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


Fishing Pond, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"
This little pond is full of fish in Kent, Ct.  My grand kids think going fishing is one of the most fun things to do.  I sit under a tree and sketch while they catch fish and throw them back. We both think we've had a great time. 

Sunday is moving day, from my current studio shared with four other artists (sob, I'll miss them), into a single space just next door (yay, new adventure!).  Mixed emotions.  I'll keep you posted. 


ArtWalk and a Gull

Gull, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 7"x5"
Artist Colony's Last Last Wendesday ArtWalk to night
5-8 pm.
Bittersweet, it's creating quite a buzz. 
Will you be there?
The gull makes me think of the birds.  I don't think gulls migrate, but Marco Island, Florida, is on the path of two migration flyways.  Flyways are paths that birds follow seasonally as they move from one location to another.    
If you are aware of nature around you, you'll see more birds in the sky as flocks pass through on their way to winter homes.  There will be more birds in our area because some of them will stay for the season.  
Because the birds must travel very long distances, they need places to rest along the way.  That's why we discourage people or kids from chasing birds on our beaches.  Marco Island's northern shore is one of very few such places on the southern Florida coast just right for the birds.  The birds need every bit of food and rest they can get here for a successful migration. 
You can learn more about our bird migration here
My little post jumped before it's time yesterday. Blank. I hate it when that happens. Sorry!  


Moving Sale at Sunsine Studios

Sunshine Studios is moving two doors to the 
south on October 1. 

Moving Sale

Four older, very special paintings.  Paintings I love..
You know it's VERY rare for me to discount. 
Hard decisions. 

Half Price this week on these four painting ONLY.
Prices include frames.  Really good buys.

Any one of them could 
enhance your home and enrich your life. 
Think about it. Try one out.

Now is the time! 

Like Nowhere Else, 24X30" acrylic on canvas
was $1200, this week $600

Monday's Muse, 20x24, acrylic on canvas
was $900, this week $450

Hideaway Shore, 48x60, acrylic on canvas
$6000, this week $3000

View of the Gulf, 20x24, Acrylic on canvas
was $900, now $450

I have a few 5x7's from 2010 or earlier. 
They will be $50 each.
All the artists will be having specials. 

See you at the last, Last Wednesday Artwalk
September 26th, 5-8 p.m.


Everglades Maples change color

People say that the Everglades have no seasons, but if you are watching, you will notice the changes. We have the wet and the dry.  If you are a snowbird, you may not experience the wet.  In addition, the plants here respond to the changes in light making subtle differences between winter, spring, summer and fall. 

The maples (Acer rubum), have turned and are red against the green backdrop of much of the Everglades landscape.  The change in color must be triggered by the light rather than cold, because it's still quite warm here.  It may be nothing like the glamorous glory of a sparkling day in New England, but it's still rather nice. 



Memory of a Beach Walk, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Memory of a Beach Walk, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on canvas, 48"x60"
Summertime here on the island is a great time to do some larger pieces.  Memory of a Beach walk is one of the largest paintings I've done in a while.  I wanted you to feel as though it was you walking on the beach, and to think of other beach walks that might have meaning for you.
Maybe you were with someone you love, now departed.  Perhaps you told your daughter about the birds and the bees.  Perhaps the shells themselves revealed something to you in a special way, as in Anne Linberg's Gift from the Sea.
Walking on the beach is good for us.  The sand makes it just a little harder so that we use a little more energy than on the flat, and the sound of the waves sooths us.  Can you feel it?


Dear Artist Colony Artists, and Quiet Shore daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Quiet Shore, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"

Dear Artist Colony Artists
Some of you greeted me with skepticism years ago when I came to the Alyson Stanfield Art Marketing salon meeting with the idea of sharing vacant retail space. Once the structure and facts were in place you jumped in, so did other artists and the rest is history! We had three wonderful years as an Artist Colony at the Esplanade on Marco Island.
When the new owners took over last spring, change was in the air. They aren't local, didn't have the same attitude of support for the arts, didn't understand our structure, and didn't seem to care. It was clear our days at the Esplanade were numbered.  At each of our meetings we discussed "being ready" and "having a plan" even though we had no idea when the ax would fall. Having potential tenants tour the spaces reinforced those feelings.

