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


ArtWalk Tonight, Business cards, and more

It's a busy time of year, and I've had to order additional promotional materials.  I'm trying to be consistent in the look, but have found that difficult to do since I'm always changing my mind on what to feature, and the look of it.

Moo is a Canadian company that uniquely provides a variety of different images in your order.  I'm delighted with the results of my first order.  Now you can choose your favorite painting from among 10 designs when you ask me for my business card!

ArtWalk is tonight.  The theme is "people's choice", and each of the artists will have a special painting featured in the hopes of getting YOUR vote.  Come along, check them out, and ask me for my card!

Music, fun, refreshments, and people's choice.  See you between 5-8 p.m.!


Orchid Dance, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5x7"

Try as I might, I can't the glare out of this painting.  But the orchids are lovely this year and the blooms are abundant. 

 I'm enjoying them all around the house.  Like many places, we've had a mild winter, and they already think it's Spring.


You can almost watch them opening.

Even the little guys are cute. 

I love having fresh flowers around the house, and almost always do. A small bouquet from the grocery helps bring a little sunshine in. For an artist, flowers bring extra pleasure. There's the pleasure of the selecting or growing, and the pleasure of the painting them, too


Taking liberties, Spring Celebration by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Spring Celebration, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20"x24"

When a landscape artist sets up on location, there's the whole big view to consider.   Everything within sight is fair game for adding to a painting.  To make it all fit on a canvas is no easy task. 

In addition, the sun moves through the sky.  Light changes, clouds come and go as the day progresses, and if we're not careful, we'll end up chasing shadows with our paint.

So we're forced from the start to make choices. What to install in a painting, and what to leave out can be the artist's choice alone.  

Unlike the portrait painter who must please their subject, a landscape artist is unlikely to hear from the subjects that "it's  not a good likeness." 

As long as we retain a "sense of place", we can choose to highlight certain features, push the color, or leave out a less desirable tree.  If we decide to take liberties with the colors or the placement, or leave something out completely, who's to complain?


Listening to Nature, Quiet in the Shadows painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Quiet in the Shadows, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20"X24"

Painting the landscape is a connection to nature.  I love sitting quietly in the cool shadow of the palms, looking out onto the warm, sunlit prairie.

Spending a silent moment  with nature means that our ears begin to pick up sounds we might have missed if we were talking, or even painting.  The buzz of a bee makes us aware of a whole level of life we're not privy too.  Where's he going?  What's he saying?  To who? 

The raucous cry of a heron highlights another layer of life.  Is he saying "stay out of my fishing hole"  or perhaps "I've got dinner, honey!"  Or maybe "watch out, here comes a snake!"

We'll never know.  It would take years of watching and listening to understand all that goes on the natural world we're not much a part of anymore. 

Taking the time to listen is a first step.  Perhaps if we take the time to listen, we'll begin to hear.  


Supporting other Artists, and Supporting Each Other daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Supporting Each Other, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

Do you believe in supporting the work of other artists? If so, how do you do it?
  • Do you purchase their work?
  • Do you attend their openings?
  • Do you admire their new work?
  • Do you share information and techniques?
  • Do you send a note when you see something they've done particularly well?
  • Do you congratulate them if they win a prize?

What do you expect from your peers? Do you get what you need?

It's delightful when you do.  Thanks, Dreama, for the mention and book comment!  You're the first to comment, and it is much appreciated!


Music of Memory painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Music of Memory, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 30"x30"

This painting sings to me.  The soft colors flow, and there's something nostalgic air about it.  A timelessness, a feeling of sweet dreams.  What's the song?

Maybe it's because the studio music has been turned to oldies, I've been thinking about music.  These days there's just as much music around, but everyone has their own play list, and listen to it plugged into their own ear.  Alone. 

As a result, our exposure to music we're not familiar with is somewhat limited.  We can't ask "who's that?" if we don't hear the song.  We don't have much "universal knowledge" about art, literature, music, or anything else anymore. 

My paintings sing about the threatened Everglades landscape.  Here's an Everglades song for you


The Moon goes for a Swim, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

The Moon goes for a Swim, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 24"x48"

Due to family circumstances beyond my control my time is not always my own, and sometimes a day does not go at all as I had envisioned.  As a result, I was getting a little low on inventory, and haven't been very faithful to my three times a week daily paintings lately.  I had three or four half finished larger Everglades paintings that needed attention, and a commission I've been neglecting, too.  

Right in the middle of telling myself to buckle down and get something finished, I awoke early one morning, looked out my back door--where I usually go for a bit of fresh air to see what the day smells like--well, really to greet the day, I suppose, and saw something most unusual.

From my vantage point the nearby homes were still in darkness.  Stars were sparkling in the sky and the dawn was just beginning to lighten the morning.  I knew the moon must be large, but couldn't see it from where I stood.  There was a slight breeze was ruffling the water, and then, to my absolute delight and surprise, I saw the silvery white moon taking a dip in my canal.  Backstroking! 

I couldn't wait to get to the studio to begin to paint this marvelous scene.  It's my habit to have a good supply of canvases of all sizes on hand and prepared and I was glad to find a large canvas just right for my subject.  The paint flew from my brushes onto the canvas.  About a week later and after several layers of softening glazes,  I stood back and said "done."

