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


Almost a year, 2nd of September, painting by Everglades artist Jo-Ann Sanborn

2nd of September, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on canvas, 36"x48

This is a painting I though I finished a year ago. I often do paintings of elongated palms in the late summer. There's something about the misguided hurricane cut, the wind, their strength against the landscape and the threat of storms that makes them seem larger than life to me this time of year. These paintings are often more about vertical and horizontal planes than my other paintings, and often come easily, inpired by a clump of palms against the sky.

But something was wrong with this painting. I applied my "critique" criteria to it, and couldn't quite tell what the problem was. It hung around the studio. behind the door, at the bottom of the stack, and I never promoted it's sale--I just couldn't in good faith.

I liked the upright palm design--I always seem to like that--and the clouds, but as hard as it was I finally figured out that I had to lower the horizon. Had to lighten it's value, too, to get it to sit back where it belonged. And I had to add some design to the clouds, too, so that they had the movement of a breezy day and were more alive and lifelike.

For two days I worked hard. It's a large painting, and I struggled to use enough paint to move it across the surface, and find in painting larger, the intuitiveness harder, too, because the eye can't take it all in at once. I left the palms, and worked around them, building, covering, recovering.

When I came into the studio on the third day and got ready to set to work, I found that the painting had somehow miraculously come together, and was done. There's a nice breezyness and a soft pink in the clouds. The horizon sits back where it belongs, much lower and lighter in value, and the trees are vertical but don't overwhelm the rest.

It's a much better painting than it was. Even though it took almost a year to figure it out, it was worth it.

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