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


Owls and Panthers and Iguanas, oh my! On the Water Daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

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

Today's daily painting, A Day on the Water, was inspired by the fact that so many Marco Islanders spent Memorial Day weekend on a boat or near the water. We're really a water community, and sometimes this time of year canal traffic can rival the streets! People congregate on the beaches and in boats and on the surrounding islands enjoying our natural environment.

Other creatures of our natural environment have been making the news this week. Our burrowing owl population is down, in part because their food source has been affected by drought, and in part because of the heavy hand of man. This photo, taken near my home was an active burrow until the city repaired a storm drain on the site with heavy machinery compacting the soil. As a result, no owls this year.

But the little peanut shaped birds are active in other burrows, and we're hoping for a good wet season and a comeback for this charming population. As you can read here, our owls bring birders from near and far.

A rare sighting of an endangered Florida panther also made the news this week. Early morning volunteers on the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Boardwalk were surprised and delighted to see a female panther on the boardwalk in front of them. They were able to get some surprisingly good video of the animal. Wow!

And then, there's the Green Iguana. They're exotic, and gorgeous, and have growing populations in several places on Marco. They're in invasive species that climb trees easily and eat the eggs of our local birds and have no natural predator. Birds, or Iguanas? Should the City eradication program continue? It's ugly, but my vote is for the birds.


Time for a Dip, Daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Time for a Dip
6" x 6"
acrylic on Panel,

When out on the water near Marco Island and the Everglades, one of the joys of boating is that you can just stop and take a dip in the gulf when you want. The temperature has warmed up nicely now, inviting you into the shallows. The building clouds are no threat since you know from experience that the late afternoon storms are hours off. We've had some days just like this lately, and will have them all summer long.

It's a time of renewal for the South Florida environment. The land becomes even more inhospitable, with swarms of mosquitoes and mucky, swampy trails. The afternoon rains can be torrential, flowing across roads making access difficult. Yet the drama of summer in the glades can be a great inspiration, and I'll see some of the most beautiful scenes of the year.

For me it's a time of renewal, too. Its a time to reacquaint with busy friends, go to places too crowded in season, and to have welcome studio time without interruption. I'm ready!


Memorial Day, Nine Palms Daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Nine Palms
6" x 6" unframed
acrylic on Panel
$120 with FREE shipping and handling in the US

Today's Everglades painting, Nine Palms, almost looks like a parade, doesn't it? As a kid, and when I return to Gloucester, we always attend the Memorial Day parade, ending at the Oak Grove Cemetery, where many Veterans, including my Dad now, are buried. Someone placed flags at the grave of every Veteran, and there were newly planted colorful flowers on most as well.

Marching would be Veterans in a variety of uniforms from a variety of conflicts. The High School band, Boy Scout Troops and Girl Scouts carrying bouquets of lilacs would round out the parade. Sometimes there would be a mournful bagpipe group, always my favorite.

Here on Marco there's a grateful rememberance at the Marco Cemetary, and a bright row of flags along the main street to ensure that we don't forget those who have died or are still fighting for our country. I've put my flag out, and I'm grateful to every one.


Award, Peaceful, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

6" x 6" (15.3cm x 15.3cm)
acrylic on Panel
$120 with FREE shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

What a nice time we had at the artist's Tabletalk luncheon yesterday. There were eleven of us, which is great for this time of year, and as always the conversation was lively and inspiring. We start by going around the table and telling about our art month--struggles, joys, and rewards, talk about an art subject through lunch and end with "show and tell" or a request for critique. It's not a hard and fast schedule, but has developed as a way to be sure that everyone has a chance to share what they'd like. I hope everyone goes away as energized as I do!

Got a really nice surprise in the mail yesterday. My painting "Family Outing" entered in the National Association of Women Artists annual exhibition received the Dorothy Seligson Memorial Award for works on Canvas. It's only a small award, but means so much to me, particularly since the show is at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. If you're in the city before the end of the month, stop in and see the exhibition--and if you do, please take a photo of it hanging for me!
An artists work should come from the heart, and never for a potential award, but when it happens its a wonderful affirmation that some else likes the work, too.


Today's painting, By a Stream is a 6x6" size, so I don't have a frame for it yet. I'll be getting some in, but in the meantime you can purchase it unframed for $120.

I"m so glad to be back online. After my last post the computer went into a coma. Wasn't revived until until after a replacement part was ordered and came a week later! Visiting family was using the office as a guest room, and another couple occupied the studio, so nothing could be done. In addition to the computer, the air conditioning choked and the car tires had the steel belt showing through. Everything back to working now, but it was quite a week!

The wedding was perfect, filled with the joy of family and friends. My favors and place cards were a big hit and the bride and groom walked the beach for special shells to fill the bottles. The shell theme was continued in centerpieces and a beautiful cake. Despite the rain the bride looked radiant, the groom handsome, and a great time was had by all. The last guest left yesterday morning at 4 am, and we'll miss them all.

The day before the wedding one of my collectors came to pick out a painting for her daughter's birthday. She and her husband has a great time looking through the dailies and were happy to choose "Spring Morning" which I quickly framed for them in the frame of their choice. Walking them out to the car I was delighted to see that she was the winner of the "Smart Car" I had admired outside the Marco Island Library! Seems like she's a lucky gal.


