Products with a purpose (sticky post)

To find products to benefit:

  • The ALS Association Iowa Chapter: See my blog post Cards to help fight ALS for information on “Family and Friends: Cards to support The ALS Association Iowa Chapter,” a set of notecards to raise money for the Association’s services and research programs.
  • Lila Mae’s House: Order notecards, scarves, and bags online at Shop to Shelter for Lila Mae’s House (external website, shoptoshelter.com), or see my Creating for a Cause page for more information on this special collection to promote awareness and to raise money for organizations working against human trafficking.

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

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April classes: Painting Monet’s gardens

Watercolor painting of Monet's garden at Giverny by artist Jo Myers-Walker, showing lily pond and trees in autumn color

   
The beauty of Monet’s gardens at Giverny resulted
from careful planning and a lot of work, both
originally and to restore them in modern times

For my Zoom watercolor classes in April we are painting Monet’s gardens, focusing on water, trees and flowers. We work from a photo, a value sketch, and a color palette before we start painting. See the Classes and Events page for more information, and send me an email (jomyerswalker@gmail.com) if you’d like to join us!

Pictured: My traveling companions and I were at the gardens at Giverny in an October, just when the trees were turning. The still water reflections were stunning amongst the water lilies. Everything in the gardens was planned, from the times that different plants and trees would be in bloom, to the reflections in the water.

Previously:
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Creating with Heidi

Hen and Chicks Studio logo

Hen & Chicks logo
(click image to visit website)

On Wednesday I had an enjoyable phone call with friend Heidi Kaisand, owner of Hen & Chicks Studio in Conrad, Iowa, for her show “Create With Heidi.” The show is broadcast each week on KFJB radio, AM 1230 in Marshalltown, and available from the podcast page of the Hen & Chicks website. The episode with my interview is titled “Passion for Painting.” Heidi and I talked about how we met, how I came to paint the doors that serve as room dividers in her retreat space “The Nest,” and about the experience of flow in the creative process.

To quote the website, “Hen & Chicks Studio is Conrad, Iowa’s premiere destination for quilting and scrap booking inspiration!” In addition to shopping for supplies, you can listen to the show each week for a bit of creative encouragement, catch up on past interviews, find many more events and ideas on the Hen & Chicks website, and check out Heidi’s videos on her social media pages.

Previously:
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New class dates for March

Sketch and painting of medieval castle in Lussan in southern France by artist Jo Myers-Walker

   
The Château de Lussan is a medieval fortified castle, still in use today (pictured with another
classic, the Citroën). We used masking fluid on the birds so we could paint the clouds.

I’ve added March class dates to the Classes and Events page — send me an email (jomyerswalker@gmail.com) if you’d like to join us! We’ll continue our “staycation” theme — above, I just could not resist adding birds to this view of the Château de Lussan in southern France (link is to Google translation of French Wikipedia page).

My classes have found that two hours goes by in a hurry! I’ve started a system of using the same subject two weeks in a row, with different warmup exercises each week, so class members can more easily complete a painting without feeling rushed. Those comfortable with finishing a painting more quickly can branch out with their own subjects.

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Visiting Lussan via watercolor

Sketch and watercolor painting by artist Jo Myers-Walker of a figure feeding birds beside an intricately patterned doorway in Lussan France

Feeding the birds in Lussan, a village in
the department of Gard in southern France

Colors labelled in preparation for watercolor painting

Warming up with our color palette

Both of these scenes are from the restored medieval town of Lussan in southern France.

Above:  I was fascinated with the door grillwork. These magnificent doorways were very old and imposing.

Below:  La Petite Auberge de Lussan is a small inn and restaurant, or B & B. The tall obelisk in the front is a type that’s on many street corners commemorating a saint or prominent townsperson. I came upon this inn while wandering around the area. Some of those wanderings gave me the best subject matter.

February’s Zoom watercolor classes continue our “staycation” theme, where we’re going abroad for our painting subjects on Friday afternoons (2 p.m.–4 p.m. CST) and Saturday mornings (10 a.m.–12 noon CST). See the Classes and Events page for details, and send me an email (jomyerswalker@gmail.com) if you’d like to join us!

