St. Petersburg artist Bill Correira Woo has died.
The artist's sudden passing Monday was mourned by friends and loved ones, who left dozens of messages on Correira's Facebook page.
"You will be deeply missed," wrote Missie Stevenson McDow.
"Gosh, Bill, you will be missed. Your art and your soul," said Jean Teira Hynes.
Correira owned Woo Gallery on Central Avenue and had lived in St. Petersburg for more than 30 years.
Correira valiantly fought and survived brain cancer five years ago, after he was stricken on Thanksgiving Day in 2007. Correira later attributed his dedication to painting as key to his recovery.
Correira almost exclusively focused on marine life, and was best known for his evocative paintings of saltwater fish. The colorful portraits (shown in the attached photo gallery) are accurate depictions yet seem to reveal an emotional life of the sea creatures.
Correira enjoyed painting in public over the solitary life of an artist. He would paint at restaurants, his gallery, wherever he and his art were welcomed in downtown St. Petersburg.
Woo Gallery was located in the heart of Central Avenue, where Correira knew most of the shop owners and fellow artists by first name.
Correira had lived in St. Petersburg since 1976, after moving from the Northeast. His father, William, was a well-known scrimshaw artist. From his father, Correira developed an artist's appreciation of, and connection to, the sea.
But it was St. Petersburg that Correira called home. And St. Petersburg recognized Correira for his talent, friendship and generosity.
"You will live on through your paintings and have touched so many with your incredible story. May God bless you always," wrote Meagan Willoughby on Facebook.
"So deeply saddened to hear of your passing, dear, sweet Bill Correira Woo," wrote Sandy Schell on Facebook. "What joy you brought to everyone who had the pleasure of crossing your path. Thank you for being a bright light in our lives."