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


Earth Day and the Everglades

I have strong feelings about almost anything, and that passion hasn't moderated much with age, even though I may be a little clearer on the fact that there are some things I can do something about and others not.

Yesterday was Earth Day and the Earth is something I'm passionate about. We should be taking more care and have more reverence for the land that sustains us. There are too many of us for us living the way we do to sustain the earth into the future. We won't have enough water, and without it, not enough food. Since a good plague doesn't seem to be working, we need to take action. I do what I can in my studio, my life and my home, but I know it’s not nearly enough.

What I can do is paint, and bring a small measure of awareness and attention to a small part of our fragile planet. I've limited my work to the Southwest Florida environment, particularly the Everglades, in the hopes of bringing some small measure of awareness of their value to others. The Everglades have become my muse and my mission.

I had an almost viceral response when I first saw the land, and I fell in love. I love the way the light dances through the fronds of a huge palm under the slightest breeze. I love the way the bold palm forms thrust up into the bright blue sky and the way they soften in the evening light. I love the slow gurgle of the shallow water moving across the landscape to the gulf and the bumpy shapes of the mangrove fringes with their heads high above their legs in the water. I love the grasses, rough and course, bowing gently in the afternoon breeze, and the drama of the billowing thunderheads that gather each afternoon in the rainy season.

If you didn't do anything about Earth Day, and wish you did, it's not too late to send a small donation to one of the organizations who are working to preserve and protect this land, vital to the health of the gulf, and our planet. I'm donating a portion of my sales to the Friends of the Fakahatchee in April. Thanks if you've contributed by your purchase this month! The Friends of the Everglades, the South Florida National Parks Trust, and the Nature Conservancy of Florida, would also welcome your donation.

I've often written about the natural systems and cycles of the Everglades and their value. Perhaps you've seen the light and want to help too.


Susan Roux said...

I visited Fakahatchee in March. It was wonderful! I understand your passion for it all. We even met the man who I think the orchid thief was based on. It was a very cool experience.

Keep painting it all!

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

It shows in your beautiful work too. Good post.

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