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


Snowbirds, Two,a daily painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

Here on Marco Island we have about three times more people in residence in the winter months than we do in the summer. The migrating snowbirds are people, not birds, usually gone by June first, and coming back in waves starting around October 1. We have several dear friends returning this week and some family coming in, too. Their return will begin a round of dinners, parties, festivals and other events to be enjoyed until the great migration north begins again.

It will start to feel a little crowded as the traffic increases and the grocery store lines get longer, but in reality Collier County, the largest County in Florida by land area, has approximately 80% of its land designated as some type of park or preserve. Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, Rookery Bay, State Parks, a State Forest, the Audubon-owned Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and numerous County, City and private parks and nature preserves remain mostly natural. Although we live rather close together here on Marco Island, we have to travel only a short distance to several remote, natural areas where real birds are plentiful.

I've put these two palms in a wilderness setting in a sky the salmon color it was a few days ago for today's daily painting. Just the two of us sat watching as the light changed from day to evening.

5" x 7"


Outdoor Shows, Room with a View Everglade Daily Painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

I've finished working on the outdoor art show applications and are glad to see them all in the mail. In another month or so I'll know which ones I'm in and which I can take off the calendar. We're doing only a few shows this year since the daily shows, much enjoyed, are so much work setting up and taking down for the day. This year, construction in Naples will mean longer walks for the car and more difficulty finding parking at all. We're getting older, and a little stiffer in the early mornings. In the studio I'm working on a large commission to be finished in the next two weeks. It's a "committee" piece, always more difficult because a group needs to approve the purchase. It's much harder to please a group than just one person, as our President is finding out. Let's hope for group approval for both of us!

When I finish a small Everglades "daily" painting and get ready to post, it needs a name. This painting answered quickly that its name is Room with a View. What's your favorite room with a view? Hint--while I love getting your emails, this is a clue to add a comment in the comment spot on the blog!

Room with a View
7" x 5"
acrylic on board
$150 with free shipping and handling in the US


Everglades Fall, Building Clouds Daily Florida Everglades Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

The Florida Everglades are lush and green this fall, wet, and with all kinds of living things filling every space. Insects are plentiful. Fish, frogs, turtles and alligators inhabit the waters. Mink and raccoon hunt and thrive on the edges of the canals and streams. Owl, shore and wading birds and meadow birds all find food plentiful. Birds of prey, osprey, hawks, and eagles soar above prairies and shoreline. Thick, lush sawgrass waves in the afternoon breeze, meadow flowers thrive and at the fringe the mangroves spring growth has turned rich green.

The Everglades is truly a magical place, remote, wild, and only in the last decade really habitable. Plant and animal life are only beginning to recover from the assaults of the last decade when the great swamp was almost drained and the bird population was reduced to almost nothing due to the feather fashion of ladies hats. As a regional landscape artist who has taken the Everglades as my subject, I urge you to take a few moments to learn more about this area by clicking on the links on the blog. Maybe you'd even want to get involved in helping to save the Everglades for future generations!

Yesterday was the first meeting of the Wet Paint committee of Leadership Marco sponsored by Marco Island Chamber of Commerce. Wet Paint Live 2009 will be held on Thursday, January 29th. Plans are underway for another great event! I'll have more on this later, but in the meantime save the date.

Building Clouds
7" x 5"
acrylic on board
$150 with free shipping and handling in the US


Autumn Equinox, Brilliant Morning daily painting by JoAnn Sanborn

Today is the Autumnal Equinox, and the official start of fall begins 11:44 a.m. this morning. This is one of two days a year when the sun crosses the equator and night and day are exactly the same length. The sun will not cross the equator at this exact same point for another 26,000 years! This is because the sun is rotating like a top, wobbling a little, and also rotating around the sun. Simplified, at certain times of the year the northern hemisphere is away from the sun, and cooler, and certain times the southern hemisphere is nearer the sun, and warmer. Celebrations of the equinox have existed in many cultures and have many forms, but are usually centered on the completion of the harvest and preparation for winter. If you are interested in the history and religious aspects of the Equinox you can find more information here.

