Hazel Santino's illustrations are a perfect combination of creepy, mysterious and beautiful. The time each piece must have taken is evident when examined. Hazel's oil paintings are incredibly detailed and tend towards photo realistic; she also incorporates hand done cut outs such as the branches seen in one of the pieces above. Her color palettes are musky, full of neutrals, flesh tones and swirls of greys, a nice contrast to some of the super color saturated illustrative work very popular now. Subjects in her paintings are often human though she also seems to have a enjoy rendering small animals no one else appreciates — rats and pigeons.
The content may be dark, one of the pieces above is based on the story of a murdered girl stuffed into a tree, but Hazel's treatment is far from morose or morbid. There is something quiet and thoughtful in her work. She will be beginning her fifth year at The New School this fall finishing the second of her two degrees there, a BFA in illustration at Parsons and a BA in Literary Studies at Eugene Lang. It seems as though she has already been commissioned for a couple of jobs, CD and book covers, so here's to hoping we see more of Hazel's work recognized.