An imaginative decendant of " Old Florida", artist/poet RhondaK was reared on farmland
in Plant City that her dad ploughed with an ill -tempered horse. With Florida roots reaching
back several generations, her great grandpa was known as Mullet Man and sold smoked
fish door-to-door in Tampa.
She grew up doodling horses on everything, even the weekly bulletin of the Baptist church
that she was raised in. After being told she had no color sense, Rhonda spurrned art lessons,
preferring a non conformist appoach to match her outook on life. During the late 1990's, the
amiable rebel refined her talents and ran events like "Poetry in the Dark' in Tampa while
freelancing for the Tampa Bay Times, Weekly Planet and penning underground classics
like Holy Roadtrip.
Following a serious auto accident, Rhonda walked barefooted out of ER with a song on her
lips and courage in her heart. She then went sleepless for 3 days, determined to solve the
world's problems and was inspired to paint 30 roosters, no two alike. End result: The
childhood hurt of being told she had "no color sense" was forever dispelled.
Quitting her day job, Rhonda went to live on a boat with fellow artist Alan "TikiMan" Keller
and her funky doodles of mermaids, fish and more found an audience. This led to whimsically-
painted signs using found wood sold in the parking lot of Star Fish Restaurant, in the sleepy
fishing village of Cortez.
Relying on a rich imagination for her art and a quirky, irreverent wit for her writing, Rhonda's
clever creations are now sold on both coasts of Florida and as far away as Michigan and
New Jersey. The quintessential non-conformist draws from a rich and colorful past: fishing
with Dad, various abodes along the west coat and a fondness for Florida beach bars.
These experiences spawned numerous off-beat aphorisms like " Life is Fishing, not
Catching" and " Walk a Mile in my Flip Flops and Bring me Back a Beer". Whimsical wisdom
and vibrant art that's not extracted from a book but from her soul and the Florida she loves.
Rhonda works as a librarian at a Florida college helping people work toward their
dreams when not at her current location in Nokomis. Called the Red Hibiscus Art Farm, it
consists of several herb/vegetable garden patches, wild flowers, an outside work shed
beneath some palm trees, two inside galleries, 6 bunnies and one a wonderful dog,
(a pug) all of which end up in her paintings from time to time.
Written by Ron Wilson
Publisher of Florida Secrets, the Insider's Guide. 2013