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


Natural World, Bright Light daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Bright Light, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

I've felt connected to our natural world since I was a child.  I'd stop to smell the breeze on the salty air of Gloucester, MA, where I grew up.  I loved to find little a special rock, a beautiful leave, or a bits of sea glass for my treasure box.  My garden here contains many such "bits."

With so very many people in the world now, (we're approaching seven billion!) it's easy to lose touch with nature.  Our natural world needs the stewardship of those who care, and its hard to care if you are out of touch. 

No matter where you are, try to enjoy a "quiet moment" each day, outside.  Listen to the sounds of nature.  Is it quiet, with nothing stirring, or do you hear voices of birds, insects and other animals going about their daily business? 

Enjoy the magnificent beauty of the sky any time of day.  Notice how the color blue changes from the horizon to the zenith.  Mark the edges of day by greeting the sunrise or noting the day's end. 

What's the smell on your breeze?


October Artwalk on Wednesday! Technical Difficulties again, and Art Luncheon

 Artist Colony at the Esplanade
October ArtWalk
Wednesday, October 26th, 5-8 p.m

Grid, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 30"x30"

Anyone who knows me knows that I struggle with the technical aspects of the new age.  Every now and then I suffer from an embarrassing technical glitch.  I push the wrong button, add the wrong code, or something unexpected happens. 

Did I preview my post? Yes!  Did I see there was a problem?  Yes!  Did I try to fix it?  Yes!  Oops! I am so very sorry if you received a "mess" from me yesterday.  Gone to you WRONG with no way to stop it!  UGH!  Despair! 

I'd rather try something and get it wrong than not try at all, but have a very red face when it involves YOU!  Please accept my deep apology.

In other news, there will be a Luncheon for the Arts, in support of the Marco Island Center for the Arts at the Marco Island Hilton on November 4th. Parking and the luncheon is free, but there will be a request for support. New Executive Director Lynn Holley has written a short film for the event! Reservations are required, so if you are on the island and would like to attend, please email me (joann@joannsanborn.com).


Florida Panthers, Panther Glade daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Panther Glade, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on board, 5"x7"
There are only about 120 Florida panthers left in the wild. They live in and around the Everglades in only 5% of their historic range. They are often killed by cars, but earlier this year, unfortunately, one of them was shot and killed. The panther was found in April on private property bordering the Big Cypress National Preserve in the Everglades, and believed to have been shot within a week prior to its discovery.

The Florida Panther is listed as an "endangered" species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and the killing is being jointly investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) special agents and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).  So far no one has been charged with this crime. 

The beautiful big cat is a reclusive animal, and most Floridians will never see one in the wild.  I haven't, even though I've painted out their habitat for years. Learn more about Florida panthers you can attend the first annual Florida Panther Festival on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at North Collier Regional Park in Naples.

The Panther Festival is free, with the goal of promoting the safe coexistence of people, pets, livestock and panthers. To see a video and learn more, go to FloridaPantherNet.org


Gator Passage, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Gator Passage
acrylic on board, 7"x5"

The Everglades landscape is made up of such simple and ancient elements of the earth.  Palms, water, prairies, and sky comprise almost every view.  It should be simple to paint, especially after years of looking and learning about the environment. 

But nature isn't simple.  All of those elements are continually being redefined by the movement of the sun through the sky, the wind on any given day, various reflections, the movement of clouds as the day progresses, and any combinations of the elements.

Painting the magic of the Everglades is still a challenge for me, and although I've been experimenting a bit with other mediums and other ways of applying paint, I expect to find challenges in painting the Everglades landscape for quite a while yet. 


Natural world, Inlet daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

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

I'm fascinated by inlets in the Everglades, places were the water and sawgrass disappear around a bend.  I wonder what's just beyond what I can easily see.  Who lives there and what are their lives like?  Could an alligator be lurking there waiting for his breakfast, or a great blue heron waiting to snatch up a fish.  And if they do, how will it affect the natural world THEY live in?

There is a whole natural world going on a level usually ignored or unnoticed by us. Like being in an elevator with foreign speakers--we hear something, but usually don't have a clue what is really going on.  

We may hear a crow outside the window, loud and raucous.  It might annoy us and we might try to shoo it away.  What's really happening?  Is he out to drive us nuts or does he see a snake or a cat and is warning his family of eminent danger.

Could it be that in the natural world, living things are going about their daily lives with many aspects paralleling human life?  What are we missing?  Drama?  Distress?  Or maybe just the hint that it's time for a nice nap. 


