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


Art of the Endangered, Snail Kite painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Snail Kite, 2012 (c) Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20"x30"

The Marco Island Center for the Arts, will hold a reception for the exhibition "Art of the Endangered" May 8th at 5, at the center. 

Painted for this exhibition, the endangered Snail Kite is a medium-sized raptor almost entirely dependent on a regular source of Apple Snails for food.  The Kite catches its prey at or just below the waterline with sharp talons, and pries the snail out of the shell with a uniquely adapted beak.  With habitat reduced and water levels varying, as the apple snails decline, the Snail Kite is struggling to survive.

I've seen two kites, together, at Shark Valley a couple of years ago, and from afar they look like a  nice fat pigeon.  It's only when you see the talons and beak up close do you realize they are quite fierce.  I wanted to make my male kite formidable, masculine, and very alert. 


Silent Auction and Mini-Orchid bloom daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Mini-orchid Bloom, (c) 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

It's been a really good blooming year at our place, and I'm delighted to have so many orchids around.  You've seen photos of my orchids before, and I'm finally getting around to painting this one. It's blooms aren't like any other orchid I have--more like little cups.

It will be my selection for "Art in Bloom" at the Artist Colony on the Esplanade's Artwalk, this Wednesday from 5-8 p.m.  Each artist will have a flower painting on display for a silent auction!  The price of each piece will be started a very attractive price point.  At a $150 value, the bidding has already started at $75 on this little beauty.

You can come into the studio any time on Wed to see the painting and make a bid.  If you are unable to get in, just email me here with your bid.  Do it before 5 p.m. on Wednesday to be counted! 

If you'd like a new painting, particularly one of flowers, or you'd just like to see how twelve artists interpret the floral world, don't miss this month's ArtWalk.  We'll greet you with our usual music and refreshments, too! 


Sable Palm, Guardian daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Guardian, 2012, (c) Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

The Sable Palm, or Cabbage Palm is a noble and ancient tree commonly found in the Everglades landscape.  The trunks are strong and hearty, and the palm can tolerate salt-laced winds, but doesn't like salt water flooding the roots.  The Sable can tolerate both cold and can also withstand the hot prairie fires.  Their height and bulk make them ideal for sheltering wildlife from the torrid summer sun and torrential summer rains.

Growth for the leaves is a terminal bud at the top of the trunk.  This was eaten as food, and makes a wonderful Cabbage Palm Soup.  Unfortunately, when the bud is harvested the tree dies, so it is no longer desirable to harvest the heart of the palm from wild trees. 

Today, hearts of palm are grown in several South American countries as a food crop, with the hearts harvested while the trees are till quite young.  You can purchase hearts of palm in any grocery, and Cooks.com has some Cabbage Palm recipes for you to try. 


Tree Islands, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Tree Island, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on gessoboard, 7"x5"

If you look at the tree islands of the Everglades from the air, you will see that most of them have an elongated, or lozenge shape.  It's believed that this is caused by the gentle flow of the water from of the wet season gently flowing around them on it's relentless journey to the gulf.

In researching for my book I discovered information that the soil underneath the tree islands may contain signs of ancient human interaction with the Everglades prairies.  Soil samples indicate that fire, pottery and bones may have added nutrients to the soil.

It hasn't been determined yet if the islands were able to flourish because of a rise or depression of the soil, or because these elements changed the nutrient levels enough to allow tree growth.  

But the fact that ancient people might have camped on the Everglades prairies and changed its character is a story waiting to be told.   


Bright Shiny Day, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Bright Shiny Day, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on canvas, 20"x24"

OK, so I'm a morning person.  Actually  I'm a fan of siesta, since I hate to miss late night fun too, but in the morning I rise and start the day with natural optimism. 

Mornings just lend themselves to be hopeful, uplifting and joyous.  The start of a new day can mean new beginnings, new hope, new paths to follow.  This Everglades painting is meant to convey some of these feelings. 

Shark Valley with kids and grandkids today is my plan.  They'll get to see more of the Everglades.  I'll revisit a treasured place.  We'll learn or see something new. 

By the end of the day we'll be hot, sticky and tired, but for now we're rarein' to go. 


Fragrant Blossoms daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Fragrant Blossoms, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on gessoboard, 7"x5"

It's the time of year when gardenias are blooming by my front door, sending a heavenly scent throughout every open doorway and window. 

There's Confederate Jasmine by the garage, it's sweet scent most apparent in the early evening. 

A gentle morning breeze sends the scent of The scent of blooming key lime over the lanai.

When I think of a Florida spring, it's all about the smell. 


Water, Palms, Prairie, 2012, Jo-AnnSanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x 7"

Water, Palms, Prairie has had a makeover.  Better.  When we recognize it's not quite right, take the problem in hand and see what we can do.

Sometimes it's a painting
Sometimes it's ourselves.

Refreshing, isn't it?


Radiant Morning, 2012 Jo-AnnSanborn
acrylic on board, 7" x 5"

Showing happiness.  Expressing joy and positive energy. 
Lit with a bright or glowing light,

How's your morning going?  


A Different Light painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

a painting of Everglades landscape
A Different Light, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 36"x24"

In speaking to a potential customer at the studio recently, we spoke about the fact that I've been painting the Everglades for almost 20 years.  I tried to explain the draw and pull of the ancient landscape, and how it's beauty and it's many personalities provide abundant opportunities for inspiration. 

Today, reading a article about Maine artist Connie Hayes, made me think about this on a deeper level.  Her quote  "The more beautiful a subject matter the harder it is to probe it's power" helps express what I was trying to say.

My work in the Everglades is more than just an attempt to portray the subtle layering of color in the pastel morning sky, or the thrusting urgency of a palm struggling to survive in a soil singularly lacking in sustenance. 

Each time I pick up my brush is an attempt to forge a deep connection with the underlying natural world of the place that inspired me.  The Everglades landscape is a world humans have exploited and misused for years, but we are ultimately responsible for.  I want you to see more than just a painting, but into the heart and soul of the landscape as well.

It's a lofty goal.  I may never achieve it fully, but trying's the thing.

If you are Christian, I'm wishing you a joyous and uplifting Easter!


Gift of Flowers daily painting by painter Jo-Ann Sanborn

Gift of Flowers, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"

Artist Mary Sheehan Winn  and I have known each other's work for some time, and keep in touch via the Internet.  Mary's a snowbird, and we're both pretty busy in season, so it took some time to find a space to visit. 

We decided on a little painting in the studio, and a nice lunch.  Perfect!  

Mary walked in with some cheerful sunflowers for me, and I had a couple of my first, fragrant gardenia's for her.  In  a couple of hours each had a painting going -- flowers, of course. 

We decided that it was easy and fun to paint in the studio, but we really want to get out into the Everglades before she leaves for the summer.  It's a plan, Mary! 


Looking for Answers, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Looking for Answers, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"

A huge and humble THANK YOU to all who supported Bob with the PSP walk on Saturday.  What a fantastic group! 

We were honored by your showing up and your caring.  Some of you went the extra mile to help us get there and get home or provided support in other, special ways.  Some of you who couldn't come or walk made donations, or sent us words of kindness from your heart.

Bob and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts, for your time, your help, your prayers, your money, but most of all for showing up and for caring!   Your support will help provide some answers and lead the way to a cure for this awful disease.  Each of you will always have a special place in our hearts. 

Don't worry.  This won't become a PSP blog.  Next post will be back to the artist's part of my journey!    
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