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Why Do I Paint Birds?

I seem to have always been fascinated by birds, from the pigeons in Chicago with the iridescent neck feathers, to the occasional happy bright red cardinal.

Recently someone asked me “So, why do you paint birds?”

rafi painting birds

I though about the question for a moment and said “Overwhelming fascination.”

When I was a wee little artist, my mother who was young and dangerously overprotective, didn’t let me go outside much. For years, my entire world was from a large third floor picture window that looked down on a busy street.

I spent hours a day looking out at the people going about their day, the different birds roosting and flying about, the abstract landscape over the buildings, the little bit of greenery that would emerge from fascinating places in the concrete. I also gave everyone personalities and stories, people would have daily novellas play out in front of me, and so did the birds.

Why I Paint Birds By Rafi Perez
Love Birds By Rafi Perez

But, although I felt that the humans had dramatic stories of heartbreak, turmoil, and moments of happiness, the birds symbolized something powerful.

Birds symbolized freedom and perspective. Because they fly high into the sky, I believed they were messengers who provide humans with a bridge between the mundane daily routine and powerful spiritual life.

I know, I know… I was a weird kid.

Why I Paint Birds By Rafi Perez
Three Little Birds By Rafi Perez

Every once in a while I would see someone at a bench feeding bits of bread to the pigeons. From my third floor window I could see a powerful dance taking place between the person throwing the bread and the birds. I could see something beautiful, a powerful connection to something greater, a brief moment of stillness among the chaos of daily life. No one else seemed to notice, they just hurriedly went about their day, barely glancing up or interacting with one another.

Years later, with no window barrier between me and the world, I was part of that chaos. I hurried importantly past people to get to work, or anywhere for that matter. I pounded my fist and certain index fingers at people who drove too slow. I was an adult, I was busy, I had things to do, I was responsible, I didn’t have enough time, and I was miserable.

Flight Of The Hummingbird By Rafi Perez
Flight Of The Hummingbird By Rafi Perez

One day, the overwhelm hit a fever pitch. As I was barreling down the road cursing in my mind at the lady in the car directly in front of me, my heart started to beat out of my chest. I loosened my tie and found that my forehead was soaked in sweat. It was so bad, that I pulled over.

I stepped out of my car to get some air and walked over to a bench.

As I was sitting there, wondering if I was going to die in my stupid suit, on a dirty bench, in a strange part of town, I noticed an old man walking towards me with a crinkled up paper bag.

Rafi Perez Art 2016
Rafi Perez Art 2016

“Great, he’s gonna ask me for money, just look away.” I thought to myself.

The man sat down, opened his bag, and started to sprinkle little bits of bread on the ground in front of us. Like a scene out of the movie “The Birds” a hoard of pigeons and other birds descended on us.

Didn’t he see that I am an important person? I was appalled at how rude this man was, surely a bird was going to shit on my suit.

Then, my heart started up again, and I breathed in deep… and just relaxed.

Rafi-Perez-Art-92
Fun Bird By Rafi Perez

Suddenly, amidst the gaggle of birds was a pop of bright color. A cardinal flew on to my armrest merely inches from my hand. I found myself mesmerized and just stared at it, we stared at each other for what felt like an eternity. It then jumped down, grabbed a scrap of bread and flew away.

I’m not sure how long I was on that bench. I just sat there and time seemed to slow down. I could see the world hurrying past me, people waving their fists in their cars, and others looking at their watches every five minutes. I felt like they looked so… so… stupid.

At that point the old man looked at me, I could feel him studying me.

“Taking time to do nothing often puts everything into perspective. Remember that, young man.”

Why I Paint Birds By Rafi Perez
Be Different By Rafi Perez

Then he got up and left.

I get visited by that cardinal every once in a while, when I get caught up in hurrying through life. I sound like a crazy person, but it’s true.

And that is one reason why I paint birds.

 

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I’m Excited To Curate Your Space

One of my favorite things to do as an Artist is to help my collectors plan, display, and curate the space in their home. It is amazing how art will change the mood and feeling of a room, or the whole house for that matter. I have people email me all the time telling me about their morning empowerment routine with one of my bright pieces of art.

prints-on-wood

My only challenge has been bringing that sense of color and energy to a smaller space, or to a small work space.

