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


Snowman Extravaganza at ArtWalk!

Snowman #2, 2011, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

Please join me
for the first ever

(see opportunity below!)
And some spiced wine and cookies!
Artist Colony at the Esplanade
Rightside Studio
November ArtWalk
Wednesday, November 30
5-8 PM

Here's how the Snowman Extravaganza will work:

No one will be admitted until 5 p.m. when the snowmen will be unveiled 

One dozen snowmen, maybe a few more will be displayed on their own special easels.

Your choice, first some first served.

$75.00 each -- Half the usual price of my daily paintings

This is the only date/time to obtain your dated and signed collectible snowman (unless repeated next year!)

If you can't be on Marco for this event, ask a friend to pick out a special snowman for you.

Perfect for giving, or treat yourself  


Mindful, Summer's Clouds daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Summer's Clouds, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

Time is flying, and summer's clouds are all but a memory.  While writing my book, I searched for a word to describe the way the Everglades landscape responds to winter, spring, summer, fall, while retaining two distinct seasons, the wet and the dry. While the flora and fauna of the glades environment are driven by the wet and dry, the change of light and heat as the earth revolves around the sun also have an effect.

I finally settled on "mindful." It means "aware" actively attentive, or deliberately keeping something in mind. 

We are coming into the dry season. As more and more humans journey to South Florida for the dry, warmer weather, the animals and plants of the Everglades are taking actions to help them survive without much water for the next few months.

If you like knowing more about the Everglade environment, and enjoy looking at images of my paintings, you'll enjoy my book, Embracing the Everglades. Is it on your holiday gift list? It can be purchased online directly from my website and is available at my studio in the Esplanade.   

And for the holiday season, "mindfu' seems to fit.  I'm asking you to be mindful as you shop this season. 

You can be mindful of the meaning of Christmas, a time of kindness and sharing and joy and giving.

You can be mindful of the gifts you select.  Who made them?  Are they made by a real person, with love and care? Can someone answer your questions about how the gift was made?

You can be mindful of where you purchase.  Will you get great customer service from someone who knows how hard you are working to get just the right gift?  Will you get help when you want/need it?

You can be mindful of the merchants on Marco Island this year who might be suffering in the dismal economy and will appreciate your business. Bonus to you--no traffic, plenty of parking, and great customer service!

So, be mindful that you're getting exactly what you want this season, and that your money is going where you are pleased to have it go.
Please join the Artist Colony at the Esplanade for last Wednesday's ArtWalk, Wednesday, November 30, 5-8. for our Holiday Open House.  I've got something special for you.  Check in on Tuesday to learn the details! 

See my next post for information about my first ArtWalk SNOWMAN EXTRAVAGANZA!  I'll be serving a great mulled beverage and delicious cookies too!


Thanksgiving, Out on Jane's by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Out on Janes, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 16"x20"

So much to be thankful for! For me Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and really appreciate my life.   I’ve never gone hungry, always have had a roof over my head, a terrific and supportive family, a sustaining relationship with my dear husband, and work I’ve found satisfying.
That doesn’t mean I’ve never had hard times.  I have, but I try not to focus on them.  Get through them, learn from them, and move on.  This Thanksgiving I’ll focus on what I’m thankful for as a working artist. 

I love my job. 

There’s a beautiful world to paint.
My paintings are recognizable anywhere as my own
The warm, wonderful and changing light of South Florida provides daily inspiration

I have quality materials, and right now at least, enough of them
A supportive Artist Colony to share with and learn from.

A wonderful studio at a cost I can afford. 

Students where learning goes both ways. 

Collectors who respond to my work in a positive way.

Visitors from all over the world who visit my studio and enrich my life. 

And that’s just a start.  Artists still need to eat, so I'll be cooking the Thanksgiving turkey.  I'm thankful for that, too.  What are you thankful for? 

Have a wonderful and thankful Thanksgiving holiday!


Sigh of a Breeze painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Sigh of a Breeze, 2011, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20"x24"

Sigh of a Breeze is not quite as yellow as it shows here.  With the heavy amount of glazing I've been doing the paintings are just a little color heavy in the photos.  Working on this.  Sigh

Here's an update on my recent post about working with the Marco Island Academy.  All projects and plans with the Artist Colony are off because of changes at the Academy that prompted the release of art instructor Bill Kobe.  Sigh

Since the arts are known to promote the learning of math and science, this is a huge loss to students who were already involved in a number of art focused projects. Projects that involved students thinking about broader perspectives and providing them with knowledge that would enrich their lives no matter what their final occupation. 

Bill was a terrific addition to the Marco Island arts community.  In just a few short months he had initiated incentives at the Art Center, the Artist Colony, Bonita Art Center, and with a number of arts individuals in the community.

It's a small island, and every artistic voice helps us grow culturally.  We'll miss him.  Sigh


Wrong Blog! Daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Stella, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 5"x5"

Wait, you're on the right blog!  Come back!  No palm trees or open prairie.  But a DOG?

Let me introduce you to Stella, the dog of a friend.  Stella's my friend, too.  As long as I give her treats, anyway. 

It's birthday time.  She lovers her dog.  Her dog loves her.  She'll love it. And no, I won't make a habit of it.   


