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


What is original art? Summer Sky, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Summer Sky, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 12"x24"

My paintings are all original works of art.   I said this to someone in the studio recently and wasn't sure they understood.  I don't mean to sound preachy about it, but want to define what making original art means to me. 

Getting my response to a subject down on canvas in a meaningful way is the challenge of being original.  Over and over again, never quite able to do nature justice.  Growing and learning along the way, every day.  Doing it my way, while respectfully mindful of the knowledge and history of artists before me and beside me. 

Familiarity with the subject.  For me,  the Everglades and the South Florida environment.  I spend a lot of time in the Everglades, and outside in general.  Certain aspects of the landscape are more interesting than others on any given day, but the fabulous Everglades landscape that I love never fails to inspire me.

This almost always has something to do with the way light plays on or around the subject.  Sometimes light reveals the object, sometimes defines it, and sometimes it invades an object or area in a way not often seen.  When it's not light, it's color, or a combination of light and color.  I'm inspired to create a painting of THAT in a way that is from the heart and uniquely mine. 

Copying or reproducing are not part of original, although they may have a valued place in some artist business plans.   Observing something special and exploring ways to portray it are what makes an original work of art no matter the genre.  At least that's my take on original. 

Today's painting, Summer Sky is an original work of art.  The inspiration for today's painting is a little piece of the Everglades that I find quite peaceful and love to visit.  I love the way the marsh falls off to the right, and the shapes of the hardwood hammocks in the distance.  This particular day the rainy season clouds were building on the horizon, but there was no real threat of rain. 

Have a Happy Halloween!   


Everglades Light

Everglades Light, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 11x14, sold
The drop in humidity and a little coolness makes it a wonderful time of year to get out into the Everglades.  There's plenty of water from the summer rains.  The sloughs are full, and in the quiet you can hear the surface water gurgling softly on it's way to the Gulf.  With a  100 mile wide river of grass to get through, and only a slight decrease in elevation, the water is on a long, slow journey.  
There are more wading birds feeding in the shallow water, and more overhead.  Some will stay for the winter, but others are just passing through.  
Much of the land from Marco Island to Miami is preserved.  Spending time in nature calms our souls, lowers the blood pressure, and makes us realize we're only a small part of a much larger world. If you're not sure what to do or where to go on your own in the Everglades, stop into the studio and I'll give you a map of some easy and inexpensive ways to orient yourselves to the wonderful Everglades environment.
Today's painting is a larger version of the one I did last week.    Exploring the palms standing out against a background of brush is a subject I haven't visited for a while, but continues to intrigue. It's from a place I often pass, but don't get to stop and absorb.  Last week the late day light was perfect.  Everglades magic! 


Flat shoes but a great party!

I'll be wearing my flat shoes today, but there is a BIG  smile on my face.   The studio opening was a magnificent event, positively magical for me, and I hope for you.
The studio looked wonderful decorated with flowers from dear family, friends and clients. 
The event couldn't have been held without "the Help." who were drafted, came dressed in style,  and worked as hard as anyone I've ever seen. 
 Champagne flowed freely and chocolates were passed.  Best of all, YOU came and had a good time.

It was rewarding to see people discussing the Everglades paintings.  The landscape that inspires me seems to intrigue and interest you, too.   Each of you had a different favorite!  My artist friends from the Colony came, to wish me well too.  Thank you!
My photos aren't the best and mostly I forgot, so I'm hoping that some of you who were there will send a couple of good photos.  I didn't even get a photo of the Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting. You should see their scissors!
What a great group you are.  You are my world, and I'm very appreciative! Thank you for your encouragement and your support! 
It's farily unique for an artist to have a working studio and a gallery combined into one.  I'll be opened from 11-5, Wed through Saturday, so please stop in to talk art, talk Everglades, or just let me know what's going on in YOUR life. 
Now, off to return the champagne glasses and get the studio back into working shape. 


