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


Les Fleurs of Frayssinet

Les Fleurs de Frayssinet, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Oil on board, 5"x7"
In the tiny village of Frayssinet in Southern France, there are flowers blooming in almost every garden. Pots of colorful blooms march up the stairs or sit on the low walls surrounding the homes. Church bells ring, up the hill is a beautiful flock of sheep, cats play in the yard, and in the morning I can hear a rooster crow his "good morning" to the village.

Food here is consistently good, fresh farmhouse food with lettuce just picked from the garden and breads rich beyond description. Pants getting snugger by the day, but I'm not passing up any of the delicious and beautifully presented bounty we are being served.

Le Vieux Convant, each of the 16 artists gathered here to paint agree, is a little piece of heaven. The gardens are extensive and gorgeous: the medieval garden near the oldest ruins, the rose garden, the vegetables, the perennial gardens, to the poppy fields on the hill. Roses ramble from stone courtyard to terrace walls and up and over the stone houses.
I've been introduced to transparent oil painting and may well become a convert, and had a great time meeting the other artists and seeing their work. It's been a very special moment in time for me, full of meaning and growth. I'll share my oils, watercolor post cards, photos and stories as able. If you are on Marco Island, you are invited to tea at me studio at the on Friday, July 12 at 4 to see paintings and photos from the trip. Joining me in exhibition will be fellow traveler, artist Joanne Lawand, who has paintings to share as well. Thanks, Dreama!


Door in Frayssinet by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Door at Le Vieux Covant, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
8x10, oil on board

Yes, you are on the correct blog but this is not the Everglades! There are so many picturesque scenes here at Le Vieux Covant in Frayssinet, France, that it is hard to decide what to paint first.
As many of you know, I am not an oil painter. I've tried them on and off over the years and decided that they were not for me, yet I am using them on this trip trying to keep an open mind about it! And, there's a possibility I'll become a convert, or at least a user!

I'm traveling with a wonderful group of artists, led by artist Dreama Tolle Perry. We are living in a group of beautiful old buildings that have been converted into a place for artist retreats. The food is magnificent, the beds comfortable, and the abundant painting scenes on the grounds are covered with fragrantly scented roses. Charm everywhere you look.

There are nearby ruins, lily ponds with magnificent bull frogs, stone steps and church bells, sheep and cows. All told, it is a painters dream, and I feel so fortunate to be here. More to come!


Sailing Days, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Sailing Days, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 6"x6"

Painting sail boats always brings back fond memories of sailing in New England when I was younger.   The North Atlantic coast provides many safe and interesting harbors to explore.  


France, and Glades Waterway, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Glades Waterway, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

I am hoping to be  traveling more and love taking you along with me, so will have to learn the secrets  of posting from afar on mobile devices. Posting on my last trip was both frustrating and expensive, so  it's time to looks at the alternatives.

 My current trip will be with my artist friend Dreama Tolle Perry, and a group of 16 accomplished artists.  We will travel to Frayssinet, France, where we will be staying at Le Vieux Couvent, a convent converted for use as an artist retreat.  The countryside looks delightful and should provide plenty of inspiration.  

Abby will be holding down the fort at the studio while I'm in France. She's knowledgable and creative, and will be happy to help you acquire a Sanborn painting for your home.  Please stop in and say hello.

My trip will be ten days of color and joy, friends and laughter, and I can't wait.  I'll share with you what I can, and have arranged for some Everglade paintings to appear on schedule for you when I can't get out a traveling post. 


Golden Morning, daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Golden Morning, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

Warm golden mornings infuse the air with a lovely yellow glow.  Love starting the day like that!  


Over 80 Exhibition and Palm in the Sun, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Palm in the Sun, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn,
acrylic on canvas, 7"x5"

The Art Center of Marco Island held  a lovely reception last Tuesday evening for the Over 80 Exhibition.  Long-time member artists over the age of 80 were invited to show their work, and fourteen artists responded with quality work of  paintings, pottery, and sculpture.  Many of the 80's  group attended the reception, as did much of the Marco Island arts community.  Great turn-out and enthusiasm for a summer show.  

 The  work represented  a wide range of styles,  mediums and subjects.  Many of the artists had been classically trained, and some of the pieces are just breathtaking.  Among other delights,  Shirley Piercy's (84) glowing watercolors in jewel tones lit up the room, and the wide variety of mediums used by Rena Tippett (92) showed her broad talent.  Marilyn Wirth's (83) fanciful impressionist pieces were pure joy.  Gerry Brunjulson (93), Bill Mosley (84,) Marie Senechal, (84) and Edythe Newbourne (82) are long time favorites of mine.