It's been a really busy time with visitors and refreshing the studio since my class ended. I'm just now getting out some of the paintings I started and used to illustrate points in the workshop. There's about six of them.

Some of them may have a future, and some will be relegated to the trash. I love the square format of this one, and started working on it again yesterday. There's some potential, but the magic isn't there yet. I'll give it another day and see what happens.

Sometimes, in both art and life, it's hard to get back to something you started with such enthusiasm. What causes us to lose that initial urgency? Where does the energy go for such projects?
You may remember Jack Howard Potter's wonderful Marco Man sculpture, purchased by the city and now beautifully reflected in the mirror glass walls of City Hall. He's serving a dual purpose there. First, he reminds us that Marco Island is a City on the Move. We're changing and growing into the future. Second, he's providing a home to some of our feathered friends.
Think it itches? I'll be the co-chair of ArtQuest 2010, a public exhibition of high-quality sculpture presented by the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts in conjunction with Marco's business community. If you know a sculptor who might like to apply, please have them obtain an application here. Thanks! Want to work on the committee? You'd be welcome. Email me.


Shells, Marco Beach, student blog

Shells, shells, and more shells! Head down, bent posture on the beach is a clear sign that someone is harvesting the treasures of the sea. There's a beautiful selection of shells common and occasionally rare to be found on the beautiful white sand of the Marco Island beach. Our beach rivals Sanibel for the best shelling on the Southwest Florida coast.

A dear niece will be married this month here on Marco Island. She's taken shells as her theme and I'm helping with the wedding favors. She'll fill beautiful bottles with a little sand and some shells, and I'm making little folded cards to be tied to the top. So, a little out of my element, I'm drawing, hand painting, (watercolor!) and assembling the cards. I'm pleased with the results, and will show you the finished product next week! Today I'll be working on table cards to match.

We attended the Marco Island Center for the Arts "The Green Period" opening yesterday, It's a beautiful show with so many styles that there's sure to be something to appeal to everyone. We were told that the juror took the name of the show very seriously and eliminated those who didn't conform. The top prize was won by a man that I didn't know, but the next five prizes went to some fabulous artists, four of whom I"m proud to call friend. Congratulations, Ladies!

If you've been a student of mine in the past and didn't receive an invitation to the student blog Painting Marco, please let me know and I'll add you. I'm missing many of your emails. It will be closed to everyone but Sanborn students, and will be a forum for showing and discussing your lastest work, and a way to keep in touch. Check it out and respond to the invitation to be an author! Yes, there will be a little bit of a learning curve, but you can do it!


Out of your element, daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

As today's daily developed, the palm in its environment seemed to be out of its element, uncomfortable with its surroundings. It wouldn't settle in, and wouldn't be forced into a more normal mode. The colors fought me. As I painted, I decided to let the painting go its own way, and began to think about what it means to be out of ones element.

We've all been there. Sometimes we're been required to do things that we're just not used to doing. We're asked to do things that are different for us, hard for us, not usual for us, or stretching our limits. When you're forced out of your element, you have two choices, to grow or to retreat. Which do you choose?

The studio is clean, painted, and ready for work. I'm laughing at myself, though, as I post this photo, because after my hard work the studio still has everything it had it in, and here it looks almost as bad as last week! But yes, it's clean, it's fresh, and there's just a little more organization. There's also more room for the guests who will have to sleep in here when we pile in family and friends for a wedding in a couple of weeks!


Family Outing daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

"Family Outing" was shipped off yesterday to the National Association of Women Artist's 120th Annual Exhibition, to be hung at the Salmungundi Club in New York City from May 11-29. If you're in the City, stop by and take a look!

This was not the painting I intended to send, but that one turned out too large. This was intended for the Marco Island Center for the Arts Green Period exhibit, but after much layering, color balancing and the agony of the artist I was finally pleased enough to send it. A new Green Period painting is at the framer to be picked up today for submission tomorrow.

After getting the "have to's" under control, painting the studio became a priority. It's been years, and was getting really shabby, so I got to work. The Studio is 12x12, just the right size, but I have it so crammed that I can only paint one wall a day.

The ugly futon, which many a gracious client has had to be pulled out of, has been donated to a friend and piled high on a truck full of furniture headed to Alabama. It served well for many years, and it's surface was covered with spots from times the brush flew out of my hand in the excitement of painting. However it was also hard as a rock and we're having a houseful of guests this month for a family wedding. It will be replaced by a much more comfortable wall bed for overnight guests and a couple of chairs for studio visitors.

Because there isn't much space everything has to be piled, and I can only do one wall at a time. Two walls are already done and look great! I'm off to paint the third one now.

When I'm done, I'll attend the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts annual meeting. The Foundation is (five?) six years old today, and has certainly done it's part in increasing arts awareness on Marco. For today's program Janina Birtolo will portray Mary Todd Lincoln. Janina has done a series of one woman portrayals of women in history, and it's always a pleasure to attend one of her performances. Hope to see you there!
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