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Rhondak Stories Behind My Signs Part Ii November 2008


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Part II of an ongoing attempt to show the stories behind my signs. I'm a Native Florida Folk Artist--not just someone selling rehashed "5 O'clock somewhere" signs for $20 -- but I'll do that. But I'll try to show you "MY" Florida while I'm at it. RhondaK, native floida folk artist -- Includes copyrighted and original works. Write for license information.

Rhondak Stories Behind My Signs Part Ii November 2008

  1. 1. Stories Behind My Signs Part II RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist
  2. 2. This is one of my original paintings of Star Fish Company in Star Fish Company in Cortez, Florida. I began selling my art here when I lived on a boat out in the Northern part of Sarasota Bay.
  3. 3. This is my painting of Star Fish Company in Cortez, Florida. It is not an exact version. Every time I paint it, it is different. But it always has my signs. <ul><li>The signs on this image are in some cases original ones I wrote on this dock. </li></ul>
  4. 4. This version has sold. This is how it looked on display at Star Fish Company. It is next to another series I do of Bait Shacks. <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>
  5. 5. On many versions of the Star Fish Co. sign you’ll see this sign. “Walk a mile in my flip flops…and bring me back a beer.” I wrote a song to go with it and copyrighted it. I sent a sign with the lyrics to Jimmy Buffet. So far, he has not called me back. But..nothing ventured, nothing gained. It is a pretty good song..and this is one hell of a sign. It came from the time of living on Cortez on the boat with TikiMan. Often we had one pair of shoes between us. <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>
  6. 6. When I first began painting the Star Fish Co. tables I painted a mermaid that loved mullet named Star. As time went on she became a face of one of my original sayings: “Spirit of the Starfish…what breaks away-regrows. What falls away-rebegins.” <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>
  7. 7. These are two other signs I painted about the “Spirit of the Starfish.” It is about my time living on the boat there in Cortez. The Star Fish Co. Restaurant is actually two words…Star Fish. This saying is about surviving the impossible and becoming something unexpected. Maybe even MIRACULOUS. <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>
  8. 8. While living in Cortez I came up with a few different mermaids. The profile one is one of them. There is usually a saying in the water. I love being on docks. Sometimes I swear minnows will run in schools in such a way it seems like they are spelling out words. This saying is a shortened version of Thoreau’s. I also use a saying of mine I LIVE and wrote… “If you play in the waves, they don’t knock you down.” <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>This is my “butt” mermaid. I began painted her because a talented mermaid painter lives in Cortez. She’s known for her fabulous mermaids from the front that have unique and fun bras and pasties. This mermaid has gotten me a half tank of gas in times of great stress. She hasn’t changed much, but she has a lot to say still. As you can see…even if I repaint a sign or an image…it is never the same. Sometimes the wood has a story. Sometimes the image’s story changes. Everything I do is hand painted and immediate. Many of these sayings and images…have saved my life. They’re more than friends or talismans…but like my very bones. Not to say..they are all serious…
  11. 11. <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>“ The party isn’t over til you smile for your mugshot…” is a sign I paint that used to come with a curse where someone around Cortez would end up in jail. Since I moved, it has become just a funny sign people always tell me a story about when they buy it.
  12. 12. <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>I also came up with this flip flop sign with two alternate endings. “ If my flip flops come home without me…. * Search for the party * Send money for the bar tab. These are roughly based on an event where I lost my flip flops off the dock and I hoped the TikiMan would see them float by the boat and come get me off the dock. I don’t do a lot of these because I only like putting them on damaged wood. They sell pretty fast. Usually when I do have one, I will sell it off the back dock of Star Fish Company. It is after all…where it came from…and it makes sense there.
  13. 13. <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>Usually on any sign I paint of Star Fish Company there will be an egret. Maybe even the saying: Live with Egrets…Not Regrets. This is based on Petey the Egret who lived on the dock. I watched him a lot and really began thinking on how when he missed a fish…it didn’t ruin his day. He’d just go on to next.
  14. 14. <ul><li>RhondaK, Native Florida Folk Artist </li></ul>Those are just a few of hundreds of signs I do. I do a lot of what I call bar classics or Old Florida tribute sort of signs like “Free Beer Tomorrow.” But I also write and design a lot of my own work. I use as much found wood as I can. I want that when a person buys a sign from me they have in their hand something real about the Florida I love and have known. In most cases, I’ve lived my sign. I’m not your next door sign painter. I’m a Florida Folk Artist trying to share with you the places I’ve loved…lived…and want remembered.