Girl with the Red Flower Earring

20140406-110714.jpg This woman was made up so dramatically and severely, especially her hair, which was so different from the free-flowing curls I gravitate towards, but it was fun to try to capture. Also, in this case her lipstick seemed like an accessory, so I decided to reflect that. One challenge I ran into was her nose ring – it just didn’t read on the side, so I decided to make it a septum one. I’m not sure how well it reads like that either, but I didn’t want to do away with it all together.

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The Monochromes

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I’m not sure if you’re allowed to have your favorite color be gold, but if you are, mine is. In tribute, and because I realized that over the years I’ve collected quite a few papers in the gold family, and potentially also because it won’t stop being cloudy here which makes everything kind of muted anyway, I decided to spend some time working with just those. I don’t think I’m totally over it yet, but here are the four completed:

20140330-114240.jpgThe Nude
The sepia/beige color palate on this one gives her an innocence and coyness that definitely wasn’t in the original photo, where the model was wearing shiny purple panties.

20140330-114515.jpg Yoga in Gold
I love yoga poses because they’re so beautiful all on their own. With this one, I tried to use the gold reeds of her skin to symbolize the strength and energy flow through her body.

20140330-114736.jpg Babe in Boots
There’s a lot of gold in this one, even flecks in her skin, which I’m not sure we’re picked up by my amazing camera phone, but the boots steal the show – as they should.

20140330-115057.jpg The Mermaid
Mermaids are such ethereal creatures, and so doing her all in gold seemed especially fitting, and a nice contrast with the sea blue and green of the matting and frame.

Also! I have finally started an Etsy store!! So if you’re interested in any of these pieces, or to see what else I have available, visit art by raealize on etsy!

Friends in Blue

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This piece was modeled after a photo taken on the day that two best friends met for the first time. One of the friends asked me to make this piece as a birthday present for the other in commemoration of that day and the lovely friendship that has grown from it.

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Birthday Cards for Mom

20140316-154251.jpgFor my mom’s birthday this year, I decided to make her a set of note cards. I knew she liked cherry blossoms, and I found this gorgeous handmade paper that was full of them! I used two different colors of paper, originally thinking I would use them both on one card, but it turned out they looked better by themselves – less crowded. And I decided to use two colors of cards, just for variety and because I thought they looked beautiful together as a set.

20140316-155026.jpgI also used some of the paper to decorate the envelopes, because I’ve had note cards before that have that detail, and I think it really adds.

20140316-154700.jpgThe cards got more ridiculous as I went. First I was just letting the flowers leak onto the back

20140316-154750.jpg and then I started letting them leak into the inside as well

20140316-154850.jpg She liked them, so that’s good!!

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Light and Shadow

20140309-133307.jpg This one was new for me, for a number of reasons. One being the treatment of positive and negative space: instead of Person being positive and everything else being negative, this was light and shadow. It meant dealing more with features and details than I’m used to, and I ended up with two complete images, which furthers the whole positive/negative space thing.

Also, I have got to resist the urge to work so small!! These images are ~4×6, which meant that some of the pieces were the size of dust (literally: at one point I thought a piece of dust was one of my pieces) – ridiculous.

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Body vs. Clothes

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Both of the original photos for these women had them in dark, drab colors, and I started thinking about the things we can change about ourselves, and the things we can’t. You can change your clothes and hair, but you can’t really change much about your skin, and it’s certainly a process if you want to change your aura.

For this girl, I decided to change all her clothes to be bright and colorful, but her skin I wanted to be duller and more pensive – filled with small sepia type like someone who is totally in her own head. I also used the stripes for her hair because even though I wanted it to be colorful, I still wanted it to be limp and stringy.

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20140302-131010.jpgAlso can I just say that I made 4 pairs of shoes for this girl before I found ones I liked? High maintenance and indecisive, just like I created her to be, haha. Also, if anyone knows of shoes like the bee ones in real life, please let me know!!

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For this girl, I decided to keep the dark clothes, contrasted with her light hair and skin. But I felt a sense of calm and peace that I wanted to capture with her skin, and I also think it captures the tattoos. This is definitely more of a literal translation than I generally go for, but I kind of like it.

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The Lakes Project

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My best friend from childhood asked me to help make the table markers for her Minnesota wedding, and she said that she wanted each table to be a different Minnesota lake.  I decided to pick all our favorite lakes from growing up, and then a few others with either fun names or fun shapes or both!  I used a different blue scrapbooking paper for each lake, and made a border for them all with the same sandy orange (the wedding colors were blue and orange, so it worked out!) I made the lakes 2-sided so that they could stand up, which means that from one side you’re looking at the lake from underneath, which I think is fine.  I made corresponding name cards for each of the lakes using the orange as the center, and the blue for the border, which was cool because then people could find their lakes just based on the pattern, and because the backs of some of the blue papers were really awesome and this way people got to see them!

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Secret Valentine’s Day

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I organized a Secret Valentine exchange for my work and we were only allowed to spend $5, and homemade gifts are always appreciated, so I decided to make the card (I also got my valentine a small plant). I made a heart out of like 20 different papers and then collaged them together on the front of a blank card. Happy almost Valentine’s Day!

Models

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Also while I was bored at home recovering, I made some portraits of models from magazine ads. 

The gold hair girl is my favorite – crazy hair is always the most fun to make. 

20140126-154714.jpgThe one of the green girl I donated to my friend’s Marathon fundraiser and apparently it became a new New Yorker’s first piece of art for her new apartment!

20140126-154722.jpg(Gold Hair and Blue Mom are available if you’re interested)

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Girl with a Gun

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A friend told me he liked my art, but that he thought it would really only appeal to chicks (which wasn’t the first time I’d heard that).  He said if I wanted to make something for dudes it would have to be a girl holding a gun or something.  Done.

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