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


Artist Breakfast, Morning View daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Morning View, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 7"x5"
In the years before the Artist Colony on Marco, a group of artists used to meet for lunch once a month.  We did this every month for almost three years, just for the pleasure of having like-minded people to share with.  The result was that many of the artists on the island go to know each other.  This worked out well and was a big plus once the opportunity for an Artist Colony came along.
Since we lost our rent-free space when a new owner purchased the Esplanade,  we're all still working, but not as a unit.  I'm really looking forward to breakfast this morning with a group of women artist friends, just to catch up and see what everyone's been working on.  I'll try to remember to take a photo to share with you! 


NAWA, and Three Green Palms, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

 Three Green Palms, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 8"x8"
Yes, I'm pretty sure that that's my painting, hanging in the Sylvia Wald and Po Kim Gallery, in New York City.  You can see it if you look very closely on the left in the background.  It's hanging as part of the National Association of Women Artist's 124th Annual Exhibition. Looks like a nice crowd. 
As a regional painter, it gives me the opportunity to be seen in a wider context.  It forces me to think in broader terms about my art, and to "take myself seriously" when sending a painting into the wider world and into such esteemed company.  I'm honored to be a member of this terrific organization. 
You can see more photos from the reception, or like NAWA on Facebook here.  If you live on or near Marco Island, you'll be able to see an exhibition of the Florida Chapter of NAWA at the Art Center of Marco Island in January.  Don't miss it! 


Painting brushes and Sunset, a daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Sunset, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 5"x7"
Even though I've been painting in acrylic for 20 years, I'm new to regularly painting with oil paint,  and only have two brushes dedicated to the oils.  They are synthetic mongoose, a little softer than most of my acrylic brushes which are natural boar bristle.  Since I often scrub the canvas with acrylic paint, the brushes actually wear down--sometimes to a point or stub. 
I don't scrub with the oil brushes, but they are beginning to show wear.  Not just that, but their bristles are beginning to curl individually on the edges, and interfere with making fine lines.  I've tried cleaning them and using a close-pin to repoint them, but as soon as I get busy painting and the brushes are saturated, the curls come back. 
So, like today's daily painting, it's time to "Sunset" them, or to use them for broader strokes, and order a couple of new brushes for the finer work.  Comparing materials and prices is necessary, but always takes longer than I'd like. The Monarchs are a very nice brush, but may try another type just to learn the differences.  Do you have a favorite oil brush brand that you can't be without? 


A cancellation and an invitation, and Common Threads, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Common Threads, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 12x16
Life is uncertain, and the best laid plans sometimes undone.
Marco Island's City Council was unable to develop a short list and currently has no candidates for City manager for you to meet and greet.  Therefore the Meet and Greet scheduled for September 20 has been postponed until further notice.
I do love a party, and know that you do, too.  So let's have a good time anyway! Come and help me celebrate my first year in my studio/gallery and my 20th year of painting the Everglades and Marco Island!
You are cordially invited:
Open Studio
Sunshine Studios of Marco Island
760 North Collier Blvd, #102 
at the Esplanade
Thursday, October 17th, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
We'll have refreshments, a drawing for one of my daily paintings, a special gift for attendees, and some fun! 
I hope you can come! 


Art Pricing, Magical Forms, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Magical Forms,  2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 7x5
Some of you may wonder how artists price their work.  I don't know about others, but will tell you my process.  I reassess my pricing structure about once a year.  First, I look at other artists who are in about the same point in our careers.  For me, these are regional artists who have attained some national recognition, have done things like win prizes in national shows, received invitational requests from outside their area, have a proven business model through steady increases over the years, and have a recognizable style.  These are my competition.
I price my paintings by size.  It makes sense to me and takes the emotion out of the equation.   However if I think a painting may win a prize, or want to save it for an exhibition, I may put a higher price on it.  
My best value, original work Everglades paintings are $150.  It's a great starting price for original work, and both new collectors and island visitors love these small 5"x7" pieces in terrific gold frames.  Mostly done in acrylic, I'm starting to work these in oils as well.  You can see them as a group in my Daily Paintworks gallery.  I love having a very affordable option for you, so won't change the prices on these.  That's been decided. 
I have more work to do in the reassessment, thought.  Since I don't do prints or copies, and offer just original work, next I look at what I have on hand, and what has sold over the past year.  If I've very little inventory and sales are very strong, I'll raise prices about 10% on either my smaller paintings or my on larger ones, but never both in the same year.  
But I'm concerned about the effects of a difficult economy had haven't raised prices lately.  Time to take a look and see what's new in the market!


Hanging Tips, and Departing Storm, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Departing Storm, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 20x16
Some picture hanging tips for you today:
  • Hang a painting about 65 inches off the floor if there is no furniture around and center it on the wall it's going on. 65 inches is considered the center of the eye for an average person.
  • If the painting is to be hung in a dining room, you can go a little lower since people will view the painting from a seated position.
  • If you are hanging a painting over a sofa or a buffet, hang it 6-8 inches above the back of the piece. That will help connect it to the grouping and not have it floating in space.
  • If you are hanging a group of paintings, space them about 2-4 inches apart to keep them as one cohesive unit.
  • If you hang a painting with two hangers instead of just one, you won't need to always be straightening it, since it won't slide around as easily as when you just have one hook. 


Summer Blaze daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Summer Blaze, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 5"x7"
Underpainting and overpainting built up to create a splash of striking color beneath the texture of the palms in this small daily painting, Summer Blaze
In this one, some cool jazz on the radio in the studio encouraged some warm colors and a bit of dancing brush..... 
My September Newsletter contains an invitation just for you.  You can read it here.   