Full of Promise, painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Autumn Song, 2011, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on linen, 20"x24

We look at the beauty of the land surrounding us, and take a moment to savor the promise of the day.  Autumn Song has taken on a richness and glow through layers of glazing and building up and cutting back. 

Through a touch of good fortune and an instructor who believes in the arts and community, the Artist Colony at the Esplanade is working with the Marco Island Academy with the eventual goal of producing a film about the Colony, with a short clip about each individual artist.  

The first step will be for the students to write an article for the school newspaper about their plans.  Joshua, Jakob and Armando interviewed me, as founder of the Colony, for some background information, and about my work.  They were well prepared, full of energy, and full of promise.  The techno savvy and the energy at the school was full of promise, too.  I'm excited about this opportunity!

Update!  Instructor has left and project in limbo.  Stay tuned!


Salute to Service, Flag daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

In honor of my father, Joseph  A Sanborn,who served in WWII

To all those who serve our country, past and present 

This flag painting is one of twelve 5"x5" squares that have been created by the Artist Colony at the Esplanade on Marco Island.  The finished piece will be donated by the artists to help raise funds for a large flag and Veteran's Memorial on Marco Island.  Look for the finished piece at upcoming Veteran Events.


Luncheon for the Arts on Marco Island

Bird Centerpiece
Calusa Garden Club

Last Friday's Luncheon for the Arts was a wonderful success, with about 215 people from all segments of Marco Island coming out to honor the arts.  Harpist Kim Adamson provided delightful gathering music to get everyone in the mood and Forrest Nickols beautiful and inspiring photo of a rising heron in full plumage greeted everyone. 

The reception table was exceptional, getting everyone in on time and solving any issues quickly and with grace.  The table hosts were fabulous in both inviting people to the event and making them feel at home.  Artists and dignitaries were sprinkled throughout the room. 

The Marco Island Hilton Resort and Spa did a splendid job of feeding that many people without fuss or disturbance, and were able to offer free parking as well.  Yummy chocolate cake completed the meal. 

The Calusa Garden club provided centerpieces for each of the 22 tables, and a large display for the entrance.  One lucky person at each table got to take one home.  They were creative and distinctive and gave a wonderful, natural air to the event. 

If you missed it, you can see the opening film, Rita Blitt's "Caught in Paint" here.  And, if you couldn't come but want to see the arts remain strong on Marco, donate to the Marco Island Center for the Arts.  A rebirth, or renewal is well underway, thanks to new Executive Director Lynn Holley and a supportive board. 

Two regrets.  I completely forgot about taking photos!  Phooey!  And only one of our seven City Council members, Mr Wayne Waldack, attended.  Were the rest too busy to attend a free lunch in support of the arts?  Their loss.


Luncheon, October Aftertoon daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

October Afternoon
acrylic on canvas, 5"x7"

I'm a little behind.  The painting is an October afternoon, but I'm not getting around to posting it until November.  It's been a really busy couple of weeks getting ready to present a Luncheon for the Arts, in support of the Marco Island Center for the Arts. 

Over 200 people from all segments of the island community are expected.  We've been filling goody bags in my living room.  The wonderful image on the front of the bag by photographer Forrest Nichols makes it look like a flock of birds taking off. 

The programs for the event were finalized last night, and my job this morning was to print them while I wrote to you!  I had purchased extra ink knowing I would need it.  BIG Glitch!  I have a new printer, and the extra ink cartridge I had on hand was the wrong size.  Same number, too big.  Ugh.

Life is like that, and so is painting.  You get it all planned out and fate has other plans.  You can either roll with it or fight it.   Sometimes I choose to fight, but today, I'll roll.  It will get done, just later than I planned and the rest of the day will have to be adjusted to accommodate my error. 

Sadly, I'd whine if there was anyone hear to listen, but hubby is still sleeping peacefully. 

The luncheon will be tomorrow, at the Marco Island Hilton at noon.  It's a one-hour FREE lunch, but it is hoped that you'll do your part by opening your heart to "support."  If you haven't been invited and would like to come along. please let me know early today.  

Meanwhile I'll put all this aside and spend the day in the studio, painting.  That's really where I belong!   


An Arm or a Leg, Stone Crab daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Stone Crab, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

Florida Stone Crab season is here, and the crabs are gorgeous with large, chunky bodies and elegant black tipped claws.  The crabs have eight legs used for swimming or walking and two developed into large claws used for pinching and crushing prey and predators. 

Stone crabs are much desired for their claw meat, which resembles lobster in texture and taste.   When the crabs are caught for food, it is most often the large, crusher claw that is harvested. The claws are designed to be removed easily when the crab is in a life-threatening situation, and a crab may be able to survive an attack by leaving a claw behind.   When broken in the right place, there is little blood loss and quick healing.   A crabber will grab the crab from behind and twist firmly.  The claw pops off and the crab is thrown back into the water where it will regenerate the lost claw. 

Stone crabs can be found in shallow tidal areas with soft bottoms and places to hide, like rocks, jetties and oyster reefs.  Oysters are one of their favorite foods.  In and around Marco Island they are caught in the Gulf from mid-October through mid-May in baited traps placed on bottom

The meaty claws are sold for food, and are traditionally served with a mustard sauce.  You can find some other great receipes here.  While I don't like thinking abou the having an art or a leg torn off, I must confess that I like the idea that it's a renewable food source!
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