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Personal Power Art

They say that your surroundings are a reflection of what is going on in your mind. I believe that, and often find myself saying the words “cluttered house, cluttered mind.” Although, admittedly I say that mostly to the pack rats that are in my family who have a collection of printers from the 1980’s.

I think there is a value to being selective of what you allow into your space, making sure that it makes you feel one of three things, beautiful, empowered, and optimistic.

Internal universe By Rafi Perez

Now, I know that my personal brand of art is not for everyone, and because of the nature of art, it is open to all types of interpretation. But the following pieces are meant to empower your surroundings, thus empowering yourself.

I Am Fierce By Rafi Perez I AM FIERCE – The fierceness of someone who stands confident in their own determination of what the world is supposed to be, surrounds themselves by things that make them feel empowered. When someone makes it their priority to change their environment by getting rid of the things that cause them to question themselves… They are truly fierce.

 

Expressions By Rafi Perez

EXPRESSIONS SERIES – The Expressions Series represents a snapshot of time where the blinders are shattering. It is based on a experience that I had that completely changed my life. My life literally fell apart right before my eyes, and for the first time I saw the construct for what it was, blinders composed of my beliefs that I had picked up from other people that held me back.

 

Made Of Light By Rafi Perez

MADE OF LIGHT – The other day, I looked in the mirror and saw myself coming apart.
I exploded into a vortex of light and color.
Suddenly, I couldn’t remember my story.
I saw light,
I was light,
I am light.
How could I ever judge my beauty?

This piece is a representation of the power I believe we all have within us. I hope it will be a constant reminder of your awesomeness and ability to overcome any adversity.

 

Wrapped In Gold By Rafi Perez

WRAPPED IN GOLD – We forget that we are star stuff. Gold is star stuff, and so are we. We wrap ourselves in something precious, and should always remember that we are precious… That, begins in the mind.

This work of art is a reminder and representation of the power we have to create circumstances in our mind… and whether or not we have taken control of that power.

To view the rest of my personal power collection Click Here.

Stay awesome! Take a good look around, it’s always a good time to reevaluate your surroundings.

-Rafi

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4 Reasons Why I Paint Trees

It’s no secret that I love to paint trees. In fact, one of my longest running collections is a series called the Seasons Of Change. It’s an abstract representation of the four seasons in its constant cycle of change.

Rafi Perez Art 2016
Rafi Perez Art 2016

So, in case you are wondering why, I think I’ll let you into the crazy tangle of optimism that is my mind.  Here are the four things that I believe we can learn from trees.

Trees are rooted in the here and now.

I believe that we are all rooted in the here and now, but we tend to forget that. We could easily live in the past, reliving an experience over and over. It’s easy to taint what is happening right now in front of you with some drama from your past or some anxiety you have about the future. But really, when you think about it, all that matters is what is happening right now.

Rafi Perez Art 2016

Trees are constantly growing upwards.

We tend to look at our lives sometimes and think that we can plateau, or be stuck for years in some situation that sucks. Although it may be true that we are slowing down our growth by stubbornly holding on to something that doesn’t help our situation, we are still growing. No one else can see it, sometimes you don’t even notice it, but the growth is so powerful that the moment you remove that stubborn thing, you explode upwards. It’s like a tree growing through concrete.

Twilight-Glow-Tree-4

Trees have a lot going on under the surface.

Just like us, trees have a lot going on under the surface. What we can learn from trees is simple, make what is under the surface something that supports you. Trees get nutrients, a foundation, and connection from their roots. Some trees are an interconnected network of support to one another and it all happens under the surface. I think if we looked inside ourselves and made it a point to nourish, support, build a positive foundation, and connect with love for one another, we would be surprised at how strong we can become.

Rafi Perez Art 2016

Trees are all common, but so unique.

If there was one tree left on the planet, people would travel from all over the world to lay eyes on it. You would take in its beauty and wonder. You would actually stop for at least five minutes to admire it and take in how amazing it is. No two trees are exactly alike. Similar, but never identical. Just like us, no two humans are alike and yet we are so common that we are willing to compare, contrast, and judge each other based on false pretenses. We are all beautiful and unique, and it is about time we remember that.

So next time you take a walk somewhere and pass that tree that you have passed a million times without glancing at it, just pause for a moment and say hi.

-I love you

Rafi

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Twilight Glow Tree’s New Home

One of the pitfalls of selling my art is the fact that many times I don’t get to see where my piece will live. I create a part of me and expose it to the world in the hopes that it will end up in a good home and be appreciated. I spend so much time just staring at a piece as it is being created, that I develop a very close relationship with my art.

