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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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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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Art Creations For Your Inbox 7

As we fight the urge to become holiday hermits, the studio is full of beautiful creative chaos. Here are a few creations I want to share with you!

Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse

 

Yes it does Henri… Yes it does. Now here are some creations:

Dragon’s Egg by Klee Angelie

Dragon's Egg by Klee Angelie Jewelry
Dragon’s Egg by Klee Angelie Jewelry

I called this Sterling and Labradorite tree of life necklace the “Dragon’s Egg”. It is one of the glowiest (yup, glowiest) labradorites I’ve worked with.”

-Klee

The Formation Of Power 18X24 By Rafi Perez

Rafi Perez Art
Rafi Perez Art

I believe that we are a collection of thoughts about our self. Basically, we are what we think about, this piece is what I believe that someone looks like when they come into their own sense of strength.”

-Rafi

Sapphire Moon by Klee Angelie

Sapphire Moon by Klee Angelie Jewelry
Sapphire Moon by Klee Angelie Jewelry

In honor of the recent super moon, I wanted to show this “Sapphire Moon” Hand forged Sterling silver hammer textured crescent moon with ombré blue sapphires.”

-Klee

A visit to the water by Rafi Perez

A visit to the water by Rafi Perez Art
A visit to the water by Rafi Perez Art

“A visit to the water” 12×16 on Canvas. It is the simplest thoughts that can bring you joy

-Rafi

Have an amazing week! You are awesome! Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life!

 

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas! Have fun, be safe and I love you!

-Rafi and Klee

 

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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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Art Creations For Your Inbox 6

This week we have a special treat! Klee created some Ah-Maze-Ing pieces and I visited the house of a collector and have some awesome pictures to share.

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”  -Edgar Degas

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I love this quote and wanted to share it with you. Now here are some creations:

Herkimer Diamond Quartz and Hammered Sterling Silver Lariat

Herkimer Diamond Quartz and Hammered Sterling Silver Lariat By Klee Angelie
Herkimer Diamond Quartz and Hammered Sterling Silver Lariat By Klee Angelie

Herkimer Diamonds are not diamonds, but a highly sought after variety of Quartz crystal found in Herkimer, New York. They are naturally faceted, double terminated, and exceptionally clear, which is why they have been compared to diamonds. This beautiful Herkimer made a stunning focal point for this lariat necklace. The accent stones are Quartz crystal and black tourmaline and it features a rustic hammered Sterling silver ring opposite the Herkimer diamond.

-Klee

Maw-Sit-Sit and Hammered Sterling Silver Shield Necklace

Maw-Sit-Sit and Hammered Sterling Silver Shield Necklace By Klee Angelie
Maw-Sit-Sit and Hammered Sterling Silver Shield Necklace By Klee Angelie

This incredible and rare stone is called Maw-sit-sit. It is only found in the Himalayan region of Burma, and is every bit of magic you’d expect to feel from a stone like this.  It’s vivid green color and powerful shape made it a phenomenal centerpiece for this rustic antiqued Sterling silver “Shield” Necklace.

-Klee

A Collection Of Art

Hope's Wish By Rafi Perez 18X24
Hope’s Wish By Rafi Perez 18X24

I cannot describe in words how fortunate I feel, to be able to see my creations come to life in someone’s home. The closest I can come to describing the feeling is “Pure Joy.”

-Rafi

Contemplation By Rafi Perez 38X30
Contemplation By Rafi Perez 38X30
Ziggy Portrait By Rafi Perez 24X30
Ziggy Portrait By Rafi Perez 24X30
Royal Confidence By Rafi Perez 24X36
Royal Confidence By Rafi Perez 24X36

Have an amazing week! You are awesome! Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life!

I am looking forward to seeing your collection of Rafi Art. Send me some great photographs for a chance to be included in my next book! Email them to Rafi@rafiwashere.com

Also, stay tuned for my book giveaway.

Thank you!

-Rafi

 

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Art Creations For Your Inbox 5

A little jewelry, a little art, and a whole lot of awesome was created this week.

This world is but a canvas to our imagination.

-Henry David Thoreau

I love this quote and wanted to share it with you. Now here are some creations:

Sterling Silver “Wave” Earrings

Klee Angelie Jewelry
Klee Angelie Jewelry

 

These earrings are designed to draw attention to the elegant curvature of the neckline and create subtle catches of light and movement. Whether they make you think of sound waves, light waves, or ocean waves, they have a definite “vibration” about them that I really love.