Here on Marco this movement of the earth will mean a gradual decrease in high temperature and rain. We'll dry off and cool down in preparation for the the Winter Solstice in December. In the meantime our mornings will be brilliant with sunshine.

Brilliant Morning
7" x 5"
acrylic on board
$150 with free shipping and handling in the US


Art Talk, Gold Rush Daily painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

One of the things I really enjoy outside of the studio is Marco Island's Artist Tabletalk luncheon. We're a group of professional artists who meet once a month to talk art. Yes, only art! We try to have only one conversation going at the table at a time. Not easy, but each artist around the table takes a few minutes to tell their news. It could be an award or an honor, experiments with a new media, comments on struggles and joys in the studio or "en plein air." All subjects are shared and discussed in a lively and supportive manner. After that, if nothing is pressing I try to have a topic or question for discussion that connects us to the broader perspectives of the art world. We usually end with "show and tell" or critiques of our work. The two hours pass all too quickly and we ask about health issues and and families as we leave.

This month I proposed that we take on the challenge of blogger Alyson Stanfield's Art Marketing Salon. It's free, and the only obligation is committment. There were eight people at the table and all jumped at the chance. We'll hold our organizational meeting soon and look forward to learning all we can about this important subject.

Today's daily Everglades painting is "Gold Rush" in honor of all the economic woes of the past week. I had no idea that total panic about finances could be achieved so easily! Real? Yes. Scary? Yes. Can I do anything about it? No! Back to studio for comfort? Yes!

Gold Rush
5" x 7"
acrylic on board
$150 with free shipping and handling in the US


Falling Leaves

Here are a couple of mixed media illustrations from another children's story just completed and delivered. This one is about the end of summer, where the woodland friends are eating ripe berries of the blackberry patch and later, asleep in the falling leaves. It's a cute story and a challenge to illustrate since the subject matter is so far from my usual. The client has some very definite ideas about what each illustration should contain. My next assignment is about bees, so I'm sketching bees and meadow flowers! I draw and sketch until the characters come clear and I'm comfortable with each of them before I begin the final paintings. Bringing me back to drawing is one of the best benefits of this assignment, but working with watercolors gives me a new appreciation for those who do it well!


Stormy Economy, Orchid Daily Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

Every time there's a hurricane in the Atlantic, Caribbean or the Gulf, I worry about losing everything, trying to prepare myself mentally for what could actually be a reality of life here on barrier Marco Island. We have plans. We know what to do, when to get out of the way. But in an economic crisis? What to do? I was born on the upside of the depression, after the great war, when our companies, our country, and our lifestyles were going uphill, not down. Ultimately and deeply I have faith that our country can weather this unknown storm. But what to do in the meantime? Paint, I guess!

This little orchid was left in my care when my sister-in-law left for the north. She's missing it's beautiful blooming!

7" x 5"
acrylic on board


Art Business, West Wind, Daily Painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

I've added a new box to the blog, linking you to artists who blog about the business of art. Art is like any other business and an area where most artists welcome help. Top of the field is Alyson Stanfield, who writes and produces podcasts about the business of art on the Art Biz Blog. Every Thursday she posts a question that make us think about where we fit into the BIG picture of life. It's fascinating to read the different positions of artists from all over the world. Don't be wary of blogger/artists Barny Davey in Art Print Issues even if you're not a print artist. His thoughtful blog is full of helpful information about becoming a better art business person. Harriete Estel Berman in Ask Harriete has developed a series of Professional Guidelines for artists that you'll find helpful. In addition, she welcomes and answers questions about the art business, as does Alyson. As an artist are you the best business person you can be or do you have more to learn? Check out these art business bloggers by clicking on the link on the right side of the blog, about half way down!

Today's painting is still influenced by the wind! Who would have thought it could be so windy here on Marco Island from a storm so far away? By the end of the day yesterday the winds had subsided and the sun peaked out. We're still watching Ike and hoping that the targeted folks in Texas have prepared well and will find shelter from the storm.

