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


Commission work, and a Gathering of Royals painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

A Gathering of Royals, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 30x40

Sometimes people are drawn to my work, but I don't have a piece on hand that meets their their needs for size and color.  In that case I will offer to do a commission piece for them. 

To get started, we'll look together at pieces of existing artwork, sometimes in the studio, looking through my book, or on the phone with both of us looking at my paintings on a computer.  That helps me to determine exactly what sort of painting might be compatible with their home and their lifestyle. 

Some clients prefer that I visit their home, to help determine what size might be perfect for the space they have in mind.  A home visit also helps me to see the colors they love to live with, and the light in the space they have planned for the painting.
I'll only take on a commission if I am fairly certain that I can meet their needs with a piece they will treasure.  It brings me great pleasure to see the delight on someones face when their Sanborn painting is ready to be enjoyed as part of their home and life.  

A Gathering of Royals was one of several recent commissions.  I hope it will bring my client much pleasure. 


Hot on the Beach, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Hot on the Beach, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"

Aren't we fortunate to be in South Florida this time of year! 

As much of the nation freezes in the cold weather of the frigid Northland, we're able to enjoy outside activities all day without the heavy clothing. 

Painting "en plein air" is a pleasure rather than a challenge!  Shush!  Let's not tell.  


Among Friends, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 40"x30"

Among Friends is the first painting I completed in 2013.  It marks 20 years since I left New England for the south.  When I first arrived on Marco Island and crossed over the bridge into a new life, it felt like I was in an alien land.  

I didn't know anything about palm trees or palm rats.  The profusion of flowers were different from what I was used to. There were no familiar landforms of hills and rocks to help me find my way.  And then there were the Everglades, rich with bold shapes and uncommon colors, and I fell in love.  

A lot of the population is transient, and another group comes and goes seasonally.  Several people I met early on have left to go back to somewhere else they call home.  Some stay in touch and others are lost to time and distance.  It took took a while to form friendships that will last. 

Now, however, I feel as though I'm among friends on Marco Island. It's a crazy group, some artists, some not.  Each one from somewhere else, with all the baggage of a lifetime but still up for a laugh.  You have a special place in my heart, and I treasure you all.   


Supporting the Arts, and Sweet Day by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Sweet Day, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

What does it mean to support the arts on Marco Island?  Start by showing up! 

This week you can support the Marco Island Center for the Arts by attending the Black and White Gala at the Marco Island Hilton on Friday night.  It's very close to being sold out, but you can call the Art Center at 239-394-4221 to see about getting a last minute seat.  

If you can't attend the Gala, think about making a small donation of support. The Art Center, like most arts organizations, has had a very tough time during the recession and is slowly but surely climbing out of the past and into the future. If you want to help, you can show your support with money.  Yes, M-O-N-E-Y! Your dollars, large or small, can really make a difference.
You can also support the Art Center by shopping in the wonderful gift shop, showing up at Gallery events on the second Tuesday of every month, taking  a class, or just becoming a member.   

You can support Leadership Marco's Scholarship Fund by attending Souper Bowls, on Saturday at Mackle Park, 11-2. For a small donation of $10, you will get to taste different soups made by local restaurants (support!) and take home a handmade bowl made by Marco students and fired by the Art Center's Clay Guild. The event supports scholarships for Marco students.

I supported this event by working briefly with the committee, and making a bowl to be auctioned off.  Since it's my very first ceramic piece I have no idea if it will be attractive.  The ceramic artists tells me that the kiln puts in the magic and it can't be controlled ahead without experience.  Scary, but I felt it was important to show my support.  You can show yours by attending and bidding!  

In support of the Chamber's Wet Paint Live, which will be held on February 6th this year, Sunshine Studios will host a reception for the artists and sponsors of this year's Wet Paint Live, on Thursday, January 24th.  You can how your support for Wet Paint Live by becoming a sponsor!  

Other ways of supporting this fun event are to show up on February 6th and visiting the artists as they paint the island "en plein air".  For a small fee you can also attend the live auction to be held the same night at the Rose Hall Auditorium, see the completed paintings, and bid on the artists work, or just come along for the fun. It's a blast. 

Communities are judged by the quality of their culture.  Communities thrive on the dollars the arts bring into a community.  Community spirit is strong where the arts are strong.  
This is not meant to be a lecture, just to make you think about how important the arts are to you.  If you are lucky enough to have "enough" in your life, the arts are one way you can give back.  Thank YOU if you have already shown support the arts on Marco.  


