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


Judge's Comments, In the Marsh daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

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

This view of the Everglades is the frog's eye view! In the Marsh has tall grasses high on each side framing the open water. Perhaps following the open water will take me to something special, always just around the bend. More than likely it will be more marsh, but if you look closely or are just lucky the landscape may show you something special. It may be an animal, an orchid, or the light hitting something in a way to highlight it's uniqueness. Always keep your mind and your eyes opened to appreciate nature fully.

A while ago, in response to another blog, I defended the right of an art show judge to say nothing. However, I also am a firm believer that critique teaches more than a lesson, because the words relate to directly to the canvas at hand. This is remarkably valuable and appreciated when the response of the judge is documented, not only to the artist who did the work, but to the others hearing or participating in the critique.

RayMar, an artist painting panel company, has a contest each month to highlight the work of Internet artists. When the winners are announced, the winning paintings are shown with both the year and the month judges comments on display. Tom Browning, a fine Western landscape artist, was the year judge.

You can see the results here. If you look back, you can see the results of each month, and learn about the monthly judges. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


Everglades Fire, Daily Painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

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

Family visits over and studio reclaimed! Everything is back in place and I managed to paint this small painting yesterday. I'm always pleased after a break to see that I can still paint, and I like the bright, painterly quality of this one.

The smell of smoke from a large Everglades fire is still strong this morning. Fires are a natural part of the wet season, May through October, when they are often started by lightening, but burn only until the next heavy thunderstorm. The fires keep larger trees from invading the sawgrass prairies by burning them out. The sawgrass will lose it's grass, but the roots remain alive because of water in and on top of the soil. Nutrients are released into the soil and a healthy regrowth follows.

Fires started during the dry season, when there is very little rain can be more harmful. While they still reduce undergrowth brush, they burn much hotter and deeper than a wet season fire. They can start the peat layer burning, and destroy the root systems of the plants. The results are much longer lasting, and the recovery of the area may take years.

The National Park Service gets the most visitors during the dry season because the temperatures are pleasant, the bugs are less, and the animals tend to congregate at the remaining water holes. We were surprised to see the large number of visitors to the Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. We've been visiting this boardwalk-nature walk for years, and have never seen more than a couple of other people. Last week there were many cars parked and a stream of visitors. A nice walk, but hard to see much wildlife with so many people!


Marco Island, Arts Community, Palms, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

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.

It was a busy weekend on Marco, and the Left Bank Art Show was a nice success. The Left Bank Art Show is particularly fun because it's not juried. Beginners and professionals can show together without the special equipment and all the hoopla of a more formal outdoor show. I didn't participate, but took the family along to check it out. It was fun to see the work through the eyes of grandchildren and introduce my family to my artist friends.

As a I walked along viewing some wonderful art many of the artists greeted me with a joyful hug. It felt really good, and I slowly realized that I knew most of the artists. More importantly, I realized that they also knew each other!

Here on Marco we've had an Art League for 40 years. The current Outdoor painters have been meeting every Wednesday for sixteen years. The Foundation for the Arts supports the literary, visual and performing arts. There's a City Arts Advisory Committee. Artists meet and exchange ideas at Art Tabletalk, and most island artists participate in the Marco Chamber's Wet Paint Live.

But after Saturday's walk, I feel like it's all coming together and we finally have tilled the earth enough to plant the seeds of an encouraging and supportive arts community. It's still fragile and will need some careful nurturing. You may have had a part in creating it, and can now help it to grow. Thanks, folks!


Smell of Spring, Daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

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.

Spring is in the air on Marco Island as the scented flowers begin to bloom. The gardenia bush by my front door sends out a cloud of fragrance to be enjoyed by anyone coming up the walkway. It's very prolific, and I've place the blooms in small vases around the house as well. There's a wonderfully scented Confederate Jasmine over the garage door that's heavenly, too.

There's something romantic and timeless about the beautiful scent of the gardenia. Catching a whiff of the fragrance in the air when you least expect it is a special treat. I'll put a couple in the guest room for my daughter and her husband to enjoy on their visit here this week.

My first garden was given to me when I was six, a small plot between the walkway and the door. My mother said it was my garden, to do as a wanted, as long as I kept it up. Every year we would go to the nursery and pick out a few containers of starter plants. I learned a lot about both gardening and life as some tiny little stalks developed far beyond my expectations while others with much promise were a sorry disappointment.

