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


Internet image, Water's Edge daily painting by JoAnn Sanborn

As an artist it's important to have an Internet image. You're not taken at all seriously if you don't. Gallery owners, decorators, and clients can easily find you and to view your latest work. It's 's especially important for people who can't easily pop into your studio for a visit. So some web presence is helpful.I've been trying to upgrade my Internet image for a couple of weeks now. First, this blog had some problems in the validation that made it hard for the search engines to see it properly. Some 629 problems! Heart stopping, since I had no idea how to fix them. Still, it's good for us to learn new things, and sometimes there's no choice but to jump right in. I've welcomed the help of artist Manuela Valenti. I don't know Manuela, but know she's a fine artist and a fine person from meeting her in a daily painting discussion group online. She's knowledgeable about the web, and kind enough to share willingly. How nice to have some hand-holding from afar.

Second, I've joined Twitter. I'm not sure what its all about, since even my children tell me they're not interested in "following" my day. I'm not sure anyone is, but I'll "follow" a couple of people to try and learn the value. Right now it's hot, and if you'd like to twitter you can find it here, and me, here.

Today it's Facebook. A friend asked me to be her friend, prompting me to take action. Joining Facebook is something that I've been going to do for a while, but had been putting off, since it seems like a young person's thing. But the Internet art world says it's necessary, so here goes. You can find me by putting in my name if you want to be friends!

Water's Edge


Marco Mickys, Into the Wind, Daily Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

Into the Wind, today's daily painting, will most likely be my donation to the Marco Island Mickys Program. The Mickys are a youth sailing program, sponsored by the City of Marco and supported by the Marco Island Yacht Club and other island organizations. I've donated a small painting to the fund-raising auction held for the Mickys as part of the Yacht Club's Fall Regatta since it's inception in 2004.

The Mickys program held their first regatta earlier this year and you can read about it here. It's great to see kids learning to sail safely on our waters, and the little sailboats bobbing on the water is a cheering sight for all to enjoy. Sailing builds confidence and self-reliance in children, as well as being a healthy outdoor activity. Now some larger boats need to be purchased because the program's earlier participants are growing up and will need some larger boats in order to continue to learn.

As an artist we're often asked to donate paintings to various causes. We certainly can't give a painting every time we're asked, but we can choose organizations that we'd like to support. I really like the Mickys!

Into the Wind
7" x 5"


Artist Ethics, Out to Play Daily Everglades Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

The top prize winner at the American Watercolor Society this year seems to have stolen her images from a photographer, done most of the work on the computer, and we're still not sure if she ever painted on the painting at all! The whole affair is under investigation. There's been a lot of discussion and comment on the web, and most artists are outraged. If you're a professional, it pays to have at least a basic understanding of what's not only ethical, but legal as well. Stealing other peoples images is neither legal or ethical.

We all have a code of ethics, but few of us have them in writing. Art Biz Coach Alyson Stanfield has made a start by writing down her set of business ethics, and you can see hers by clicking here. All this thinking and reading about ethics has prompted me to make a start at defining mine, too. Here goes.

My work is my own, unique and original as interpreted by me from either life, or a photo taken by me or at my request by my husband who's a much better photographer.

I use quality, archival materials. I buy the best materials for the job and use them in ways to guarantee my work.

I try to help other artists. Through teaching, organizing artist events, and always being willing to share.

I never mislead a client to make a sale. The best fit for the client is always best for me. This leads to trust, and repeat sales.

I work hard to be the best I can be. I continue to learn through classes and self study.

I work to strengthen the arts community on Marco Island. I believe the arts help build community, so have been president of the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts, and are working with other community organizations like the Marco Island Center for the Arts and the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce to help create art events to benefit our community.

There. It's a start. I"m sure there's a few more in here somewhere. Have you thought about your personal or business ethics lately?

Out to Play
5" x 7" SOLD


Dana Souza, In the Distance Daily Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

The loss of Marco Island Parks and Recreation Director Dana Souza is a huge loss to our community. I was saddened by the news that Dana will be taking a position elsewhere. Dana has played a very big role in building our community by touching and including so many different people and organizations with a style that's inclusive, rather than in any divisive way. Dana was also a big friend of the arts, and actively promoted the arts on Marco.

I was on the first Charter committee after the City was incorporated, so I feel a vested interest in what goes on. It's just plain painful that after 10 years we still can't come together as a community and get it right. Some people blame our contentiousness on having too many people from too many different places, that we don't have a shared, common background. Some say that there are too many power frustrated, middle management people retired, with too much time on their hands. Some relish controversy as democracy at work. Whatever the reasons, Dana was a friend of the arts and a community builder, and we'll be sorry to see him go.