Words to Artists, and Family of Five, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Family of Five, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

On Painting

Get in a painting routine and stick to it.

Painters paint, every day. 

Paint every day and you will get better at it. 

Paint what you love.

If your work is boring to you, it will be boring to others.

On Learning

Study about painting when you are not painting

Look at other peoples painting to see how they view subjects.

Know who your influences are

Always be ready to record a new idea for use later through sketching, photography, etc.

On Life

Keep an open mind and be willing to try new things.

Always challenge yourself.

Vary your routines from time to time to stay fresh.

Stop reading this and go paint!


The Florida Python Challenge and Out in the Glades, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Out in the Glades, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 7"x5"

The great Everglades Python Challenge is on, and 800 novice and experienced hunters from from 32 states and Canada are taking on the challenge.  The goal will be to substantially reduce the number of invasive Burmese Pythons in the Everglades.  

A combination of releases by pet owners no longer able to care for them, and damage to breeders cages during Hurricane Andrew in the early 90's. has lead to an explosive population of the snakes in the Everglades.  

Python numbers have reduced native Everglade mammals to nearly extinction. The pythons don't seem to have any natural predators, eat threatened and endangered species, and compete with native animals for habitat and food.  One was killed with a 76 lb deer in it's tummy.  They are very strong.
It takes a certain bravado to take on a snake, especially one of the largest. Pythons can grow to lengths of 23 feet and 200 pounds.  The stuff of nightmares, to be sure. But the snakes are elusive, have great camouflage, and are the winning species so far.  In the first three days of the hunt the 800 hunters registered just 11 of the reptiles.  


The hunters must be registered and have a GPS.  They are supposed to kill the animals at the site of the capture, in the most humane way possible.  The remains are to be turned in for research.  

The hunt will last for a month, and there will be prizes.  $1,500 for the most, and $1,000 for the longest python in two categories, the challenge hunters and regular permit holders.  Hunting will end at midnight on February 10th, and you can pick up your prize at the awards event at Zoo Miami on February 10th.  If you're interested, you can learn the rules and take the training online here. There's also quite a lot more about the animals on the site.  
Me?  I'm being VERY careful out there this week.  All those inexperienced people running around the Everglades with guns and knives scare me almost as much as the snakes!  I'll be in the studio!  


One for All, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 5"x7"

Have you seen the exhibition at the Marco Island Center for the Arts this month?  The opening of the new gallery show last Tuesday drew a great crowd.  

With a theme of music and art, the main gallery was hung with artwork of local  artists, enhanced by old player piano rolls.  The piano rolls seemed to evoke memories of songs and stories of the past as people talked about a time when music was a more participatory event in many homes. 

In addition to the main gallery, it was a surprise and delight to turn into the Rush gallery and see the work of nationally know artist Rita Blitt.  Her abstract organic forms, inspired by the music of American composer Lancing McKlosky were refreshing after the rich  darks of much of the music exhibit.  In addition, the film about Rita in La Petite Gallerie added depth to the program. 

It was especially rewarding that the opening drew composer Lancing McKlosky himself, who came over from Miami in support of Rita's showing, and Glenn Basham, concertmaster at the Naples Philharmonic.

The Marco Art League is slowly but surely transforming into a true Center for the Arts on Marco.  if you missed it and would like to see photos, here's a link.  And if you're on the island, you can go in and see the show in person.


Colorstrology, and Sherbet for Breakfast, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Sherbet for Breakfast, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

Orange again!  Sherbet colors in the Everglades!   

What could be the influence?  Fresh orange and pink grapefruit juice for breakfast now that the Farmer's Market has such good citrus?  The beautiful orangery sherbet colors in the evening sky? My new orange hoodie?  

Or my new interest in Colorstrology?  Yes, Colorstrology!  The word was new to me when I received the book as a gift, so I did some research. 

The colors have been developed from the Pantone Textile Color System.  Each color has a unique shade and number, and each day of the year is assigned a color.  The astrological and numerical aspects of each day, combined with this color system, are referred to as colorstrology.  

Alas, my Birthday color is not orange, but Azalea, Pantone 17-1842.  Maybe I should re-think the amount of orange in my newer paintings, and should try pinking it up a bit.  

Want to know what YOUR birthday color is?  I have the book on the desk at my studio/gallery and you are welcome to come and brouse.  So far, most people really seem to identify with the color designated for their day. 