Since that time I've always had a garden, but have to admit that since coming to Marco Island 16 years ago I was more attracted to the huge, large, bold green forms of dramatic foliage than the flowers themselves. I'd buy an orchid now and then but once the bloom was over the snails would eat the leaves into a pathetic eyelet and I'd loose interest.

Now, between the availability of beautiful, native plants at the Farmer's Market and the encouragement of my enthusiastic and knowledgeable gardening friend, I'm renewing my interest in both gardening and painting plants. The orchid plant on my kitchen counter has a slightly spicy scent and is one of my recent purchases. Will it live on? I'm excited to see where this will go!

Oh, and see my new post on color here.


Artists Tabletalk, Family Outing painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Family Outing

The MIFA sponsored Artist Tabletalk luncheon that I host is today, the third Thursday of each month. What started out to be a small group of professional artists has grown into a great support group for artists here on Marco. We've decided that we'd accommodate all serious artists who wanted to come, even new artists, at long as they were serious about their art, were actively painting, and wanted to get to know other Marco artists. Right now there's almost 20 people on the list, but only 12 seem to make any one meeting.

Our goal is to carry on one conversation, since we all want to hear what everyone has to say. We go around the table taking turns telling about our art month--successes, disappointments, experiments, new ideas, discovered materials. Sometimes someone comes with an art question or art issue that sparks lively discussion.
We also have a time for show and tell--where we can discuss how a painting developed, why we went in a certain direction, and get some help when we know things aren't quite right, or just want affirmation that they are. I'll bring the above painting to see what the reaction is.
Other artists have told me that they go home energized, renewed, and full of new enthusiasm. Me, too. Thanks, art friends! See you at lunch.


Nana in her Studio, Spring Morning daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Spring Morning
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.8cm)
acrylic on Panel

I'm so glad the show season is over, for me at least. It was quite successful but doesn't compare to a few years ago. Still, it was nice to renew my acquaintance with old collectors and friends. Most of them will head north for the summer months and not think about this area at all, but for those of us who live here, it's a wonderful time of renewal.

I'm thinking about a focus for my summer paintings. There are so many aspects of the Everglades and Marco that inspire me. I'm not sure yet if I'll work closer to home or get out a little more. I particularly love the Fakahatchee and the Big Cypress, and have spent many happy hours painting away. I do more studio work now, and would like to get a few large paintings complete this summer. I'll start outside, because that's where my inspiration is, but will take the painting back to the studio for the finish. It's so much easier to work in my small studio when I don't have to think about lugging out the paintings for weekend shows!

Had a wonderful week with the kids. One grandson was able to complete his Cub Scout artist badge by working on projects a little each day, and the little guy did this great portrait of me in my studio as I struggled to finish a NAWA submission in time to meet the deadline! Just made it! Next week will bring another set. Can't wait!


An award, for me and passing it on.

Today I'm the delighted recipient of an award! It's my first blogging award, and I'm delighted and honored, especially since it's for a passion for painting. Thanks, Rob!

I'm supposed to list seven things that I love, and then pass it on to seven other artists, so here goes.

1. My husband, my family, friends old and new, for being there and adding joy to my life. My sharing, supporting art group.

2. The morning light just before the sun comes up.

3. Wild places, like the Everglades, that talk to us with ancient voices and let us hear our own.

4. The Marco Island Beach, which you can see here if you're not close enough for a walk

5. Travel - almost anywhere, and coming home again.

6. People who tell me my paintings have opened their eyes to a beauty they didn't see before.

7. A nice glass of wine and a sit on the dock at the end of the day.

Now, I'm going to pass this award on to some of my favorite artists. Some have received many awards before, but still deserve this one for passion.

Thanks for being there, for sharing, for caring, and for giving so much to others.

Sue Smith truly a wise woman and beautiful artist who just keeps giving

Bonnie Luria - a truly talented artist who finds humor in mostly everything

Linda Blondheim - a passion to succeed, and a giving soul. She loves Florida, too

David Darrow - who'll probably hate this but gives often and freely

Deborah Paris - who has a passion for the landscapes moody moments

Hugh McLeod, who makes me think or makes me laugh

Doris Glover - who took me up on the offer to link when I started blogging


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