Florida painter, Everglades, Marco Island, artist Jo-Ann Sanborn


December Morning

Looking back, 2007 was a mixed year, full of highs and lows including some great travel, friends, ArtQuest, a fabulous family week, and far too much time spent in doctors offices, mostly with my dear husband. We'll go into the new year still seeking solutions.
It's been a year of growth as an artist. There's a lot more competition than a few years ago, and I'm sharing my precious Everglades with a number of artists where once I was almost alone in painting them. Working hard to meet these challenges will help me to stand out and to make me a better artist. Let's look forward than backward. One of my resolutions will be to spend more time at the beach! Let's hope one of your resolutions is to purchase a Sanborn painting! Happy New Year!


Between Dawn & Dusk

I like to start each New Year fresh and clean, reducing the baggage carried from one year to the next, both mentally and artistically. I'm running out of time, and in the studio, have been working from my "unfinished" or "needs work" pile. These are paintings that I've lost the inspiration for, or can't quite get the mood, or have a composition issue. Today's painting is one that was started last spring, as a demonstration at the Art League of Marco. Since I only had 45 minutes, I didn't finish the painting that day, and since then it has been hanging in the studio waiting for some attention. After working on it now and then over the last couple of weeks, I finished it yesterday! It's actually a little brighter than pictured here, and the result is a rather pleasing feeling of mysterious light hard to find in the mid-day.


I hope that your Christmas was a special day filled with love. Mine was. It is truly a special time of year. You may find unexpected pleasures if you open your heart rather than be lead by your own expectations!

It was with much pleasure that I learned artist Jan Kolenda has purchased my Morning and Evening pair of paintings shown in a National Association of Women Artists show at the Coral Springs Art Museum. Jan is a clay artist who teaches at the museum. Her work also centers around the beauty and mystery of the Everglades so we have much in common. I'd love to get over to the other side of the state soon and see her work in person, but you can check it out here. Jan told me that she has a special place to hang the paintings in her home.

Today's painting is another mini. Congratulations to Kathy, one of my favorite people in the whole world, who received a "mini" for Christmas as a surprise from her husband! I hope it's the one you wanted, Kathy! If not, just come by and switch!


The palette knife was used quite a bit in this painting to help develop the interesting layers of color. I'm working to deepen some of my artistic inclinations and to provide the viewer the opportunity to spend more time investigating the painting. Paintings need to speak for themselves, since their artist isn't always there to interpret, and every artist wants the viewer to stay with the painting long enough to see it's depth and to develop a relationship of their own. The subtle layers of color help to lead the viewers eye and the strong atmospheric perspective takes you back into space. I like this one so much that the price will be a little more than usual.

We had expected to be with our dear families up north this holiday, but will be here on Marco instead. We would have been driving, so maybe with all the snow and ice, it's a blessing in disguise. I'll be thinking of them and still enjoying the family we have here.
May the best of family, food and gifts be yours on this holiday, and may the magic of Christmas bring you peace and joy. Merry Christmas to all! SOLD


I've been wanting a little more texture in some works, and decided to experiment with Late in the Day. I first textured the canvas with a thick layer of gel, and the proceeded with many layers of glaze. After working for a number of days, and letting the layers dry thoroughly between layers, I finally achieved the almost iridescent quality that I wanted in the background. Several of the layers contain gold paint, which peeks out inoffensively now and then!
Last night my husband and I attended a reception at the Sweet Art Gallery for an exciting show of local work including four of my pieces. The artists had a great time visiting and admiring each others work, the great crowd seemed really interested in the paintings. The gallery itself is faux painted beautifully letting you know you are somewhere special even before you go in. This show will be up till mid-January, so stop by if your able. Sweet Art Gallery, 2054 Trade Center Way, Naples.
Hope that you are almost done with the "have to's" for Christmas and down to the "want to's." Sing a few Christmas carols and have a great weekend!


The cold weather up north means that more people want to come to our area for a break from the worst of the wintry weather. If you are "off island" and somewhere cold, picture yourself sitting on the beach under this shady palm! There are many available rentals on the market this year. Two days ago an art collector came to my home studio to pick out a painting for her rental unit. She had seen my work in an outdoor show last year, wanted something to enhance the bedroom, and was sure that a Sanborn original would help her unit to stand out. She brought fabric and pictures and we spent some time finding three good possibilities! Then came the agony of choice! She loved them all. Finally she took the three paintings to the unit and the right choice was immediately clear. Congratulations, Martha, for your purchase of "Edge of a Pond."


Another beautiful day on Marco Island yesterday while the northeast suffered another snow storm. Maybe suffered isn't the right word, at least for the children. My grandchildren tell me they had a wonderful time sliding and playing outside before the snow turned to ice. One little guy slid into an icebank and will have a sore face for a couple of days. We expected to go north for Christmas but events have conspired to keep us here in the south. I'm very disappointed as I was really looking forward to a white Christmas and the kids, but will enjoy the family we have here and try to make the most of the extra time. Today when I take a break we'll be boxing and out shipping all the gifts we had expected to take in the car with us!