Light on Forms, and Orange Crush painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Orange Crush, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 16x12

I've started teaching again, which always keeps me on my toes.  I love to see what and how my students are working on, and get as much from the class as I hope they do. 
This series of classes is about light in the landscape.  We started by talking about how light moves around the most basic of forms, a cone, cylinder, a box and a circle.  Most forms in the landscape can be made with these simple shapes. 
I brought flashlights with both warm and cool bulbs, and a red and white ground, and the shapes.  I think the most surprising thing the students discovered was how much red light bounced from the ground and onto the form.  It was a good lesson in reflected light, and they'll be more ready to see it in the landscape when they go outside.
They did a great job of painting balls, getting lots of roundness using a warm and cool palette.  It was a nice start and they are terrific! We'll work on atmospheric progression next week.  

Orange Crush, today's painting was a lot of fun to do.  I love the sherbet colors.  Some of the oranges are a favorite right now, and exploring them in the landscape, for me, anyway, required some balance.  It all has to do with a commission I'm working on.  More on that later.   


Calm Morning, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Calm Morning, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on archival board, 5"x7"
Still morning, glassy water, crisp pristine air.  Just a hint of moisture, softening the distant horizon.  An anhinga surfaces, fishing for his breakfast and briefly disturbs the quiet.  A fish jumps further down the waterway. 
Today's Everglades painting, Calm Morning, is the kind you can get lost in.  The soft blues are relaxing and peaceful. Some people find a painting like this a refuge from an over-busy mind.   
I'm not calm at all this morning.  There's a bevy of electric company trucks outside because the old electric system finally failed on Saturday, causing many hours of outage to my dear neighbors and I'm on a temporary system till they can do a permanent fix.  (God bless LCEC!) A plumber coming, because I heard the toilet leaking, decided to fix it myself and after making matters worser and worser decided I really needed to stick to painting and get someone who knew more than I did about household water systems.  
So I'm organizing for class and constructing just a few props to illustrate the points I want to make in today's afternoon class at the Marco Island Center for the Arts.  Come along, we'll have a good time!   
Do you have a place you go when your mind needs a place of refuge? 


Light in the Landscape Class, and December Dusk painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

December Dusk, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on canvas, 24x48
A new year begins with such promise.  Most of us love the idea of starting fresh.  it's a blank canvas.  What will you paint for the new year? 
Thinking about Light in the Landscape is a great way to start. I'll be teaching at the Marco Island Center for the Arts for a four week class on Monday afternoons in January.  We'll talk about how the light moves around forms, how it's different for different times of day, and about certain atmospheric conditions. 
Classes start with a short introduction to the subject, and we spend the rest of the time painting.  You can work from your photos or mine. 
So come along if you'd like to learn more about painting light.  We have a good time and learn a lot, too.  


Three words, and Rising Clouds painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Rising Clouds, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 24x36
This may be the last of the Channel Series.  Rising Clouds seems rather hopefully that I've worked out some things.  Interestingly, most of them have sold, with others identifying with the shapes, colors, or meaning.  Thank you!   
Thanks to Chris Brogan, for the last three years I've chosen three words to help guide me in the coming year.  They are displayed prominently over my desk at home and in the studio. They've helped me grow as a person and as an artist.
My words were Love, Focus, and Growth in 2011, and Courage, Patience, and Discipline for 2012. I'm not done with them yet, because I'm not done with me as an artist and a person, but they have become a part of me and remind me to work towards my ideal self. 
So for 2013, I've chosen Strength, Assess, and Balance.  Strength to do what's needed both my art and my personal life.  Assess to take a moment to really think about what's needed in any situation, or in a piece of art I'm working on.  Balance will remind me that there's give and take in all of life and art, and getting too far out of whack in any direction makes you vulnerable so should be considered carefully.
It's a great excercise and I highly recommend it.  How about you?  What words would you chose to guide you this year? 


Happy New Year! SIngle, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Single, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on Board, 5"x7"
Happy New Year! 
May you be healthy, happy, and prosperous!
Many people found 2012 a really tough year.  Some lost homes to storms or the economy.  Some lost people dear to them, or pets that they cared deeply about.  Some were afraid the world would end and stopped doing anything or spent time preparing for something incomprehensible.  Some were victims of unspeakable violence. 
Let's move on with a new fresh spirit.  Let's see what we can offer to 2013.  What will it have for us? 
With work that satisfies.
With time to do the things you love.
Take time to share life with the people you care about. 
And whether it's a painting, a handmade pot or a song, take the time to enjoy the art in your world. 
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