I considered what my personal plan might be. Moving with the other artists, back to street shows, try to find a gallery, sell more on line, work the Farmers market? None were as attractive to me as staying at the Esplanade, even my dear Bob and I spoke about it. Could I work out the finances? I decided to investigate the possibility by talking with the rental agent. I only needed a small space, but the rental agent was discouraging, not sure the owners wanted an artist tenant.

Last Monday, an email arrived offering me a place at the Esplanade, and urging me to act quickly with an October 1 deadline.  Since I wasn't about to displace the other artists, a quick call with questions about the Artist Colony made it clear that yes, we were all to be out, and by Oct 1.  New tenants will be moving in.  The sky had fallen, and without warning!

I will make a break with the Colony and independently stay at the Esplanade, providing the lease, which I haven't seen yet, is acceptable.  I'm excited to be staying at that location, but the move will be bittersweet with the other artists searching for new space. 

As we all move on, each with our own plan and to our own arts future, let's not lose sight of the fact that the Artist Colony at the Esplanade was a unique and a special moment in time and place. Working together wasn't always easy, but learning to work out our differences made us better people. And it worked!

Each one of you brought something special to the table. You helped to define Marco Island as a place friendly to the arts.  You gave citizens and visitors alike a wide variety of art to enjoy and to purchase.  You brought your creativity to a wide range of Marco Island activities, and you supported a myriad of causes and organizations.  You enriched lives of the people who came in contact with the Colony and the very fabric of the island. 

Laughing, working, growing, helping, sharing, we were at our best.  I will miss the close contact with your energy and your support.  You are each very dear to me.  It was a good and wonderful adventure, and wherever your artistic journey takes you next, I thank you for your part in the Artist Colony at the Esplanade, and wish you the very best.  


Breaking Up is Hard to do, and Separation, daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Separation, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on archival board, 5"x7"
Very sorry for the glare on today's Everglades painting.  I forgot to photograph before finishing with a gloss varnish, and now it won't photograph properly. 
Breaking up is hard to do.  Most relationships in your life will at sometime point come to an end. Sometimes this happens naturally as you move on either in person or in spirit.  Sometimes it is caused by the finality of death, other times it may be a conscious choice.  It most always hurts.
I initiated the Artist Colony at the Esplanade three years ago.  We had a great run.  We were fortunate to have had fabulous space in a great location provided to us at very reasonable costs.  By sharing and supporting each other we were able to make it work for all of us.  
The artist Colony has always been under a possible threat to vacate.  But new owners have a different view of the space.  It's not charity, and they are far from Marco Island.  They intend to have the space fully rented to paying customers.  It's a tough economy, but they are moving aggressively ahead.  They've rented the spaces, and have asked us to leave by October 1.
Under this threat, each Colony member has determined a price they feel they can afford to pay for studio space.  Staying at the Esplanade is not an option for most, not even with sharing.  After weighing, costs, benefits and options,  I've come to a different conclusion.  I like the traffic there, and I'm ready to take a big step, even though the cost of it will be a challenge.
So, taking a big breath, reaching deep and taking a giant leap of faith, I've made a difficult but exciting decision to rent space in the Esplanade for myself, for Sunshine Studios of Marco Island,  Jo-Ann Sanborn, Fine Arts Everglades painter.
I'll take over the space just to the right of where I am now on October 1 and be opened for business by the middle of the month.  Some artists will find space elsewhere.  Some may band together if they can find donated or affordable space.  Some may decide that making art for sale isn't worth the effort. 
Will it be the end of the Artist Colony? Too soon to tell, but I hope not.  I wish my fellow artists the best in finding what's right for them.  Together we were able to add another voice to Marco Island's artistic palette.  It was fun.  Thank you.


