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


Dance by the Light of the Moon daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Dance by the Light of the Moon,
5x7, acrylic on canvas

The moon was glowing gorgeous last night as dark clouds raced across the sky, and just as lovely this morning just before dawn. Hope you got to enjoy it.

Here's a little music, just in case you want to give the dancing a try. And then, of course, you can lasso the moon, as George promised in It's a wonderful life.


Everglades Restoration, Morning Walk daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Morning Walk
5x7, acrylic on board

Looks like the Everglades will lose again, as discussed in this New York Times article a few days ago. Florida's plan to reclaim these ancient wetlands is instead on track to rescue the fortunes of United States Sugar.

It is so frustrating to see money allotted for the Glades disappear into the gaping hole of politics today. "What you have is just another step in the category of kicking the ball down the road and chasing it,” said Alan Farago, the conservation chairman of Friends of the Everglades.

Historically, we've had Presidents and Governors who did the right thing, preserving the land. Today, I'm running into people every day who talk the talk but feel no need to actually walk the walk. This goes for our commitments to each other, to our businesses, our politics, and those responsible for the land we live on.

For the Everglades, business as usual may mean that it will be another generation, if ever, before the Everglades may get the help that it needs to survive. This national treasure, unique in the world, loses again. So do we, the taxpayers and citizens, who believe the world can be better in the future if we just take some action now.


NAWA, Still Morning Everglades painting by JoAnn Sanborn

Still Morning
36x24, acrylic on Canvas

Today's Everglades painting is about the gentle morning light layered with soft colors as the rising sun lightens the sky. It's different every morning, and you have to be up early to see it. By the time the sky's fully light the effect is gone.

Tomorrow I'll be attend the National Association of Women Artists, Florida Chapter luncheon. It's the annual meeting for the group and I've been a juried member for about 5 years. I love being a regional artist, but wanted the opportunity to show my work outside Southwest Florida.

Secretly I crave validation because I don't have a MFA, but that's another conversation! So is the fact that women still need a separate organization to insure promotion of their work!

NAWA is headquartered in New York City, and organizes member exhibition mostly in the North East. I have to ship my paintings, which can be expensive. Still, I've won a couple of prizes, and last year a friend overheard some women talking favorably about my work while it hung at a NAWA show in the Salmugundi club in New York where it had won a recognition award. That went a long way toward making it worth the price!

I don't often get to activities in the New York area, but do attend the Florida Chapter events when possible. Florida is the only state chapter, with an active group of fine women artists. I'm looking forward to meeting some of the artists I know only through their paintings.


Color Choices, Exaggerated Color daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Exaggerated Color
5x7, acrylic on board

People love color, and so do most artists. It's fun to take a painting to it's color limits. I don't often make up color, but sometimes do exaggerate the colors in the landscape to full potential.

In today's daily painting the orange elements have been pushed to the point where they are rich and full. A little blue-green in the foliage cools the painting just enough to keep it from being too hot. The blue-green compliment gives it interest, too.

There are many things to know about getting color balanced in a painting, and many ways to do the balancing. Books (will they be a thing of our past, now, with Kindle?) and online articles can help you learn about painting with color. Stephen Quiller's Color Choices, which you can get from Amazon very reasonably priced, is a nice way to start. And here's an online article created by artists for artists with color tips.

The most important thing to know is when it works for you, the artist. When you get it right it will usually please other people, too.


Color, View of the Water daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

View of the Water
5x7, acrylic on board
$150, framed/shipped

I've been teaching a Color Confidence class at the Art League. We've had sessions on color mixing, color harmonies, values, temperature, and color keys. We'll be color charting and considering palettes this week.

Color is very much dependent on light, and the color of the light. Think about your bedroom when you wake up in the night. Everything is gray. It's not until the morning dawn brings light into the room that the colors slowly reveal themselves.

Color is affected by many factors, including the light, the angle of the light, what's around it, and how much light there is. If the light is very strong, sometimes it absorbs, or washes out the color. Our atmosphere also affects color. Dust, humidity, pollution, times of year, all affect the way we see and interpret color.

