DOWNTOWN — Mike O’Donnell, 76, owned a florist shop and greenhouse before he retired to the Wellswood neighborhood of Tampa. An artist since 1945, he continues to share his love of nature through painting.
“I like flowers in their settings,” he said. “I like them in the rain or in the sun, for they all are different and special. And I like to show their beauty to people who don’t have the time I have to see them or see them the way I do. Like many, I paint landscapes, boats, swamps, rivers and whatever else attracts my attention.
“I paint my interpretation of them, usually not like a photograph, for God has given all of us the ability to see things differently, which is wonderful.”
O’Donnell’s solo art show, “Flowers, flowers, flowers,” opens Sept. 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bamboozle Cafe, 516 N. Tampa St., Tampa. The event features complimentary appetizers, wine and tea tasting.
“I hope that my paintings give the viewers a relaxed homey feeling, something you will enjoy living with,” O’Donnell said.
Born in Greenwich, Conn., O’Donnell moved to Tampa in 2000. He works mainly in acrylics, oils, watercolor and water soluble oils.
Jayne Lisbeth of South Tampa, coordinator of the art shows at Bamboozle Cafe, said O’Donnell’s art show is a tribute to his lifelong love of nature. His art portrays images of flowers, boats and landscapes in different colors, shapes, textures and movement, she said.
“His motivation is to help people enjoy living with art and finding contentment and relaxation through art in their everyday lives,” Lisbeth said. “He accomplishes these goals through his colorful, expressive and dynamic paintings, turning everyday events into thought-provoking life portraits.”
O’Donnell and his wife, Mary, have three grown children. He said he is excited about the show, which runs through Oct. 4.
“The Bamboozle Cafe is a great place to show,” O’Donnell said. “Its downtown site makes the art available to many. I like the relaxed setting and being able to meet many of the people that see the paintings. I like the input from people, and to hear what they have to say.”
O’Donnell said he likes to be able to get out and paint on location. He paints four or five times a week.
“The Tampa area is wonderful for this because of the weather and all the beaches, parks, greenhouses, water, rivers and swamps — it’s all good!” he said.
Bamboozle Cafe is open 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and is closed Sundays. For information, email [email protected] asamonkey.com or visit O’Donnell’s online shop at Mikelikestopaint.etsy .com.