The Hand Painting Series

Using acrylic paints and hands I create a variety of cohesive images that blend beautifully into a series. From the photos of the hands, to the images of the wet paints, to the paintings, to digital manipulation, and finally to prints on garments. The end shows a few images from my recent solo exhibition opening, Process.

Embrace Your Body 2016

More models and their stories can be found here: http://projectreveal.org/2016-embrace-your-body-photos/

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Dancing in the Light

Photographer: Jenna Citrus
Model: Charlotte N. Olson
I am a dancer; I’ve been dancing my whole life. I love the way that the art of dance makes me feel. I love who I am when I am lost in choreography and telling a story. For me dance is just that, my story. I have not always been great expressing myself through words, it is definitely something I am working on, but dance has always been a way for me to say what I’m truly feeling. In high school, I developed an eating disorder. I felt the pressure to be thin. I wouldn’t eat; I would work out excessively, and constantly food would be on my brain. Luckily, I had many friends and family stick by me through this journey. My grandfather became the shining light that officially helped me make the decision to seek out recovery.
Thanks to him and many others I am now a survivor and choosing to go into mental health to help others. I love the way I feel right now. I love feeling strong. I love feeling beautiful. I love sharing my story to hopefully help the lives of others.

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Suffocating

Photographer: Jenna Citrus
Model: Faith Georges
I’d been on a business trip, working 60 hour weeks and came home and slept for two months. I couldn’t get up. It’s like my body was just waiting and it finally imploded on me. My chronic fatigue syndrome got so bad I had to go to the cancer center for infusions. I have so many prescriptions. I can’t hold my bladder. My arthritis, my hips, my back – it is all so bad. It got to the point where I couldn’t sit up for longer than a few hours a day. I spend my whole life in bed, me and my dog Abbey. I’m cut off from everything. And the biggest thing is the expense of being sick. People take for granted always being able to go to work and support themselves. I was very successful and had worked from the ground up to make a good living. But I almost lost my house. I will probably have to sell my dream house. I want women to know how important it is to save – married or single – so you have something to fall back on in case something happens. It gives you the power to walk away if you need to, get help if you need to, get health care. I’m buried under medical and other bills. It’s just destroyed me.

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Carbon Copy

Photographer: Jenna Citrus
Models: Rachel Stratman & Jessica S. Martin
I was blessed with my best friend from the start of life, and she happens to also look just like me. We are best friends and twin sisters. And even though we look much alike, we are so very different in many other ways. I’m comfortable in my skin. Your body is yours…and beautifully yours. And even though I have someone running through life with me who looks very much like me, we are so very different. And beautifully different, inside and out! — Rachel
I’ve always been self-conscious of my body. I’ve always worried about whether my arms jiggle, my legs/thighs look too big, if I have too many freckles, if my scar on my stomach is too noticeable or if the circles under my eyes are too dark. People compare Rachel and I all the time, which can be good and bad. We have been through a lot together always very supportive and encouraging to each other, which has not changed as we’ve gotten older. I’ve also found that motherhood has allowed me to embrace myself even more. My children have made me realize that unconditional love allows you to be blind to flaws. Your body definitely changes after carrying babies, but it really makes you appreciate and respect what a woman’s body is capable of doing. I grew babies, an incredible miracle! If my body can do that, then I need to embrace and love all of my flaws. I see many features that are not perfect but tell lots of stories — freckles all over my face from the many days playing in the sun, circles under my eyes from the sleepless nights from studying and taking care of my babies, wrinkles on my forehead and cheeks from happy and sad times. — Jessica

 

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Rising From The Depths

Photographer: Jenna Citrus
Model: Stephanie West
I was sexually abused starting at the age of nine. That terrible experience has always influenced the way I see myself and the perception I have of my body. However, I’m trying to change that. My self-image may come from a place of shame, but therapy has helped me understand my trauma and the emotions I have because of it. Slowly but surely, I’m moving away from the shame toward a place of acceptance and love for myself and my body. My photo reflects the idea of my self-image coming from that darker place but ultimately I’m accepting my body and learning to love and appreciate it. Currently, I don’t love my body. I think that will always be something I struggle with. But I can hold on to the hope of one day feeling at home in my body and seeing it as it really is, rather than through a lens warped by trauma. I hope my photo will also convey a sense of peace. There may be darkness, but there is also light and life and hope.

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Against the Grain

Photographer: Jenna Citrus
Model: Chloe Snead
MUA: Lily Pease
I am a woman born in a male’s body. For most of my life I have felt cursed. In this society there is a stark contrast between how men and women are treated and what is expected of them. I have only recently started living as my true self — a woman. And although my physical representation doesn’t change the fact I am a woman, I still want to undergo changes and hormone replacement therapy to feel more comfortable in my skin. I have to go against the grain to be true to myself. And it’s worth it. There is much I want to change. I am standing up and being ME despite my body. I used to carry so much shame and disgust of my body, beating myself up convinced I couldn’t wear the clothes I wanted and that I would never have the body I wanted.
Then I realized no one in this whole wide universe can stop me from being true to myself. When I look in the mirror most of the time I see a man reflected, which hurts a lot. I avoid my reflection. But with make-up and a good outfit, I can sometimes get a glimpse of my true form. I fully expect that over time and with HRT my body will start to reflect who I am internally. And that is something that gives me the power to press forward.