West Wind
7" x 5"


Out for a Walk, Daily Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

If you live on Marco Island and haven't been to the Town Center Mall on the first Wednesday of the month you're missing something special! You can sit back and sip something cool from the Crazy Flamingo as Island musician J. Roberts plays his delightful easy listening music to a appreciative crowd and artists gather around to paint. Art and music! The Blue Mangrove Gallery and local artist Tara O'Neill set up a number of easels at the tables around the gazebo where people are welcome to take up a brush. Children and adults are welcome, but children should not be left unattended--it's a family affair. They've had a great response to the event and it's a lot of fun, so put it on your calendar for next month!

Speaking of children, today's painting reminds me of a mother out for a walk with her kids. There's always one who has to get too close to the water!

Out for a Walk
7" x 5"


Investing in Art, Watching Ike, Daily Painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

Yesterday's Naples Daily News article Artful Investing discusses whether art is a financial opportunity in these challenging economic times. Certainly if you have certain French Impressionists works in your collection, you have seen the prices rise to astronomical heights. The prices of many American artists are also seeing a nice return. The international art market is growing, and many dealers feel the Russian art market is both hot and affordable. However art as an investment can be just as risky as any other investment. There's a great deal of satisfaction in looking at a painting you love, but any return can only be realized if you part with the work. If your budget puts you below the "blue chip" art market, then emerging artists is the way to go. The painting can bring you much pleasure, is affordable, the artist will be grateful, and just like any speculative stock can be fun to watch.

Watching Ike
7" x 5"


Hurricanes and Babies, Salute to the Sun daily painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

My friend Shannon is an art teacher in Fort Meyers. Lucky kids! She's one of the most creative people I know having wide-ranging artistic expression. At the moment she hasn't any grandchildren while many people our age talk of the nothing else. She decided to take a sabatical having nothing to do with art, and spent part of her summer holding babies in a Rumanian orphanage. As part of her reporting requriements she'll need to do a presentation, and to help with that kept a daily sketchbook log of her activities. It's so charming that I wanted to share part of it with you. You can't see her work on the web yet, but I'm encouraing her to make that her next project!
Meanwhile, there's hurricane watch as one hurricane after another continues to make it's way across the big pond. Most of the south has one eye on the weather as we continue to go about our daily business. We're pretty well prepared for hurricanes after years of going through hurricane seasons. We've gotten more savy about when to go and when to stay. We've plenty of water and hurricane supplies, have a list to take with us if we must evacuate, and know what to do to prepare prior to the storms. In the back of my mind I'm even trying to get mentally prepared in case things get really ugly. It's a reality I hope we never have to face, but a hurricane threat is very real and a hurricane three or more is a very strong storm. Make your plans now!
Salute to the Sun was a pleasure to paint after all the rain we've had!
Salute to the Sun
10" x 8"


Breakfast Bananas, Daily Painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

These little bananas were broken off the tree when storm Fay passed by last week. They didn't look very good, quite small and still green. A few days in the garage and they were perfect for a yummy breakfast. We love eating something that can be grown right on our very small, lot. There's a pineapple growing from the top of a pineapple we purchased, a lemon and lime tree, some basil, and a wonderful rosemary bush growing in our yard. Some really good tomatoes would be nice, but the plants take a beating this time of year and only the cherry tomato looks promising. We find that we're reading labels more carefully and trying to chose produce that's grown close to us. It's fresher and doesn't require high transportation costs. A new collector yesterday told me that they often go into the Everglades, and before seeing my work didn't really notice the landscape, but now they see my paintings everywhere. I'm truly humbled by such a compliment! The wonderful Everglades landscape gives much joy when you take the time to notice its uniqueness. Where's today's painting? I've been working on the children's story illustrations, but they're not quite ready to show, and on a studio painting, and didn't get today's painting finished. Oops!


Lone Palm Daily Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

While it's great to live by water, every now and then nature give you a little surprise, as yesterday when I looked out to see a higher than normal tide coming right over our dock! No storm surge had been forcast for our area and we're quite far south in Florida, but this little surprise must have been a nudge from the shoulder of Hurricane Gustov as he passed by on his way to ravage New Orleans.

I had Clyde Butcher's Muck About in mind as I painted this lone palm and watched the water rise. The Butcher property is pretty far inland, but do you think that the people taking the walk on Sunday got into water a little higher than expected?

Lone Palm
8" x 10"
acrylic on canvas
$225 with free shipping and handling in the US

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