I love the mysteries of color and light. We're learning more about how the eye sees vibration, iridescence, luminosity, chromatic effects and luster all the time. But when I can get the effect of a quiet dawn or a glowing sunset in a painting, I'm satisfied with my work.


Isolated Shore
5x7, acrylic on board

The Artist Colony at the Esplanade has been very fortunate with the large amount of publicity that we've received. We're good news for Marco Island, as people tell us every day as they come from Naples or further, or bring their island guests in to see what we're doing.

Artists from the Waterfront Gallery, the gallery that's behind, and off to the left, feels that they are harder for people to find. They've had a number of one WoMan shows to highlight both their artists, many who are new to publicity, and to help highlight heir location. There'll be another show tomorrow night, to feature the work of local artist Maggie DeMarco, with a reception from 6-9. You're invited to stop in and view her work, socialize with the other artists, and maybe have a snack or a bit of wine.

There's an article in today's Eagle, similar to the one that was in the Marco Review earlier this year that's sure to bring us more visitors, and a photo of me in my new studio! Thank You, Marco Eagle!

Congratulations to Ken Stroud who will join the board of the Marco Art League. He's been a valuable volunteer and a willing worker with many useful skills. Thanks for stepping up, Ken!


Panther Month, A Little Peace, daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

A Little Peace
11x14, acrylic on canvas

March is a wonderful month to visit the Everglades. Temperatures have warmed up a bit, it's not too hot for hiking, and because it's dry season there's not many mosquitoes.

There are well marked hiking trails throughout, and I've got a map in my studio that I'm happy to share if you need one. If you're not too sure about venturing in alone, you can get a guided tour with one of the groups that introduces people to the Everglades.

The Friends of Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve is a growing, active organization. They hold weekly hiking and guided canoe trips as their Discovery Series to show you around and to help you learn about the importance of the Everglades landscape.

This month is Florida Panther Month and the Friends of Fakahatchee Strand have a lot of activities planned. There's a Panther Lecture tomorrow, A Panther Fund raiser at Cathy O'Clarks on Marco Island on St. Patrick's Day, an open house in the Panther Refuge on Saturday, biking trips and a poker run fundraiser.

The Friends of Fakahatchee Strand believe that the protection of this jewel of the Everglades Ecosystem, the Fakahatchee, is achievable through public awareness and participation. It's not money to become a member, and they welcome your support. You can download a membership form and learn more here.


End of Winter
5x7, acrylic on board

Technically, South Florida and the Everglades have only two seasons, the wet and the dry. Despite yesterday's rain, the wet season will not start until May, and will last through November.

However most of the resident population comes from "Somewhere Else" and that place had four seasons. We can see them and celebrate them here in Florida, too.

We've had a miserably cold winter and signs of spring are particularly welcome this year due to our prolonged cold weather. As the days lengthen, small signs of regrowth can be found below the cold damaged leaves in my garden. Tiny new roots, and spikes of bud sprays are begining to be seen. A friend gave me some lettuce plugs and they're thriving.

The Everglades prairie is loosing it's dry, grays and purples as the spring growth begins to appear, and the Cypress will be dressed in greenery by Easter. Don't forget to turn your clocks foward tonight. Although it's always hard to adjust at first, I'll enjoy the longer days of sunshine and warmth!


Marco Island Arts, Evening Colors painting by Everglades Artist JoAnn Sanborn

Evening Colors
48 x 60

The Everglades painting Evening Colors has been in the studio/gallery for some time. It's out on approval now, and may be going to a good home. Time will tell, but in the meantime you can enjoy it with your coffee.

It's been a very busy couple of weeks, hard to catch up, with too many things scheduled and not enough time between, so there's no daily today. Still, there's a lot to talk about on the Marco Island art scene.

First, and sadly, Christine Neal will be leaving the Art League at the end of April. She's led the Marco Art League into a new era, bringing much energy and enthusiasm to the job. She has worked tirelessly in promoting the arts on Marcoand in the community, and has always been supportive of island artists. She'll be missed, and I wish the board the very best in finding someone extraordinary to take over.

