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Passion for Painting

HK
Heidi Kaisand
0:24
Excuse me, whether it's quilting, scrapbooking food, wool, or just hanging out with others who seem to have their creative Mojo groove and in all the right directions. We are excited to share these things with you. Each week, I love to start with a quote. And my quote for today is every Canvas is a journey all its own. Helen Frankenthaler, Fowler, I'm not sure if I'm saying her last name, right or not. But it is so true that every Canvas is a journey. And when it's sort of like a painting reference, because today, our guest is Jo Meyers-Walker, who is a wonderful watercolor artist, and an painter. And good morning, Jo, how are you today?
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
1:16
Good morning, Heidi. I'm really well, will that be you?
HK
Heidi Kaisand
1:21
Oh, well, good. I'm so glad you're here, I have to tell our listeners a little bit about the connection and why you are so important. In our Hen and chicks studio story. You're you're part of our journey.When I went to start the start to think about creating Hen and chicks studio back in 2011, I knew that the upper floor would be our retreat center, which we lovingly refer to it as the nest. But I did not want to put permanent walls in because I didn't want to limit the space to just one thing. I wanted it to have some different options. So you know, was brainstorming and really had not found a solution. And one day, my mom and I were in Gilbert, Iowa. And we were it was just a few minutes before 11 o'clock when this cute store called the left bank studio was about to open. And and that was that was your store, wasn't it? Jo?
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
2:43
That's right. I had been there. I started in 2003. And this was 2011. Yes
HK
Heidi Kaisand
2:52
And the store wasn't open. And so we were outside looking at all the beautiful Actually, there was art. It felt like there was art and creative things all throughout the yard and and around the building. And up poles. This very creative van painted on all sides. And out jumps. Joe, who I had not ever met at this point, and she opens the back doors have the van. And she looks at me who she's never seen before and says the ask, asked if I could help her. And I said sure, of course I can help you. And out of the back of this van. We pulled it technically is a door It was a door. It's a core door.
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
3:40
Well, they're they're kind of light, but they're just the size of a door.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
3:44
Yep. And it was painted beautifully. Just beautiful. I remember that. And I helped you get it to wherever you needed to. And after hanging out in your store there for a little while. On the way home. I said to my mom, those doors that is what we need to divide the space. And that is where our friendship began, isn't it?
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
4:13
It's right in the doors that you helped me pull out of my van. We're going as room dividers for a home in the morning.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
4:54
Exactly. Jo you. You mentioned the white the big white canvas
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
5:00
Well, this was like a big white canvas door. And when you when you do start a project, it's about the story. What do you want to say? in that space? What goes on there? So on? Oh, research? Oh, it is.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
5:15
And you and Jo, you know, it just the show always goes faster than I think it's gonna go and we're already at our first commercial break. So when we come back, I want you to tell our listeners all about the journey that you took in helping us create these doors. So we'll be back right after this. This is Heidi Kaisand from Hen and chicks studio in Conrad. Here's Judy with her story of making a life event quilt. I'm a fairly new quilter and my granddaughter wanted a T shirt quilt for her graduation. And so I went over to Heidi's and she was very helpful. She helped me decide how to lay it out and help me with material and measurements that got our fabric at the store. Heidi has great ideas with her materials, just ideas that I'd never come up with Olivia, my granddaughter, she picked up the T shirt she wanted then she helped me lay them out my other granddaughter Emily helped I put it all together. It's nice when you can surprise them with something like that, because it means a lot to them their own shirts or whatever you use. So it's awesome to see see how people react to the quilts hen and chicks Studio 101 North Main Street in Conrad, schedule, your quilting retreat at hen and chicks studio.com.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
6:36
Welcome back to create with Heidi and this is Heidi Kaisand from Hen and chick studio talking with Jo Meyers Walker, from Iowa City. And she is just a wonderful painter. So Joe, tell me what all about your experience with, excuse me here, and I've got something that's running on my computer, and it's making some noise. So I'm trying to get it turned off. There we go. I think I got it. Tell us all about the experience that you had, from your perspective of helping us create these stores.
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
7:15
When I was when I was getting ready to do this part of being an artist is the research. What are you trying to say? What needs to be communicated? In which maybe sometimes that's the most favorite part for me. So I went to your studio, your it is your studio. And I, you know, went was downstairs and saw all the quilting supplies and the color and and I read away I thought well, we did color. And then I went upstairs and you started explaining what you wanted to do there. What was the feeling you wanted to have for these people that were going to come? And so I got to stay there overnight, which was wonderful because my bank is 100 years old, was 100 years old. And I think your building was close to that. So I felt really comfortable there. But anyway, I started designing, sketching, thinking through what what is this place me? And I started with a kind of front porch theme with a rooster out there because it is hen and chicks. You know we have and there was a hint, or a rooster floating around in each panel, I believe.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
8:33
Yes, there is.
