There’s No Place Like Home

“There’s No Place Like Home”

This piece of mixed media art is meant as an homage to my hometown. I was born here and I have lived here all my life. I used to thank my parents for having me in Florida, and I have always felt lucky because I’ve never felt the need to live anywhere else. I love this place so much and it has always felt like home.

I created this piece of art using a vintage road map, vintage parrot stamp, and other found elements on an 8” x 8” cradled wood panel. The palm tree is actually located in the bay front park in my neighborhood; the photo was taken by me.

My work is representative of the love I have for where I live and the love I have in my life. I’m so grateful for all I have and I put all that love and gratitude into each piece of art I create.

I’m not sure where this piece ended up, as it was donated as part of a gift basket for The Women’s Council of Realtors Sarasota. It was auctioned off and proceeds went to benefit the NISSI Project which helps survivors of human trafficking.

I hope wherever it is that it will be a subtle reminder to always take the scenic route (in my family we call it “the back way”), to find the things for which to be grateful and to remember that there’s no place like home.

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The Sweetest Thing

I just finished this piece. I just put the last turn on the rusty vintage screw that I just rooted around for on the porch that holds the metal daisy in place. I had to finish it – it’s been one of those weeks and I had to do something that would make me feel good, make me feel happy, make me feel productive, make me feel like I was doing what I was put on this planet to do: find as many paths to love within myself as I possibly can and put that love back out into the world in as many ways as I possibly can. It is not always easy, but in the end it is always worth it.

This mixed media piece was created on a 14 1/4” x 20 3/8“ wood board with paint and various paper elements, including a vintage map of the world, vintage sheet music, postage and green stamps, and adapted text from a vintage piano piece called “Love is the Sweetest Thing,” words and music by Ray Noble, copyright 1932.

I love vintage sheet music – I feel like I could find a million ways to use it. For this piece, it seemed one of the only elements that made sense. Music is love over the airwaves, the outburst of one’s soul…

This sheet music-inspired piece will be available in my Etsy shop tomorrow. I hope you’ll take a peek. In the meantime, make sure you do something that makes you happy and remember that love is the sweetest thing.

Fortune Favors the Bold

Fortune Favors the Bold – Now available in my Etsy shop

This mixed media assemblage was created using a weathered, salvaged board as the canvas. Various elements, typography and painting techniques come together with the message that “Fortune Favors the Bold.”

People often mistake financial wealth as a sign of having “fortune.” I like the definition I found when I was doing research for this piece:

for·tune
/ˈfôrCHən/
noun
noun: fortune; plural noun: fortunes

  1. chance or luck as an external, arbitrary force affecting human affairs

If that’s the case, then two things come to mind:

  1. “Fortune” can be anything – one can be fortunate in love or business or health or, yes, even money.
  2. We can manifest our own luck by being bold enough to pursue our dreams.

In this art piece, American poet Mary Oliver (1935-2019) poses the timeless question:
“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
Once you decide, be bold and follow your heart. It will not lead you astray.

Measures about 14” wide x 6” high x 1 1/2” deep (not including the chain). The piece has a painted chain hanger = ready to hang on your wall.

Thank you for looking and thank you for your support of local artists. It means more now than ever!

Pure Energy

“Pure Energy”

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” – Benjamin Franklin

All I can say is this: if you want something badly enough, go for it. I can tell you from personal experience that Ben Franklin was right. This statement is true – 100%. It may not happen in the timeframe you think it should, it may feel like it is NEVER going to happen, and it will definitely take every ounce of energy you have and persistence you didn’t even know you had. You cannot give up, you must be patient, you must try hard to maintain faith. It may not be easy, it will most likely be terrifying. But in the end, if it is something you are truly passionate about, if it is something – or someone – you truly love, it will be the best thing you ever did.

By the way, this quote by Benjamin Franklin is my wife’s favorite. She’s the inspiration for this and many (maybe most) of my pieces of art. She’s also the reason I know this quote is true.

Put your energy into what you love, be brave, be persistent, follow your heart… You won’t be disappointed.

That’s what this piece is about. You can see more pictures of it in my Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/kerrytopjun

Karmic Bingo

Karmic Bingo No. 6
Karmic Bingo No. 6 (5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″) – $28. Click here to purchase or view in my Etsy shop.

Once again, music inspires… This mixed media assemblage is made with various found objects and vintage paper on salvaged wood. It is one in a series of six pieces, inspired by a song called “Rise.” The song says more than I ever could, so I’ll just leave you with the lyrics and a link to the song on YouTube…

 

RISE (ft Ursula Rucker & Roy Ayers) by Richard Earnshaw
we are living in perilous times, living with perilous people, doing some… perilous things to one another
the small hand is on. evil and mayhem, the big hand is on. well, that’s your choice.
the big hand can be on fear, and hopelessness
or we can sift through all af this bullshit and uplift …
RISE.
to a higher understanding of why humans choose war… over love. .
RISE
way above.so we can touch back down on God’s brown, green, blue earth …
with tolerance, knowledge, compassion for when other humans hurt…
tolerance, knowledge, compassion for how other folks pray … little different. .
tolerance, knowledge, compassion for how other folks speak a little different.
tolerance, knowledge, compassion for the fact that, we ain’t just a pronoun. . a little itty bitty word
it’s a state of being. .
We.
a collective, a community.
We.
a world community, the human family.
We
sounds corny yeah i know but. we. better start thinking, moving, breathing along these lines or else.
we may not be thinking, moving, breathing for our selves
we may not be thinking, moving breathing. .loving, or even fighting
anymore. .
at all coz it… this thing we call life and living will all be over .
over some land
over some oil
over some commerce
some. sub-human shit so.
uplift. before there will be no more sunshine.
for babies to get brown beneath
so reach high inside for what ever u need
to uplift and. .
RISE
RISE
set that big hand on change and love and all that good stuff and. and…
RISE
RISE!…rise
(end)

New Art on Etsy

Now available in my Etsy shop…

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and art, like love, is original and enduring. These small mixed media assemblages make the perfect gift for someone special or for yourself! All are made with vintage paper and found objects on salvaged wood.

Check them out at https://www.etsy.com/shop/kerrytopjun

Did Someone Say Paper?

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I love paper. It almost doesn’t matter what kind. My mom has even made up a word for me – she says I am a “paperian.” I have indiscriminately collected writing paper, notebooks and blank journals that I just couldn’t stand to leave behind. But I especially love vintage paper – stamps, receipts, letters, postcards, tickets, maps, sheet music, playbills… It is absolutely fascinating to me. I love the color of old paper and the way the paper feels and the way the ink has faded in places. It ranks right up there with rust in its beauty. But I really love that there is a story behind these items. Each piece makes me wonder about who it belonged to and why it was saved and how it has survived in the world for so long and how far it has traveled to reach me. And when I can actually stand to part with a certain piece of this ephemera, I incorporate it into my art and send it back out into the world so it can continue its wondrous journey…