These people are a generation of artists on Marco Island, our forefathers in the arts. I learned something from each of them along the way, as no doubtnother artists did over the last 20 years. I value their sharing.  The show is a not-to-miss island event.  It will hang till the end of the month, with the gallery open from 10-4 daily.  Don't miss it.


Mussel daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Mussel, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
A Mussel
A Bivalve
A Shellfish
A Sea Snail in eel grass
Rhymes with tussle, bustle, rustle, hustle if you're inclined to poetry.
Fix them for dinner  here


Mangos! Daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Tea on Friday was a very nice event, with a number of friends and collectors stoping in for a cup. I'm embarrassed that I forgot again, despite my good intentions, to take photos. At the next tea I will assign this duty to someone more responsible! In any case, strong tea drinking countries like Britain and Australia were well represented.
We were very fortunate to have some delicious homemade goodies among the tea sweets. My Aussie friend brought some delicious scones, perfect with blackberry jam and cream.
Another friend contributed some fabulous mango bread. Mangos are plentiful this time of year on Marco Island. Those who don't have a tree of their own almost certainly know someone who does have one. A basket of take-away mangos was much appreciated and empty by closing time!
I've done a couple of small paintings of the mangos on my friend's tree. The colors are delightful, and the fruit itself is luscious and healthy.


Tea Time Today!

Photo: Tea at the studio was great fun
Tea Time Today!
Friday, June 7
at the Studio on the Esplanade, Marco Island, FL
Hope you can come! 


Knee-deep, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 36"x24"
I've been painting the Everglades landscape for a number of years now.  Landscape painting is a direct connection to nature, and the time that I spend in the wild nurtures my soul.  My soul is getting a little testy with all this rain!
It rains here this time of year.  I know this.  We have two seasons in Southwest Florida, the wet and the dry.  June 1 begins the rainy season.  Animals and plants have evolved to take advantage of this environment.  It works well for them.
But people?  I'm already moaning about the number of dark clouds, grey days, sprinkles and downpours.  But you can be sure there will be more to come. 
Forget the showers and come to tea on Friday.  We'll have a nice cuppa, chat, check out my new plein air equipment, you will be given a copy of Eric Blair's essay on how to make a perfect cup of tea, and maybe even win a watercolor postcard.  
4 p.m., at the studio.  See you there with sunny smiles on! 



Slow down, and Orchids, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Orchids, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20x24

Slow down and smell the roses. Well, orchids in this case.  Slow down, you move too fast!  No, not the Simon and Garfunkel 59th Street Bridge Song, Feelin Groovy, but me, talking to myself!   

I was rushing around last week, moving too fast getting some groceries, and fell in the parking lot as I tried to outrun the rain.  Squished a mango and bumped my head pretty hard.  I'm fine, just fine, but ended up with two very ugly black eyes.  No photos! 

It reminded me of the Aesop's fable the Tortoise and the Hare.  I wasn't racing against anyone but myself, but lost this race!  Not many rabbits here that I've seen on the island, but Marco has some wonderful gopher tortoises.  Thanks to a friend, here's a little Marco Island tortoise for you to enjoy. 


Don't forget to slow down and smell the flowers,  Watch your step, and take time out for tea on Friday at 4 at the Studio.  YOU are welcome! 


Coulter Easel, and Sable, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

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

I've had my plein aire Julian easel for almost 20 years.  I've loved having everything inside ready to go at a moment's notice, and just needed paper towels and some water to complete my outdoor painting equipment for my frequent trips to the Everglades.   
Old "Julie" has held up well under years of hard use but the time has come for replacement.  I've been looking with envy at some newer styled equipment for quite some time and talked with other artists about what they liked and didn't like about their equipment.  I wanted something quick to set up and light weight, but would do the job under sometimes difficult conditions. 
Finally, after looking closely at several options, I decided on a Coulter Plein Air System.

 If I can stick to a limited palette and not keep adding just one more tube of color the whole set-up will be a weight I can manage easily.  I especially love the lightweight tripod with the quick release panel holder.  Plexiglass panels fit inside should work well for a mixing surface.
Since I love to travel and plan to take advantage of travel opportunities when possible, I chose the compact model since it will fit into a medium sized suitcase.  I also ordered  some RayMar panels, a favorite of mine.  They are light-weight, and a nice medium canvas.  Wish I could get the linen primed for acrylic!  
What's your plein-air setup?  Do you have a favorite piece of plein-aire equipment? 

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