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Friday, January 28, 2011

Ronny Bailey - Key West Artist

The Northwest Passage Lighthouse aka Hemingway House on Stilts

How would you like to buy a cigar maker's cottage made of real Dade County Pine for $2000 or less? Well, you can. Sort of. Ronny Bailey is a fourth generation conch that spent 30 years of his life restoring many of the old houses in Key West. A few years ago he started fooling around with some salvaged Dade County Pine and created his first new old house replica. His wife came home and exclaimed "I didn't know you could do that!" Ronny replied "Neither did I." And so began his new career as artist-carpenter where he creates miniature near replicas of real houses in Key West using salvaged lumber. Ronny stresses that he only uses old salvaged wood to construct the houses. He doesn't paint the pieces. Instead he relies on the ravages of our sun and the weather to create the natural patina that make each piece look so genuine. Ronny's inner artist comes out when he adds a bit of whimsy such as a rooster or a cat napping to his work.

Ronny dropped by my office a couple of weeks ago so that I could take photos of his new piece entitled "The Northwest Passage Lighthouse aka Hemingway House on Stilts". CLICK HERE to view a US Coast Guard photo of the real lighthouse. See the photos below of the artist and his rendering of the lighthouse.

The Northwest Passage Lighthouse aka Hemingway House on Stilts before completed

Photo of the lighthouse interior.
Note the real Dade County Pine wood walls and floor.

CLICK HERE to see Ronny Bailey's website with lots of photos and information on his one of a kind Key West art. Take a couple of minutes to go through the original miniature facades and the more affordable prints. Ronny does commissioned pieces as well.

Ronny Bailey will be exhibiting his works in this weekend at the Key West Craft show (Whitehead and Caroline Streets). If you are in town, you must drop by and view his work. You have to see Ronny's work in person. You cannot resist getting up close and personal with his art. You will be awed! Looks are free, prints cost a bit more, and originals are very expensive. Buying one of Ronny's original artwork facades and taking it back home is cheaper and safer than buying a trailer. We all know that God hates trailers.

Ronny Bailey - Artist
If you are looking to purchase a life size Key West house and are not yet working with a Realtor, please consider contacting me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or by email at I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties Coastal Realty, Inc. in Key West, Florida. I sell real houses in Paradise.

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Key West, Florida, United States
I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.