The High Priestess

20140824-152107-55267315.jpgMy friend Bethany Jones is an amazing tarot reader – there have been a few crucial points during my time knowing her when her readings have helped me find clarity and peace – whether you believe that tarot is clairvoyant or just that it helps you look at whatever your situation from a new perspective.

Bethany has recently started a tarot business, Tarot by B, and I wanted to make her something to commemorate. Her favorite card is The High Priestess – partially because it has her initials, but also because it’s about intuition, which is at the heart of her life and her practice.

In making this card, I wanted to capture the abundance and splendor that I think exists in everyone’s center, and also because the High Priestess herself seems so royal and in a lush jungle of sorts, so I used a lot of gold, along with bright blue and red and sparkles. I put a muted flowered black frame around it to symbolize the outside, with intuition being a sort of treasure trove within or bright, warm respite from the dark.

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Girl in Shadows

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Wow, I’m so glad I decided to keep going with this piece! And I am so excited to start playing with shadow and depth going forward.

The paper I used for the shadows – the gold horses on black – is one I got a while ago and have been waiting for the right moment to use. I wasn’t sure how it would work with the other golds in the piece, and you can see I ended up changing her hair color because the old hair blended in too well. But yeah, I’m super pleased with the result! I also think just the shadow part on it’s own is cool.

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Girl in Green

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Young Girl in Green has been one of my favorite paintings ever since I ended up with a fold-out poster of her from some French magazine when I was 11. A few years ago, my brother got me a 1000-piece puzzle of her that I spent the entire Sandy hurricane putting together. And recently I tried to reproduce her through my paper art.

I don’t know that this is a finished piece. I think I might want to go back in and add all the shadows – there’s so much depth that I’ve lost. But I do like her like this too, so we’ll see.

Also it’s quite a challenge for me to work from a painting – it feels similar somehow to the piece I did of my brother’s dog where I had to decide how to treat the shading – at what point does the gradient descend so far into black that I should no longer represent it with color? Anyway, this was a first attempt.

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The Triptych

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Two things:
1) There’s that phenomenon whereby as soon as you learn a word you start hearing it everywhere. Well, the same day that I learned what a triptych was during my visit to the Cloisters, where there are many, I was asked to make a triptych of girls with guns
2) My friend was totally right about that whole appealing to the male demographic thing

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Ballerina Trio

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I love ballet, and watching stories come alive through beautiful movement. Also the incredible shapes the dancers make, and what they’re capable of doing – it looks unreal, especially when they’re paper cut-outs instead of photographs. To me, totally mesmerizing.

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Piece of my Heart Project

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I’ve been discovering the power art has to help process change. This project was about people with whom I went through a lot, and didn’t come out the other side, but who are still in my heart. I wanted to be able to let the heaviness of those past relationships go, and refocus my memories on when we were at our happiest.

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ARTemis

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My brother probably asked me for a portrait of his dog, Artemis, like a year ago, or even longer, and I just got it to him last week. It was an interesting project because dogs don’t wear clothes or have hair (or really they don’t have skin), and typically that’s what I use to differentiate between colors. So for this I did blackish for black, whitish for white, and then purple for highlights? (it made sense in my head)

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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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