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


Art Show, Boca Grande, Daily Painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Beach Walkers

On the Beach is another in the series of elongated palms on the beach that I've been working on, It's in the same family with Out to Sea, Night Mists, Warming in Sunshine. You can see them here. Sometime groups of palms just scream to be painted! The intervals of space between them, the different heights, and the way the tops interact all make for a painting challenge. It took a bit of work but I finally was happy with the value range and the depth and movement of color.

This painting, along with a nice selection of others, will travel to Boca Grande this weekend for an outdoor show. I'll have a couple of large things, and some daily paintings as well. I don't know much about Boca Grande except it's a barrier island near Gasparilla. Although we've passed by it a number of times, it's a part of Florida we haven't investigated yet. We're excited about having the opportunity to check it out. It will be a mini-working-vacation for us.

It's been really busy getting ready for both the show and my yearly Marco workshop which will start first thing Monday Morning. I've been updating and revising the class material, preparing handouts and putting everything together to take. It's a very intense class, and getting home late Sunday night won't give much time. This is the last day to sign up, so if you're interested, call the Marco Center for the Arts today.

If you're here on Marco this weekend, don't forget to attend the Marco Seafood Festival. The Chamber of Commerce will have a wealth of information about Marco businesses, and will have my April flyer as well. Stop by and mention my name!


Art Class, Art Show, Jane Hitler Park, Marco Island Sculptures

There's no daily painting today, and my order for the small canvases I've come to love has been delayed. I'll wait for them before painting another daily even though I have got some others that aren't nearly as satisfactory.

So here's something different! Today's image is of a beautiful double white bird of paradise brought to me as a gift from by my gardening neighbor. We share a love of the natural world and are just delighted to live here on beautiful Marco Island. I'm making a number of images black and white for my class next week and this will be one of several that are something other than the Everglades. Not everyone shares my passion for that landscape!

The Boca Grande show is this weekend, so please stop in if you're in the areas. It should be a very nice show. I'll have a couple of large paintings as well as a nice selection of dailies. We'll travel home after taking down on Sunday night.

Monday morning starts my yearly workshop, Acrylics and the Florida Landscape. I've been focused on having everything all ready for that. The paperwork is done--there will be lots of handouts because it's really hard to absorb everything in four days. I"m still collecting my materials. I bring tons of materials, and paints because it's important that students try new things. It's a sharing class, and I tell students not to bring anything they aren't willing to share.

If you'd like to see the plan here's the student outline. We cover a lot of ground in the four days, and the students will do six to eight paintings. It's a lot of fun and I look forward to it. It's not too late to sign up at the Marco Island Center for the Arts.

I'm speaking very briefly today as a member of the City's Arts Advisory Committee at a sculpture and park dedication. Jane Hitler, and early Marcoite left funds for a liner park along Smokehouse Bay. The park has recently been re-designed and will be dedicated today at 10. Part of the re dedication will include the unveiling of Kent Ullberg's beautiful sculpture of the almost extinct Ridley Sea Turtle, Journey's End.

The sculpture is a donation from the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts throught the generosity of gallery owner Dean Knox. The Foundation has placed three sculptures around the City of Marco Island including Jo Saylor's Willow Whistle in front of the Marco Library, Kent Ullberg's First Born, at the entrance to Residence Beach, and now Ullberg's Journey's End at Jane Hitler Park. Hope you're familar with all of them!

Following all this there will be some wonderful family visits in April. I'm not going to have much access or time for the computer in the next couple of weeks, so please be patient and I'll post when I can!


Plein Air Painting

Everglade Garden is hardly recognizable from my last post, but it's a revised version of the last painting displayed. I've given the palms a background and set them into the landscape so they're not floating anymore, but I'm still not happy with the finished product. I've spent hours on this little painting, and it's still not a go. Funny how some paintings just seem to paint themselves and others are such a struggle!

Here in South Florida we're fortunate enough to be able to paint comfortably outdoors all year long, but in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere the world is waking up to Spring. Whether you're an artist or not, it's time to renew your acquaintance with nature and the outside beckons.