Today's daily Everglades painting, In the Distance, is a small version of the palms on the beach series I've been working on. I'll deliver a couple of paintings for display at the Morgan Stanly office today and finish my entry into the Naples Art Association's Founders show. You can see my painting Kindred Spirits in the Naples Art Association's Show of Shows

In the Distance
7" x 5"


Arts Ordinance, Enjoying the Sun Daily Everglades Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

O-o-o-o-oh! Wasn't that a nice breath of cool air we felt yesterday morning here on Marco Island at the edge of the Everglades? We've had a long, hot summer, and it was wonderful to open up the house and let the breeze in after such a long time. Along with the cool air will come the end to our rainy season, just one of the passages of time to note in this climate. Another strong indication of season change is the number of just returned snowbirds. Welcome back! You add a vitality missed in the heat of summer.

This morning I'll be working with the other members of the Marco Island Arts Advisory Committee to begin forging an art ordinance for the island. The committee, and most of the Marco City Council believe that the arts help a community economically and help build community strength. We assembled the ordinances of several Florida cities to help us get started, but know that Marco has its own special needs. If you're on the island and want to help you can tell your favorite council member that you support the arts!

Today's palm painting is the third in a series of paintings of a clump of palms that I'm exploring. I'll post an even larger painting of this series on my studio blog later today along with some hints for composing a painting.

Enjoying the Sunshine
20" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
$750 with free shipping and handling in the US


Going my Way? Daily Everglades Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

The morning skies here on Marco Island and over the Everglades can be so beautiful. The light comes up slowly and the colors changes are so subtle that you have to look carefully to see them. Sometimes there are little puffs of clouds taking on the colors of blue, grey, and sometimes pink in a golden sky. Sometimes layers of yellow, pink, green and blue change places slowly as the sun rises. Sometimes, there's a thin layer of bright light right on the horizon, and the rest of the sky filled with dark clouds. But you can be sure that every single morning is unique and different.

JM Turner, a British painter who's rich, voluminous skies have inspired generations of landscape artists is someone that every painter of light wants to emulate. Haldane Macfall, an art critic, wrote of him in 1920 as..."All that is vital in modern art was born out of the revelation of Turner". If you're not familiar with his work take a look and learn more about him. Then sit outside early some morning and watch the morning show in the sky.

Today's painting just wouldn't photograph quite right. My simple camera has trouble discerning between the thin, glaze layers of colors and blurs them rather than defines them!

Going My Way
7" x 5"


Artist Demonstration, Beach Light, painting by JoAnn Sanborn

Some of you may recognize this painting from a demonstration I began at the just opened Big Cypress Marketplace on Rt. 41 last Saturday. There are never great expectations for a great painting during a demonstration because the goal is really to show your methods and talk with people rather than to obtain a finished product. People seem delighted to see a painting emerge from the dark background on the canvas. I never finish a painting while demonstrating, since although my initial lay-in is fast, a finished painting needs much more thought and many layers of hard work before completion. So, I was delighted at home when I took a look and saw a "start" that perhaps could be made into a finished painting.

I"m enjoying exploring groups of palms on Marco Island beach. Most of the palms near the beach are accompanied by tall condo buildings, but it's easy to ignore them, look between them, and focus on the groups of palms and the beach light. If I'm lucky and the palms and the light cooperate, this exploration has the potential to develop into a series.


Handmade, October Afternoon Everglades Daily Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

Everything we live with and use on a daily basis has been chosen by you. What are your choices? How many of the things that you live with daily
would you classify as "art?" How many things around you in your home have been purchased directly from the maker? Do you have a piece of handmade furniture? A painting purchased directly from an artist? Do you drink your daily coffee or tea from a mug handmade by a local potter? Serve your vegetables in a handmade dish? What are your treasured things, and how well will they travel into the next generation. Just something to think about!

My brother has been visiting this week. His joy in our weather and natural environment is refreshing. Despite the showers we've had some great weather for him to enjoy. Today's Everglades daily painting is October Afternoon.

October Afternoon
7" x 5"
acrylic on Panel
$150 with FREE shipping and handling in the US


Big Cypress Marketplace, Morning Sky Daily Everglades Painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

The Big Cypress Market Place , US 41 just south of 951, will hold it's grand opening this weekend Today the delightful banjo group Marco Island Strummers will be playing around noon, and a bluegrass group add their music later in the day. The Marketplace includes the Big Cypress Winery, where you can taste and learn the history of Florida wines, a food court, and of course the "fleas," a nice line-up of merchants selling most everything. The owners are working hard to include art and artists, and there will be an artist market section near the winery. Some Marco Island artists will be painting throughout the grand opening weekend. I'll be painting there tomorrow, Saturday, from 9-11. Stop by and say hello!

