The art of inspiration

Annie Blanks
The Destin Log
Renee Hamrick, Lisa Hobbs and Joy Fine stand in their newly renovated open studio at Kaleido-scopes Gallery of Art on Main Street. The three women were inspired to open the gallery to others who wish to come in and paint.

Lisa Hobbs is doing her part to make Destin more colorful, one painting at a time.

The local artist and owner of Kaleidoscopes Gallery of Art on Main Street has been using her cozy studio to showcase local artists’ work for the past two years, but recently decided to try her hand at inspiring new artists.

So she created an “open studio” concept, where anyone can become the next Picasso. Hobbs, along with her friends and fellow artists Joy Fine and Renee Hamrick, renovated the back room of the gallery into a studio where anyone can come to paint, socialize and be inspired.

“I just really love to see people repurpose things,” Hobbs said. “Artists will come in and show us things they’re working on. It’s just so important for people to see what other artists can do.”

Perhaps it’s the large windows, the high ceilings or the walls covered in acrylic beachy paintings, but the studio exudes happiness and invites even the most amateur artist to pick up a paintbrush.

“We hand tie-dyed that rug,” Hamrick said, pointing to a bright multicolored rug underneath a table.

At the center of the large table in the brightly lit studio is a community hodge-podge of paints and brushes, which are open to anybody to use. Hobbs hosts gatherings, parties and girls’ nights of all sorts, and even allows guests to bring in refreshments or wine to enjoy while they paint.

“It’s just great to be able to share ideas and feed off each other,” Fine said of the gatherings.

The three women, each of whom has their own wall in the gallery to showcase their work, said that’s really what it’s all about: coming together, uplifting and motivating each other.

“It’s a feeling that’s hard to describe,” Hamrick said. “We inspire each other to be better just by being around each other.”