I'll be teaching a four day workshop at the Marco Island Center for the Arts next week, and it's not too late to sign up! The class is Acrylics and the Florida Landscape. We'll spend half of each day inside, learning the basics of composition, values, color, and beyond, and half a day outside painting at various sites on the island and in the Everglades. It's a lot of fun and we have a great time. Everyone learns, including me. Today's photos are from last years class. Hope you can join us! There's also a list of tips for painting outside on my studio blog.


Marco Island Arts, Daily Painting by Everglades Artist JoAnn Sanborn

Sometimes, things just don't work out, and today's daily painting is just such an example. I'm far from my original idea, finally removed the background in desperation, and now the palms are elevated almost like a group of flowers. I've been gardening quite a bit, maybe that's what's affected my view! In any case this painting still isn't ready to go to a new home, so I'll take some time to see what can be done!

We were out in the Everglades yesterday scouting where to take the upcoming workshop class for some outdoor painting. It's as dry as I've seen it, and it's only March, so I expect we'll have a pretty active fire season, from now until the June rains wash the landscape and refill the pools.

My favorite class location had burned soon after our visit last spring, and when I checked previously the palm fronds were gray with ash, drab and drooping and the trunks were blacked beyond hope. I expected to be searching for another spot for the students to get off the road and with several options for painting.

Surprisingly, the area had almost completely recovered, with new green crowns on the palms and the distant views as lovely as ever. It's a natural cycle for the Everglades systems to dry out, burn, rainfall, renewal, but it's always a delight to see it working. An extra bonus is that the area had been cleaned of dumped debris as well. It will make a perfect class spot!

The workshop will be hosted by the Marco Island Center for the Arts where you can sign up. It will be four full days starting March 30 and there's still some room. We'll concentrate on composition, color, the Florida landscape and putting it all together with your own artistic signature. Half of each day will be spent painting outside. Come along, we'll have a lot of fun!

I was excited to learn that the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts will be giving three scholarships again this year. These will go to three Marco Island High School seniors who intend further studies in the literary, performing, or visual arts. If you know a qualified student, please ask them to apply.

The Marco Center for the Arts and the Marco Chamber of Commerce Leadership Marco will also be givng scholarships, thanks in part to Marco Island Wet Paint Live. Many thanks to the artists who painted and the community who purchased to make this benefit to our island youths possible!

Don't forget Marco Island's Community Conservation Celebration at Mackle Park on Saturday. There'll be something for adults and children alike, and lots of learning for all. See you there!


Rare Orchid, On the Banks daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

On the Banks
7" x 5" (17.8cm x 12.7cm)
acrylic on Panel

How exciting to learn, first on Twitter and then as a headline in today's Naples Daily News, that an orchid which no one has seen for almost 50 years years is thriving in the Fahahatchee strand! Three plants of the elusive orchid, were last seen in 1961 by a biologist who took the plants home to document them and save them from an area soon to be developed. No one has seen orchid Cyclopogon elatus since.

It’s really only kind of orchid nerds who are going to appreciate this, but it’s kind of cool,” Miami environmental scientist Chris Little, who made the find said Tuesday. He's wrong, because some of us who don't know the first thing about wild orchids are also celebrating the find.

Good biological news gives those of us who are sure we're on a doomed planet over run by a destructive dominant species hope that the earth is finding ways of renewing itself. Plus, it's delightful to know that the earth still has surprises for us.

You can find out more about Florida orchids at discoverer Chris Little's website and learn more about the Fakahatchee here.


Space Shuttle, Artist Rejections, Rain Clouds Daily Painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Rain Clouds
7" x 5"
Today's daily Everglades painting, Rain Clouds, is of the lovely clouds that build in the afternoons. Right around the beginning of June our rainy season will begin and every afternoon the clouds will bring us welcome rain.

Were you able to see the space shuttle launch last night? We've seen it in the past, and were outside looking up, but could see nothing but a strange white light behind some clouds. We've seen the launches in the past and it's always such a dramatic sight. It was disappointing not to see it, when many others in Florida saw it clearly. Phooey!

Last night I followed a tweet, you know, from Twitter, back to a blog about artist rejection. The writer felt that perhaps there was some way to ask judges to justify themselves, or be required to make comments about the works that were rejected. Most of the commenters felt that some accountability was called for by the judge.

