BRADENTON -- The buzzer sounded and the brushes made their first stroke.
With each movement of the brushes, the Bradenton Riverwalk came to life on the dozens of canvasses.
Alice Benjamin Boudreau was all smiles as the Riverwalk's play area took shape on her canvas.
"I'm not sure if I am done or not," she said.
Dozens of artists of all ages and skill levels came to the Bradenton Riverwalk, near the pavilion, Saturday morning to participate in the 10th annual Paint the Town Quick Draw or KidsCreate.
Painters who participated in the Quick Draw, put on by the Manatee Art Center, had just two hours to paint their artwork. After, the painting were judged, prizes were awarded and the paintings were displayed for sale.
The Riverwalk also provided participating artists with a scenic landscape for their day's work. Earlier in the morning, children with the aid of instructors from the Art Center, guided pupils on the art of painting outdoors.
Boudreau has participated in the event before, she said.
"When something like this comes up, I love doing it," Boudreau said. "It's my joy."
Boudreau, 78, said she has been painting she was 5 years old.
"It's a way of express
ing my joy in the world," Boudreau said.
In addition to landscapes, she said she also loves to paint figures and abstract art. She also teaches at the Manatee Art Center.
As she touched up the figures in her landscape, she reflected on her husband.
"My husband was also a painter and he always liked me to include people," Boudreau said.
Organizer Susan Covert was pleased with the turnout of about 25 painters, she said.
It was the first time the event was held on the Bradenton Riverwalk. Previously the event was held in downtown Bradenton's farmer's market, but the timing did not coincide this year, with the farmer's market returning next weekend.
"We loved it," Covert said. "This is a spectacular location and the public gets to see what's going on."
Many turned out Saturday just to watch the artists at work.
Joe Kanoza had a group gathered near his easel.
"We are his groupies, we follow him wherever he goes," Terri Houston said.
Houston along with three other of Kanoza's fans checked out the competition.
"It's nice to see the artists embrace nature," Houston said. "The venue is gorgeous."
Since moving with his wife to Bradenton six months ago after more than 40 years as a professional sports illustrator, Kanoza currently teaches portrait- and landscape-painting classes at the art center.
Kanoza concentrated trying to capture the soft grass with the river in the distance.
"I can't say I enjoyed the heat," Kanoza said. "I enjoyed the people coming up to me asking questions because I like to teach.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.