GULFPORT, Fla. — This week artists from across Tampa Bay are moving the easel and paintbrushes outside. It’s the second annual Plein Air Art Walk in downtown Gulfport.
“It’s not often that you find a town that fits in with what your passion is all about,” said artist Judith Villavisanis.
Up and down Beach Boulevard, artists like Judith have converted sidewalks, patios and street corners into their personal art studios.
“Every painting that’s done outdoors is one of a kind, you walk away with a painting that actually represents a moment in time that will never occur again,” said artist Jack Providenti.
Providenti is teaching a Plein air art class. His students say painting outside is more challenging than it looks.
“The sailboat I wanted to include has already shifted so things are going to change while you’re painting,” said student Deserie Valloreo.
Artists have been experimenting with Plein air art dating back to the early 1800s in Europe.
“It’s very exciting to think about these master impressionists and people like that out in the field and here we are doing the exact same thing,” said artist Janie Haskins.
What’s truly unique is anything can be plucked from the streets and dropped onto a canvas.
“I love the architecture of this building and the way the sun is hitting it right now it’s giving me great shadows,” said artist Paula Roy as she replicated a cafe through the strokes of a brush.
While for the public, it’s a chance to see how an artist brings a painting to life.
“It's wonderful to be able to explain about my medium because I work in something that’s a little different than oils and acrylic,” said pastel artist Nancy Poucher.
“They see the buildings that they know very well being painted through the eyes of an artist and every artist paints differently,” said Brenda McMahon, of Brenda McMahon Gallery.
“It’s absolutely magical for me, it’s like real magic because I don’t have that kind of talent,” said Jill Rice, owner of Ziya Artisan Market.
All of the art done throughout the week will be on display and for sale along Beach Boulevard Friday night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sadie Evert, of the Gulfport Merchant Chamber, who organized the event, said it’s a great way to experience Gulfport at it’s finest.