Now to get back to what I was doing before the moon turned my head.


Generosity Day, Winter Beach painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Winter Beach, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 24"x36"

We've had such beautiful weather that the beach as been as lovely as ever, although the water is colder than I like!  I'll get back to my daily paintings soon, but have been working like mad on some larger things, and am finishing up a few.  Winter Beach is among them.  

Tomorrow is Valentine's day and if you are reading this, know that I love you very much!  While love is certainly in the air, there's a new wave of feeling about this day.  You may not be aware of it yet, but Valentine's Day is also Generosity Day. 

A group of philanthropists and economists are asking us to reconsider the often false and forced romanticism of smarmy greeting cards and overpriced roses and to open our minds to a day of generosity. 

Generosity Day is the idea of having one day of sharing generously with everyone who asks.  You can learn more about it here or hear Sasha Dichter's TED lecture about this concept here.

Just be generous and see how it feels.  Practice saying “Yes.”  Generosity Day is a day about love through human connections and interactions.  It may not be easy to put our intellect, upbringing, and selfishness aside for one day, but if you can, it may bring about a positive change for others and come back to you in ways you don't expect.

When you get it right it feels right.  Here's an example of the complications of giving. What would you do? 

So, enjoy your chocolates and roses.  You can also think about saying "YES!" when you are asked to give something more. Thinking may lead to action, and action may mean changing lives. 

So much philanthropy centers around the human condition, but it's my concern in that we will have clean, breathable, natural landscapes to enjoy into the future.  Join me in donating even a small amount, say $5.00 to the Everglades Foundation this Generosity Day, February 14th.  Just say "YES"! 


Marco Island Wet Paint Live

The day dawned overcast, cool, with a bit of a breeze.  By 8 am, I was at the Art Center, having my canvases stamped with another group of early rising anxious painters.  I had two stamped, one extra in case of disaster. 

We drew names for our placement at the evening auction.  I was quite happy with my number 4.  Early enough to not let people get tired, but not first.  Number one and Number 20 could both be more challenging. 

We received a sign with our name and our sponsors.  Thank you David Caruso, Morgan Stanley, and Gem Remotes.  Both have several of my paintings, and they tell me they bring them joy.  I love them dearly as they are very good people.

We also received a Publix bag with a couple bottles of water and a granola bar to get us going.  Lunch would be delivered later.   The Publix on Marco has a wonderful history of community service.   Thank you, Kevin

On to the Esplanade to set up.  Since it was my studio day anyway, it seemed to make sense to choose right in front of the studio and have the studios opened for the day.  My work, and that of my studio mates would be browsable during the event.  A good choice since hordes of visitors stopped in. 

At set up, the wind died down.  It was still overcast, so it didn't get too hot.  We've had an exceptionally warm winter, and I was prepared with a hat if needed.  I quickly blocked in the scene, using a lovely clump of greenery near me, and a couple of more distant palms, and compressed everything in between, leaving only a hint of the tall buildings and the arches.  I had used them in my painting near this spot last year, and wanted today's painting to be different. 

As the day progressed so did the painting.  For me at least, there is so much pressure  at an event like this.  If I badly while painting "en plein air" on a normal day I can take it back to the studio, to study it, refine it, and change it again and again over the next weeks or whiles until I'm ready to call it "done."  It can even go into the trash.  But today, everything was public and I wanted to look good!

In a one day event--ours was six hours--there becomes a commitment time, when if you are going to finish you have to keep moving ahead.  It becomes too late to start over, and you must push ahead to the finish.

It was fun to talk with the people who stopped by.  Some were students, some were collectors, and a good many were just people who wanted to see people painting.  There were many more participants than previous years.  The sun came out!  I think the community has caught on to the fact that Wet Paint Live is a really fun event. Here's the painting about 2 o'clock

By three I had to frame it, and after that deliver it to the Art Center for display until the Auction.  Sorry it's a little crooked! 

By auction time I was showered and dressed, and back at the Art Center.     The paintings, many of them still wet, were displayed around the room along with a silent auction painting and information about each artists.   The day's paintings from our diverse group of local artists was fabulous and there was a building excitement in the air!

A delicious buffet was provided by our local Kretches Restaurant, and the volunteer bartenders did a great job of keeping up with the local thirst.  After  some food and a calming glass of wine, the auction began. 

Every artist lives in horror that their painting may not get a bid, but bidding started strong, and my number four painting brought a very respectable amount from a delightful new collector.  I think  everyone was pleased--artists, collectors, and event organizers, Marco Island Chamber of Commerce, the Marco Island Center for the Arts, and the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts. 

And thank you to all the participants who made this year's Wet Paint Live a wonderful event!  The money raised at this event provides scholarships for Marco Island students. 


Light in the Landscape, and Winter Morning, painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Winter Morning, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 18"x24"

My landscape class has started, and this month it's all about light in the landscape.   It's a sad state of affairs to have to teach a landscape class indoors, but time and other considerations mean that's the case.  We'll make do with mini-field trips outside to observe. 