Luckily, I have a solution. I am working on pieces that will allow you to curate any space. Small specialty pieces to bring that energy and power to a small bathroom or even a cubicle… or any place you can think of.

Birds-On-A-Wire-5

“Curate your space” is a new series of enhanced prints. This is a high quality print of my work on textured archival art paper. I enhance my prints using either ink, paint, pastel, or a combination of mediums. Each one is unique, the piece is mounted on wood and ready to hang out of the box. It is completely hand crafted by me, with unique texture patterns added by hand, no two are exactly the same. These pieces are signed and dated on the back.

NOB-Reaching-1-5

I am adding several new pieces to my store daily, so check back often. I will be doing an official launch on November 15th of the series, but I’m just too excited about it… So, the cat’s out of the bag.

shop-now

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

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Best of The Coast 2017 – Will You Vote For Us?

As some of you know, I won best artist for 2016 which was so awesome and I can’t thank you enough for making that happen. I’ve gotten to use it as boasting rights well into 2017 with statements like “Oh yeah? Well, were you voted best artist of the coast for 2016? I think not!”

Rafi and Klee Best Of The Coast

Actually, I don’t do that at all, I get really shy around people that congratulate me for the award, then I secretly try to change the subject.

Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of the accomplishment, and I am so grateful to everyone that voted for me, but I’m a weird bird that is still working on receiving compliments and recognition.

Rafi and Klee Best Of The Coast

That being said, there are two days left to vote. and I would love for you to vote for Klee and I if you are absolutely in love with our work.

Here’s the thing, we love you whether you vote for us or not, but it would be really cool for you to vote for your favorite peeps regardless if they are us or not.

Rafi and Klee Best Of The Coast

Head over to Best of the Coast Voting and submit your ballot by July 31st.

Please keep me in mind for the Best Artist Click Here.

And Klee Angelie Jewelry for Best Unique Jewelry Click Here.

Thank you for your continued love and support!!! You guys are SO AWESOME!!

-Rafi

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How To Take A Compliment #SBS

The other day, I was at the market and someone gave me a really nice compliment. I then preceded to get weird about it, which pretty much turned it into an awkward situation for the both of us.

Later on, I wondered why I didn’t just take the compliment and say thank you. It’s simple, there are no strings attached and you (and the person complimenting) feel good about the interaction.

I can get into the whole self esteem thing and all that jazz, but I wont. I’ll just say this, if someone is giving you a compliment, just take it… It feels better for everyone involved.

How-To-Take-A-Compliment-By-Rafi-Perez-web

Sketchbook Sunday #SBS

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New Art From Rafi And Klee 11

Hola you amazing person you!

Rafi Perez Art Show 2017As you can see, instead of “Art Creations For Your Inbox” I’ve decided to change it to “New Art From Rafi And Klee” because I think, it’s way more fun… and more accurate.

My art reception was last Thursday and it was a huge success! Thank you so much to everyone that came out to the reception and throughout the exhibition so far. It will continue running at Artel Gallery in Pensacola until April 7th.

We have some new creations to share with you this week, both Klee and I are super excited about it!

But before we get into that, here is an amazing quote I would like to share with you:

“The longer you look at an object, the more abstract it becomes, and, ironically, the more real.” Lucian Freud

I love this quote, because I love creating abstract work. It gives me an opportunity to share the way that I think and see the world. Try it sometime, take a look at a familiar object, detach yourself from the label or name of the object, then keep looking. Allow yourself to take it apart in your mind and turn it into blocks of color, textures, and shading. See the unknown in the familiar, and turn the world you think you know upside down.

Ok, as I promised here is the art and jewelry! Enjoy!

14k Gold Filled Quartz Crystal Lantern Necklace By Klee

14k Gold Filled Quartz Crystal Lantern Necklace

“This beautiful double terminated clear quartz crystal sits pristine in it’s 14k yellow gold filled woven bezel. The design is reminiscent of cathedral windows and old world lanterns, centering on the beauty of the light that passes through the crystal. A modern interpretation of a beautiful relic from times gone by.

