Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

On mural or canvas, Paxton Watkins conveys beauty, emotion

BROOKSVILLE — For Paxton Watkins, painting is an adventure: You choose a path and see where it leads.

The journey can begin from any point — a wall, a ceiling, even the body panel of an antique truck. All have served as canvases for Watkins' artistic talents.

And, yes, he creates traditional canvas paintings, many of which are featured in the Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery's spring exhibit.

The Masaryktown artist's philosophy toward art is pretty straightforward: Humans should be surrounded by the creative spirit from the waking of the day to bedtime. He takes pride in painting images that warm a room without overwhelming it.

"I feel that a nice painting can transform a space into a living entity," Watkins said. "Being an artist means expressing the true beauty and emotion of a subject so that others can feel what you feel. It's my passion."

That passion can be found in the vivid colors Watkins meticulously works into his canvas. Sunset skies are flooded with flowing red, orange, pink and yellow hues. Forests and meadows ooze with every conceivable shade of green.

Born 38 years ago in Charlotte, N.C., Watkins said his artistic inspiration came largely from his great-great-grandmother and grandmother, who painted portraits and landscapes all their lives. Though he managed to take a few drawing classes in junior college, his desire to work with a brush didn't come until he was 25 years old.

"I more or less stumbled into it," he said. "I was really into art history, and I read a lot of books. My favorites were the Old World painters of Europe, who had a very distinct use of light. I've based a lot of my style on those techniques, except that I've adapted them to contemporary mediums."

Watkins, a bit of an explorer, looks for art potential in just about everything. A home interior designer by trade, he has often worked with custom home builders to create unique, nature-related murals. His work can be found in several prominent homes in the Tampa Bay area.

"I try to come up with an idea that fits well with the other surroundings in the home," he said. "But in the end, it's not my vision; it's the homeowner's. My job is to bring that vision to life."

Although the recession has slowed his home interior business, Watkins has stayed busy with his art, which he markets on his Web site,

He is also involved in other projects, including a proposal for a downtown Brooksville mural honoring the area's military veterans, which he intends to pitch to the Brooksville Mural Society.

"It would be a great way to honor the people who have given so much of their lives to ensure our freedom," Watkins said.

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

if you go

Spring art in Brooksville

The Brooksville City Hall Art Gallery, 201 Howell Ave., will feature its spring art exhibit through May 8. Artists include Paxton A. Watkins, Roberta Tucker, Robert D. Worden and pottery maker David F. Mack. The gallery is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. Admission is free. The public is invited to the Spring Art Reception from 5 to 7 p.m. April 22. Refreshments will be served. Call 540-3810 for information.

On mural or canvas, Paxton Watkins conveys beauty, emotion 04/09/09 [Last modified: Thursday, April 9, 2009 4:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Romano: Sinkholes take Florida's quirks to a whole 'nother level

    Public Safety

    So all of this — the beaches, palm trees and fresh grouper sandwiches — comes with a few extenuating costs. To live in Florida is to accept a lifestyle of hazards, both peculiar and deadly. Lightning strikes and hurricanes, for example. Alligators and sharks, too. Floods, drug traffickers, spring break and …

    Two days after a sinkhole opened in front of her Spring Hill home in 2014, Linda Fisher packs up to leave for good.
  2. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 18: Despite feeling ill, this pilgrim passes the midpoint in her 500-mile journey on foot


    Day 18: Lédigos to El Burgo Ranero: 34.3 km, 12.25 hours (Total for Days 1-18 = 428 km (266 miles)

    Today was a struggle.

  3. Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon featured on NBC Sunday news show


    Former Rays and current Cubs manager Joe Maddon will be featured on this week's "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly" show at 7 p.m. on NBC, the Harry Smith interview covering not just Maddon's on-field accomplishments but his extensive efforts to help his hometown of Hazleton, Pa.

    "Here's what's so …

    Joe Maddon talking with NBC News' Harry Smith.
  4. For starters: Souza returns to lineup



  5. Actor John Heard dies at age 72


    John Heard, who played so many roles in the '80s but was probably best known as the dad in the Home Alone movies, has died, according to media reports. He was 72.