Fifty Shades of Grey, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic collage, 12x12
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I live to do something different every now and then to stretch out the brain a little.  Today's painting, Fifty Shades of Grey, was done for the Art Center's upcoming show, Black and White.
I did one painting as a landscape.  Then I looked for another way to use my materials and do something I hadn't done for a while - collage.  I always enjoy fitting the parts together in an interesting composition.  By using dark and light, and all the variations of grey I was able to compose the painting.  A few little white dots and a couple of odd shapes to help lead the eye finished it up
The reception will be tomorrow, Tuesday, September 11, 2012, at the Marco Island Center for the Arts, 1010 Winterberry Street.  I'll be there.  Will you?  


Young art Collectors, Swamp Light daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Swamp Light, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"
Yes, young people are buying original art.  Only a small portion have the guts and money to go into a nuts and bolts gallery.  Besides, they really don't like anyone telling them what they should like, and many don't have the money for large, prestigious purchases.
They're finding their art in new ways, and often on the Internet.  In this no-man's land a new collector can browse at ease.  They can look at a piece again and again.  They can read a blog, learn about an artist, check out what's new and find something to love at a price they can see and know they can afford to spend.  All in relative anonymity.  
The savvy ones can leave a comment and see if the artist will answer in a way that speaks their language.  They might email back and forth about a piece to help them take the measure of an artist.  If they don't like the interaction, they can drop out before they have to commit.  
If a young person finds art to suit them, it's a win-win.  They've been exposed to a lot of different work in the hunt for their special piece.  Connections are being made in new ways, and as an artist, you've got to be out there, if only because that's where they are. 


The 99%, and Seven Palms and some Orange, daily painting by Everglades painter Jo-Ann Sanborn

Seven Palms and some orange, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"
If you're here reading, there's a good chance you fall into the 1% bracket.  
I'm not talking about the "we are the 99%" slogan that addresses growing income inequity and wealth distribution in America between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of the US population.  I'm talking about the very special 1% of Americans who purchase original art to adorn and enhance their homes and enrich their lives. 
A while ago a gallery owner told me that only 1% of the American public purchase original art, and that the percent is much higher in Europe.  I've been unable to validate this statistic, but experience tells me that that if 100 people see my art in person that at least one will purchase.
I love this 1%.  Perhaps we share a love of handmade things. Perhaps we find connection to the value of the threatened Everglades landscape.  Perhaps we share the restorative quality of a walk on the beach, or are both in awe of the natural color show at sunset.  It maybe something you're not ready to put into words, but in some small way, arts speaks to you.  
You are the 1%.  The other 99 percent?  They're just not my customers.


Happy Birthday, Clyde!

Beach Dreams, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on archival board, 7"x5"

Happy Birthday, Clyde!

Clyde Butcher turns 70 this weekend. Clyde is well known for his gorgeous large format black and white photos of the Everglade.  You can see him work his magic here

My husband, photographer and sculptor, took a class with Clyde when he first began teaching.  Before I met Clyde, he juried two paintings of mine into a show of Everglades art at the Von Liebig Art Center.  He didn't know much about art, he told me when we met at the reception, but "I know what I liked and that's what I picked."  He was just being modest, but that's the kind of guy he is.

A birthday gift was in order.  Clyde and his wife Nikki have been very good to the arts community in Southwest Florida.  But what Clyde is really about is a deep and abiding concern for the very real threats to the Everglades environment. He works hard for this cause and has become a much respected voice for the Glades.

Every Labor Day, the Butchers open their gallery and property to the public, to help introduce people to the wonderful Everglades environment.  A walk around his beautiful property refreshes the soul, and you can go into the swamp with a ranger if you haven't done it.

It's not too late to stop by the Big Cypress Gallery and wish Clyde a Happy Birthday, and to "Muck About" a bit, too. 
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