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Local artist creates Gasparilla inspired paintings to celebrate the pirate invasion

Posted at 5:23 AM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 06:52:05-05

TAMPA, Fla. — A local artist is taking inspiration from Tampa's annual pirate invasion to create paintings that will make you want to set sail.

Rachel McLeod, known as Rachelsbranch, has painted dozens of ships in ahead of Gasparilla.

“I’ve made quiet a few,” said McLeod.

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She’s been creating artwork in Tampa Bay for decades, donating some of her art to local schools.

“I’ve been a local artist for a long time, since my 20s really. I started doing little markets in Ybor before it was popular,” said McLeod.

She teaches art to elementary students after school.

Her class was working on Gasparilla paintings one day when she was inspired.

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“This town is crazy for Gasparilla,” said McLeod. “Gasparilla has just always been a fun tradition. Everyone gets excited the whole town just lights up. It’s a lot of colors a lot of fun."

McLeod says she makes the paintings at home, where she has an art studio.

“I’m just painting away at home,” said Rachelsbranch.

She says her paintings are inspired by the spirit of Gasparilla.