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


On Reflection, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

On Reflection, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 16x20
I've just signed a new lease, giving me another year in the Esplanade location.  It was just a year ago that I decided to strike out on my own once I was certain that the Artist Colony would no longer be able to have space for group galleries in the Esplanade. 
It was the right decision for me, and I'm happy to have another year in this location.  My space is just the right size for one artist, and I love working there and meeting all the visitors and Marcoites who stop in to see what I'm working on. 
Having a studio/gallery in the Esplanade still gives me plenty of time to visit the Everglades.  There is always something to delight me on my trips out in the field.  One day last week coming home I saw my first Bobcat!  He was larger than I expected and into the brush far too quick to take a photo, but it made me smile just it see it.  


Sunny Sail, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Sunny Sail, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
Sailors love the breeze building clouds bring, but need to watch the weather this time of year to avoid a drenching.  In this painting of soft blues, white clouds, and a bit of sunshine, you can almost smell the salt air and feel the wind in your sails. 


Carnivale! Painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Carnivale! 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 30x15
When I do a commission, I sometimes do two paintings and let the client pick which one they like best.  This is the first, and below is the second. 
Celebration, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 30"x15"
My client wanted a painting similar to one I had done a while ago and sold, but in a different size and color way.  By doing two I'm more likely to present a painting they'll really love.   In addition it gives me a piece to have in inventory.  Since all of my work is original, each painting has characteristics that are unique.  And my method of painting in many small layers ensures that each painting will retain individual characteristics even if the subject is the same. 

Which one do you like?  I hope to be able to tell you what the client picked very soon. 


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

Palms on the Beach, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 16x12
Today's painting has a nice liveliness to it.  I've gone a step father than yesterday's small painting by paying more attention to the palm trunks.  It's a little larger, so easier to control the painting knife.  I've used a brush for the background, except for a bit on the wave, and like how the simple background doesn't compete with the color and texture of the palms.  


Prairie Party, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Prairie Party, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
Mini-paintings are a great way to get started in the morning. You get reacquainted with the paint and the feel of the brushes before starting something larger or more serious. If things go poorly, sometimes a mini is all that gets done for the day! 
This one was done mostly with the knife.  I'm reacquainting myself with the palette knife as part of work on a commission.  You can pick up quite a bit of paint on the knife, and when using several colors the results are unpredictable.  This make for excitement in the unexpected color combinations and a feeling of texture sometimes welcome  in acrylic paintings
I'm also paying more attention to the palm trunks and necks.  They are providing me with a surface opportunity for pattern and color that I have only recently utilized.  You'll see several more paintings in this style in the days ahead.
If you missed my May newsletter, but would like to read it, you can see it here. 


Thoughts on painting, and Palms by a Wave, daily paintiing by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Palms by a wave, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

Some thoughts on painting:
Every painting needs a reason for being.  This reason must go beyond a basic representation, no matter how good the representation.

Every painting should be a unique and individual translation of what the artist sees, feels, believes. 
Every painting should communicate something greater than the thing represented to the viewer.  

Every painting should contain some "secret sauce", or, in other words, some "wow"? 

A good idea will transcend the skill of the artist. 

I believe these things, and try to put them into every painting.  That said, the reality of making something unique and personal every day is not easy.  For sure, every painting is not a winner.  I just hope that I am able to tell the difference between a keeper and one that needs additional attention.

May all of you who are painting today, or doing some other creative endeavor, have much good success.  


Edgy, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Edgy, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20x24
Back to my precious Everglades.  Today's painting is one I started a while ago and was just begging to be finished.  I especially enjoy the small mangroves, just getting a foothold along the edge of a new location.  They seem so vulnerable when starting out, just little sprouts struggling to survive.
Wading birds congregate around the mangroves to feed and to nest during the dry months.  During the wet summer months, mangroves defend the shorelines against the howling winds and storm surge of hurricanes.  


A Starry Night, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Starry Night, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 6"x6"
On my trip last month, the ship was dark for three nights off the coast of Nigeria because of the threat of pirates.  Dinner was by candlelight, and all the curtains were kept closed after 6 p.m.  Large barrel-type spotlights were mounted on bow and stern, kept dark, but ready to illuminate danger if needed.  Salt water was sprayed continual down the sides of the ship to keep them too slippery for boarding.  We were instructed to go into the corridor and lie on the floor if we heard the pirate alarm, because the captain might take evasive action with the ship, which would have the potential to toss the passengers around.
At some point in the night I woke up and went out onto the balcony in the dark to check for pirates.  None, thank goodness, but to my amazement and delight, the sky was filled with an absolutely magnificent Van Gogh Starry Night.  The stars were enormous and filled the dark blue sky from horizon to zenith.  They were softened and haloed, and seemed to be spinning slowly.  The sound of the waves under the ship added to the magic. 
NO, I had not been drinking--not more than my usual one glass of wine at dinner, anyway!  I had always thought that Van Gogh had made up or exaggerated the Starry Night in his paintings, or was myopic, or some other rational explanation, so was very surprised and most delighted to see such a sight for myself. 
The night sky at sea far from land is full of surprise.  Another night I saw a night rainbow--yes, a night rainbow, between the clouds in beautiful soft greys with bits of color. That's for another painting! 


Horizon 4, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 6"x6"

Horizon 2, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on board, 5"x7", Sold

Horizon 3, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 7"x5"
Horizon 4, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 6"x6" Sold
Being by the water is special, and in the last month I've spent a lot of time watching the waves go by.  Some days have really special clouds, or sunsets, or sunrises.  I'd like to do some large paintings of just sky and water in the coming months.  To warm up, I've done a few small studies, and will probably do a few more before tacking a large sea/sky painting. 
A nice group of you came to tea last week.  Thank you!  It was so nice to see you all.  Wish I had taken a photo of you.
Here's one of the tea tables, though.  I loved using Nana's china and my tea pots.  It was such fun that I'll repeat it from time to time, so watch this blog for the next Tea Time at the Studio!


Pretty in Blue, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20"x24"
I've been away, and I've missed you! 
Please join me for
Afternoon Tea
Friday, May 3, 2013
4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Sanborn Studio/Gallery at the Esplanade, Marco Island, FL 
Who remembers "A nice cup of Tea" in the morning?  This version is by Bonnie Hale, but you may remember Gracie Fields.

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