Commissions, Summer Light, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Summer Light, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 7x5

The light this summer has been fantastic, and brings plenty of inspiration.  New works are underway, and things are heating up in the studio.  I'm working on three commissions, and they are all quite different.  One is a triptych that I've been fussing around with all summer.  The collector's sister has one of my paintings, and my client wants one, too.  With large space to fill, we settled on a triptych.  She won't be back until next month, and without the pressure of "I want it now," I'm taking my time.   When this happens, sometimes the energy of the painting leaks out, and it's hard to get it back.  I don't want that to happen, so will make it my priority.  I'm excited about the possibilities.  

The other two paintings will be for collectors who didn't find quite the size or color to suit their requirements.  They will be similar to paintings that they saw and like in the studio, but each will have a distinct personality of it's own. One will be a compilation of parts of the landscape for a couple who couldn't quite agree on what they liked. One wants distance, and one wants a prominent palm.  I'm confident that I can make them a painting they will both love. 

The last one is for a woman who furnished her son's home in Miami with my paintings years ago.  She's now looking for just the right painting for her own redecorated home.  She has a great eye for color and likes things a little abstract.  Fun! 

It's my habit when time and circumstance permits, to offer a commission client two different paintings that meet the requirements we've discussed.  It takes the pressure off both of us.  They have a choice, and I have some new inventory for my studio/gallery!   


Everglades Digital Library, Another Rainy Day painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Another Rainy Day, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 7"x5"
Florida International University Libraries in Miami, FL, is compiling a web-based digital collection of Everglades material called the Everglades Digital Library. The Everglades Digital Library collaborates with scientific, government, library and educational organizations in and around Florida to make information about the Everglades freely available for use by anyone interested. 
It's designed to support research, education, decision making, and information resource management, and is designed to serve patrons of the greater Everglades community as well as interested people from around the world. 
The web service includes "ask an Everglades Librarian" and other online information services.  There is a wide range of documents of interest, including a plant-collecting expedition (A cruise to the Cape Sable region of Florida John K. Small) to historical post cards. 
If you'd like to take a look, you can browse here.


Wet Feet Daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Wet Feet, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 7"x5"
One of the very first things I did when I came to Marco Island twenty years ago was to join the Marco Island Center for the Arts, then the Art League. I made my first friends there, painted en plein air for the first time, and had my first one person show there.  It's been on the island nearly forty years, and has become dear to my heart. 
The Art Center, like many arts organizations, has had some rough going with the economic downturn, competition from other arts organizations, and loss of membership for various reasons.  Art Center director Lynn Holley is leaving the island, but has been able to get the Center off the economic rocky bottom and poised for a positive future.
Lynn has been been an inspiration about what we can become by encompassing other arts, bringing in music through the Bach Society.  She's opened it up to the broader community by partnering with the Renaissance Academy and Marco Writers and the Chamber of Commerce.
Membership is up, the terrific staff is doing a great job, and the Board of Directors has grown and is finding it's footing.  But there's still a lot to be done to make the Art Center fully successful again. 
We're a small island, with lots of heart, and the support of both visitors and residents can make a difference.  Marco Island Center for the Arts needs your support.  Support can take many forms.  Take a class, attend an opening (Second Tuesday, tomorrow night at 5:30) donate money, visit the gift shop, or volunteer a few hours a week or a month. Your help will be welcome and you'll have some fun, too! 


Rainy Summer, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Rainy Summer, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
oil on board, 8"x8"
Are we molding yet?  This has been the wettest summer I can remember since moving to Marco Island 20 years ago.  I encourage people to visit the Everglades, and sometimes hand out a map that shows some of the easy to traverse dirt roads. 
This year, there are some spots deep enough to damage the underside of your car, and in some places water will flow over the road after a storm. 
Water can hide a hole or a wash-out, and it doesn't take much to float a car.  As little as six inches of moving water can be enough to float a small car!  So stay safe if you are caught in a storm, and enjoy the drama of our beautiful summer storms and sunsets.  


Five on a Prairie, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Five on a Prairie, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
Acrylic on canvas, 12x12
I've been experimenting using the transparent acrylic paints in the same manner as I've been using on the oils.  On a white canvas, laying in the transparent paints first, quite wet, in dark local color, with some brights in areas I expect them to be later.  Then, rendering the scene over the top of the wet color,using smaller amounts of opaque paint and very little additional water. 
Most of my paintings are completed with one brush.  I clean it with water and wiping it off with paper towel if the surface starts to get muddy.  I have to work quickly, but can cut in and build better in the acrylics than with the oils.  Hold habits die hard, and I'm still experimenting with both technique and color. 
You might see today's scene, Five on a Prairie,  on a drive from Marco Island or Naples to Miami.  Look for it on Rt. 41 going west after crossing Rt. 27. 


Maynard Dixon, and daily painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Cloud in the Sky, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 16x20

Last Week I watched an award-winning documentary about artist Maynard Dixon called Art and Spirit.  Maynard drew or painted every day, and that, of course, made him into an excellent draftsman as well as a fine painter. he was particularly know for his fine  clouds. 

He left art school without graduating, deciding that painting from life would give him what he needed, and found early success.  As his reputation grew as a painter of the west, he began to wear Stetson hats and cowboy boots to enhance his image.

Just as I am passionate about painting the Everglades, Maynard Dixon's passion was painting the land and people of the west.  He spent time exploring the western landscape by every means of transportation including accessing remot areas by horseback.  He lived among and painted several tribes of native Americans and his images are rich, colorful and memorable.

The video is full of his paintings, and his story is told through his own voice and people who knew him.  It was a wonderful documentary!  Ask your local library to get you a copy, or see a snippet here.
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