-Klee

Rags To Fishes

Rafi Perez Art
Rafi Perez Art

 

This piece is created from the left over scraps of canvas I get when stretching. I am honored to say that it has won best of show at a gallery exhibit.

 -Rafi

 

Sterling Silver and Quartz Crystal “Piezo” Earrings

Klee Angelie Jewelry
Klee Angelie Jewelry

 

These might be my favorite earrings of all time. Hammered and fire torched Sterling silver and Quartz crystal points. They make me think of some sort of beautiful contraption like the ones Tesla was known to build. The name “Piezo”, Greek for “pressure” refers to Piezoelectricity, the type of energy that Quartz crystal produces. My love of physics and pretty things came together just how I wanted in this design.

-Klee

Pink Jellies

Rafi Perez Art
Rafi Perez Art

 

I am fascinated by jellyfish. These weird gelatinous creatures that look like they shouldn’t even be alive, just blow my mind. I wanted to create pieces that blended the wonder of jellyfish, and the playfulness of the bold color of toys.

-Rafi

Raw Kyanite and Copper “Peak” Ring

Klee Angelie Jewelry
Klee Angelie Jewelry

This really bold statement ring was my most recent electroforming design. One part chemistry and one part nature inspired, it is a representation of a towering mountain peak. Kyanite is one of the best stones to use during meditation, so it’s like ones own “Meditation on the mountain top”.

-Klee

Seasons Of Change Set

Rafi Perez Art
Rafi Perez Art

This is one of my longest running series. It represents the four seasons and the things I love about them. I use soothing and happy colors, that are meant to calm the mind. 

-Rafi

Have an amazing week! You are awesome! Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life! Oh, and I am excited to announce that my book is available!

I’m thinking of doing a book giveaway, let me know if you like the idea 🙂

Rafi's New Book

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I Won Best Of Show?

So, yesterday I submitted some pieces that I created for a juried art show that takes place at Artel Gallery, in downtown Pensacola.

I’m sure most of you will find it hard to believe, that it was a terrifying act for me. Yeah, only my closest friends (and now you) know that I have an childlike fear of having my art judged by art competition judges.

Let’s make something clear, I don’t mind having my art judged. People judge my art all the time, some love it, some hate it, either way, it doesn’t bother me. Put the art in a competitive setting and I become a nervous third grader.

Artel Gellery Submissions By Rafi Perez
Artel Gallery Submissions By Rafi Perez

Now, I’m fully aware this is ridiculous. I’m an established artist, I have collectors of my work, and I am well known… yet, just because it doesn’t make sense, doesn’t mean I didn’t almost piss myself yesterday.

This video will let you live my experience yesterday: 

The theme of the show is about animal life. The show is called “It’s A Zoo In Here” and runs for the month of October.

Cazebraca By Rafi Perez
Cazebraca By Rafi Perez

I decided to enter the show, face my fears, and submit my art… For the past few years, I’ve been working on getting rid of silly fears that stand in the way. Sometimes, I have to push outside of my comfort zones, which seems to be an ongoing thing, so I better get used to it.

Rehabilitation Of Beauty By Rafi Perez
Rehabilitation Of Beauty By Rafi Perez

I created two pieces for the show called “Rags to Fishes” and “Rehabilitation Of Beauty.” My friend and art collector, Monica Gaskins owns a Zebra sculpture I created recently, and she allowed me to submit it as my third piece.

Rags To Fishes By Rafi Perez
Rags To Fishes By Rafi Perez

“Rags to Fishes” is a sculpture I created using old pieces of canvas that I collected from the stretching process. They typically get thrown away, but it seemed like such a waste to throw perfectly good canvas away…  that stuff is expensive, and I couldn’t bring myself to just throw it away.

Watch the video above to hear which piece won best of show… That’s right! I won best of show… How awesome is that!

The show reception is Wednesday, October 12, 6pm-8pm. Klee and I will be there, which is also outside of my comfort zone because I got best of show, and there is a part of me that doesn’t know how to handle that… Like I said ridiculous, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. 🙂

The show runs October 4th – Oct 28th, 2016.

 

 

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Art Creations For Your Inbox 4

Some art for you, and a cup of coffee… it doesn’t get much better than that. I start you off with an amazing quote I heard this week that made me smile:

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. -George Bernard Shaw

I love this quote… I reinvented my life years ago, and realized that I didn’t need to find myself. As it turns out, I was there all along. I think I was too busy trying to find myself in other people and trying to be something I wasn’t.