Marco Island has a growing arts community drawing people to the island. People love to be where art opportunity abounds. The Artist Colony at the Esplanade is drawing people from Naples by land and by boat, and people as far away as Miami are coming for the day to have lunch and see what we're all about. Classes at the Art League are growing in popularity and my own classes sometimes draw students from afar to stay, eat, and purchase on the island. Shows like MIFA's Left Bank show draw both resident and visitor arts and patrons. Art brings money and our Realtors and business community benefit!

Still, it was the right thing for the City Council's Arts Advisory Committee to withdraw its request for a percent of developer money for the arts. We're in a deep recession, and now is not the time to ask for anything additional. The arts are important to our humanity and our community, but we'll have to find another way to fund them for Marco Island right now.

Now if we could only get Marcophiles to appreciate Jack Howard Potter's wonderful sculpture, Marco Man!


Color Bias, Reaching for the Sky, daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Reaching for the Sky
5x7, acrylic on canvas
$150, framed

I'm teaching a color class right now, and one of the things we did last week was to make our own Color Wheel. We discussed color wheels, and made our own, using the traditional primaries of red, yellow and blue.

Ten students chose their reddest red, yellowest yellow, and bluest blue, with the goal of making a twelve hue wheel with the values equal from the three colors. Students could make three-quarters of the wheel perfectly, but one quarter needed the addition of other colors to come out perfectly.

The pigments we use all have a color bias towards either warm or cool. If your yellow was cool, for example, and your red was cool, the resulting color would be too cool/dull for a nice warm, bright orange, since both the cool red and yellow would contain some blue. If your choice was warm yellow and warm red, a nice orange would result. Mixing a nice purple could be the issue if your blue and your red were warm. The yellow bias of the colors would make the purple duller than if you had a cool red and blue.

That's one reason why a three color palette, plus white and maybe black, will give you a wide range of colors but you still will not be able to mix every color that you want. A palette with a warm and cool of each primary offers more versatility.


Photo Contest, Winter Morning daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Winter Morning
5x7, acrylic on board

While I prefer to capture our environment, especially the Everglades, by painting, you might enjoy capturing our natural world through photographs. There is endless subject matter is Collier County, with interesting native species of plants and animals, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, and the light always playing on the water and providing a special mood.

If photography is your medium and you are over 14 years of age and live in Collier County, you are eligible to enter your photographs in Marco Island's “Southwest Florida Native Flora & Fauna” photo contest. You must be an amateur, and have not received monetary compensation for your photography in exhibits, sales or through journalism.

Your natural world photographs in the categories of black and white, color, and creative can be be submitted at City Hall between February 1st thru April 5th, 2010. Entered photographs will be displayed at a City Community event to be held at Mackle Park on Saturday, April 10th.


Full Moon Names, Anticipating Spring daily painting by Everglades Artist JoAnn Sanborn

Anticipating Spring
5x7, acrylic on board

Did you see the glorious sunset last night, and later the lovely full moon? If not, you missed some spectacular gifts from the natural world. Taking a moment to enjoy such gifts will instantly pick up my spirits and bring me inner peace.

There are many names for the February moon. The Celts call it the Moon of Ice, something I can really identify with this year, the pagans call it the Snow Moon, and it was Moon of Storms in medieval times. Native American Choctaw called it the Little Famine Moon, before the Big Famine Moon of March.

I prefer the optomistic Chinese name of Budding Moon. In New England it was the time when the woods got fat, and I couldn't see as far as buds swelled. Here in Florida its usually the time when my orchids send up new shoots. I heard a Cardinal yesterday. I'm anticipating Spring.

The Old Farmer's Almanac has decided that the old moon names don't fit us anymore since we're not as tuned to the turns of the natural world. They're having a contest to rename the full moons for more modern times. Full Sweetheart Moon doesn't do much for me at all but you can vote here for March's Moon if you'd like.
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