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


Work of an Artist,

Winter Warmth, 2012, Jo-Ann Sanborn
acrylic on board, 5"x7"

The traffic has really picked up at the Artist Colony on Marco Island. It's a mixed bag of browsers, artists, art lovers, people looking for something to do, serious art collectors and chance passers-by.   People visiting from all over the world stop in.

The Artist Colony is comprised of twelve artists who share studio/gallery space in three locations close by each other at the Esplanade on Marco Island. We're open Wednesday thru Friday, 11-7 and Saturdays until 5. There's at least one person working in each gallery during those hours. We've kept these hours for almost three years, and they're posted on the door of each gallery.

When I can get there early I open the doors when I arrive. People sometimes wander in before the other galleries are open. Most people are happy to view my studio, shared by 4 different artists, or get a coffee and stroll the lovely Esplanade until the other galleries open. 

Last week a woman came in early and was quite distressed that she couldn't "see people painting." I happened to be framing, and explained that I had to completed it for a client who would be in later that morning, and that I would be painting in about 20 minutes. "Well," she huffed, I came to see people painting!" I told her that each gallery would have someone working by 11 o'clock, and that some of them might be painting.

This didn't mollify her at all and she fussed on her way, disappointed. I felt bad, but have been dealing with the public long enough to know there was nothing I could do to change her attitude.

Working can mean many different things to a visual artist. We want to be at the easel. Painting is our favorite pastime. Still, especially if you are a mid-career artist without assistance, there's a lot more to be done. We might be preparing a canvas for painting. We might be choosing a subject by looking through reference photos, composing a painting by sketching, or framing a finished piece. Other times we might be showing work to a prospective collector cleaning the studio or rearranging the artwork. And that's just in the studio. 

There's also all of the office work required of any small business.  Whether it disappoints or not, it's work that needs to be done to get a painting from me to you and there's just me to do it. Sorry! 

One of the best ways to meet all of the Artist Colony Artists at one time is to visit during ArtWalk, the Last Wednesday of the month.  It will be February 29 this month, so put it on your calendar right now.  We're all there, not painting, but working, and ready to talk with you about our work or to help you find just the right piece for your home. 

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