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
8:34
Yes. And then there's there was that was for the rooster within the chair on the front porch. And then then I did a quilting room, which I thought would be a cool team room with the figure or maybe if you were sewing for clothing, but on the bed was this beautiful quilt. And it was up in a bedroom, which is kind of where we were. Yeah, then. Yeah. And then I think I did the staircase, because getting up to your nest is you have to go stairs. And so I did a staircase and tried to make an old station like this maybe 100 year old building, possibly. And then I did several other scenes.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
9:21
But then yeah, you're gonna say well, I said to say Jo, I think what I loved was that you did work in hen and chicks into every, you know, into every of every one of the doors that and basically there were 12 doors and every two doors like the theme went together so that they coordinated they coordinate together so that the like that you're talking about like the bedroom set. That was you know, two doors and the sewing room area two doors and the front porch. Because then, and there was one where I had a tree with carved, carved and chicks in it. And I, you know, I the thought process it was, it was so much more detailed than I ever expected. I remember, you know, talking to you about it that I had, I had figured that you had done some really graphic things to like, suck the backsides of the doors are shapes and colors and, and you know, some different flowers and, and different things. And then the the front sides of the doors are are more detailed, and oh my gosh, I we get so many compliments. And even just this morning when I went live on Facebook just for a few minutes to promote that I would you know, beyond the show, somebody jumped in and said, Oh, those doors are beautiful. Because if if anybody has ever been at hen and chicks studio, they know those doors are just part of, of our building. They're part of us. Because they have such such meaning to us. And of course they're useful. We we ended up physically putting all those doors on frames, a cousin of ours, helped get them build kind of like a little platform with wheels. So all the doors are movable. So so even like when Jamie does a Facebook Live on Tuesdays, we call it take home Tuesday, she often moves the doors around. So that's her backdrop, because it's just gorgeous. So you're just a part of every day at hen and chicks studio, whether you know it or not. That chance that chance meeting turned into something much longer.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
12:04
Yeah, we have a lot in common. Oh, absolutely. And of course, you are still you in the last 10 years, you've come a couple of times to hen and chicks studio to teach. It's been a while. And so I know you'd love to teach and you do a great job. I actually have a couple of the things that I painted in those classes around because I actually liked them when they got done you you directed us in a way that really turned into something successful. You still teach today correct but in Iowa city?
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
12:38
That's correct. I do. I'm teaching we did floor coverings on canvas. Yes. And when I worked with you, and we use stencils, we painted seams. And then we put a protective coating over it so that people could could use them. So yeah, and I love teaching that there. I think we did a little retreat to kind of a spiritual retreat there to keep people calm, which is kind of what I've been doing lately. I've been teaching on zoom, I've been teaching watercolor there. And we were doing something called a stay vacation. Because we all want to kind of escape because we couldn't go out and do the COVID. But I know I needed to see faces, I needed to see my people, you know. And so I started these watercolor classes. And I, they we I send the sketch and they send the finished watercolor in a line drawing so people can paint along with me if they'd like. And I talked about composition and value, and all the important things, which is probably what you do. Echoing colors sound familiar?
HK
Heidi Kaisand
13:52
Absolutely. It sure does. It's exactly what we're doing when we're making a quilt. We're talking about those things. Right? And so how do if people if people want to learn about your zoom watercolor classes? Do they go to your website? Is that correct?
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
14:11
Yes, my website is the left bank video.com and they can see what we've been painting and all the other things we keep it up pretty good. My dear webmaster, Carol takes care of me quite well. It also goes into I've been doing things creating for a cause. So some cards I made and scarf and may just you know how you can go tospoonflower to get fabric. Yes, we can go to spoonflower and I can take woody or watercolor images and make fabric out of it. We can twist it around. Isn't it lovely? It's so fun to turn that upside down and so on me so I made my own scarves and cards then And I sell them. You can see that on my website, it's for recovery house in Sioux City on human trafficking. Oh, that. That's Yeah, it's a great cause. Yes, it is. And it helped me to, you know, you want to do something. And so that was discovery and I can use my art to to communicate my thoughts. And the next one was als cards. It was these cards, showing what you can do. When you have ALS, you can still go out and participate course in your with your family. And the latest one I've done illustrated a book called lucky feet. And you can see that on my website. Also, it's I illustrated a book that was written a little booklet was written about Tom cook. And it's clubfoot solutions. Anyway, it's a beautiful story about a little eight year old boy that had to crawl till he was eight. And of course it has chickens in it. Because I figure if you were crawling around chickens would be your best friend. Absolutely. Yeah. And then, and then it goes into how they took care of that with with that no surgery, that kind of thing.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
16:19
Oh, interesting. Well, Jo, we're gonna take a quick commercial break, and we'll be back right after this. This is Heidi Kaisand from hen and chicks studio in Conrad. Here's Jane with her story of making a life event quilt. I'm going to make a curtain to go with the quilt. Sometimes I make a matching pillow to sit in the rocking chair or something like that. One of the really fun things that I like to put on the back of a baby quilt is something called minky or cuddle and it's really soft. My daughter's usually make certain that when the baby has their pictures taken, they take their quilt from grandma Jean along and we get a picture of the baby and a baby quilt. That's really a special thing too. So I have pictures of my grandchildren with the quilts that I made. Another thing I do for babies. Sometimes I'll make just a simple little quilt with a couple pieces of flannel This is called a self binding baby quilt. And it's a great gift. And Heidi has a great selection of flannels that you can use to make these kinds of gifts and hen and chicks studio and Conrad schedule your quilting retreat at hen and chicks studio.com
HK
Heidi Kaisand
17:25
Welcome back to create with Heidi, this is Heidi Kaisand from Hen and chicks studio, and I am having the pleasure of talking with Jo Myers-Walker from Iowa City. The website she is at is the left bank studio.com. And she is a watercolor artist and an artist in general painter, and always is making something creative. And before the break. Joe, you were sort of talking about some of the different projects that you do that help other people by sharing your artwork and what wonderful causes you've you've obviously are selecting, you know, several different organizations to benefit from your work.
