CLEARWATER — When Ramirez Cotrino paints, he usually gets into the zone by listening to jazz music.
So it seems almost fitting for him to win the 33rd Clearwater Jazz Holiday poster contest.
The 44-year-old, who lives in Coral Springs, northwest of Fort Lauderdale, likes using vibrant colors. That's apparent in his winning poster, unveiled last week at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.
It took about two months for him to create the oil pastel piece on a 24- by 29-inch canvas. His work will be used for marketing materials, such as T-shirts and posters, promoting the Clearwater Jazz Holiday in October. Cotrino also won a $1,000 prize.
Cotrino said that while he tried to evoke the happiness of people listening to music in his piece, it's hard to describe the source of his inspiration.
"It just comes to my mind, and I just started doing the drawings."
Cotrino began sketching at age 6 in Colombia, his homeland. He moved to the United States in 1995 and settled in Florida.
He first heard of the Jazz Holiday when one of the organizers attended the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts last year, where his artwork was displayed, and asked him to participate in the poster contest.
Cotrino said he looks forward to attending the 2012 Clearwater Jazz Holiday with his family Oct. 18-21 in Coachman Park.
A version of this story appears in some regional editions of the Times.