Here's how I commented:

I feel somewhat differently than most of the artists who commented. Art is totally subjective. As long as you submit your best, quality work, you take your chances. Your fee is like buying a lottery ticket. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t, but you can’t win if you don’t play.

There are many reasons works are rejected, and they may have nothing to do with you. Each artists is only concerned about their piece or their body of work, but a judge needs to look at the totality of the show, one single work can’t be a consideration.

A show is the work of a judge. Sometimes there are hundreds of entries. I don’t want to have to justify each painting choice I make, and don’t want to try and make a judge justify theirs.

You can read the whole issue here. What's your take?


Friendship, Social Media, Good Friends daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Good Friends
7" x 5" (17.8cm x 12.7cm)
Acrylic on Canvas
Today's daily Everglades painting, Good Friends, makes me think about how we single out some people to be close to in our lives. Friends. We're choosy about our friends from a very young age, and some of them will remain close to us throughout our lifetime.

Sometimes we have to change friends because they do something we perceive as hurtful, because of a new understanding of their core values, or because of a fundamental decision about who we want to spend time with in life. We might lose friends when we move away or get a new time consuming job, just get too busy, or just because we're not so good at keeping up. Regrettably, I've lost a few friends this way.

Friendship through the ages has meant a closeness to someone with similar interests and someone who has your best interests at heart. Yet on Facebook, because of similar inters ts people want to be your friend who have never met you. Will they become reliable friends? And what do they want in return?

Through social media, you can "meet" people, spend time, sometimes a lot of time, with people, who you will never, ever see in person. There's no eye to eye and no requirements for you to reciprocate. You can get a feel for their personality by comments on Facebook or tweets on Twitter. Hey, give it a try, I'll be your friend......


Southern Birding, Ladies of the Morning Daily Painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Ladies of the Morning
7" x 5"

Today's daily painting Ladies of the Morning was done in response to the wonderful yellow sunrise we had here yesterday. The palms looked as though they were just emerging from the golden glow infusing the landscape. Today's sunrise is nice, too, although not quite as dense and golden.

The song of the cardinal is coming from the nearby bird feeder. His mate hasn't been coming as often perhaps because she's nesting nearby. Soon after sunrise a horde of hungry grackles will appear, throwing food everywhere and squawking and arguing loudly. The Cornell Bird Guide calls their song "a harsh, unmusical "readle-eak," like a rusty gate. Call a sharp, harsh "chack."

Tne feeder-full a day is all they'll get. The doves, nesting in the nearby lusciously fragrant Confederate jasmine will come by to clean up the seeds that the grackles have thrown to the ground. I'm still waiting to see the finches come to feed, but know there are some around. The nijer seed was a complete failure since none of the birds liked it at all. Any suggestions for a feed the songbirds love but won't bring the noisy grackles?

Today I'll work on a new commission, a painting of the New York Mohawk Valley. I've begun to block it out by haven't really started to paint yet. Doing something other than the Everglades is a nice change once in a while and a bit of a challenge. I'll let you know how it's going!


Florida Panther Week, Night Scene Daily Painting by Everglades artists JoAnn Sanborn

Night Scene
7" x 5" (17.8cm x 12.7cm)
acrylic on Panel
$150 with FREE shipping and handling in the US
Today's daily Everglades painting, Night Scene will remind you of the active time of the Florida Panther, who most often travel and feed at dusk and dawn. Next week is National Panther Week, and a number of panther protection organizations will be offering a variety of events so that you can learn more about this elusive animal.

A few years ago Florida panthers were at such low numbers that the danger of extinction was grave. After much discussion and debate, eight Texas cougars, a closely related subspecies, were introduced into the wilds of Florida in the hopes of saving the species. Results to date are encouraging. Watch this video from Big Cat Rescue to introduce you to the beauty and grace of this large cat.

Start your week on Saturday at the Marco Island Community Conservation Celebration. This event will include lots of activities for yourself and your children. Learn more about the unique environment in which we live. Watch this video to introduce you to the grace and beauty of this large cat. You might also like to attend the Kick-off event at the Naples Zoo.

There's something for everyone. Hikes, talks, and viewings are all available. These events fill up early, so if you're interested, act fast. My two top choices are already full! If you'd like, you can join one of the protection organizations and get involved.


