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


First, congratulations to the winners of the Marco Island Council election! Let's hope that the election results will help to remove some of the contentiousness, restore civility, and allow the island to move forward once again.
Tomorrow will be the Marco Island Wet Paint, benefiting the Marco Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Marco Scholarship Program. Communities are always stronger when businesses and the arts support each other! A number of well known Marco Island artists will be painting at various island locations from 9 in the morning till mid-afternoon. If you'd like to participate you can pick up a map at the Chamber of Commerce or in the local Marco Island Eagle, and visit the artists while they paint. A "wet paint" auction of the paintings will be held tomorrow night at Hideaway Beach Club with a few tickets still available at the Chamber. See you there for a great community art show!
This is one of two mini-paintings started yesterday, and it still needs another pass before it's ready for framing. I'll do that after a visiting student leaves!


Well, I must admit that I didn't get much painting done last week and have nothing new finished to show you. I did participate in the Naples Invitational Art Show this weekend in Fleischman Park and here's a picture of my booth to prove it! The booth was on a slight hill and so looked a little bit like "the house that Jack built", but I mastered the new equipment, met many interesting people, enjoyed old friends, and acquired several new collectors. On Saturday fabulous everglades photographer Jack Megela stopped by with his lunch and we had a chat about the Everglades landscape we both love. Since he photographs the same area that I haunt to paint, we often have very similar scenes in our booths at the shows! We talked about the wonderful changing light and some of the natural light effects that have amazed us. Jack is a traditional photographer who believes like I do that nature provides us with such wonders that there's no need to make anything up! As an artist I can pick and choose various parts of a landscape and move them around to suit me on my canvas, but Jack has to wait until the beautiful cloud he's watching moves across the sky to have it's reflection fill the pond in his lens! Thanks to all who stopped by to admire and to those who purchased!


Looking west I was very glad to be home after a windy and rainy show in Fort Lauderdale. Nice area, great potential. It was the first time for this particular show, put on by the Museum of Art and Boulderbrook productions. Saturday brought out a nice crowd of art lovers and I sold out of my smaller paintings. Sunday and Monday were a challenge, and pleasant conversations with fellow artists helped to pass the worst of the weather, a wind driven drizzle rather than heavy rain. Thank goodness that we were able to "take down" dry. It's miserable coming home with everything wet. Friends came in, one fresh from a "Blues Cruise" where she particularly enjoyed the music of Ruthie Foster. If you like the blues, check it out! This weekend I'll be at the Naples Invitational Show in Fleishman Park. Fleishman is just south of Coastland Mall in Naples. This show benefits Eden, Florida, an organization the benefits mental health and children. I'll donate a painting to the silent auction and have some wonderful paintings at great prices. It's a wonderful show so don't miss it if you're in the area.


I'll be driving to Ft. Lauderdale on Route 75 today, to attend the Las Olas National Art Festival at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art. Route 75 usually goes north-south, but becomes east-west from Naples to Ft. Lauderdale, crossing the state with the nickname Alligator Alley. It's only a hundred miles across, and on most days it's easy to count the gators sitting in the warm sun on the sides of the canal that follows the highway. The landscape changes as you travel --lots of palms on the west coast changing to wide, flat prairie after fifty miles. Usually the vistas and clouds provide some dramatic scenery. Sometimes I'll pass hundreds of wading birds perched in trees on the sides of the canal, or see a beautiful great blue heron fly up from the swamp. It's peaceful and inspiring, and the miles just fly by! I'll be setting up for the show myself this time, and hope that it's easier than the last show! Should be a wonderful show, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so if you are in the area, please stop by!


The Everglades are always my favorite subject, and I love views like this one. Blue sky, running water and distance that goes on forever. Each time I view similar sights I can't wait to get out the paint! This painting is a commission, and I spent last weekend getting the colors and values just right. The final painting was delivered Monday to Interior Designer Kira Krumm who had the frame ready and the painting up by the time her client came in a week early. Phew! The client will have final approval, so I hope they like it! If you follow the link to Kira's website you'll see her beautiful work and another of my paintings! Congratulations to the O'Brians, new collectors who purchased Fakahatchee Fantasy through Sweet Art Gallery!


