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


Growing up by the Water, painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Growing Up by the Water, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 24"x30"

Born in Gloucester, Mass, I grew up by the water.  Everyone in Gloucester does, whether your home is on a waterway or not.  The water, the North Atlantic ocean, the river and broad marshes can be seen from every rise in the land.  Most of the residents walk the beach, the back shore, the Boulevard or some other outdoor area frequently.  Most celebrations in Gloucester are centered on the water and many of the inhabitants derive their living from the sea or in some related area. 

Growing up by the water in Florida is a little different.  The water in the Everglades is slow moving and filled with alarming creatures, at least if you are from New England you think they are alarming.  (To me an alligator is much more alarming than, say, a seal.)  The moods of the water are different, too, and so is the light. 

I've painted this mangrove several times over the last 20 years.  It started out very small, but has grown, and now has a shy baby of it's own.


End of year and Five on a Prairie, daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Five on a Prairie, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
UGH, the end of the year is coming.  Why does it have to come so soon after Christmas?  I'd love a few weeks to remove the Christmas debris and get ready for the New Year properly, but there's only a few days.

It's the time of year when I look back, to see what I've accomplished, and look ahead to see what comes next.  I choose three words to help guide me along the path I've chosen.  Courage, patience and discipline were my words for 2012.  I've got courage down pretty well, and have worked hard on discipline but patience could really use some work.  UGH,. I'm not done with this year yet! 

It's also the time of year when I rewrite all my promotional materials to reflect any changes.  It has really paid off to have them ready when someone asks.  If they are all redone and dated with the new year it's easy to find them quickly to send out when there's an unexpected request. 

I've been thinking about changes to my website.  FASO, my wonderful website provider, has a new template that looks promising.  I'd love to find the time to try it for myself.  I have to plan quite a body of time for new web adventures because I'm only barely literate in computese, get quite frustrated, and often have to use "support" services.  Luckily, FASO's support is extraordinary. 

Trips to the Everglades and have given me several ideas for new paintings, in addition to the ones lingering in my mind.  I can't wait to get back to the easel.  That's really where I'm happiest these days. 

Still, I'll put all this aside and family will take priority for a few more days.  That's how it should be.  The studio will be closed today and open at noon on Thursday and Friday so I can be with them.  Maybe we'll attend the Naples Botanical Gardens "lights in the garden" tonight.  Sounds magical.  The rest can wait. 


Merry Christmas!

Palms in Autumn, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20"x24" Sold
Merry Christmas!
May the beauty of the season fill your hearts with joy
and bring you wonderful memories.
Thank you for your friendship and your business. 


Wnter Solstice, and Moon painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Moon, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20"x24"
Today is the 2012 date for the Winter Solstice.  It's the day with the longest dark period in the Northern Hemisphere, so a just finished and rather mysterious moon scene might be appropriate for this notable day.
Ancient people marked the solstices with rituals and celebration. It is believed that the date of Christmas was set to offset some of the pagan rites of Winter Solstice.  Many Christmas traditions such as the Yule log, mistletoe, singing, and sharing of food may have been adapted from pagan celebrations.   
The passing of the winter solstice brings thoughts of longer days and springtime ahead. Days will begin to shorten, and our world will begin, slowly, to awake to a new year. The animals will begin spring mating rituals and the plants will respond with new growth.
If you want to mark the solstice yourself, notice where the sun sets tonight outside your home.  In the months that follow, you should be able to follow the sun setting further and further into the northwest.  It will continue to move in that direction until the time of the Summer Solstice in June, when it will begin it's return journey.


Gathering, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Gathering, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
Here's a little gathering of Everglades palms.  When I see a group like this, not really touching but still making a related group, I wonder about how they come to survive in this location.  The palms can only survive where the nutrient level of the soil allows it.  Why is there enough just right here?  If I were a scientist it would make an interesting study to learn more about the soils just under different groups.   
You have probably been at a lot of gatherings in the last few weeks.  It's something we do more during the holidays.  It's a great time for entertaining, and including friends who you might not see all the time.  Parties are fun, as long as there's not too many and they become an obligation.
I've been staying pretty close to the studio myself.  Painting has always been my outlet and continues to sustain me, and the new studio gallery keeps me busy. 
If you don't get my December newsletter, you can see it here.  Sorry if you received it addressed to "dear contact name"  rather than to your very dear self.  It was a newsletter provider glitch that happens without warning.  