-Klee Angelie

Window To The City original painting by artist Rafi

Window To The City By Rafi Perez
Window To The City By Rafi Perez

“Looking out the window at the world that surrounds me. I have a relationship with the city that looks back at me, the people that I recognize every day, going through the same routines. I know them, even though they will never know me, a silent child who dreams of joining the world outside.”

-Rafi Perez

Gold Filled Quartz Crystal Tassel Earrings By Klee

Gold Filled Quartz Crystal Tassel Earrings By Klee Angelie

“These earrings feature gorgeous raw clear quartz crystal points wrapped in 14k yellow gold filled wire, with spiral back detailing and gold filled chain tassels to create movement and light play with the crystals. Fun and funky, elegant and earthy, these are awesome for dress up or casual wear.”

-Klee Angelie

The Recovery Of Bliss By Rafi

The Recovery Of Bliss By Rafi Perez

“Logic and reason dominates the scene. Everything must make sense, everything must be logical, yet the greatest power we have is to stop thinking and melt away the calculating mind. To sit in silence, soak in our surroundings, or travel in our imagination to a place that is blissful… None of this makes sense in our analytical world and yet, there it is.”

-Rafi Perez

Have an amazing week! You are awesome! Just remember, we may have names for the things we see in the world, but really, they are just blocks of color, texture, and shades. Look at the world differently, who knows, you may see the similar in a vastly different way.

Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life!

-Love Rafi and Klee

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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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Day Of The Dead Pensacola

Yesterday Klee and I attended the Day Of The Dead Celebration at first city arts center. I had submitted a work of art for the celebration and was looking forward to donning my best “dead” attire.

Day of the dead Rafi and Klee
From The Left, Rafi (me), Klee, Monica, and James

Art Beyond Walls and First City Art Center hosted the first ever Day of the Dead festival on opening day of Pensacola’s Foo Foo Fest.

Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the dead) is a traditional Mexican holiday, that honors family members who have passed away. Basically, celebrating those who may have passed physically, but are still here spiritually. A day where the veil between both worlds is blurred.

Day of the dead Rafi and Klee  Live music, art, altars, face painting, a second-line processional, food trucks with authentic Mexican food (yum), hot glass demos, live story recordings, children’s activities and a Day of the Dead art market were part of the festivities.

This was a blast, the murals, the fire dancing, the art, the vibe, the whole thing was pretty awesome. I was honored to have my art displayed in the way that it was.

Day of the dead Rafi and Klee

This was the first day of Foo Foo Fest, and a fantastic start to the festival. Take a look at all the awesome stuff they have in store for Pensacola at http://www.foofoofest.com/events/

As for now we bid you goodbye Muahahahahaha!

Day of the dead Rafi and Klee

 

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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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My Art Teacher Was Wrong

Have you ever had someone tell you that you are not good enough? Did you believe them?

Rafi Perez in Studio
Rafi Perez in his art studio

This picture is of me working in my art studio, creating art for a solo exhibition, because I am a full-time artist, who makes a living from his art. This is not what my teacher predicted… Guess he’s not a psychic.

If I had believed my art teacher in school, when he was telling me that I wasn’t good enough, and that “You will never make it as an artist” I probably wouldn’t be writing any of this right now.

But, I didn’t believe him… Well, eventually.

It’s interesting how such an insignificant event, had such an impact on my career as an artist. I’m sure he doesn’t even remember saying it, but his words stayed with me longer than I’d like to admit.

Watch this video to hear the full story:

Now, I wouldn’t change a thing, because eventually my journey lead me to finding my own confidence, and there is no point in wishing that things had gone differently.

It would be a lie, if I didn’t admit, that every once in a while, I wonder where I would be, had I started my art career sooner… But, it is what it is, and I’m enjoying the ride thus far.

Rafi Was Here Studios
Klee didn’t listen to the naysayers when she started her jewelry business and her work is amazing. She also didn’t listen to the naysayers when it comes to her music. She’s an awesome role model for me.

