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


Multidirectional panel, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Here's my entry for Marco Island Center for the Arts Fortieth Birthday Bash to be held in early November. Forty Art League Artists will complete a 12x12 panel which will become part of a larger painting. The finished painting will be eight panels wide and five panels high.

If you're doing a panel, please be careful with tape. My panel had "issues" because the blue painters tape that I used somehow decided to fuse itself to my panel after just a couple of minutes leaving dirty glue residue. When I tried to wash it off, off came the finish of the panel. Panic and some cursing ensued, but I finally got it mostly under control.

I wanted the panel to be multi-directional as design from any angle, as you should, if you're doing one. That way the work becomes interactive, as the viewer can move any of the panels any way they like in the whole crazy quilt of the painting. The panels will have velcro tape put on the back, and can be redesigned again and again at the will of the viewer.
If you are an Art League artist and you haven't picked up your panel, call the Art League soon to reserve yours. They're going fast. This is a great opportunity to participate in something both fun and lasting.


Artists at the Esplanade, Early Light daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Early Light
5x7, acrylic on canvas
$15o, framed
It was quiet and still when I walked this morning, with the sky full of stars in the early light, a peaceful start to a new day. What will the day bring?

I needed that peace because I'm so very excited, but still holding my breath with fingers crossed, as the possibility of Artists at the Esplanade becomes a reality. The retail spaces at the Esplanade on Marco Island have never been full, and several spaces were vacant with the depressed economy.

By accepting a proposal to allow artists to utilize retail space, the owners are showing innovation, forward thinking and risk-taking. They'll benefit by having a tax break by leasing through the islands non-profit arts agencies , details still in progress, but it still took courage to take the leap.

Artists will bring color, excitement and action to the scene. Spaces will be shared and the requirement is to maintain a working studio, spending at least 30 hours a week on-site and selling only what you produce. One site may be held for a group gallery. Think of it--something rare today-a working artist colony!

If we can keep up the momentum, and not get bogged down with greed, minutia or spoilers, studios will be opening around the first of October. I'll keep you posted!


Eye Rolling, Morning Show daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Morning Show
5x7, acrylic on canvas
"You may have a hard time tolerating certain people around the house or workplace today -- especially if they're hung up on petty concerns. You can't hide the rolling of your eyes this time!" My horoscope for today.

I normally wouldn't even look, but my proposal to provide artist studio space in vacant retail space in the Esplanade has been accepted. There's a meeting to work out details this afternoon.

It could be wonderful for both artists and the City of Marco. Oh, God, please control the eye rolling! And add a dose of tolerance too.


Marco Island Marriott, Enjoying the View daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Enjoying the View
5x7, Acrylic on Canvas

Perhaps you've noticed that the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort and Spa is getting a face lift and the brown and cream tiles decorative tiles that made the Marriott a landmark on Marco Island have been removed. The Marriott was designed by Island architech Herb Savage over 40 years ago and the tiles have been there ever since.

Since no one seemed to know the future of the facade, members of the Marco Island Arts Advisory Committee visited the Marriott and met with General Manager Rick Medwedeff to ask him about future plans for the very visible landmark.

Mr. Medwedeff graciously explained that due to corrosion of the bonding materials, the tiles had begun to fall off. Since some of the tiles weighted as much as 150 lbs, this constituted a safety emergency for the Marriott Resort, and the decision was made to remove the rest before someone was injured, and to patch and paint the facade as a temporary fix.

Since it will be impossible to restore the historic tiles, a new design is being considered. Construction for a new facade will begin in 2010. Since the new design is still under consideration, it's not yet being made public, but the committee has been assured that Marriott takes the condition of it's Marco Island facility very seriously and that the new facade will be both appropriate and beautiful.


Artists decisions, Safety in Numbers painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Safety in Numbers
20x20 Acrylic on Canvas

It's time for the artists in Southwest Florida who do outdoor shows to begin applying. Deadlines are approaching and decisions must be made. Many shows have become quite expensive, some $400 or more, with no guarantee that the public will show up and purchase. But most self-representing artists want to put themselves out there to meet with valued collectors and to get to know new customers.

Gallery artists are also having a difficult time. Many galleries are struggling during the current economy, and some have closed. Galleries are also not able to do as much as they did in the past for their artists, looking more often now to sharing reception costs and advertising.