Depth and Mystery, Morning Light painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Morning Light, 2011. Jo-Ann Sanborn
8"x10", acrylic on linen board

Our landscape is full of wonderful complicated colors full of depth and mystery, not always easy to capture.  I used layers of glazing to get the rich glow in the background. 

I painted today's painting on linen board, a new support for me.  I've tried painting on stretched linen in the past and found that it would stretch and sag beyond my comfort zone as I scrubbed in the many layers of acrylic paint. 

Using quality materials is important to me.  Canvas on board is the choice for my daily paintings, and when my custom supplier stopped making them, I had to look for another source. I did some research, ordered bits of what seemed interesting, and am in the process of try out several new types. 

One supplier had an acrylic primed linen on board, but not in the small size I like best for my landscapes.  Still, the thought of being able to use linen with my type of painting made me want to give it a try, so I ordered three of the 8x10's and fell in love. 

Linen takes up more paint than the cotton and it feels different.  Better?  Probably. 
We'll see where the relationship goes, and cost is a concern.  Still, I'm excited about Wind River Arts acrylic primed linen on gatorboard.  You might like it, too. 


Outspoken, Studio painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Outspoken, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 36"x24"

Outspoken is about boldness.  The brushstrokes are heavy and defined, and the palm dominates the background.  The sawgrass is dense and barely let the palm through but it somehow got a foothold and prevailed.  The light glows softly and the result pleases me.  I'm painting again!

Finishing the book Embracing the Everglades, redoing the studio, and updating my website has really cut into my painting time.  While I've been creating, I haven't been painting as much.  The endorphins are high when I view a blank canvas, and the discipline of painting at least a little almost every day can be as addictive as a daily run for some people.  I'm anxious to get back to a regular schedule.   

Sometimes, for an artist, a break can be refreshing.  Somehow the brain is still working on painting, and when you go back you find that you've figured something out, grown in another direction, or have learned something new.  Your style may have changed a little because of the break, because you have, too. 

So I'm looking forward to the next few months.  Marco will be energized by the return of the snowbirds.  The Everglades will be more inviting to visit with fewer mosquitoes and showers.  I'll be back to painting a regular schedule. 

I'll be experimenting with some new techniques.  I want more texture, more movement and interest in the brushwork, but also want the interior glow of a luminous painting.  Can these be both obtained in the same painting? Glazing?  Transparent Color?  Substrata? Additives?   We'll see. 


New Book! Embracing the Everglades by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Embracing the Everglades
a book about the Everglades
by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Done!  I've spent any available time in the last six months putting together a book of my paintings.  Some of the paintings in Embracing the Everglades go back years, and others are new.  It's been fun to revisit the older paintings.  Some are better than others, and some, good or bad, will always be favorites.  Some make me think of the challenge of painting them, and others fairly flew off the brush. 

Many of you have one or more of my paintings in your home, and I thought of you often as I complied and edited the book.  I count you among my friends, and am very appreciative of your support and confidence in me. 

It's a self-published book, and I was somewhat limited by my own photography issues.  I know some photos are not perfect, but felt it was worthwhile to include the painting.  I've written and re-written, edited again and again, and am sure you'll find a typo or two.  UGH! 

As I began to learn about the Everglades, I found much of the written material available was overly simplified or too scientific, not easy for a layman to digest.  What's a hydroperiod, really?  In many cases the material was contradictory or arbitrary.  So I've included information I was able to discover about the Everglades and how its systems work, and used my paintings to illustrate the landscape, and also how humans interact with it. 

I believe that a healthy Everglades is important to the Gulf of Mexico and to our planet.  I've included information about how to get involved if you'd like to help protect and preserve the Everglades. A dollar from the sale of each book will go to Everglades protection. 

If you'd like see a few pages, it's over on the right-hand side of the page.  I've had a great time putting it together.  Hope you'll enjoy Embracing the Everglades!   


Bras for LIFe Fundraiser

Heavenly Bodies
Jo-Ann Sanborn

BRAS FOR LIFE has a website!

You can see all of the wonderful entries into this fun Marco Island Center for the Arts and American Cancer Society on Marco Island fundraiser through the miracle of the Internet.

Click to view the BRAS FOR LIFE website

On the Bras for Life site, comments (in the information at the end of the post) are welcome and all suitable will be published. Use "anonymous" if you prefer to remain private.

If you place a bid, your information will be kept private and you will only see the highest bid appear under the bra. Bid information can also be called into the Marco Island center for the Arts. (239-394-4221)

Bid information on the bra site will be updated daily until 4 p.m. on October 6th, the day of the Auction.

October 6th, 6:30
Marco Island Center for the Arts
1010 Winterberry Avenue
Marco Island, FL 34145
Hope to see you there!
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