Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sweet Tooth

The Sugar Bowl is calling!

At the conclusion of cheering victory after victory through a “Blazing Ring of Fire,” nights of “Black-out” and snow blitzes of “White-out” – the time has arrived for the ultimate challenge.

Destination – New Orleans – for Bearcat Fever.

With the respectable wardrobe packed of red and black, University of Cincinnati fans turn the paddleboats South and head down river to battle the Gators on the Gulf.



Friday, December 25, 2009

The Greatest Gift

Wow – how has another year flown by? In spite of the swirling crowds, the Nativity brings a peaceful calm and moment of reflection. The true reason why we celebrate December 25th. I am so thankful for the birth of a baby in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago.

Like my dad, a favorite Christmas song, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, gives hope for peace.

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth,” I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Historical Note: This hymn was writ­ten dur­ing the Amer­i­can civil war, as re­flect­ed by the sense of des­pair in the next to last stan­za. Stan­zas 4-5 speak of the bat­tle, and are usual­ly omit­ted from hymn­als:

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound the carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn, the households born
Of peace on earth, good will to men


Merry Christmas!

The Painted Memory

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Thirsty for an Artistic Creation

Standing in the middle of Fountain Square, head back, entranced by the freshly falling snow – time slowed as the flakes swirled in the air. The surreal sense of being shrunk in size and dropped into a snow-globe land, newly twisted and turned breezed through my head.

Imagine a topsy-turvy world with gigantic ice crystals. Big enough to appreciate the detail of raiser sharp edges and beautiful facets.


A scientific based art, Kenneth Libbrecht carved a vocation out of snowflakes. He provides insight into a miniature world through photographs of snowflakes on chilled glass slides. Revealing the truth that no two are a like. Glean a taste of their beauty before melting on your tongue or sculpted into a snow-cone! The Snowflake: http://www.amazon.com/Snowflakes-Kenneth-Libbrecht/dp/0760334986

The Painted Memory

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Light Bright

Much like the Pyramids of Egypt and The Great Wall of China, the one-million+ LED bulbs illuminating the Cincinnati Zoo are sure to be seen from earth’s orbit. The Festival of Lights’ almost neon-like white glow even rivals Chevy Chase’s legendary house in Christmas Vacation.

Colored Lights set to music create a theatrical ambiance at Swan Lake on the path toward the Elephant House.

Reminiscent of the Taj Mahal, the Elephant House was constructed in 1906 to pay homage to the homeland of the Vanishing Giants, and is now an historic landmark.

This architectural mastery even inspired the creation of a gingerbread version at the Houses of Hope Gingerbread Contest benefiting the Shriners Hospital.

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden opened its doors in 1875 – making it the second oldest Zoo in the United States. Although most animals were happily inside, the American Kestrel ventured outdoors. (The most common falcon in North America.) Too dark to appreciate his beautiful detail, I was in awe of his speckles that showed up in this picture.

Definitely a festive stop to add to your Christmas activities!

Merry Christmas from The Painted Memory

Monday, December 14, 2009

Multi-sensorial Muse

A blazing ring of fire lassoing the crisp night air welcomed guests as they arrived at the Historic Resthaven Barn in Mariemont. http://www.mariemontpreservation.org/

Kudos to the 2009 Starfire Artability committee for throwing a fantastic party for such a worthy cause. The second annual Artability event raised thousands of dollars to benefit disabled teens and adults to become active members of the community – an organization like no other I’ve come across.

A priority of Starfire is to impact social isolation by
teaching individuals with disabilities skills to become part of their community.

A feast for the senses! Animated belly dancers brushed by attendees as they jingled and shook. Renowned chefs delighted with food demonstrations, pairing unexpected ingredients to towering works of art. And local artists showcased their handiwork, together in support of Starfire and its new university.

The Painted Memory was honored to be included as a featured artist. Perhaps the Resthaven Barn will become part of the 2011 watercolor calendar series ;)

And if you didn’t get a good look at the aquatic baubles, Page’s latest featured item, please feel free to email and ask about unique necklaces that marry freshwater pearls with a show-stopping shell!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Solar Energy

Winter’s clouds are setting-in. If wishing for the sun, look ahead to vacation ideas for next summer and Provence may catch your eye! This southern region of France boasts of tall, golden sunflowers throughout June and July. The French name of the plant, tournesol or turn-sun, illustrates the fact that a sunflower, when young, orients itself according to the sun, which it symbolizes.

Not only are tourists drawn by the Mediterranean climates, lavender valleys and endless waves of yellow fields, cyclists hear the siren’s call too. The Tour de France course winds its way through the rugged terrain, taunting riders by the challenge of the climb up Mont Ventoux, France's highest peak between the Pyrenees and the Alps – the most famous mountain stage of the race. http://www.diversedirections.net/tour13.html

However, in the peaceful quiet of the 1880’s, Van Gogh left Holland with the desire to create an artistic community and found himself in southern France, captivated by clusters of caramel petals stretching toward the sun.
The majority of Van Gogh’s sunflower series include the life cycle of the flower. Its fluidity and organic composition depict buds, flowers in full-bloom and petals turning brown at the tip…entranced by the fragility of life, sunflowers in a vase became metaphoric. http://www.vangoghgallery.com/painting/sunflowerindex.html


If tempted by blonde to honey-colored carpeted fields swayed by a warm breeze, discover a Sunflower Festival whose geography intrigues!

Rosenhuben, Switzerland
Music & Flowers for the past 5 years

Sunflower Festival
Prescott, Arizona

Ukrainian Sunflower Festival
Warren, Michigan, Detroit area, since late 80s

Van Gogh Sunflower Festival
Mt Hood OR

Gorman Farms
Reading, Ohio

Capture a memory of your travels or special experiences that lasts forever this holiday season. A custom work of art is an heirloom to pass from one generation to the next. For ideas and inspiration, visit The Painted Memory.