Twilight-Glow-Tree

Don’t get me wrong, I interact with the person buying it whether in person or online (and have turned offers down because of the persons vibe) but for the most part, that’s where the interaction ends. They buy the art, and I never see it again.

When I created the glow tree, I had this piece in mind for a special person that would appreciate every single deliberately molded peak of texture.

Twilight-Glow-Tree-3

This tree represents a concept and idea that is very special to me.

“We are rooted in reality, and yet we expand and grow out towards the heavens. We are constantly expanding and growing, even when no one else can see it.”

With this piece, I was hoping this would be one of those rare occasions where the person stayed in contact during the process of receiving the art.

Twilight-Glow-Tree-4

Every once in a while, I get to see how the piece is welcomed into the new home, and I it is always a joy.

I received a special message last night from the Alfredo Z. who purchased this piece online from me a couple weeks ago.

He had contacted me several times asking for suggestions on the size, color, and style of frame. He sent me pictures of his favorites, and I made my suggestions and that was that.

The color and texture of this piece requires the frame to be very specific as to not take away, but add to the message.

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I could not have imagined how amazing the piece would look with the hardware that surrounds it.

It is stunning. Thank you.

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Stephanie’s Mermaid By Rafi Perez

I had the honor of meeting with a wonderful person who wanted a statement piece for her new digs. Her story was inspiring, and right up my alley for the kind of commission I love to work on. I love it when people jump out of their comfort zone… It’s awesome.

She had reached out to me after a good friend recommended that she should own a “Rafi” piece in her new abode.

Stephanie's Mermaid By Rafi Perez
The Reveal With Stephanie

After a fantastic phone conversation where we talked about everything from having a positive mindset, to pushing past comfort zones, and I scheduled an appointment to meet in person.

I like meeting with someone, whenever possible, to get a feel for who they are. I have a series of questions that give me a little insight to who they are, and what they want.

Stephanie's Mermaid By Rafi Perez After a great conversation, taking measurements, and staring at the space (I’m sure it looks weird as I attempt to visualize the piece and how it will interact with the other objects and colors in the room) I had what I needed to get started.

Stephanie's Mermaid By Rafi Perez

My notes are usually very simple, I use single words to evoke the conversation we had, the colors that mean something to the person, and my own intuition.

This is what I wrote:

  • Mermaid
  • Bright Light
  • Turquoise
  • Positive Energy
  • Inspire Others
  • Blue
  • Purple (Different Shades)
  • In tune with touch (Massage)
  • Fierce
  • Empowered
  • Create a piece that will be a magical and constant reminder of self development and self empowerment.

The end result was amazing, and the mermaid just came to life in the space, and in the energy of its new home.

Stephanie's Mermaid By Rafi Perez

I am very proud of this piece, and honored that I was given the opportunity to create her.

-Rafi

 

 

 

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Taco Agave Large Painting

I just delivered and hung one of the largest paintings I have created thus far. I was commissioned by Taco Agave in downtown Pensacola for a piece in their new restaurant.

I’m telling you about this because this was a first for me. This piece is about 10ft wide and was a bit intimidating. Luckily, the excitement of creating something this large and difficult was overpowering, and I jumped in before I could talk myself out of working on it.

I wanted to stay true to the theme and style of the beautiful design that the restaurant has, which is rustic, with a little industrial thrown in. So, I decided on an abstract of an agave farm with the mountains in the background. The piece has a reflective, industrial silver under layer so it changes throughout the different times of day.

Taco Agave In Pensacola Art

I am very proud of what I created and look forward to my next large commercial commission. If you are interested in seeing it for yourself and enjoying some delicious food, visit Taco Agave at  200 S Palafox St, Pensacola, FL 32502.

Below, you will also find pictures of me installing it, which by the way, was also intimidating. Luckily, I was so excited about seeing it in the space, that I didn’t realize it until later. I also had my friend Eric helping me, so it all went pretty smoothly.

Just wanted to share. Stay awesome my friends!

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Art Carousel Horse By Rafi Perez

It’s not every day that I get to cross something off of my bucket list. As a kid, I remember being mesmerized by the the carousel horses at Six Flags Great America. This year, I was given a blank horse and asked to make it look beautiful.

“Do what you want with it, I trust you.” He said.

Art Carousel Horse By Rafi Perez There is just something magical about them. When you are a kid, they can easily spark the imagination… Oh, who am I kidding, as an adult they spark my imagination. As an artist, I think it is such a great opportunity to tell a story using such familiar imagery.

Think about it, if you give a hundred artists the same blank horse, you will get a hundred different horses. Each one telling a unique story. A story that reflects the artists that created it.

