Homeless Man Creates and Sells Beautiful Paintings
PENSACOLA, FL (WTXF) - PENSACOLA, FL (WTXF)--Jon Masters, 56, has finally gathered enough money from panhandling on the side of the road to buy art supplies to create spectacular landscape portraits to sell.
His story and talent caught the attention of his local community and has now spread nationally.
Now his paintings are in high demand and his work is also motivating other homeless people to take action.
"They're seeing the response I'm getting and some of them are trying to figure out what they can do that's similar. They want to do something on their own," he told the Pensacola News Journal. "I'm actually able to inspire others. To me, that's the best part about all of this."
Masters had some tough times before finding success with painting.
In August, he was jailed for two weeks for a trespassing charge, which caused him to have to temporarily give up his companion and medical alert dog, Sheba, to a local animal shelter.
Simultaneously the boat he had saved enough money to live on had sunk, leaving him and Sheba to sleep outside after his release from jail.
But times changed after Masters received money from holding a sign on a street corner at the end of September. With this money he was able to buy enough paint and canvases to create paintings to sell on the side of the road.
Recently, he has been working on a floating tree series called "Change," according to his Facebook page.
"When you are down and feel in a rut just remember that it's the nature of reality that all things change and that you can embrace it, like the tree," his page says.
Masters has been selling his work for $25 per painting at a farmer's market. He is also working with a local studio, Driftology Art & Designs, to organize a weekly barbecue to bring homeless artists together.
"I have managed to finally be stocked with art [supplies]," he wrote Facebook. "I really want to thank everyone for [their] help and support. I am slowly getting out of the hole. Heartfelt thank you."
The Pensacola community is helping support Masters and his art by dropping off art supplies and canvases--even dog food for Sheba.
While Masters is still without a stable home he plans to keep making art and hope for the best.