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


Messing around with Materials, by Everglades artist JoAnn Sanborn

acrylic on board, 5"x5"

I almost always start with a dark background on my paintings. I like the cohesiveness that a solid background color brings to a painting, and I like being able to change things around easily at the start of a painting. Loosely moving around a canvas in that big dark trying to find my way using both years of study and intuitiveness is what makes my paintings uniquely mine. And working towards the light is a symbolism that appeals to me.

Still, messing around times are important, and there are times when working out of the norm is necessary. I had purchased some 5x5 cradled panels a while ago, and wanted to use them in a way different from my usual methods. They've been sitting there just waiting for the right idea to come along.

I've started a commission that I plan to use pen and ink as part of my mixed media plan, and it's been stirring around in the back of my mind. These little panels seemed like the perfect way to get more comfortable with pen and ink, which I haven't used for a good many years.

Messing around with materials can be both fun and rewarding. Using the simple banana leaves outside my window, I did a pen and ink drawing on the surface, and used transparent acrylics with quite a bit of medium to color the image.

It was fun and I learned a lot about where to go next to get the look I want for the commission, and maybe a way to go with the rest of the panels. How about taking a jaunt outside your comfort zone today?

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