Art Carousel Horse By Rafi Perez
Art Carousel Horse By Rafi Perez

I’m not sure if I’ll ever get the opportunity to design another carousel horse, but the fact that there is one out in the world, with my signature on it is so exciting to me.

I just had to share it with you. Stay awesome!

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The Origin Of Passion

Recently I entered an international art competition. Well, first let me say, I entered an art competition, which was nerve racking for me. Yeah… Nerve racking… Weird, right?

As part of my 2017 growth as a person, and artist goal, I’ve decided to enter as many international art competitions as I can. Some of you that watch my videos, or have read past blogs, know I have an unreasonable fear of art competitions.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my fear was getting in the way of my achievements as an artist. How am I supposed to win an international art competition, if I’m paralyzed by fear of being judged inadequate? Or worse, what if I win?

Yup, the closer I looked, the more I started to realize that I was also afraid of winning.

The Origin Of Passion By Rafi Perez

Now, let’s get something straight, I really don’t care much about winning or losing. I also am not very concerned about opinions or criticisms about my art. I rather enjoy them, I love hearing the unique perspectives that the viewer brings to the work. Even when it’s negative, I learn something about people.

I mean, c’mon, one of my best friends sees something lewd or sexual in just about every piece I create – sometimes he can’t help it. If I got offended or hurt , I wouldn’t be able to enjoy his genuine reaction to the art. Come to think of it, my father is pretty much a perverted twelve year old when it comes to my art too, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t phase me.

I painted a beautiful painting of a bald eagle for a benefit event, for the Northwest Florida Wildlife Sanctuary. My dad showed up and told everyone it reminded him of a retarded parrot. I didn’t care, he’s genuine… and a little like a retarded parrot himself.

I would rather have genuine reactions, no matter how childish, than polite smiles and scripted responses because people are afraid to hurt my feelings.

That being said, I feel like competitions can be a bit cold. The human interaction between the work can easily be mechanical, because you are comparing pieces to one another and not allowing your relationship with the art to fully form.

The Origin Of Passion By Rafi Perez

But, either way, what was I talking about? Art competitions, I’m doing them this year… Why not?

So my first piece that I’ve created is based on a competition with a tag line of “Passion To Perform.”

I struggled a little with this because the word perform has such a corporate connotation to me. Your performance is evaluated at the end of the year, and the over all performance of the company, and blah blah blah.

You can imagine how the word passion just didn’t seem to fit in my mind.

Luckily, I’m married to an extremely brilliant woman, who also happened to be a vocalist for over a decade, and has a different spin on the word perform.

“It’s like, when you get up on stage and sing, or you dance at the ballet, or act on Broadway… If you are passionate, it shines through.”

Oh… Duh…

So I created this piece called the Origin Of Passion. It is the representation of how I believe the seed of passion can bloom. That contemplative moment, where you are thinking about giving up, and realize that you must move forward. Despite the roadblocks, naysayers, and dark days, you are determined.

The golden words in her hair are the reminder of the power that this passion brings you. Courage, strength, growth, determination, perseverance, inspiration, boldness, vision, and creativity.

The Origin Of Passion By Rafi Perez

I remember back when I quit my corporate job and was reevaluating my life, and wanting to be more creative, a lot of my friends and family were not supportive. In fact, not supportive is an understatement, I’m sure there were a lot of concerned conversations, judgement, and name calling.

But I didn’t care, because I was, and am passionate about my life, creativity, and spreading a positive message into the world. I think if you are passionate about something and you practice courage, strength, growth, determination, perseverance, inspiration, boldness, vision, and creativity… You become unstoppable… Even when your aunt thinks you’re crazy.

 

 

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Why The Joy Of Koi?

Recently, I had the opportunity to create a custom commission of a series that has a very strong meaning for me. It symbolizes, joy, hope, never giving up on who you are, and following your own path, no matter how difficult.

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Here is the story:

When I was in my twenties, I had made a series of decisions that put me at a crossroad in my life. I had just told my father that I did not want to follow in his footsteps, that I wanted no part of the family business. It was a bitter and heated argument, which ended with me saying he could stick said family business up an orifice located at the rear of the human body.

I stormed out, jumped in my car and just drove. I had nowhere to go, the decision to leave meant I was leaving it all. I no longer had a place to live, I had no job, I had nothing.

I decided to go to a fountain that sat right on the Chicago River, I went there a lot when I wanted to be alone with my thoughts. It’s a beautiful fountain that was hidden on a lonely road behind North Pier, and I felt like it was my secret place in the city.

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The Nicholas J. Melas Centennial Fountain and water canon shoots a stream of water across the river every hour, and the fountain itself has elaborate steps for the water to cascade and surround you. It is beautiful, and rarely did I see many people around, it was usually just me and my fountain.

