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


Jo-Ann Sanborn, Sunshine Studios
Last Wednesday Art Walk
I'm dreamin' of....
December 29, 2010, 5-8 p.m
Art, Refreshments, Live Music, FUN!
Hope you can come!

Please excuse me if you get this twice.  I'm testing after the trouble last month, and it won't happen again!  Thanks, J


Winter Solstice, Merry Christmas, Everglades painting by Jo-Ann Sanborn

Today's Everglades painting is a make-over, or "new life" paining, done from one that's been around the studio for a while and never quite satisfied me.  As I began to reassess the problems and work on it, the painting developed a life of it's own.  Now it's cheery and inviting, with some great reflections.  All this happening while my mind was elsewhere.  Go figure!

This year late on December 21 the earth's axis will stop moving away from the sun and stop, and a second later will start back in the other direction towards the sun.  This marks a change from growing long dark nights to shorter nights and longer days.  The Winter Solstice is the time of year that marks the earth's farthest point from the sun.

Various cultures around the world celebrate this event.  The Winter Solstice starts the Celtic calendar, and Bronze age sites such as Stonehenge and Newgrange are set up to mark sunset and sunrise (respectively) of the Winter Solstice at their sites. 

Although there will still be much cold, January's growing light and warming earth will start a new cycle of growth in the Northern hemisphere.  In  the Everglades, it's the height of the dry season.  Animals will concentrate where there's a little water, and the only plants to survive will be those adapted to dry conditions. 

The Winter Solstice is close to the Christian Christmas, a time of joy and celebration of family and friends, and soon after the New Year will prompt us to look ahead, make positive changes, and to renew our commitments to ourselves and to others.

Between Christmas and New Years  I usually take a little time off, and I'll be starting a little early this year.  I wish you and your family a perfect mix of the sparkle of Christmas, the joy of giving and a big dose of unexpected love.   Merry Christmas and if you celebrate another Holiday this time of year, Merry that, too.

In the New Year I'll share my intentions for 2010, tell you how I did, and set up some new intentions for 2011.


Please join me

Holiday Cheer
(spiced wine, punch, and cookies)
prior to the Marco Island Boat Parade

Artist Colony at the Esplanade
Rightside Studio
Saturday, December 18
5-7 pm

Exclusive Offer for newsletter/blog customers only!  25% off  purchase of current inventory December 18th only. Maybe used in person or for online purchase from http://sunshinestudios.net. (Phone me at 239-404-9179) New purchases only, no cash value, one per customer. Offer good Dec. 18th only. 


Snake in the House, Back Fence daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Back Fence
acrylic on board, 5x7

These flowers have are hanging on an old fence just outside my window and seem to be braving the extreme cold.  The container was a gift from a friend, a pretty, basket bringing me much pleasure. While I'm not always the best gardener, I love having fresh flowers in the house, and I love puttering around with the fabulous tropicals we have here. 

I've collected a few orchids, and they were looking good and starting to put out new growth after the extreme cold last year.  This year the cold is already giving them stress, and in order to save them I've had to relent on my "no outside pots in the house" rule to keep them from damage.

Why such a rule?  As some of you know, I used to do outdoor art shows almost every weekend in season.  Getting ready to go early one cold morning several years ago I was groggily making morning coffee when I noticed that one of the orchids I had brought in from the cold didn't quite look the same.  In the dim light, I put on my glasses for a closer look and came face to face with a rather large garden snake half in and half out of the pot. 

I might enjoy seeing a snake outside, and know their value in our environment, but seeing one unexpectedly and IN THE HOUSE was a whole different matter!  Screaming, went for husband,  just as groggy and not at all delighted to be dragged from the warmth of the shower. 

Luckily for us, the house was cold and the snake not yet in full panic mode, dear husband calmly picked up the pot from the hanging hook and put it outside in the garden.  Yes, I was just a little embarrassed at my reaction, but eternally grateful to him!

Since that time I've never taken the orchids in from the cold.   I examined this group carefully before bringing them in and look every morning for signs of some unexpected denizen, but so far, it's a quiet group .  Let's hope it will pay off when Spring comes! 

On another matter, it seems that I've fixed the link and have my google group back.  Welcome!  Thank you so much for your patience, and for the supportive comments as I struggled once again with technology advancements.  I'm so glad to have you with me again.  If you have missed some entries and would like to view them, you can click on this link, and at the end of each post click on "newer post" until you're back here.


Lubbers! Palm painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Today's painting is one that I've been working on over the weekend. This palm has personality plus, and caught my attention just begging to be painted.  It's a 36x24" size, nice for a palm portrait.  

The painting is about 3/4 complete, but since I work from a dark background to the light, it's not quite where it needs to be yet.  You can see that the dark, shadow values are in place, as are the mid-tones, but there's  no spark of sunlight.  I'll work on that today!

This little guy caught my attention, too, out on an Everglades trip last week.  It's an Eastern Lubber Grasshopper, and being from the north I didn't see my first one until a trip to the Everglades soon after arriving in Florida many years ago.  It was just one of the things that enchanted me, and still delights. 

The lubbers don't fly, can hop short distances, and mostly crawl.  If they are chewing on your best landscaping you might think them a pest  They're unappealing to birds because the emit a toxic substance and will also foam unpleasantly at the mouth when disturbed. 

But when you come upon a single fellow out in the Everglades with gorgeous coloring and spectaular size, they are a delight to enjoy. 


End of the Day, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

End of the Day, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

When you visit the Artist Colony at the Esplanade on Marco, you’ll see the work of 11 different artists. For the most part each artist has a separate area where their work is distinct and separate from the other artists work. As you browse, you’ll see that each artist has their own style and subjects.

