Mike Kotarba stepped back from his easel and squinted, then dipped his brush in vibrant watercolors and painted the scene in front of him.
He saw young families peering into the yellow storefront of a toy shop advertising a big sale as they strolled along Main Street in Ellicott City on Sunday.
Behind Kotarba, a building with "Coming Soon" signs plastered across shrouded windows stood as a reminder of the devastation the city faced almost a year ago.
Nearly 12 months after a flash flood ravaged historic Ellicott City, destroying businesses and killing two people, dozens of artists set up along Main Street to paint the town. The Howard County Arts Council...