Were you up early enought to notice yesterday's morning sky was just beautiful, with moving storm clouds and glowing morning light? I came in from my walk and got right to work on today's daily painting, eliminating the homes of my neighbors and focusing on the sky!

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


Political Artists, Night Mist, Everglades Painting by JoAnn Sanborn

Did you watch the Presidential debates last night? This election is the first one in years in which the candidates are trying to draw clear differences on their positions. They're evoking such strong reactions from voters on both sides. Friends who love to debate are drawing battle lines. Some are careful to skirt any discussion of political issues at any gathering. The retoric means little to those who have had years of unfulfilled campaign promises. Yet our country is suffering, and we want to elect the canidate who will be a leader we can follow back to greatness. Now the economic crisis is adding to our worries.

As an artist, have you participated in an election event? According to an article in Common Dreamer, political artists are awakening in great numbers. The American Institute of Grahic Design asked artists to create non-partisian posters urging people to vote received over 200 entries. There's even a Virtual Gallery of Political Art.

I haven't jumped yet, and time in running out. In the meantime, I'm really enjoying our season, humidity, and the great way the Florida landscape looks this time of year. Did you notice the wonderful night mist two nights ago?

Night Mist
24" x 20"


Egg Tempera Paint, Daily painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

We enjoyed a demonstration of Egg Tempera painting at the Marco Island Center for the Arts yesterday prior to the opening of the new show "It's all about the Media." Artist Daniel Ambrose provided an entertaining demonstration with much information about the medium. He also loves and paints the Florida landscape, so seeing his interpretation of familiar scenes was an added bonus. I had admired egg tempera paintings in the past, particularly some beautiful icons seen at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. The icons were rich with jewel-like colors still vibrant after centuries, so it was informative and interesting to see the actual process. It's quite simple, using the same pigment as all paints but with a simple egg yolk as the binder. The downside is that the medium dries very quickly, so it's best suited for small or very patient artists! The results of Mr. Ambrose's egg tempura paintings were lovely, as was the rest of the show, so stop by the Art League if you're on Marco.

Thanks to the McGrory's for their acquision Red Palms.

Light Show
7" x 5" (17.8cm x 12.7cm)
acrylic on canvas
$150 with FREE shipping and handling in the US


Natural Light, Daily Painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

The light was fantastic as we drove back from Tampa at dusk Tuesday night. The billowy clouds piled up low in the sky and the late day sun raked the landscape making strong contrast between bright and shadow areas. Without a bit of rain we saw a beautiful rainbow and got a picture of it from the car window. In some areas there was a wide variety of cloud types and the light coming through would highlight aspects of the landscape. We're used to unusual light down here on the southernmost peninsula, but this was spectacular and a fitting end to day filled with both goodbyes and renewal. The changing light made the trip go quickly and the drive easy, and we were home by dark.

Certainly the memory of that light had a part in the inspiration for today's painting. I'll work on it a little more before this painting is ready to be adopted. (Oh, horrors, daily painters!) Do you have a favorite natural light show stored in your memory? If not, just step outside at sunset some evening and see what nature offers.
Natural Light


Tamiami Trail, Daily Painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

Today's scene is one that I've painted before, right along the Tamiami Trail, or Route 41 between Marco Island and Everglades City. The palms have rearranged themselves a little since the last time I was there, and there's a couple of new little ones coming along. I'm returning to this site because a commission client wants something similar to a past painting of this area. I never paint exactly the same painting twice, but will return to an area with a fresh eye. Since the light and the mood is never the same, each painting is unique. The Tamiami Trail , State Road 41, goes from Tampa to Miami. Completed in 1928, the Trail has just had it's 75th birthday. Traveling the road is you'll see a fascinating mix of old and new, wilderness and over development. Think Route 66 only in Florida. The Trail is designated as a scenic highway and is well worth a drive even at today's gasoline prices. My favorite part, of course, is the drive from Marco to Miami, which is mostly undeveloped Everglades wilderness area. Each of the links above will give you a little more information about the Trail.

Watch carefully if you drive along. In addition to the alligators and soaring and wading birds, you might be lucky enough to catch a rare sighting of the hairy, bipedal Skunk Ape. The Skunk Ape is the most southern of the Bigfoot family. There's some footage of the creature here and you can learn more about this unusual creature at Skunk Ape Headquarters.

Tamiami Trail
7" x 5"
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