To most people, a plant is a plant. To artist Harvey Berman, it's a symphony.
His watercolor, 3 Birds in the Nest, is one of many works on display at Pasco Art Annual 2008.
"What I thought was a very small plant turned into a massive tree," said Berman, speaking of the bird of paradise plant outside his Tampa home that served as his inspiration.
"I'm intrigued by color," he said. "I take the real color and break it down. If it's green, I look at blues and yellows."
The show, which begins today, is part of a long-standing tradition of showcasing art in Pasco County.
Art entries include drawings and pastels, fine craft, mixed media, paintings, photography and sculpture. Pieces are displayed salon-style throughout the showrooms.
"Some people love it, and others go 'Oh my goodness what were they thinking?' " said Ann Larsen, executive director of the Pasco Arts Council. "You just never know. That's what makes it fun."
Frizzy is a robot made of recycled materials. Her arms are made of old-fashioned ice tongs, and she can be used to serve food.
"I just love Frizzy," said her creator, Will Wagenaar. "She was the first of a series. The kind of piece an artist does that is kind of a breakthrough piece."
Wagenaar, who created Frizzy about three months ago, has gone on to create other robots made of recycled items.
A small cornhusk doll named Little Bo Peep is also on display. "I started making cornhusk dolls when my daughters were young," said folk artist Jo Vrotney. "They are now in their 40s."
Artists produce and enter original work. Ideas come from everywhere, but mostly from life itself.
"It's romantic to go outside and paint, but it's not much fun, especially in Florida at this time of year," said painter Cindy Moore.
Moore's piece Terra Cotta is a large still life.
"I like the terra cotta colors," Moore said. "The shapes of the pots are very difficult to paint to get the perspective right."
Suzanne Natzke submitted a watercolor inspired by a photo she took of her son years ago as he selected a pumpkin.
Her son, who is now 18, wasn't thrilled to be the subject.
"I told him no one would know," said Natzke. "And now I've blabbed it everywhere."
Natzke began painting about seven years ago and took her first class at the Pasco Arts Council. She now works there as an instructor.
"This show in particular really attracts a lot of great artists from the area," Natzke said. "We don't have many places where you can go out and see so many artists.
"It's going to be a terrific show," she said.