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


Off to Africa! Palm by a Slough, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Palm by a Slough, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"
You know me as an Everglade artist.  Often out in the glades or on the beach, painting the palms and landscape of South Florida.  (notice me peeking out from under the cloud)  But I'll bet you didn't know that I have an African side.  Yes, it's me again, peeking out from under an African sky. 

The above two-sided gem was made by a friend, and we are still giggling over the silliness of it all, however I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to accompany a dear friend on a trip to Africa's western coast this April.  

Thanks to another dear friend my studio will remain open Wed-Sat, and my affairs here on the island are in good hands.  I'll keep you posted if at all possible.   


800th Post! Palm by a Beach, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Palm by a Beach, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
I can't believe that this is my 800th post!  This blog had become a true artist's journal as I look back over the years.  I haven't always been the most faithful, but make every effort to post three times a week.  My daily paintings have become quite popular in the studio/gallery, and I love doing them! 
In April I will do some traveling. and have decided to take several simple projects with me. Here's one below.  I've cut some archers water color paper into bookmarks,
 added a ribbon and put contact information on the back,
and will paint on the front using a travel pan of water colors. I'm not very accomplished with water color, so it will be a chance to explore the medium.  The whole thing fits in a baggie, and it will be nice to hand a bookmark to someone I meet along the way. 
Bookmarks will soon become a relic of the past as more and more people read books on their mobile devices!  


Favorite things, Palms on a Prairie, daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Palm on a Prairie, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on board, 5"x'7"

Do you have a group of things that you just love? Things that you have collected through life, or things that have a personal meaning just for you? Things that bring a smile to your face or satisfaction to the soul? Favorite things, that you like to have around, on, near, or close by?
Although I'm a coffee drinker, I love a really good cup of tea.  I love a pastel layered dawn, hearing from my children, and having a day with nothing at all to do. I love my art books, with Wolf Kahn's Pastel book, Edgar Payne's Composition for Outdoor Painting and Gruppe on Painting at the top of the list.
I love the little dish sitting on my kitchen counter with the little clay pieces that represent each of my grandchildren, much of the handmade pottery pieces I use every day, and a few choice works of art by others.
I love the piece of coral that my late husband handed me on Puff the Magic Dragon's beach in Hana lei, and the photo of my sister and I as young mothers sharing a laugh.
These are just some of the first things that come to mind.  What are some of your favorite things? 



Original Art, and By a Slough, daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

By a Slough, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 5"x7"
When an artists looks at a subject with the idea of painting it, the goal should almost never to be to duplicate or replicate what is seen.  A camera can do that.  The artist should, because of skill, training, and practice be able to do it, but copying should never be the goal of making a good painting.
Selective principals of design should be combined with the ideas of the artist, and the skill and tools of the artist, to portray the subject in a way that incorporates the  artist's unique way of seeing.  Somehow, during the process of creation, there should be an arc of transformation during which the subject looses it's former identity and becomes something new, with the final result distinctive and identifiable to the creator. This is original work. 
I believe that this is true of the creative process in all artistic disciplines.   Make sense to you? 


Open House, and Edge of a Woodland, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Edge of a Woodland, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20"x24"
Come Along!
Four Stake Prairie Paintings
An Evening of Art
Sunshine Studios Open House
at the Esplanade, Marco Island
in conjunction with The Artist Gallery

Thursday, March 21, 5-7 p.m. 
This is the sixth of the Four Stake Prairie Paintings.  Edge of a Woodland features the intriguing Everglades bald cypress during their relatively short leafless period.  When the light is just right, my painting genes quiver and I want to express their unique character with paint on canvas. 
I was hoping to get back to the Prairie after the spring rain we had, and see the Bald Cypress sprouting their first little bits of green, but it was not to be.  My first miserable cold in years made it impossible for me to inflict my germs on others.  Now the trees are in almost full green, and you won't see anything like the above painting until a lucky day next winter! 
You will be able to see all seven of the Four Stake paintings together  at my studio gallery for an open house event in conjunction with the new Artist's Gallery right around the corner, An Evening of Art.  Three of the paintings have already sold, but the owners have graciously allowed me to borrow them, so it will be the only time to see them all together. Hope you can come! 