There was no cascading water, or shooting stream that night. It was unseasonably cold that day, and I guessed the fountain was shut down for the winter. The cold wind bit through my sweater, and I rested my hands on the icy railing and looked into the vast darkness of the Chicago River.

Joy Of Koi Series By Rafi Perez

Warm tears burned my cheeks as the realization hit me that I was alone. Truly alone.

Should I go back and apologize? Just go back to the life I knew? I mean, most people are miserable, maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.

No, there has to be more out there, more to life.

I was shaking now, wondering if I could sneak into the house to get my coat. My dad wouldn’t care, he would give me his coat off his back, despite what I had said, but I was making a stand. I would die before I went back.

Hours passed, I stared at that dark abyss lost in my thoughts. I fell into a deep despair. I felt such hopelessness, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do. I couldn’t seem to pull my mind away from the downward spiral I was in. Then, against my better judgment, I contemplated jumping into the dark water. My eyes blurred with tears as I stared out into the cold dark water.

Joy Of Koi Series By Rafi Perez

In the darkness, I saw a glint of gold. I stood up straight, wiped my eyes, and strained to see what was floating in the water. I looked for a few minutes and saw nothing but black water.

Then a brilliant flash of gold from under the surface of the water radiated out towards me, then it was gone. One moment it would be there, the next moment it was gone. This happened for the next hour or so, although it felt like minutes to me.

What was this glowing thing? This small golden light that shone so bright in the vast darkness.

Was it hope? Like a candle flame, lighting the way. Even the smallest, dimmest light can shine bright in the darkness.

Suddenly, I felt alive. I felt like only opportunities were ahead of me, like I couldn’t be stopped… Especially, not by despair.

Joy Of Koi Series By Rafi Perez

Then for a brief moment, I saw what had been playing with me in the water. It was a fish, a brilliantly golden fish, a very large goldfish or Koi… Then, just like that, it was gone. I didn’t see the golden flash any more that night, and I didn’t need to.

My series, “The Joy Of Koi” is based on this story.

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The Power Of A Child

“When you dream, you are free…to be the things you want to be. When you dream, you are free…to see the things you want to see. Sometimes in my dreams I fly, through the starry, starry sky. When I see the moon I laugh, it’s a great big bed for the tall giraffe.” -Anonymous

The Power Of A Child By Rafi Perez
The Power Of A Child – Acrylic On Canvas  24X30

We know that kids have big imaginations. But sometimes we forget just how powerful they can be. We forget just how much joy and creative fire they can fuel within all of us. To let go of our imagination is to let go of our power to create wonder in the world.

The Power Of A Child By Rafi Perez

So I created this piece to symbolize what I believe is the power that we can easily misuse as adults. As a kid, I was constantly told to get my head out of the clouds and grow up. Yet the most powerful moments in my life came as a result of allowing myself to dream bigger than what seems to be possible.

The Power Of A Child By Rafi Perez

I think we all use our imagination… I mean, when you are stressing out about something that hasn’t happened yet, you are using your imagination.

I try to imagine several impossible, amazing things every day. Things that are full of possibility and wonder… Things that make me feel like I can achieve anything.

This little girl symbolizes the power of our imagination and returning to that magical time of being in control of what you picture in your mind. Molding your thoughts into impossible dreams of awesomeness.

The Power Of A Child By Rafi Perez

I am stoked to announce that she made it into the Cinco Banderas Exhibition at Artel Gallery. If you are in Pensacola, stop by the gallery and see her. Reception for the show is November 4th 2016 from 6pm-8pm at Artel Gallery on Palafox.

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A Beautiful Painting Of A Beautiful Girl

Every once in a while I create a piece that causes me to step back and say “Holy crap… I did that?”

This is one of those pieces.

Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee
Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee

It is a depiction of the most beautiful woman I know, surrounded by white doves. The painting symbolizes silent power, peace, and love.

Usually, when I model, or ask Klee to model, I just use the image as a reference for shadows and perspective. This time, I was so taken by the photograph, and the beautiful expression on her face, that  I did not deviate much.

Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee
Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee

Of course, no doves were harmed in the making of this painting. There were no doves in the actual photograph because… well, I didn’t have any, and that would have been messy.

White doves, are used in a variety of settings as symbols of love, peace or as messengers. Doves have appear in symbolism for hundreds of years, and by just about all religions. I wanted them to seem as though they were coming from within her, as if she was sending out, pure positive energy to the world.

Her eyes hold a silent confidence, and emit love… A very powerful look.

Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee
Rafi Perez Painting Of Klee

So there you have it, a beautiful painting of a beautiful girl.