So, I created the life I wanted, because I wasn’t going to find it sitting there, just waiting for me.

I also like putting myself outside of my comfort zone… Like painting live on stage in front of hundreds of people.

Rafi Perez Live Painting Vinyl
Rafi Perez Live Painting Vinyl Music Hall In Pensacola

Every year, I look at how I feel about my life, and reinvent myself a little. I think it’s an ongoing thing… The sweet adventure of life.

Anyhow, we’ve had a creative week in the studio. I just finished some pretty amazing pieces that will be displayed in a downtown Pensacola business.

Of course, the beautiful Klee has finished some amazing pieces… Probably because she’s a creative genius and all that.

Here are some of our creations this week:

“Harmony In Chaos” Woven Sterling Silver Cuff

Klee Angelie Jewelry

This is a redesign of one of my absolute favorite original designs. About eight feet of Sterling silver wire gets woven into itself to create this very random looking, yet harmonious flow. Eleven accent beads of 14k yellow/rose gold fill, and black tourmaline are nested atop the woven design like a constellation or shimmering pebbles in a creek bed. Eleven accent beads represent a balance, and eleven is my favorite number. Historically, within some belief systems, eleven represents disorder or chaos. Interestingly, within other symbolism it represents justice and balance, self awareness and spiritual awakening. So therein, we find harmony and chaos. It’s meant to look like something that could have been created by Mother Nature herself, yet you can see the human intention in the design as well.

-Klee

Eight Sides To The Deep Blue

Rafi Perez Art

This is part of a series that was inspired by the calming sounds of the ocean.  It just came to me, this image of the octopus in the serene quiet blue of the ocean. -Rafi

 

“Silver Elm” Sterling Silver And Pyrite Tree of Life

Klee Angelie Jewelry

When I was creating this pendant, feelings of Autumn breezes, warm and cool color tones, and crisp fresh air filled my mind and danced through my imagination. Fall is my favorite season and this tree which seemed to whisper “I am a magical, strong and flexible Elm, favorite home to the elves.” Was a representation of everything I love about Autumn. It sits gracefully on a faceted pyrite stone, the “Stone of Luck” said to create good energy, good fortune and feelings of upliftment.

-Klee

The Harmony Of Reason And Imagination

Rafi Perez Art

The numbers and Geo lines represent reason and logic. The combining of colors and lines represent imagination. The fact that you see a place in your mind, or even a story, from all that randomness is quite amazing. It’s imagination and reason, coming together… creating a world that lives only within your mind.

-Rafi

Have an amazing week! You are awesome! Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life!

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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.

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Art Creations For Your Inbox – No. 3

Happy Sunday! I start you off with an amazing quote I heard this week that made me smile:

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” -Marcus Aurelius

Rafi and klee
Rafi and klee

This week is the beginning of the holiday awesomeness for us. Which means we’ll be spending a lot of time in the studio. We also have a full schedule of festivals, shows, and some new creations in the works. Enjoy this weeks creations:

Rustic Hammer Textured Cuff Bracelets

klee-angelie-jewelry

“I love texture; how something feels to the touch and how a rich texture can appeal visually as well as physically. These hammer forged bracelets are full of the kind of rustic elegant textures that I adore.”

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“There’s something that’s old world meets contemporary about them. And watching them take form as I’m creating them, it never gets old for me.” -Klee

The Deep Blue

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“This is part of a series that was inspired by the calming music that came on Pandora in the studio. It just came to me, this image of the Blue Whale in the serene quiet blue of the ocean.” -Rafi

“Sanctuary” Garden Quartz Necklace

klee-angelie-jewelry-2

Garden Quartz is a fascinating variety of included Quartz crystal, with inclusions of different mineral types and colors which often resemble vibrant gardens or underwater scenes. Each one is unique, no two are ever the same. I call this the ‘sanctuary series’ because each one is like a personal secret garden.” -Klee

Quiet Passion

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“The holding of the white rose to symbolize the quiet passion that flows through our inspiration.” -Rafi

Willow Tree With Blue Sapphire “Stars”

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“This very thoughtful anniversary/birthday gift was an awesome commission project for some people that I love most dearly. I was happy to take on the challenge and create this willow tree with blue sapphire stars dangling above it. It has all kinds of number symbology represented within the design, and can be worn at three different lengths.” -Klee

Butterflies

rafi-perez-art-3

” It never fails, show me a butterfly, and watch me stare in awe. This piece brings the magic I feel to life.” -Rafi

Have an amazing week! You are awesome! Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life!