Backdrop to the stars

Abstract watercolor painting by Jo Myers-Walker, swirling dark blue with white accents and roundish gold area


I’m honored to have my artwork used to make a backdrop for Simply Stellar!, the 2018 Senior Variety Show in Ames. Show organizers had this painting’s design printed onto 15' tall canvas. The design is quite abstract, so as not to detract from the performers in front of it.

Update:  I had the opportunity to enjoy the Friday show, and they made my design come alive with aurora borealis and stars shooting across the backdrop. It was wonderful to see my Ames friends still performing and enjoying life to the fullest. This year’s performances are finished — keep an eye on the Senior Variety Show website for information on next year’s show.

Posted in Studio Snapshots


Storefront of Iowa Artisans Gallery in Iowa City, IA featuring works by artist Jo Myers-Walker

Storefront of Iowa Artisans Gallery in Iowa City

Iowa Artisans Gallery featuring me in their window (shower curtain, pillows, and paintings). Lately the scene on the shower curtain — “Clock Tower in the Rain” — has looked just like the weather outside!

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Figure drawing downtown

An artist's model poses at a coffee shop sidewalk table while being sketched by class members in downtown Iowa City

Sketching our model in front of The Java House

Pencil sketches of a model drawn by various artists

Looking at our sketches on a June morning

This summer I’m teaching “Figure Drawing and Painting in Downtown Iowa City,” organized by the Artifactory, and we took to the streets for our first session on June 11. You can drop in for any or all of the remaining sessions if you’d like to “venture out into the cool summer mornings, capturing the sunlight casting over the figure to show facial form and folds on clothing.”

Update:  This class has ended for Summer 2018 — thank you to everyone who joined in! See the Classes and Events page for what’s coming up.

Sketches by Jo Myers-Walker illustrating figure drawing concepts

Poster and some materials for the class
(Click image to view a larger version of just the poster)

Posted in Studio Snapshots, Upcoming Events

Photos from the Festival

Jo Myers-Walker's artist booth at the 2018 Iowa Arts Festival in Iowa City, IA

Inside the tent at the 2018 Iowa Arts Festival in downtown Iowa City

My booth at the 2018 Iowa Arts Festival earlier this month, with a little help from my friends! I needed 11 helpers setting up and taking down the tent due to the windy weather. Thank you to all my helpers, and everyone who stopped by during the Festival.

Jo Myers-Walker's artist booth at the 2018 Iowa Arts Festival in Iowa City, Iowa

Helpers; on the right, holding onto the tent in 30 mph wind!

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Students in the stands

Sitters, slumped acrylic sculptures by Jo Myers-Walker, shaped and painted as college students and sitting on card catalog drawers

Dressed up for the game Gala

I made 54 “sitters” (small acrylic sculptures) for centerpieces for the Newman Center’s Gala on April 21 (see the previous post Crowded house). The students who I used as models helped me set them up for the Gala. Here the sitters are seated on my card catalog beforehand — looks like they’re at a football game!

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Cards for contemplation

Notecard with photo of Canticle sculpture by Jo Myers-Walker

One of the cards opened flat
to show front and back
(click image to view larger)

Watercolor paper hand painted to make pouches to bundle notecards

Sample pouches, back and front. Pouches are hand-painted and designs vary; one pouch per set.
(click image to view larger; see note below
about new Portiuncula style pouches)

The Sisters of St. Francis have taken pictures of the Canticle sculpture (inspired by St. Francis’s well-known Canticle) and had them made into notecards. Each card highlights a symbol from the artwork with a reflection to contemplate.

Proceeds from sale of the cards will go toward awareness of human trafficking, starting with support for Lila Mae’s House (link is to a Sioux City Journal article; note the “Ways to help” and “Signs of human trafficking” in the left-hand column).

(Updated) The cards are sold as a set of 8 with envelopes (one of each design), bundled in a watercolor-paper pouch (pouches painted by me or by my able assistants!), for $30.00 plus any shipping costs. Please contact me (email if you’re interested in buying a set, or if you’d like to join in painting pouches (ages 12 to adult).

I so enjoyed creating the Canticle of Creation sculpture and highlighting the symbols Francis and Clare so loved in nature. From the card in the photo above:  “The Canticle of Creation sculpture is an ongoing celebration of life. Francis and Clare knew that God loves us so much to create an ongoing evolution of life. It is for us to marvel and be inspired at the dignity of all creatures.”

Update October 2018: We’re making a new style of pouch for the Canticle cards, representing the Portiuncula chapel restored by St. Francis. See the updated design sheet (PDF) linked below for a sample.

Updated again:  See the Creating for a Cause page to see all the notecard designs (including the separate Abundant Homes set), plus scarves and bags!

For more informaton:

Page showing designs of notecards with 8 different photos of Canticle sculpture by Jo Myers-Walker

Canticle of Creation
card designs and messages
(click image to view larger;
PDF, approx. 725 KB, rev. 24 Oct. 2018)

Hand-painted watercolor paper to bundle notecards

Painting lots of pouches
to bundle the card sets
(see note above about
new Portiuncula style pouches)

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Crowded house

Sitters, small slumped acrylic sculptures by Jo Myers-Walker, shown before painting

Sitting around, waiting to be painted

“Sitters” have been taking over my apartment as I cut out fifty of the little slumped-acrylic sculptures for centerpieces for Gala 2018, the largest “FUNdraising” event for the Newman Catholic Student Center at the University of Iowa. Next I’ll be painting the figures. The students posed as models for them and will help me with the centerpieces, which will be sold at the gala to support the Newman Center’s programs.

Update:  Gala 2018 was held on April 21 — thank you to everyone who helped support the Newman Center! See the post Students in the stands for a photo of the finished “crowd,” complete with paint.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Linn Street progression

Watercolor painting of Linn Street scene in Iowa City by Jo Myers-Walker

The finished painting with people completed

I am repeating the Linn Street scene with a different composition and more people going to school with their morning coffee. I sit and watch what is going on with my neighbors, draw them to get a story in that moment.

The in-progress photos (below) show that as I paint the background, I leave a space where they will live.

Two in-progress views of watercolor painting of Linn Street scene by Jo Myers-Walker

In progress, leaving space for the inhabitants

Posted in Studio Snapshots

Interview on IAG website

Logo of Iowa Artisans Gallery in Iowa City, Iowa

Iowa Artisans Gallery logo
(click image to visit their site)

I’m honored to be the subject of an article on Iowa Artisans Gallery’s website:  In the Studio with Jo Myers-Walker. Anne from the gallery came over and took photos of the studio and interviewed me, with thoughtful questions including my work’s spiritual influence.

Iowa Artisans Gallery is in downtown Iowa City and has my watercolors for sale when available. Their blog also has interesting interviews with other artists whose work is featured in the gallery.

Posted in Studio Snapshots

A few more details

More close-ups of the characters from legends depicted in the Canticle sculpture:

Details from the Canticle sculpture painted by Jo Myers-Walker with legends of St. Francis

Details from the Canticle sculpture:  The cock and chicken; the wolf of Gubbio

Details from the Canticle sculpture painted by Jo Myers-Walker with legends of St. Francis

Details from the Canticle sculpture:  Rabbits; the tail flapping fish

Posted in Studio Snapshots