Here's one of the basics from my class. 

The color of an object in light is not the same color of the object in shadow.  You must LOOK at the landscape and SEE what color your object is in the sunlight, and once you can match that, then SEE how both the value and the temperature change in shadow. 

Careful observation will show you that most often objects are warm in our Florida sunlight, then your shadows will contain a bit of the color's compliment, and be much cooler in temperature.  

No rules, though.  You have to look and observe for yourself because nature is always full of surprises!

Tomorrow will be Wet Paint Live on Marco.  You can pick up a map at the Chamber of Commerce and visit all 20 artists as they paint the island.  Free!

You can also attend a very fun auction of the finished paintings as the Art Center at 6.  Tickets are $35 and include some great food.  The auction supports scholarships on the island.  Join island artists and support the arts and have a great time, too! 


What's Happening? Beach Shade painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Beach Shade, 2011, JoAnn Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 6"x12"

What's Happening?
Acrylic Art Class- Light in the Landscape

 February 6, 2012
and the following 3 Mondays 12:45-3:45 p.m.
Marco Island Center for the Arts 
Call 394-4221 to register

Marco Island Wet Paint Live

February 9th, 9 a.m.  - 3 p.m
You'll find me painting at the Esplanade outside the studio. Stop and see my painting in progress
Auction at the Marco Island Center for the Arts
6 p.m.

Tickets $35 at the Chamber of Commerce or the Art Center

Artist Colony at the Esplanade Wednesday ArtWalk

February 29th, 5-8  p.m
People's Choice, New Artwork, refreshments, music! 

Save the Date!
Arts Afire
A Walk with the Masters
March 18th, 2012
Commuity arts and culture organizations will portray famous paintings in a walk around Mackle Park Lake. Bring a picnic!  Music, refreshments for purchase. 

 Come see the Artist Colony in a tableau of Renoir's "Luncheon of the Boating Party"


Work of an Artist,

Winter Warmth, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

The traffic has really picked up at the Artist Colony on Marco Island. It's a mixed bag of browsers, artists, art lovers, people looking for something to do, serious art collectors and chance passers-by.   People visiting from all over the world stop in.

The Artist Colony is comprised of twelve artists who share studio/gallery space in three locations close by each other at the Esplanade on Marco Island. We're open Wednesday thru Friday, 11-7 and Saturdays until 5. There's at least one person working in each gallery during those hours. We've kept these hours for almost three years, and they're posted on the door of each gallery.

When I can get there early I open the doors when I arrive. People sometimes wander in before the other galleries are open. Most people are happy to view my studio, shared by 4 different artists, or get a coffee and stroll the lovely Esplanade until the other galleries open. 

Last week a woman came in early and was quite distressed that she couldn't "see people painting." I happened to be framing, and explained that I had to completed it for a client who would be in later that morning, and that I would be painting in about 20 minutes. "Well," she huffed, I came to see people painting!" I told her that each gallery would have someone working by 11 o'clock, and that some of them might be painting.

This didn't mollify her at all and she fussed on her way, disappointed. I felt bad, but have been dealing with the public long enough to know there was nothing I could do to change her attitude.

Working can mean many different things to a visual artist. We want to be at the easel. Painting is our favorite pastime. Still, especially if you are a mid-career artist without assistance, there's a lot more to be done. We might be preparing a canvas for painting. We might be choosing a subject by looking through reference photos, composing a painting by sketching, or framing a finished piece. Other times we might be showing work to a prospective collector cleaning the studio or rearranging the artwork. And that's just in the studio. 

There's also all of the office work required of any small business.  Whether it disappoints or not, it's work that needs to be done to get a painting from me to you and there's just me to do it. Sorry! 

One of the best ways to meet all of the Artist Colony Artists at one time is to visit during ArtWalk, the Last Wednesday of the month.  It will be February 29 this month, so put it on your calendar right now.  We're all there, not painting, but working, and ready to talk with you about our work or to help you find just the right piece for your home. 


Flame Awards, Diversity, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Diversity, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Canvas, 24"x18"

If you are on Marco Island, don't miss the Highwaymen Exhibit, Against All Odds,  at the Marco Island Historical Society.  It's a fabulous exhibit, and tells the story of a group of black artists who sold their paintings along the highways of Florida to make a living in the mid-nineteenth century.  

We are so fortunate to have this kind of exhibition here on the island.  Get there before the end of February. 

Other places you can see a variety/divsersity of visual arts on the island is the Art Center of Marco Island.  Their galley selections have been terrific since the arrival of new director Lynn Holley.  The Marco Foundation for the Arts (check for hours) has a small, local gallery, and the Artist Colony at the Esplanade hosts the work of twelve visual artists. 

There are two terrific clay artists at the Farmer's Market and they are slowly being joined by others.  We also have two theater groups and an ongoing selection of live music to choose from. 

With all this going on, you surely know someone who might qualify for the City of Marco Island's Flame Award.  Since arts and culture are such a valuable part of our society, these awards are given by the city for people who are presenting and promoting arts on the island.  The form has been simplified, and you can learn more and get a nomination form here.  
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