Pencil sketch of the inn La Petite Auberge de Lussan by artist Jo Myers-Walker

Sketch on perspective

Watercolor painting of the inn La Petite Auberge de Lussan by artist Jo Myers-Walker

La Petite Auberge de Lussan

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Current events

Ocean Drive, watercolor painting of South Beach street scene by artist Jo Myers-Walker

(Click image to visit IWS Members Show)

  • The Iowa Watercolor Society’s online Members Show includes one of my South Beach-inspired paintings. Take a virtual stroll through a variety of works by artists throughout the state!
  • February’s Zoom watercolor classes continue our “staycation” theme, and we’re going abroad for our painting subjects! We’re starting a new schedule with 2-hour classes on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Details are on the Classes and Events page; send me an email (jomyerswalker@gmail.com) if you’d like to join us for any or all of the sessions.
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The class visits Italy

Pencil sketch of Italian countryside by artist Jo Myers-Walker

Warmup sketch showing trees from above

Watercolor painting of a vista of Italian fields and red-roofed buildings by artist Jo Myers-Walker

Red-roofed buildings and golden fields

My watercolor class “staycation” continues! These sketches and paintings from recent weeks feature views of the Italian countryside, which I visited during a Franciscan Pilgrimage to Assisi several years back. During that trip our group traveled in vans and we stopped along the way for lunch, an amazing experience with the wine, bread and cheeses and of course the views. I was busy sketching and taking pictures. When we got back to our housing on a quieter day some of us would meet on the patio and paint or write about what we saw.

It is so fun to paint these scenes and imagine what they were all about. As we painted I told my class to just go into the scene and feel and put yourself there. The warmup and sketches give some direction on colors and composition but each artist sees it differently, and that is a good thing. Then they can just have fun and we need that right now to relax.

Starting with February 12, I’ve scheduled two-hour Zoom classes on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings in February, continuing the staycation theme. See the Classes and Events page for details, and send me an email (jomyerswalker@gmail.com) if you’d like to join us!

Sketch and watercolor painting of a scene of the Italian countryside by artist Jo Myers-Walker

Sketch and painting of another view, with onlookers added

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Class trip

Sketch and painting of street scene along Rue Martainville in Rouen by artist Jo Myers-Walker

Rue Martainville

I decided we needed a “staycation” break in my Zoom watercolor classes, so this month we’re going abroad for our painting subjects! Recently we used this scene of Rue Martainville in Rouen, France.

I visited Rouen for a month in 2014 and lived in a 17th-century apartment on the second floor. There were several cafés and chocolate establishments nearby on Rue Martainville and I would sketch in the day and paint at night, accompanied by wine and cheese. As I visited various places and quietly sat and sketched, taking in the sounds and smells around me, I discovered a sense of place. I saw how we are all the same, going to work, dropping off school children, people walking their dogs, playing chess in a park, merchants tending their beautiful store windows.

The Classes and Events page has information on scheduled classes. This week I am “in Italy” — send me an email (jomyerswalker@gmail.com) if you’d like to join us! This month, each Monday class will do a simpler version of the scene from the previous Saturday’s class.

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Thankful

Artist Jo Myers-Walker in front of a display of her paintings inside Iowa Artisans Gallery, November 2020

The big work table (behind me here)
helped with social distancing!
I’m holding a copy of “Lucky’s Feet.”

A painting illustration from the book Lucky's Feet links to a Facebook video of a narration of the book

Click the image above to watch a video
narrating the book “Lucky’s Feet” on
Clubfoot Solutions’ Facebook page

I was at Iowa Artisans Gallery (Iowa City, IA) with safety measures in place for Saturday’s Eastside Artists Downtown Art Crawl. It was wonderful to be in the Gallery with all the color for a one-day show. I sat behind a big table, painted a bit and talked to people, masked and 6′ away. I sold some Creating for a Cause cards, and the book Lucky’s Feet was a big hit. The book is based on the true story of a boy whose clubfoot condition was treated using the Ponseti method. All profits from its sale go to the nonprofit Clubfoot Solutions (where you can buy it in their online shop).

Clubfoot Solutions has posted a Facebook video of author Dr. Thomas M. Cook narrating “Lucky’s Feet” while showing the story through my paintings. As I illustrated the book I was so moved by the courage and patience of Lucky and his grandmother as they continued to carry on. I’m thankful to have been a part of creating the book and bringing the story to you.