Now there is a whole new generation of Internet artists. They gather followers and make sales without even leaving their studio. Thousands of images can be quickly a prospective collector, purchased easily, and have their choice delivered right to their home.

Now that so many schools are choosing to cut art and music programs from school budgets, will the next generation even care about original art like humans have throughout history? Will our instant gratification young people go for low priced, mass produced images over a beautiful and timeless original?
Yet many artists are doing just fine. They've built up a good reputation, taken good care of their valued collectors, and continued to build their art business even in a down economy. People still want to live with beautiful things around them and are willing to pay for quality.


Artist Outings, To the Wind daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

To the Wind
5x7, acrylic on canvas
$150, framed

This time of year the tropical weather outlook has been added to our local weather. The South Atlantic has been quiet so far, but weather things are beginning to heat up, and we've been hearing about hurricanes and tropical storms all week.

None seem to be threatening us at the moment, but today's daily painting is what came off my brushes despite my plans for something else. Guess I've seen enough weather forecasts that just the mention of a tropical wave makes me recall the sky, wind and water during a storm.

Tonight will be the Art League of Marco Island's reception for the Color Vibrations exhibition. Should be an interesting exhibition, and the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce After Five will be held as well. It should be a great time to see both good art and good friends.

You're invited, so come along, and if you're one of the Art League's artist members, you can pick up your prepared canvas to begin working on your piece of the painting for the Art League's 40th birthday, coming up in Novmeber. I'll do a longer post on this project later.

Island's Artist Tabletalk luncheon, a monthly artists roundtable sponsored by the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts will be held tomorrow. It's amazing how refreshing and inspiring it is to talk and share with other artists. Coming together to talk about our work and to support and encourage each other makes me really appreciative of the arts community on Marco.


Studio Visits, Knee Deep daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Knee Deep
5x7, acrylic on canvas
$150, framed

I had a lovely studio visit the other day. A friend of mine brought over a friend of hers as part of a birthday outing. What a nice idea! It gave me an opportunity to show off my studio and talk about my process of painting and my inspiration. We shared some light refreshments, and had a nice visit talking about art and Marco Island.

A studio visit is a great way to get to know an artist whose work you admire. Artists work alone in our studios. For the most part, we're delighted to take some time out to make a new friend and introduce you to our art. Through a studio visit you can become more familiar with the artist as a person, learn about their working process and review their inventory.

Artists understand that not everyone is in the market for a painting. We're happy to add you to our mailing list, blog list, invitation list. We welcome the chance to introduce you to our art. But please, call ahead. We might be out painting!


US Sugar, Florida, On Separate Sides daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

On Separate Sides
5x7, acrylic on Canvas
$150 framed

It's time we began thinking of our native wilderness lands and watershed areas as valuable resources. Valuable as in "money"! If we factor in the economic impact of such areas as the Everglades to our local economy, we would see how short-sighted it is to delay the purchase and restoration of environmentally important lands by making short-sighted budgeting decisions.

According to The Conservancy of Florida's Vice Chairman Andrew Hill, Atlantic University just published a report on the economic value of the Everglades. They found that the total impact of ecotourism in 2007 was 1.8 billion dollars. Sport Fishing adds another 5 billion to that!

Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico are already suffering from overuse. Tourists who suffer respiratory problems from a bloom of red tide, or who experience disgusting fish kills are unlikely to return to our formerly pristine beaches.

Florida and US Sugar are in court determining how Florida will move forward in obtaining land many believe is vital to our environment. It's also vital to our economy. By acquiring US Sugar lands and restoring water flow to the Everglades, the state can provide wildlife habitat, replenish parched farmland, protect coastal estuaries and put the "river" back into the River of Grass.

The stakeholders in this issue have varied and conflicting needs, yet the alternative of doing business as usual will destroy both our environment and our economy. Let's get this purchase done!


Summer Storms, Standing Out daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Standing Out
5x7, acrylic on canvas
$150, framed

We learned of the first potential storm threat of the season from the weatherman last night. "Not to worry for at least a week" he said, in an effort to have some news but not to scare. Here we go again, watching the weather to determine if a predicted storm may be headed in our direction and pose a threat to Marco Island.

If you live in Southwest Florida, you should have made your home preparations and you family plan should be complete. If those around you know what to expect, where you will go, and how to keep in touch, and any storm event will be easier to manage.

