Painting for a purpose


Painting outside "en plein air" to help fund student scholarships, nearly two dozen artists fanned out across Marco Island and Goodland Wednesday for the Chamber's annual Wet Paint Live.

Before the 9 a.m. start, each participating artist had their blank canvasses stamped to ensure their works would indeed be done on this particular day.

They then headed for locations that included the Esplanade, the Jolley Bridge, the Boat House Motel, Tigertail Beach and the Marco Island Historical Museum on Marco; as well as Stan's, the Goodland Post Office and MarGood Harbor Park in Goodland.

Over at the Esplanade, Jo Ann Sanborn reveled about the clear morning light conditions, but said painting in public can sometimes be a little daunting.

"I paint almost every day, but every day doesn't necessarily give me a wonderful painting," Sanborn said. "Some days are learning days, some days are trying-out days. It's a bit like the athlete – you don't know what kind of a day you're going to have until your performance is complete."

For Sanborn and the other artists, not producing on this particular day was not an option.

Their paintings were due to be auctioned off at an evening function at the Marco Island Historical society to raise that scholarship money.

And even the auction can be a little scary, Sanborn said.

"It's nerve-wracking waiting for the first bid," she said. "If I get one, I'm happy."

Judy Harthorn concentrated on the inside fountain at the Esplanade.

"I usually stand when I paint, but today I'm sitting and looking at the fountain maybe like a child would look at it … upwards."

She said she started off with a "monochromatic" piece, but then starting putting in "happy colors."

It was the 8th time artists had combined for Wet Paint Live, which is organized by the alumni of the Leadership Marco under the Umbrella of the Marco Chamber. Participants represented both the Marco Island Center for the Arts, and the Marco Island Foundation for the Arts.