Path through the Grasses, daily painting by Everglades painter Jo-Ann Sanborn

Path through the Grasses, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on archival board, 5"x7"

I have always loved Christmas time, but this year is more difficult than most.  I'll have family visiting, done some decorating and will do some cooking.  I'm looking forward to laughing and sharing with loved ones.  My heart breaks for those Connecticut mothers who have lost children and have to get through such a hard holidiy time right now.  
The studio has been busy and is keeping me occupied.  Busy as it is, I'm painting daily and want to post paintings for you.  I can stress, or simplify. Guess which I decided?  Simplify!  So in the next couple of weeks you may see daily paintings without many words.  
The subject will be "light in the landscape" for four Monday afternoons in January.  I'll be teaching at the Marco Island Center for the Arts.  If you 'd like to come along, you can sign up at the Marco Island Center for the Arts, or online here

Has anyone tried to "follow" and been unable to do so?  I haven't had a new follower for a while and am wondering if there's a problem. I seem to be having trouble verifying on blogs I might like to comment on, and some people are having this problem with mine.  Can anyone help with answers?   I've researched and tried several fixes that didn't work.  If it continues it may be time to change things up a bit, but it will mean possibly loosing all of you who have been getting the blog through the original google group.    

In any case I'm so glad you have stuck with me for another year.   I'm reluctant to make changes that may be a problem for you, so am proceeding carefully.  We'll see what the new year brings.


Sunning, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Sunning, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
Early Bird will be a gift for a Robin this Christmas
Sunday Morning Walk will be a gift for a woman who loves to walk on the beach.  Her husband peeked through the window of the Studio, liked my style, and contacted me.  Since neither of them read the blog (yet) I don't think I'm giving away secrets! 
Marco artist Judy Chinski and I helped out artist friend Betty Newman at the reception for her show.  She has a pop-up gallery at the Mercado in Naples, FL, courtesy of a partnership between the United Arts Council.  Her space is right across from the movies, and a her paintings look terrific with plenty of space to spread out.  There was a good turnout and she was happy to have support, and we had a great time, too, talking about her work rather than our own.  She'll only be there a few more days if you have the opportunity to stop in. 


Beach Club by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Beach Club, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 36x48
November was a busy month, and with several commissions to do, I neglected a few things. I'm playing catch-up in what is already a busy season. 
Today's painting, Beach Club, was painted at the request of my daughter who loves the tall palms I sometimes paint. 
Glorious, a commission, has been installed in a beautiful dining room in Cape Marco. 
 Glorious, 2012, jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 36x48

Everglades Breeze, another commission, was supposed to go into a hallway, but the owners were so pleased with it they hung it where they could pass by it more often.
Everglades Breeze, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 16x20
Dawning won an honorable mention in the NAWA-FL show Image Makers. Dawning is part of the Channel series that has deep and personal meaning for me.  To have one of them recognized is especially rewarding.  Happy Birthday, dear.   
Dawning, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 11x14
It's been almost two weeks since I've been out to the Everglades.  If you don't show up then you miss the magic that unfolds when you least expect it.  I need to get out there and see what's new and what's happening.  Sometimes something passed a million times goes unnoticed until it is ready to take center stage. If you're not there, you miss it.   
Truth, not flair, is what my painting is all about, and I'll make a  point of going out this weekend to see what's going on. Then I will take great pleasure in sharing it with you in a painting!  


Painting Panels, and Three in a Marsh daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Three in a Marsh, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
Today's daily painting, Three in a Marsh, like many of my newer dailies, is done on  a gessoboard panel.  I started using them for my Snowmen paintings, wanting them to be a little different than my Everglades dailies.  Now I'm beginning to uncover their strengths and really starting to like them. 
At first they seemed a little too slick since I usually like more tooth in the canvas.  Since I don't paint them a warm dark like the rest of my canvases, more light is reflected up from the layers below rather than being installed into the painting.  I'm working with the light instead of toward the light. 
If I begin with the more transparent pigments it's easier to layer in the light source.  The more opaque colors over the transparents give a nice glow from beneath, and seem quite rich. 
Raymar panels, canvas on board, also work very well for daily paintings. They are very light and easy to use.  Both of these substrates work much better for me than a stretched canvas for small work, and are of archival quality.  What's your preference? 


The Channel Paintings, and Morning Lessons, daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Morning Lessons, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"
Today's small Everglades painting is a result of a little bit of a foggy morning last week.  The sky had touches of pink in it, and everything else was subdued.  The larger palm looks like it might be teaching something to the smaller one. 
I paint the palms so often that they often take on human personalities in my mind.  I guess we're both living things, doing the best we can to get by.  Living on the edge of a waterway that often floods and has few nutrients could be quite a challenge, but unless we can talk to the palms we'll never know. 
Dawning is being shown in the lobby of the City Hall  in Palm Beach Gardens this month as part of a National Association of Women Artists show, Image Makers.  I was delighted to get a call last week letting me know that it had won an honorable mention. It's part of a series of "channel" paintings that I've done over the last eight months.  Someone asked me what they mean.  They're a little hard for me to explain, but here goes.
The Channel Series
A channel, a passage, a transition.  
The edges of day.
  The overwhelming beauty of nature,
 The fear of being overwhelmed. 
Making your way into the light. 
 A little bit of all these things, and something else,
 something beyond our understanding.   
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