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
18:14
Right. And, you know, I kind of got this idea from you quilters in that you know how you would make a quilt for veterans or make a quilt for families that had struggled, you know, and I thought, well, I could do things with using my creative energy just like you do. And it's just that my medium is painting rather than the fabric. Anyway, I think what's been real helpful for people is when they paint with me, they're putting their own grandchildren in these paintings. They're putting their own story into the painting. And the first thing your family just they love these. I did paint with people that were in hospice, and those were very treasured paintings for the family. So think we quilting and art making is like a legacy, you know, that you can leave for your family to enjoy, you know, when you're gone. So I that's been really meaningful for me. I'm doing a lot of with retreats. I'm doing some things with retreats. And we've paid but we we we usually have a scene. Yeah, I'm just living life in it.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
19:36
Are your retreats on zoom as well?
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
19:41
Well, they probably have to be now. But in a way when we paint, it's a retreat. Because it's so showers on one day, and then I teach on Fridays and Saturday, Friday morning or Friday at two to four and then Saturday. To 12. And then the next week, we kind of do the same theme. But by then they've, they've really got it figured out laid out and figured out what they're doing. And so they can have their own pieces to it that in memories that they have, you know, when you paint if i'm doing i'm also in a research project with the University of Iowa nursing department, and it's about how watercolor or art making, which would be quilting to, it relaxes us, especially if we have chronic pain. Because all of a sudden, we get lost in our little team or at and we don't we kind of forget that we have a backache.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
20:45
Isn't that so true? Joe, what an interesting research project that must be because we talk a lot about the fact that the creative process, you know, can be better therapy than any other kind of therapy, and we joke about that, but there is really truth to it. And I'm sure that research is, is showing that that I like how you said that you get lost in your art.
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
21:15
Mm hmm. Exactly.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
21:17
And you forget about other things. And and we certainly have seen that in the last year. And and, you know, I'll say there were a few times where I didn't realize quite what I was, what I was presenting to our customers. But, you know, as we look back, you know, when we would play bingo, for example, and I was literally assigning our customers tasks to do every day. And I didn't think that they would do every task, but so many individuals needed that purpose, and something to focus on. So that that other worries and other concerns would go away, or seem seem less at that
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
22:02
moment. I think anytime we can kind of get out of ourselves, or pain or anxieties, whatever, and be creative. Just we get into the flow. I'm sure you've talked about the flow. Oh, yeah. And, and you just relax, and you go there, and then all of a sudden you're in the painting. And you're, you know, you're walking around, you're being part of it, just like they're doing, they're probably thinking about where this clothes going, and you know, who's going to enjoy it? Anyway, it's out of yourself. Because I think when we're in pain, we get stuck. They think this is forever.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
22:41
You know, what are the things so when I when I really am creating, I actually try to keep a notebook pad of paper close at hand with a pen. Because it's amazing to me how, you know, obviously, I'm busy and I have a lot of things going on in my brain. And it's amazing how that, like when I sit in the hand applique that I get into a rhythm. But all of a sudden, like it frees my brain and these thoughts pop up, that I'm like, Oh, that's an you know, that was a great idea. Or Oh, you know, that clarifies that or you know, something that I if I don't write it down at the moment, it goes away. But it's it's amazing how those things come out when you are being creative.
JM
Jo Meyers-Walker
23:21
I do the same thing. I think it's our subconscious. All of a sudden, we're free. We're doing our hands are moving. And so things come out. And I keep a list too. And I may not get to it for eight years but but it's in my I have a journal. And I write down and they even sketch a little bit while I'm when those ideas come out. Because you're right, they might leave I think at that is a very spiritual moment. I really do. between you and God are.
HK
Heidi Kaisand
23:50
Oh, absolutely, absolutely. That you you're in that in that groove. Well, Joe, it has been fun chatting with you this morning. And I'm so glad I've got to the opportunity to introduce you to all of our listeners because like I said, you're a part of every day at hidden chicks studio, and it wouldn't be the same without your work. So thank you and I hope everybody gets to comment and see the doors were open Monday through Friday 10 to five and Saturday 10 to three and until next week. Be