Everglades Light Show, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
Taking my own studio/gallery at the Esplanade is scary!  It's like taking a step in the dark when you can't see what's there.  Usually it works out OK, but sometimes you step on the dog and it gets crazy for a while.  Still, you gotta take the step....and....
The new studio is terrific!  The space is just the right size, there's enough storage, and narrow wall shelves make it easy to display paintings, and to move them around when one sells.  Since I'm there four days a week, it's an extension of my home studio, so I've tried to make it comfortable and inviting. 
The Grand Opening is Thursday, October 25, 5:30-7pm.   I hope that you are able to come and celebrate with me.  And would you please pass this invitation on to anyone who has one of my paintings and might not read this blog?  Thanks!
I'll have chilled Champagne and some delicious handmade chocolates from Nichols Candy for you.  They've been making chocolates since 1932, and were a special and rare treat in my childhood.  I breathed a sigh of relieve when they arrived to our hot climate unmelted. Another sigh of relief when the little gifts for the opening were found after being lost in the mail for a week.  Phew! 
Getting out into the quiet wilderness of the Glades has kept me sane these last couple of weeks.  It's my inspiration, and the Everglades never disappoint.  Today's painting is about a line of palms in the late day light.  I'd like to explore this subject and location further, and will do a bit larger painting.  If that goes well, maybe even larger! 


Obligations to others, and Don't Look Back, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Don't look Back, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5x7

As I strike out in a studio/gallery alone, I'm thinking about my obligations to others as an artist and a person?  What do I owe others? Writing down these thoughts helps me to focus, and gives me something to measure by.  Here's what I've come up with so far. 

For myself
     Make original work
     Make it as well as I can
     Strive to grow in skill and knowledge
     Give good value for the price of my work

For my collectors
     Make quality artwork that will last
     Make work that is unique and special
     Stand behind my  work
     Show them I appreciate their support

For my students
     Give the very best I can in each class
     Encourage all honest efforts and never give harsh critique
     Support growth through generous sharing of knowledge

Towards my fellow artists
     Make only original work--don't copy or steal
     Support always, encouraging their success,
     Attend shows and events
     Speak well of anther's work

 Can you think of otoher obligations or duties of the art world that should be on my list?  


Invitation to Grand Opening

On Their Way to a Dance, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 224x30
Grand Opening
and you're invited!
Jo-Ann Sanborn, Everglades painter
Studio Gallery at the Esplanade

Thursday, October 25, 2012
5:30-7 pm

Ribbon Cutting, Champagne and Chocolates!
At the Esplanade, 760 North Collier Blvd. #102, Marco Island, FL


Studio Move and Light Bridge daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Light Bridge, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
I feel almost like I was on a "Light Bridge" this past week.  Time and space?  Unusual. 
On Sunday Afternoon everything came into the new studio gallery.
Stuff was carried and projects were completed to the sounds of much joy. 
I am very, very grateful to the friends who helped! 
 By Saturday, I was adding my studio scent--Ghost Orchid! 
And with the help of a younger brother turned remarkable, (well, he would tell you he was always
 the studio looks like this!
Best of all, I can get back to doing what I love best.
Special thanks to the lovely couple who were my first guests, and PURCHASED! 
You're welcome to stop in!  
There will be a Grand Opening, October 25th, 5:30-7, so save the date.  You're invited. 


Moving, some thanks and a Snowman!

Snowman #5, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on board, 7x5
Save the date!  You know you want one of this years special snowmen, and the only way to get the one you want is to be first in line at the 2nd Annual Snowman Extravaganza, November 23 2012. Mark your calendar. 
Thanks to several of you who purchased paintings last week.  Your support, both new and established collectors, made me feel much more secure about the jump to the new studio.  I hope your paintings will bring you much joy.   
Dear and magnificent friends, and a brother who by happy fortune had planned his vacation at just the right time, helped me move into the new studio over the weekend. Asking, (something HARD for me) and some pizza, was all it took for many hands to make the work, well, not really light, but so much easier,  Hugs and eternal appreciation to you if you were one of them! You made a hard job fun!   
The new studio will be up and running in a few days, but there's a lot of work to do before I can let you in!  I'll keep you posted. 
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