Why am I sharing this story?

I wanted to reach out to anyone out there that may be experiencing the same thing. Whether it be a creative field, a life goal, or a dream, Don’t ever believe anybody that tells you that you can’t do something.

It took me a few years to learn this for myself, but now that I have, I am unstoppable. I’ve learned that the only way you can ever truly fail at anything, is to give up. With my art career, I had given up, before I even started.

Being Childish Is Fun
My friends Monica and James didn’t listen to the naysayers when starting LunaStella Naturals. Their company is rocking the natural skin and body care market.

Because I lacked confidence in my ability to persevere, I took to heart the comments of naysayers in my family, and eventually my teacher.

Luckily, I put all that crap behind me and I know that the only thing that matters, is whether or not I believe I can do it.

So, if you believe you can do it, (no matter what it is) then you can… plain and simple.

Thank you for reading my rambles! Remember to stay endlessly inspired by the stuff of life.

-Rafi

 

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Pensacola Mural Is Finished!

It has been an interesting journey, full of hot, inferno like days, and epic downpours, but I am proud to announce that my mural, in beautiful downtown Pensacola, is finished!

If you are in Pensacola, you can see it at Marty Campbell Gallery, located at  114 Palafox Pl, Pensacola, FL 32502

Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez
Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez

I wanted to capture the beauty, and history of this amazing town. The aliveness in a flowing work of art, that expresses how awesome the people, and this town have been to me. So, thank you Pensacola, this is my gift to you, hope you like it.

Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez
Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez

This town has been so supportive of me and my art career, that I wanted to give something back to express my gratitude.

When the opportunity arose to do this mural, I thought long and hard about the message that I wanted to express.

Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez
Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez

If there is anything I have learned from this experience, it is that your mindset is everything. It has been overwhelming, amazing, problematic, fantastic, and enlightening. The weather and some of the politics involved, could have easily caused my mind to downward spiral, and it did for a few moments. Luckily, I’m too stubbornly positive.

So, the power behind staying positive, no matter what obstacles stood in my way, made all the difference. Staying in tune with why I was creating the mural in the first place, was more important than drama. It shows in the work, and shows me how important it is to stay tuned to love.

That is my message.

The other thing I’ve learned, is to never schedule a mural in the middle of a deadly Summer heat wave. Just sayin.

Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez
Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez

Toward the end of the project, I asked for quotes from the amazing people that have a connection with myself and Pensacola. They are hidden among the images in the Mural. The response was so positive that I ended up with way more quotes than I can fit into the design. All the quotes were so amazing that I’m saving unused quotes for future projects.

Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez
Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez

The quotes in the downtown Pensacola Mural:

Be brave. –Jamie Hullenbaugh

Love makes magic happen! -Brandi Rodeghero

This is going to be the kind of year you THINK it’s going to be”. – Daniel Grooms

Thank you God for another day! – Cherie

What would you do if you knew you could not fail. – Phyllis R.

In order to truly move forward, we must let go of the past. – Jessa

Listen with your heart, feel with your soul. – Cera M

Do you know why you’re the best? You’re the best because you’re …you. – Jim Billy Barnes

The only consistent thing in life is the inconsistencies. – Catawissa Mo

It’s best to be a first rate version of yourself than a second rate version of somebody else. – Jennifer

May we always be endlessly inspired by the stuff of life. – Klee Angelie

Make today so awesome yesterday gets jealous. – Amanda and Aaron

Make it better. – Terri

Breathe in, breath out, move on – Peggy Cole

Spend your life doing strange things with weird people. – Tiffany Patton

“Adapt. Improvise, Overcome.” –The Marines -Lorraine

You are beautiful. – Daniella M

Laughter is the sunshine of life. – Ruth Stone

Listen with your heart, feel with your soul. – Cera Mc

The world would be a pretty boring place if we were all poured out of the same mold. – Sharon Price

Do more than just exist. – Pearl P.

Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez
Downtown Pensacola Mural By Rafi Perez

Thank you so much to everyone that has supported me, I love you guys.

On to the next awesome project!