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


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

May Morning, 2914, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
Beach Wind, 2014, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 18"x14"
Here's an example of what I spoke about in the last blog post.  It's the same scene, a clump of palms on the beach near one of the condos.  It's contains a nice mix of brush and grasses, with several palms for height.  The composition and variety of textures is interesting and challenging. 
In this case the larger painting was painted first.  The strong vertical and motion of the palms help to give the painting a windy-day-type feeling.  There's a lot of detail in the grasses and brush, and quite a bit of subtle color. 
While very satisfied with the painting, I felt there was more to say about this scene, so a month later painted the smaller daily painting. The scene is simplified into more basic elements., done fairly quickly in just a couple of hours.  You can see that it is much more immediate, but still has the feeling of the day


Five Roses daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Five Roses, 2014, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 7"x5"
How do you start your work day?  I open my studio most days far earlier than the posted 10 a.m.  I have coffee there, and sometimes a muffin as my day begins to take shape.  My palette is usually ready, and there are always a  number of larger paintings needing attention.
Most often, I'll warm up by doing a small painting, one of my 5"x7" daily paintings.  Sometimes I'll do a quick study from a larger painting I'm considering since it's a good way to work out any composition issues.  Other times I'll work backwards from a painting already done, focus on just a small area of the scene, or paint a single tree from an on-hand Everglades photo.
But sometimes I'll focus on something outside the Everglades.  This little bouquet of roses was in the house of a friend.  I took a couple of photos just to remind me of softness I wanted, and got to work.  Hope you like it! 


Dancing with the Moon painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Dancing with the Moon, 2014, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 36x48

I love the gorgeous, luminous moon we sometimes see in the night sky over Marco Island.  Combine that lovely moon with a balmy evening and some dancing palms, and the scene is set for romance. 

A walk on the beach, stopping on a bridge to overlook the reflection of the moon in the water, having a glass of wine on the dock in the dark, a quiet dinner at the shore are all activities that come to mind.  If you live on or visit Marco Island, you can readily identify with this painting and the emotions it evokes.

This painting will find a home with collectors who are newly in love. Who's sharing this scene with you?


Thicket, painting by Everglades Artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Thicket, 2014, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 11x14
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 back to the darks. I do this over and over until I've got the forms built and the negative shapes working in a that balances and works compositionally. It's later that I start on the details. Thicket was done in just this way.
I've been working that way for almost 35 years, but lately have been working straight onto white gessoboard for some of my daily paintings. I'm a great one for mixing things up now and then--otherwise I become either complacent, or worse, bored.  The change makes me think about the canvas in a different way and the light bounces back differently.  I have to really work to get in the darks. 
The studio/gallery will be open next week for the regular hours - Wed-Fri 10-5, Sat 10-2, but I'll be taking a few days off.  See you soon! 


Blank Canvas and Quiet Sunset, daily painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

Quiet Sunset, 2013, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"
When looking at a blank canvas, the possibilities are endless.  Freshly into the start of a painting, my energy level is high and I have a wonderful sense of freedom, and confidence.  I spend a couple of hours or more in this nirvana, enjoying the flow of the paint, the clean palette choices, making decisions about composition.  This stage is the joy of painting, often called "the zone." 

After a while I step back and take a look.  I usually walk away from the easel at this point, do something else for a minute, and then go back to assess my efforts after my eye has been refreshed.  When everything looks good, I continue, but more often than not I have to face the agony of reality. The composition needs to be adjusted.  What I've painted might have strayed from what the client and I talked about.  The color strategy could need strengthening.  Or worse, "What was I thinking?" 

Then the real work of painting begins.  The next few days or hours or weeks are spent getting a painting to a point where the painting can stand on its own, has a life of its own, and doesn't need me anymore.  It lives and breathes separately, without any help from me.  Then, and only then is it done, ready to go out into the world, into someone else' home or space, and hopefully, to bring them joy.
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