Artist Rachael Kennedy and I set off for a morning of painting in the Everglades. She hadn't been out for a while and didn't like going alone. We're just so used to having people around that it can be a little creepy in some of the back country all by yourself. I'm more uneasy Florida than I ever would be in my native New England, and have talked with people from here who feel the same way about there. I'm wary of alligators and they are more nervous about Moose! Doesn't stop me from wanting to paint out there, though. Perhaps the exotic-ness of it is what attracts. Anyway, we had plenty of company from the alligators on our deserted road. This old guy has been there for years. In the last couple of years he was joined by another. Yesterday we probably saw at least ten, all lying in the weak light. Fortunately all were across a canal!
We didn't actually put paint to canvas--as we dragged all our stuff out of the car some large clouds came up threatening rain and the light went flat, so we returned to the car and did some exploring. One of our stops, close to Marco was the historic Horr House. The remains of an old pineapple plantation will shell tabby walls can be seen on Key Marco. I had painted here before, but Rachael was particularly interested since she's one of five artists doing paintings for the Marco Museum. We were advised that there were snakes inside, and lots of fire ants on the property, so we approached gingerly! Then, to Artist Tabletalk, a group of professional artists who meet each month for art talk. We helped artist Tara O'Neill to celebrate a big birthday, and the conversation was all about Art Basel and wet paint.


Many of you around the country have had a cold, wintry week, with more to come. Blowing winds, cold, slush, freezing rain and power outages are all the news. Perhaps this little mini-painting will brighten your day! Balmy winds, breezy palms, and a view of the gulf might lift your sprits. Today, before I start painting, we'll take a trip to the Marco Island farmer's market for the wonderful fresh vegetables and flowers. It's great to have it back after summer lull. The colors are so pleasing, everyone is there, and in just a short time you can have a bag filled with good healthy food for the coming week! We'll have six more months of beautiful weather before the summer rains come again.


One reason for starting this blog was to become more computer literate. Now that I depend on it, it's frustrating when it doesn't work. This morning the system was down for several hours. UGH! While waiting for things to sort themselves out, I finished Marsh Morning, showing the soft glow of a quiet morning with a trio of palms greeting the day.

I'm still not sure that even this blog is working correctly. Does anyone ever try to leave a message here? Some of you write me directly, and I welcome your comments and thank you, but would love to have someone try to leave a comment on the blog. You can do this anonymously!

In addition to painting this weekend we attended a Christmas Boat Parade party at the home of some friends. What a party! We were treated to good music, good food, good friends, and an absolutely gorgeous sunset over the water. The creativity and sparkle of the boats was an added bonus. Thanks, Carol & Jim!


Fakahatchee Fantasy Everglades Painting

Almost all of my images come from the land itself rather than my imagination, however I've had to be home a little more than usual lately and that still means painting every day. I've been wanting a little more texture on the surface, so I texturized this canvas with a thick layer of gel before beginning to paint. That gave the grasses a nice texture from the start. I just went on from there, developing the image and making sure that the layers of glazing gave the image a deep glow. There's a small moon on the horizon, a deep, deep sky, the ever-present grasses and, of course, the water, inching slowly through the grass to the gulf.

Congratulations to Dr. Nicholas Marciano who has several of my paintings hanging in his Bonita Springs dental office! Have a great weekend!


Mini-paintings are a great way to get started in the morning. You get reacquainted with the paint and the feel of the brushes before starting something larger or more serious. Sometimes a mini is all that gets done. Today I'm off to a meeting of the Leadership Marco Wet Paint Live committee of the Marco Chamber of Commerce. I'm really excited about the idea that Marco business people are becoming aware of what the arts can do for our city. The arts can strengthen the economy of an area, and there are statistics to bear this out. Cultural tourists stay longer and spend more! So I'm willing to spend of my time working to help build partnerships with the business community. ArtQuest is such a project, and so is Wet Paint Live. After that, I'll check on my poor husband who has thrown out his bad back, and then go to Bonita Springs with some paintings for a dentist with a new office. He's an art collector looking for something for help his patients to "zone out" while he does his work. Some beach somewhere???? Sold


These palms are on the Marco Island side of the Jolley Bridge and are set off beautifully by the gorgeous bougainvillea below them. My inventory of small paintings is low, so I'm going to concentrate on building it up before the busy winter season.

Art in the Park on Saturday was almost a disaster for us. We were already handicapped due to my husband's carpel tunnel surgery and expected him being one-handed to slow us down. Then, our tent, which had a part on order, completely fell apart when we tried to set up. Thanks to Show Chairman Tom Taylor we were able to borrow a tent rather than have to go home and wait for parts. Tom handles any show problems with a warm heart and a cool head and is a real asset to the Naples show scene. Turned out to be a beautiful day although the crowd was light as it often is this time of year. There was plenty of time to visit with one of my dearest collectors. Kevin has more of my paintings than anyone, and a great eye for some of the best!

The Art League of Marco Island held a lovely reception yesterday for their "Wrap Up Art" show. The idea of the show is to encourage people to purchase art for themselves and others during the December gift giving season. The Art League gift shop is a great place to shop for gifts too. I received an merit award for my painting "Sunday Morning", and was delighted to learn that my other entry into the show had been purchased. Sold
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