If you're new to the area, or aren't quite sure what preparations you need, you can find out what Florida recommends here, or FEMA here.

And when the lights go out, it's time to eat the ice cream in your freezer before it melts!


Sea Turtles and Sunsets, Summer Sunset painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

I finished Summer Sunset just in time for the Marco Island Center for the Arts exhibition Color Vibrations, was delighted to be awarded third place. I wanted to play off the yellow/purple/orange/blue vibrating complimentaries, and you can just feel the low sun raking through the foliage and causing a glow.

Congratulations to artist Betty Newman and photographer Carol Kinkead who were awarded first and second place! The exhibition can be seen through mid-September, so be sure to stop in and take a look. You can join us at the reception for the show on Wednesday, August 19th if you'd like, too!

Sea turtle nests on Collier County beaches are in decline, and the loggerhead turtles that nest here may soon be listed as endangered. May 1 through October 31 is Sea Turtle nesting season, and each year female loggerhead turtles come ashore to nest on Marco Island's sandy beaches. Once hatched, the baby sea turtle instinct is to follow the glow of the moon into the ocean, but they're easily confused by other lights shining on the beach. Several nests of hatchlings have gone astray because of urban lights.

Only one in a thousand sea turtles live to maturity, so it's important that everyone help them to get off to a good start by getting into the ocean rather than dying from dehydration or predators by taking a wrong turn. Watch this video to learn more about the endangered turtles and what you can do to help.

If you live along the beachfront or know someone who does, remind them to keep the shades drawn and lights out during nesting season! A little consideration for our fellow earth dwellers will go a long way towards helping this long lived species avoid extinction.


Mosquitoes! Passing Clouds daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Passing Clouds
5x7, acrylic on canvas
$150 framed

The rains have finally come to Marco Island and the Everglades, and along with the rains we have a growing crop of Florida's pesky mosquitoes. Over 30 different kinds of mosquitoes thrive in Collier County. Certain species, and male mosquitoes, don't bite humans mat all. It's the females of some species that need the protein and iron a little blood can provide to facilitate reproduction.

Mosquitoes need standing water for the larvae and pupa stages of growth. Our lush, tropical foliage, native and otherwise, provide the perfect water retentive pools after every downpour.

When you hear that little whine in your ear your body immediately goes into action. Your senses go on high alert, and you begin to move away from the sound and to slap your body in the places the mosquito could land. It's a natural protective mechanism.

That whine can be served with punch! Mosquitoes are considered not only a nuisance but a health threat. They've spread West Nile virus over the Eastern United States in just three years and the little bloodsuckers also carry malaria, encephalitis and dengue.

You can run, but you can't hide. The mosquito is drawn to the carbon monoxide you exhale, and to some of the over 300 scents the are on your skin. Tests being conducted now will help to identify what mosquitoes are drawn more to some people than others.

In the last couple of years we were fortunate to have large swarms of dragonflies, a natural predator of the mosquito keeping the numbers in control. Unfortunately, there's no sign of them this year.

The EPA has some tips for controlling mosquitos, and here's a little quiz if you want to know more.


Salute to the Storm
24x30, acrylic on canvas>

Salute to the Storm is a larger work-up of a small painting I did years ago and always wanted to work up into a larger piece. I've been working on it as the thunder has started to roll on Marco Island and we're finally getting some rain.

This painting, and others can be seen at the Blue Mangrove Gallery on Marco Island, through the month of August. Another group of my paintings can be seen at the Progress Energy Gallery on Main Street in New Port Richy through September as part of their Viva La Florida exhibition. Hope you can get to one or the other.

I started sending out monthly newsletters a few months ago, and just started using Constant Contact, an email program that makes my newsletter easy and professional. I'm setting up separate columns like Collector's Corner, or Learn about the Everglades or In the Studio, that will be repeated each month.

If you're subscribed, you should have just received my August newsletter. If you don't receive the newsletter and would like to, you can sign up by going here. Just put your email in the space just below the photo of me!

A newsletter should go only to people who want it. The people who receive mine have all expressed an interest in receiving email from me, so it's surprising to learn that only little more than half of the people it's sent to even open it. If you are receiving the newsletter, and are no longer interested, there's a little "opt out" link at the bottom for you to unsubscribe. But I'd much rather have you forward it to someone else who might enjoy it!
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