Just as you respond to the people you meet differently, you’ll respond to the work of each artist in a different way. Some, you’ll feel very positive about, looking closer and finding a connection. There’s something the artist has created that touches your heart, or moves you to take a closer look.  Others may not interest you as much, and that's just fine. 

At the End of the Day, I'm hoping that when you look at my paintings, you'll see beyond my struggling efforts to portray this special landscape, and into the heart of the Everglades themselves.  I hope you'll think about the value of the land--its beauty, its value to our state and our world, it's value to our economy.   If it doesn't move you, my efforts fall short. 


Limited Palette, Winter Prairie painting by Everglades Artist JoAnn Sanborn

Winter Prairie, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 11x14

Colors all have value, and it's important to know where the colors you use fall on a value scale.  Every now and then I'll use a limited palette, and find that it helps sharpen my value observation. 

Winter Prairie, today's Everglades painting, was done with a limited palette of Liquitex acrylic colors Indanthrene Blue, Quinacridone Crimson, Naples Yellow, and Transparent Burnt Sienna and Titanimum White.  And to tell all, in the end I used a there's a touch of Pyrole Orange in the trunks of the palms. The blues needed that little punch of orange for contrast, and the Naples Yellow was too grey to do it. 

With only a few color choices, it's less easy to get distracted or seduced by the color, and easier to make the right value choices.   It's always a surprise that the paintings end up as colorful as ever but the values seem to fall into place more easily. 

I'll be teaching a class in Color Confidence at the Art League of Marco Island and you can sign up online now.  We'll have a good time! 


Shameless Promotion, Winter Prairie daily painting by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

Winter Prairie, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Board, 5"x7"

Christmas is coming.  Some of the people you will gift deserve something very special.  I'm going to be shamelessly self-promotional today and urge you to purchase a Sanborn painting for some special person on your holiday list. 

There's a nice selection in the studio to meet most every need.  Perhaps a neighbor has taken care of your home or a pet while you're away. Perhaps it's time to start a son or daughter collecting original artwork, or you have a good friend that you'd like to get something special for.  One of my daily paintings, framed and shipped for $150 might be just right. 

Perhaps you'd like a larger painting for  a loved one who's mentioned enjoying my work.  You can come in or call to discuss your needs and see what is available in your price range.  The current price range for a painting is $300-$4500, mostly by size.  We can talk if you'd like something larger.

Don't worry about making the perfect choice.  If the painting you chose is not perfect for the recipient, you are welcome to visit the studio and exchange the painting for another.  The choice of art is quite personal, and I want you or your loved one to have a painting that speaks to your heart!

You may be among the more than 50 people who own more than two of my paintings. Thank you! You're a collector, and it's a great time to add to your collection. I may not recognize your face, but I when we talk, I know your name and your paintings! You already know the pleasure a Sanborn painting can bring.

Original art work never goes out of style and has lasting value.  Read about the value of original art in the Collector Corner of my holiday newsletter.  Give a gift the recipient will thank you for and enjoy for years.  A Sanborn painting will bring much pleasure.   So much, that a number of people have become collectors.  I'd love to have you join them.


Art League back! Prairie daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Prairie, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

You may have heard about the Art League of Marco's financial difficulties in the past year.  Somehow the organization was caught short by the financial downturn, but the community, businessman David Rice, and a terrific board worked very hard to ensure that this forty-year-old Marco Island institution was able to survive.

While the Art League is in the black, it will still take a lot of work to get the organization back on solid ground.  D, yes, "D" Michael, brought in from Colorado, is the new director, and by all accounts is a breath of fresh air for our community.  She's tiny, but very effective.  She's proving to be both smart and street smart, and is slowing pulling the Art League out of deep water while proving herself a real asset to the arts community here on the island.  We've got a friend!

There are a number of things that you can do to help.  You can rejoin if you've let your membership lapse.  Do that right away!  You can sign up for a class.  This helps both the teacher and the League! There's some terrific gift ideas for you to choose from in the Gift Shop, so you can stop in and make a choice.  Best of all, you can make a donation and see your name as one of the leaves on the new tree in the lobby.

Let's give a helping hand.  You'll feel good and ensure that the Art League remains an island asset.  Visit the newly revised and user friendly website at http://marcoislandart.org/ today!


J'accuse! Quite a Storm painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Quite a Storm, JoAnn Sanborn, 2010
Acrylic on Canvas, "24x30"

A women came into my studio recently and spent some time looking at the paintings.  "I've been looking at your work a long time," she told me, "I think you're getting repetitive."

Oh, the horror!  While nearly ill with inner turmoil, I thanked her for her interest in my work.  I told her that I painted almost every day and that I've been painting the Everglades landscape for seventeen years.  There's not much out there besides water, sky, and palms.  It's the shapes and their relationship to the sky and the changing light that interests me. 

Yes, I told her, I occasionally revisit a spot.  Still, each time there's a a fresh approach as I address my canvas.  The light is different, or a view from a different angle to explore.  Some palms clumps were old favorites, and I loved visiting to see how they were growing or had changed, or perhaps some little ones had come along. 

I suggested that my compositions had improved, that my color palette had changed, and that my brushwork was maturing.  She agreed this was true.  I was glad for the discussion, because we each learned from it. 

We went on to discuss how some artists have always painted in series, like Monet's haystack or lily pond series, (forgive the comparison, please!) and that I've done different subjects in my past and might again. 

Yes, it's all Everglades.  But for now each time I face the landscape and begin to paint it still feels new and exciting and challenging. When that ends, it's time to move on. 
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