Women of the Everglades, Spring Morning Daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Spring Morning
7" x 5" (17.8cm x 12.7cm)
acrylic on Panel
$150 with FREE shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

Today's painting, Spring Morning shows another beautiful spring day. Since we haven't had rain for a while and none is forecast, the lush grasses will start to dry up and the landscape will wither until the summer rains come in June. Fire danger is already high, and we've seen the smoke from a few. It's all part of the natural cycle of the glades.

Congratulations to Art & Gaye Benochea of Fort Lauderdale who won my painting donated to the Museum of the Everglades after a show there last year. The painting was in the lobby of the Museum, and visitors and residents could take a chance as a fund raiser for the museum.

We've been members of this small but active museum for years. The Museum is located in Everglades City, and almost always has an fine art or photography show in their lobby. Staff welcomes visitors from near and far.

The Museum hosts a number of events, and for March the theme will be Women of the Everglades. Historical figure Deaconess Harriet Bedell has been the focus of some attention this year when local artist Hannah Ineson painting a mural depicting her in the Bedell Chapel at St. Mark's Episcopal Church. Deaconess Bedell will be canonized by the church later this year for her work among Florida's Seminole Indians. You can meet Deaconess Bedell at the Museum on March 14, when she will be portrayed by actress Marion Nicolay.


Twitter, Facebook, and Three plus One, Daily Painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Three plus One
7" x 5" (17.8cm x 12.7cm)
acrylic on Panel
$150 with FREE shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

Today's Everglades painting is of four palms on the edge of a prairie. Uneven numbers are often better visually than even, but in this painting, varying the size and placement seems to have worked.

The studio is back in order and things will be a little quieter for the next week or so. Canvases are on the way for two upcoming commissions, and I"m looking forward to getting started.

In the meantime, I'm working hard to upgrade my web presence. If you haven't already, visit Sunshine Studios's redone website. I'm now on FaceBook, friend me if you want, and on Twitter, with a growing number of followers. I didn't understand Twitter at first, but was quickly converted and am totally amazed by how much information is available, and how easy it is to make new friends or learn about something new.

Earlier today I read on Twitter about mansions to the Everglades from Hidden Florida, read about the Florida Panther lecture at a local DAR meeting, learned about 137 species becoming extinct every day as the rainforests are destroyed, and a hopeful piece about how we can save the rainforests. I also read blogger's responses to the woman who called 911 over her McNuggets, that an Alaskan artist has the flu this week, that it's a cold morning for a photographer in Glasgow. Then there's the practical stuff, like which are the best email services to use for bulk emails.

I follow some motivational people, too, to keep me upbeat in these down times, and some tech people, who's stuff is mostly totally unintelligible to me but I'm trying to learn. The wealth of information is huge, and it's all immediate. Phew! Go to http://twitter.com/ and see for yourselves! You can start by following me, or just pick your own favorites! After you get the hang of it, you'll be amazed!


Celebrate the Arts, Spring Dance Daily Painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Spring Dance
7" x 5" (17.8cm x 12.7cm)
acrylic on Panel
$150 with FREE shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

Today's daily Everglades painting is Spring Dance, with three palm trees dancing in the distance with a small mangrove for an audience. Are you ready to dance for spring?

The Marco Art League did a great job on the Celebrate the Arts festival this weekend, providing a lovely artists reception, coffee each morning, congenial booth sitters, good parking and traffic control, and weather updates when the sky looked threatening. The wind wasn't too bad in my area, but on Sunday afternoon several artists had wind issues or even damage, and a few had to close up early.
There was a crowd on Saturday and Sunday mornings, but it quickly dwindled in the afternoons on both days. Sales varied from quite good to miserable. These days in our miserable economy I'm appreciative of every sale, and was delighted to have several paintings go to nice new homes. Thank you to new collectors, and to past collectors and friends who stopped by to see my newest work and say hello.
Today I'll be removing the exhibition at the Norris Center in Naples, and shipping a painting purchased yesterday. Because of these obligations we had to turn down a nice offer to go to Shark Valley this afternoon. Darn! It's been a while, and I'm anxious to get some fresh inspiration. Tomorrow we'll volunteer at the Naples Art Association for another show intake.
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