Who's your customer? Alone by the Water, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Alone by the Water, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 7"x5"
Common wisdom is that you must know your customers and make a connection to them in order to sell to them.  I'm not sure this applies directly to art, since I believe that the connection must be between the viewer and the painting, but here's my effort at defining YOU!
The basis for this idea for a post came from someone else, and although I changed it quite a bit, I'd really like to give credit to the source.  If you know it, please let me know.  Thanks! 
Are you my customer?
What do you already believe in?
     In the value of original, unique, and handmade things in your life.
What are you afraid of?
     Not getting good value for your money.
What do you think you want?
     Something to fill a space on your wall.
What do you actually want?
     To own something that will enrich your life.
What stories have resonated with you in the past?
     Stories that make you feel something deep inside, a connection.
What is really important to you?
     Family, Community, Nature, Color, Sharing, Giving, Enjoying life, Work you love.
What is your relationship to money?
     It's a tool for living life your way.
After you have purchased a painting, what will you tell your friends?
     Now it's your turn.  You tell me! 


In the Glades, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
This scene is typical of the Everglades, perhaps the most typical that I see.  There is an upright layer of trees forming a hammock in the background, and some water flowing over the prairie.  I painting it again and again, and yet each time is a little different because of the time of day or the way the light hits the components. 
This time of year the water is contained in the deepest parts of the prairie, and some have no water at all.  But when the summer rains come the entire grass area will have a few inches of water, all moving slowly along the long downhill to the gulf.  There, it will mix with the salt water in the estuaries and provide brackish water where  some species flourish.


Palms with Red Background, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Palms with Red Background, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
What's Red to you?
Energy.  Passion, and strength.  Rubies and rasberries.  Heat and warmth.  Bold, dynamic.  Love.  Assertive.  Confident. 
Anger and violence. Blood. Lust. Danger and sacrifice. Agression.
Red is strong, but needs to be kept in check or things might get out of hand. 


Palms, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 16x20
Abstract art may require using different brain cells than the ones we use for something more representational.  To abstract means "to take away"  Here, I've taken away the essence of some palms blowing in the wind.  I've abstracted them to be less defined, and more colorful than they are in real life. 
Abstract art lets me as an artist break away from reality, from the need to have something look exactly as it does in real life.  For you, it allows you to enjoy the color and the shapes, to let your eye move around the piece in any way that suits you, and to add or subtract in your own imagination exactly what a piece is about. 
You can look for form, color, line, texture, pattern, composition and process.  These are the accepted principals of art, and you should be able to find evidence of them in a piece of abstract art as well. 

I try to keep a piece of abstract art in the studio at all times.  I believe that creating them makes me a better artist, and that you as the viewer will find something to admire and enjoy. 


Just starting out mangrove painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Just Starting Out, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
This little red mangrove tree has nice root base to support it.  The roots helps to stabilize the plant in an environment of moving water. Mangroves are very important to the south Florida environment.    
Mangroves protect the shoreline from tropical storms and hurricanes, and provide critical habitat to a number of coastal species.  Wading birds nest in their branches.  Bromiliads, lichens, mosses, snails and crabs, and even snakes live in the greenery.  Mangroves provide shelter and nesting sites for wading birds. 
Below the water, in a mangrove is a forest of roots.  The leaves fall and provide food for plankton, which is fed on by small fish.  It has been estimated that 75% of Florida game fish and 90% of commercial species in south Florida depend on the mangroves for their survival. 


Blue, Blue Sky painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Blue, Blue Sky, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas,  20x40
Blue, Blue Sky is a bit of an Everglades abstraction, but when you see it in context with the other prairie paintings, I think it has a place in the sequence. 

All of my canvases are usually primed with a dark, warm tone. I build a painting starting with a dark toned canvas background and work into the light. The light forms are scumbled in, and then I go back and working the darks again.
I do this over and over until I've got the forms built and the negative shapes working in a way that balances and works compositionally. Usually it's quite late in a painting that I start on the details.
Blue, blue sky was built in just this way.  I love how the sky seems to have volume of its own from the layers of blue, and how the palm forms seem like family on a journey.  What do you see?  


Why your opinion counts.

Cloud Kicker, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 30x30
Cloud Kicker is another of the Four Stake Prairie paintings. There's something a little different about this group of paintings that I can't identify myself, but am glad to see.  The landscape seems revitalized for me, I'm taking more chances with colors and shapes, and am more easily satisfied with the results. 
Your thoughts about my paintings are very important, too.  When you tell me that you love reading this blog and enjoying living with my art in your home it means the world to me.  I seldom get many comments on this blog, (any ideas why?) but often hear from you by email, Facebook, or even in passing around Marco Island. 
For me, you complete the circle.  I love what I do, and although would always paint, would not be able to do it so fully or joyously without your support. Thank you.  Your opinion counts! 
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