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Lucky’s Feet

Cover of the book "Lucky's Feet" with photos of a young boy whose clubfoot condition was treated using the Ponseti method

Cover of the book “Lucky’s Feet”
(click image to visit the book’s page
on Clubfoot Solutions website
)

I’m pleased to share with you a new book for which I was the illustrator. “Lucky’s Feet” is a children’s book based on the true story of a boy whose clubfoot condition was treated using the Ponseti method to allow him to walk, go to school, and play like his brothers and sisters and friends. The Ponseti method is named for Dr. Ignacio Ponseti, M.D. who developed the technique at the University of Iowa (UI), and uses a series of expertly placed casts to gradually adjust the position of a child’s feet. The Ponseti method does not involve surgery and can be applied anywhere in the world. The “Iowa Brace,” developed at UI, helps maintain the position of the child’s feet after they are done with the casts.

“Lucky’s Feet” was written by Dr. Thomas Cook, P.T., Ph.D., professor emeritus of Public Health and Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Sciences at UI; and Dr. O.O. Adegbehingbe, M.D., the pediatric orthopedic surgeon and professor in Nigeria who treated the real-life “Lucky” whose story is the basis for the book. Dr. Adegbehingbe serves on the Medical Advisory Board of the Ponseti International Association, and Dr. Cook is co-founder of the non-profit Clubfoot Solutions and is currently Director of Global Operations of the Ponseti International Association.

From the Clubfoot Solutions website:
“Dr. Ponseti’s legacy lives on through Ponseti International Association and Clubfoot Solutions. The two organizations are working together to deliver the Ponseti Method to children everywhere, and hope that the Iowa Brace will finally realize Dr. Ponseti’s dream of a high quality clubfoot brace for every child born with this deformity.”

You can buy “Lucky’s Feet” from the shop on Clubfoot Solutions website; 100% of the profits from the sale of this book go to Clubfoot Solutions.

Watercolor illustrations depicting scenes from the story of a boy whose clubfoot condition was treated using the Ponseti method

Two of my illustrations for the book. Since it’s based
on a true story, my style for the paintings needed to
stick close to the facts.

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October at the Octagon Shop

Artist Jo Myers-Walker holding a fabric print of her watercolor painting of a rainy day in downtown Iowa City

Meeting to hand over my artwork
in my face mask and clear face shield
(with fabric print of “Clock Tower in the Rain”;
photo courtesy of the Octagon Shop)

Storefront of the Octagon Shop with artwork and signs supporting Black Lives Matter and voting rights

   
The storefront in Ames reminds us
to VOTE for what’s important
(photo courtesy of the Octagon Shop)

Watercolor painting of trees in fall by artist Jo Myers-Walker

My recent painting “Fall Splendor” is
now framed and at the Octagon Shop

It was fun reconnecting with the Octagon Shop in downtown Ames (413 Douglas Avenue, Ames, IA) which is featuring my artwork during the month of October. Plus, my work in the shop is 15% off, now through November 2020.

From their Facebook page:
“The Octagon Shop is a consignment retailer for original handmade works of over 175 area artists. Enjoy a unique shopping experience where you’ll find hand-crafted jewelry, pottery, paintings, photography, fiber, wood, cards.”

The shop is open for walk-in customers, with face masks required (see their website for hours and more information), and they have a new online shop to check out! Manager Terrie interviewed me in an enjoyable Zoom call which she recorded and posted on the Octagon’s YouTube channel (an edited version — we talked a long time!).

There are always beautiful things from many different artists at the Octagon Shop and I am appreciative to have my artwork featured among them. Keep an eye on their website and social media to see what’s new, and the Octagon Center for the Arts website to see what’s going on in the galleries and classes.

Watercolor painting of chickens near a shed by artist Jo Myers-Walker on display next to creative ceramic ware

   
“The Girls Are Out” shares display
space with some unique ceramic ware
(photo courtesy of the Octagon Shop)
   

Interior of the Octagon Shop in October 2020 showing the work of many artists in a variety of media

Inside the shop, a wonderful array of
work by many different artists. Here my
paintings and prints are in the foreground.
(click image to view larger;
photo courtesy of the Octagon Shop)

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