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


Prince of a Day, painting by Everglades painter Jo-Ann Sanborn

Prince of a Day, Jo-Ann Sanborn, 2011
acrylic on canvas, 48x24

Today's painting, Prince of a Day, is named on honor of the British Royal Wedding, taking place as I'm writing this morning.  This painting will be placed in the lobby of the Prince Condominium on Marco Island.  The treasured Everglades landscape certainly deserves a royal salute as well. 

Many thanks to the committee and decorator.  We share a love of fine art, and they were delightful to work with.  Hopefully today's painting will bring them much satisfaction. 


Morning, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 12x12"


Artist Colony at the Esplanade
Wednesday April 27, 2011  
 5 pm - 8 pm

Play the Match Game!
New Art Works, Refreshments, Live Music,
FUN! Maybe a prize or two!

And if you come, you can purchase any of the four sunrise/sunset palette knife paintings for $125 each  at April's ArtWalk!


Too much passion becomes a curse, Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Spring Sunset, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 12x12,

I love working with a palette knife.  You can really go at the painting in a very immediate and almost physical way.  The knife flew out of my hand several times while working on some passages.  Still, I find that the knife alone cannot produce the quality of finished I like in a painting.  I'll experiment some more to integrate the delightful tactile textures and mixes of the knife with some brushwork to produce the right balance of finish for the final painting.  

Just as in life, it's balance that works, and sometimes too much passion can be a curse. 


Spring Sunrise II, Painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Spring Sunset II, Jo-Ann Sanborn, 2011
acyclic on canvas, 12x12

Just like Spring Sunrise, today's sunset was done almost completely with a palette knife.  I'm really enjoying the way the color mixes on the canvas.  More paint brings more texture, too.  

The Everglades have become the focus of my work and I continue to enjoy the interest they provide.  Still, I value the time occasionally spent with other mediums and subjects. 

Approaching a different subject or trying a different medium refreshes the creativity process, opens the mind and enhances skills.  Have you tried something new lately? 


Bright Spot Daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Bright Spot, Jo-Ann Sanborn
 acrylic on board, 7"x5"

No Everglades today!  I almost always have at least a few fresh flowers around.  They're not expensive, and even a small bouquet can bring joy and color and a spot of brightness into our home.  I try to keep fresh flowers at the studio, too, where I enjoy but rarely paint them. 

Still, every now and then a group will beg to be painted, and I'll give it a whirl.  What's your bright spot?


Global Warming, Soft and Sweet daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Soft and Sweet, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

Last week the humidity was strong enough that anything in the distance was muted and softened by the moisture in the air and the temperature was a little warmer than we expect this time of year.  The Everglades were hot and muggy, with the purples of the dry season in full glory.

In some places global warming seems a reality, in others it seems like spring will never come.  Could it be that the reign of humans as the dominant species on the planet is coming to an end?

Left Bank Art Fest is Saturday.  See you there.   


Spring Break, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Spring Break, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 5"x7"

It's Spring Break time on Marco, and the island is filled with young people.  Most are with friends enjoying a visit with parents or grandparents while getting some sun and fun.  It's a pleasure to see them, since they get out and about and bring a wonderful airy energy to the island. 

Today's daily painting of the Everglades reflects a lighter tone that both spring and young people bring!

See you at the Left Bank Art Fest at theEsplanade on Saturday!


Everglades Spring, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Everglades Spring, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5x7

Oops!  Sorry if you've seen this painting before--technical difficulties! 

Longer days, warmer temperatures, and gorgeous skies are the hallmarks of our springtime.  It's the driest time of year in the two-season Everglades, with the wet season still a few months off. 
On Marco Island signs of regrowth abound, triggered by the longer days.  The scent of my glorious blooming Gardenia perfumes the air and powder puff clouds pepper the deep blue skies. 


Rock Star, Inside or Out? Daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Rock Star, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5x7

One of the questions I’m most often asked is “did you paint this outside, or in the studio?” My answer more often now than in the past is that I painted inside. Years of time were spent painting outside a couple of times a week. I still visit the Everglades every chance I get, and usually take a number of photos to work from.

These photos are not carefully composed to ensure I get every detail, but casually taken to remind me of what I saw. It could be the way the light hit a particular feature of the landscape or perhaps the way a palm frond thrusts up into the sky. In any case, a glace will transport me back to the time and place and I’m ready to begin.

You can’t learn to paint landscapes inside. I harp on this theme often, since I teach a landscape class inside. You must get outside in order to see the relationships of time, space and color for yourself. All of the lessons I give inside can prime you, and help you, but you must study the natural world from observation to learn to paint the landscape well.

When I’m outside, my paintings are more responsive and immediate as I react to the reality of the wind, sun, light, and foliage. More choices are in my face, and I must work quickly and loosely to capture the scene. 

As a more mature artist, I find that studio time allows me to be more reflective and thoughtful. My paintings delve deeper into the well of knowledge I’m still acquiring. I can make and change choices of features, color, light and time of day.

Is one better than the other? I don’t think so. I’ve come to believe that working both inside and outside helps me to see better, think better, and develop more deeply as an artist.


Spring Sunrise, Jo-Ann Sanborn, 2011
acrylic on canvas, 12"x12

I took a workshop recently with Brian Curtis, University of Miami Art Department professor.  The class used only black and white paint, and the subject was expressive landscapes with the focus on values.  I'm always one for strengthening my values, hadn't taken a workshop myself for far too long, and the class came highly recommended.

I paint thinly and was excited by the use of so much paint!  It turns out the class wasn't at all what I expected, with so many people jammed in a small non-studio room that it was almost impossible to be expressive with brushstroke.  Still, Curtis was a wealth of knowledge and it was a pleasure to hear him speak and comment both about painting and about our changing society. 

I used the palette knife exclusively for the two day workshop. The results were interesting and expressive, and I came away loving the texture and depth forced by using the knife and from having to make a decision on what was black, what was white.

The palette knife probably doesn't suit my usual style of working,  Still, there are delightful surprises in the way the colors mix on the canvas.  I'll return to using it for excitement and expression occasionally, I'm sure. 

The value parts of the class are still simmering in my brain....


Art Class, Palm trees and Painting

Two Palms

Today’s palm tree painting was started as a demo in the Landscape Class lesson on Trees. They were done quickly in order to demonstrate in response to questions, but I like what was happening and the painting may have potential. 

Each student had taken a photo of a tree or some trees, and worked on painting from photos. We talked about the character of trees, the way light works on them and through them, and how the same rules of atmospheric progression apply. We often found ourselves looking at the lush foliage outside the window to help us define a concept or illustrate a point.

Here’s a rather poor photograph of the class’s excellent results on our water day!

I love teaching, and will post a schedule for my classes on my website by September for those of you who want to plan ahead. I’m also working on some terrific workshops by some really great artists for the Art League next season. Keep in touch!


Safe Journey, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

April 1 is no joke (April Fools Day) on Marco Island.  April 1 signals a slowly growing peace as the frenetic activity of season comes to a close and our snowbirds begin their yearly migration north.  

Traffic, activities and attendance will begin to slow as the heat of our sub-tropical climate increases and about two-thirds of our population begin to leave the island.  Today's daily painting is symbolic of starting out on a new journey. 

When I was sailing I always superstitiously tossed any change in my pocket into the sea to appease the Sea Gods.  I've done that this morning for you.  To those who may be making a journey, I wish you light winds and calm waters until your return. 
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