Robert Colding finds material for his art by taking canoe rides down the Hillsborough River. Yet he finds himself just as easily inspired on his daily commute across the bridges to the Home Shopping Network in St. Petersburg.
Colding’s solo art show, “Tampa Water” includes “Bayshore,” which he painted while looking out the window when he used to live on the seventh floor of the Bayshore Royal Condominium in South Tampa. He currently lives at the 345 Bayshore, a high-rise building on Bayshore Boulevard with equally stunning views of Hillsborough Bay.
“I like Bayshore, of course, since I live on it and am always inspired by the changes throughout the year and most recently by the city,” he said. “I drive across the bridge every day to work at HSN so I am also inspired by the bridges, both Gandy and Howard Frankland.”
His art is on display at Bamboozle Cafe, 516 N. Tampa St., Tampa, through July 5.
Colding, who was born and raised in Tampa, has worked as a supervisor for the HSN for the last seven years.
“I love it — there is lots of creativity flowing all around me and I have flexible hours that allow for me to paint when I’m not working at HSN,” he said.
Colding said the art exhibit is his first solo show at the cafe, although he has displayed work at the Ashworth Artisan Chocolates’ art gallery in Hyde Park.
“I hope that my Tampa viewers will feel like they are seeing familiar bits of home in Tampa and those new to Tampa will see a new perspective they had not seen before from our great city water views,” he said.
Although he does view birds, alligators, spiders and other wildlife while painting, Colding tends to focus on water.
“I think what draws me to the water is the colors, light reflected in the water and hypnotic way that it soothes me,” he said, adding he may paint wildlife in the future.
Tim Gibbons, who organizes the art exhibits at Bamboozle Cafe, described Colding’s paintings as “flowing and shimmering” with depictions of the bay as well as abstract images of falling light.
Gibbons said Colding has studied the varying “moods and shades of water.”
“Robert captures water’s movement, providing scenes of serenity and beauty and in-depth studies which are evocatively displayed in his paintings,” Gibbons said.
Bamboozle Cafe is open Monday-Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.
For more on exhibiting art, call (813) 231-2579.