Winter Sunlight Painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

I've just finished this Everglades painting, done from a photo taken when Rachael Kennedy and I were out in the glades last month. The day was overcast and threatening rain, but every now and then rays of sunshine would break through the clouds and shine down on the landscape. The light was mostly flat, uninspiring and hard to work with when you're painting outdoors looking for answers, but wonderfully transformed in the studio where you have time to internalize it all and aim for the right response. The warm colors are almost glowing and the reflections are nice. I'm going to have to work on my photo taking skills, though, since this one is better in person than I can get on camera!
Winter Sunlight 24x30 $900


Big Cypress Autumn Landscape

Today's painting is a lot looser in style than my usual, but I love the brushy, reflective look of this one. I put the big brush to work trying to get some real feeling into the landscape without tightening up. This is a great exercise when I start getting too "leafy." It's from a frog or an alligator's perspective. I like the sense of movement with the grasses waving and the clouds racing. The low morning sun adds a color punch to all the blues and greens. Tonight is the last of the Sweet Art Gallery receptions, so if you can be in Naples anytime between 5 to 8 stop by the gallery and say hello. I've really enjoyed being part of Sweet Art and may do it again in the future. Have a great weekend!
Big Cypress


Almost all of yesterday was spent attending meetings, so all I have for you today is a mini! Two meetings were for reasons of promoting art on the island, always time well spent. I'm a member of the City of Marco's Arts Advisory Committee, working to develop a plan for ensuring that the arts will have a place in our community in the future. The arts can help build and strengthen a community, and that's especially important where most everyone has come from "somewhere else!" I'm also working to help plan a wet paint event with a committee from Marco Island's Chamber of Commerce Leadership Marco . If you're on the island January 29th it's an event not to be missed. Twenty Island Artists will paint in some of the most beautiful spots around the island for the day. Their original paintings, oils still "wet," will be auctioned off at a Hideaway Beach event that evening. Tickets can be purchased at the Chamber and will be limited. Don't miss this fun art event!


Art in the Park was a real challenge for us this Saturday as we learned to set up our new equipment. We got an early start just in case we had any trouble. We had practiced with all the parts in our living room, bagged them and labeled. We thought we knew what we were doing, and thought it might be easy and we'd have time to walk to Starbucks for a special coffee. Well, all those thoughts went out the window in the first few minutes as the piles got mixed. Three hours of agony later we were finally set up. It was a whole different game out in the field, and once we made one mistake it just multiplied. We had to leave behind our preconceived notions about how we thought it went and all the past programing from our old equipment and follow the instructions step by step, starting over several times. We got laughing as we finally finished and said that we must be grown up at last because we did it without screaming or swearing at each other! Many, many thanks to those of you who came by to offer moral support, suggestions and help. I do love the new look and will take a picture for you next time!

Congratulations to Sanborn collector Hovey, who added "Summer's Passing" to her collection, and to the lucky retiree who will receive the Keith's mini-painting purchase! Thanks!

The old Art League of Marco Island has a new name, the Marco Island Center for the Arts. I'm not sure why that's necessary after all these years, or why they've chosen a name with an acronym exactly like another established Marco group, the Marco Island Civic Association, The focus of the "center" is no longer on visual artists, but on all the arts. Too bad. A good art league is a real asset to any community.

I finally finished a larger painting in time for the show last Saturday. It's cheerful, and the sky comes from one morning last week. Hope you like it.


Emerging artist Kim Nyland spent the morning with me yesterday. Kim's parents have several of my paintings and she admired my work. Her morning's lesson was a Christmas gift from her husband. Kim thought "that he really thought outside the box on this one, and got it right!"We had a wonderful time as we shared many of the same interests, inspirations, and art books. Kim was just in from the Chicago area, so she didn't mind that the heat didn't seem to work in half the house and that the studio was a bit on the chilly side. She went home with lots of enthusiasm, some notes, some Internet references, and the start of a beautiful painting. It was the first time I tried to fit a second artist in my small studio, and it worked out OK. I'm hoping that the worst of the cold weather is over for a while and the studio will warm up!


Happy New Year. Did you make some resolutions? It's such a great time to start fresh with something to improve. I have all the usual ones in mind, exercise more, be kinder and gentler to everyone, call my sister more, and another whole set for my artistic self, including trying new techniques and stretching myself out of my comfort zone. I've found that the best way for me to to achieve something is to set goals, for the day, the week and the month. I already have a long list for today, so I better get busy!

I'll be working on paintings that just didn't make the cut into the new year! Most of the offensive parts are already painted over, and I'll be looking at them with fresh eyes and new ideas. Also, today is the second reception at Sweet Art Gallery, Trade Center Way, Naples, from 5to 8. If you're not already partied out, stop by and see some great paintings by local artists.

Today's painting, Out for a Walk would make a nice companion piece for last weeks December Morning! The colors are similar and they'd look great as a pair. Maybe one of your New Year resolutions is to purchase a Sanborn painting! It's easy and fun, and you'll join the ONE percent of the American public who purchase original art!
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