for teaching

Jo Myers-Walker leading a watercolor workshop with video camera displaying what she paints

Painting on camera
(photo courtesy of Beth at the Octagon)

I’ve tried different setups over the years to give my students a better view during demonstrations, and I brought my favorite system yet to the Octagon watercolor workshop earlier this month.

Without some kind of apparatus for viewing, there may not be room for everyone to watch by gathering around the table, and it’s difficult for some people to stand for that length of time. Here the video camera on the tripod (at left in the photo) is focused on my work area and shows the progress on the Octagon’s display behind me while I paint.

The students can sit at their own work tables, look at the screen and follow along with me and ask questions. Then I pause and give them time to catch up. This way they can paint and watch the lesson too. I can also record my lessons if I’m unable to be present, and send to my students. I am learning new technology and it’s gratifying to see it benefit my classes.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Cards to help fight ALS

Michaela poses with watercolor card set arranged on piano table

Friend and poet Michaela
wrote the sayings for the cards
and helped me fold them

Jo Myers-Walker at table holding photo of friend who passed away from ALS

At Principal Park with a
photo of dear friend Judy
whose memory inspired me

When the weather forecast turned blustery, this year’s Walk to Defeat ALS® turned into an Open House, inside on the concourse at Principal Park in Des Moines. I used the occasion to introduce a new set of notecards — “Family and Friends:  Cards to support The ALS Association Iowa Chapter” — to raise money for the Association’s services and research programs. The cards and the pouch they’re bundled in have images from my watercolor paintings showing scenes from the daily lives of people using wheelchairs. The Sisters of St. Francis in Dubuque covered the costs of producing the cards so that all proceeds go to support the cause.

The notecards are sold as a set of six, one of each design, with envelopes in a pouch depicting Walk to Defeat ALS® participants. The price is $25.00 per set (with proceeds going to The ALS Association Iowa Chapter), plus any shipping costs. Contact me (email jomyerswalker@gmail.com) if you’d like to buy some!

It was inspiring to be at the Walk — sometimes it looked like a reunion, with families taking pictures with their loved ones and including photos of those no longer with us. I learned more about ALS and how it affects people even in their 20s. The ALS Association Iowa Chapter works “[t]o discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and to serve, advocate for, and empower people affected by ALS to live their lives to the fullest.”

Watercolor painting by Jo Myers-Walker showing woman on porch looking over scenic backyard with deer

   
“Porch,” one of the card designs, shows a
peaceful scene of communing with nature
   

Thumbnail of page showing card designs of Family and Friends notecard collection by Jo Myers-Walker

Family and Friends
card designs and messages
(click image to view larger;
PDF, approx. 1.1 MB, rev. 17 Oct 2019)

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Well-traveled

Logo of the Iowa Watercolor Society

IWS logo
(click image to visit their website)

The Iowa Watercolor Society’s (IWS’s) Annual Meeting, Luncheon, Demonstration and Awards Ceremony is held at the end of each summer’s IWS Annual Exhibition. It’s a great way to meet fellow Iowa artists, and learn from each other and from the nationally-recognized teacher invited as juror. This year’s juror was watercolorist Alexis Lavine, who also did a painting demonstration after the luncheon and taught an in-depth workshop in the days that followed.

My painting “Emma” received Honorable Mention in this year’s exhibition and will join other artists’ work selected to travel to art centers around the state in the IWS 2019‑2020 Traveling Show. Besides the recognition, I received a set of Dr. Ph. Martin’s fine art watercolors and a Blick gift card, which are much appreciated — I use their products and they helped me win the award!

Two of my students submitted paintings for this year’s summer exhibition, and both got in. It’s wonderful as an artist to feel that validation; then you have to do the work of getting things framed and ready for the show! Shows like the IWS’s offer the experience of submitting a work of art and maybe starting it on a journey.

Emma, watercolor portrait by Jo Myers-Walker, and a photo of Jo posed next to the painting at IWS 2019 exhibition

   
“Emma” and me after the IWS luncheon at La Poste in Perry

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Art in Omaha

Chandra, watercolor portrait of a woman in profile by artist Jo Myers-Walker

“Chandra” traveled to Omaha
from the IWS exhibition

I had 17 talented students in my watercolor class last week sponsored by Barb Bishop and Omaha Artists, Inc.  My painting “Chandra” made the trip to be an example for the class, and students worked from a photo of “Emma” as I demonstrated mixing flesh tones, layering, and lifting.

We began with painting chickens and ducks, allowing three colors to mix with each other on the paper. Then to loosen up we painted wet-in-wet using “two warms and a cool” (like burnt sienna, alizarin crimson, and cerulean). We went on to paint a flower, showing how to paint gradation, much like we would do in painting the cheek in a portrait.

It was a beautiful drive across Iowa into Nebraska, rolling hills and the colors changing as I created watercolors in my mind. I was excited to get home and paint!

Pages from class materials for a watercolor class by artist Jo Myers-Walker

From the class materials:
At left, color mixing and gradation; at right, value study example with “Emma”

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Plein air in Amana

Jo Myers-Walker sketching in Amana, Iowa during the 2019 Catiri's Fresh Paint event

Starting with a sketch
to plan the painting

Watercolor scene of Amana, Iowa painted by Jo Myers-Walker during 2019 Catiri's Fresh Paint event

My painting with the Amana
water tower in the distance

Catiri’s Fresh Paint is an annual plein air painting competition hosted by Catiri’s Art Oasis in Amana, Iowa. They stamp your paper then you paint like crazy, and bring it in at the end to be juried. This year’s event was Friday through Sunday of Labor Day weekend and had 45 artists from 5 states. Everywhere I sat, I could spot artists with their easels!

Painting on location is different than in the studio. It’s meditative — you can get lost in your painting day, trying to find the essence of the scene. We had beautiful weather and I could hear the birds and bugs and feel at one with nature. The last day they had a nice dinner where we could meet each other and “talk art.” I plan to go back next year.

Posted in Studio Snapshots