Monday, May 31, 2010

A Star Spangled Memorial Day

Growing up in Glendale, Ohio gave me a special appreciation for Memorial Day. All villagers proudly fly Old Glory in honor of the veterans marching by in the annual parade. We nostalgically explain it to others through an iconic metaphor, a Norman Rockwell painting, because it seems in addition to those who have honorable served our country that every neighbor, soccer player, cub scout, brownie troop, and dog participates in the festivities...leaving very few people to wave-back on the sidelines!

Fire trucks roaring kick off the parade and round up the rear, with the Princeton High School Band sandwiched in the middle holding the tempo as they play Anchors Away, The Caissons Go Rolling Along, and Semper Fidelis to name a few. Weaving through the hilly streets it’s a picturesque sea of Red, White & Blue.

The parade’s climax takes place at the final destination, the War Memorial, with words shared by a local Veteran, the student with the winning oration “What Memorial Day Means to Me”, WWII vintage aircraft flyover in the Missing Man formation, and the 21-Gun Salute with Taps filtering into the backdrop.

I’m thankful for a neighborhood that celebrates our flag at half-mast, and what has made our country great by freezing time in the heartland of America to appreciate the men and women who have so valiantly and faithfully risked all to serve the country they so dearly love to preserve ultimate freedom.

Kit Hinrich’s renown American flag-related collection Long May She Wave: A Graphic History of the American Flag Currently on display at the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Center in Stephenville, Texas through Wednesday, July 14, 2010.
Henrich’s unique banner beautifully compiles a historical montage of American flags that showcases the richness of design that encapsulated a time when American flags did not have a uniform design.

He states, “ a designer, creating graphic symbols is an important aspect of my work. The American flag was a symbol I couldn't leave alone. Designers are continually challenged to come up with visual icons that evoke immediate recognition, emotional power, and universal meaning. By any standard, the American flag has brand value that every designer would envy.”

Happy Memorial Day!
The Painted Memory

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mint Juleps to Derby Purses - Two things that make the ladies squeal!

The Kentucky Derby offers the perfect excuse to indulge. Ladies wearing hats, gents in bowties, and freshly crushed mint floats through the air as juleps are passed. The nervous energy of horse-talk is channeled into betting. The perfect time of year to sport my equestrian-themed handbag.

A few years ago, I painted a cigar box for a jaunt to Atlanta’s Steeplechase event - it only seemed appropriate to imagine the scene of horses leaping over hedges and loosely capture in a painterly expression on the box façade, with bordering edges adorned by silks and jokey caps. Thanks to some help from my Dad to add a beaded wooden handle, instantly what was a simple rectangular container became a fashionable accessory. (My wonderful Dad - he’s such a good sport to lend a hand when it comes to all of my projects!)

But ladies, now it’s just as easy for you to recreate this same look! Last week at Michael’s Crafts, I noticed they have all sorts of boxes (rectangles, squares, trapezoids) that already have a closure – and better yet – handles!!! (Those are the hardest part to attach and tighten.) Just a few simple steps and you’ll be walking the streets with a one-of-a-kind handbag creation of your own, looking as though you’re hot off Madison Avenue.

1. Find a picture of a scene you’ve photographed, cut from a coffee table book, or even a postcard of a beautiful landscape (any subject matter that inspires you will be perfect)

2. If the picture is bigger than the box façade, trim the edges so it is perfectly flush (but do not yet attach)

3. Look for complimentary wrapping paper or decorative tissue that has a pattern that’s suitable as a companion to your primary image. Decoupage (Elmer’s glue that has been thinned down with water works too) the tissue to the outside edge of your boxes and back of the purse. It’s okay if the edges overlap on the front, you’ll hid them with your hero image and ribbon trim. Tuck the other end of the tissue over the edge into the interior of the box; this will be hidden by fabric or contact paper.

4. Now decoupage your landscape to the front of the box from Michael’s ( . If you’ve decided to use a photograph, make a high-quality color copy and use this (an actual photograph will warp).

5. Line the interior of the box with fabric or contact paper. Don’t worry if the edge isn’t perfectly finished. You can hide many imperfections with trim!

Happy Crafting!
The Painted Memory

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Atlanta Arts

The heartbeat of Atlanta – Buckhead’s rolling hills and famous streets are dotted by luxurious homes (each one is worthy of a magazine spread!) and is the perfect backdrop to an arts festival.

With spring arriving early to this part of the country, only a few magnolias still boasted their creamy-milk blooms, and a canopy of Irish green surrounded the tented trail at the Buckhead Arts Festival. Creatives both locally and across state-lines answered the call to showcase their talent. LOVE the LOGO!

The variety of metalwork to lithography, handmade pet accessories to paintings kept each peek in the tent interesting. Among the range of artists, three in particular stood out as a style I admired.

Loose interpretation of American folk captured as casual and approachable – seeming at ease.

Almost bygone era-like in expression - brought to life in vivid Technicolor.

Hero's genuine threads of the American spirit!

JAN HAVENSEtchings – 615.297.2998
Clever originality is packed into every inch of her compositions.

Enamored by animals, she creatively gets inside the heads of dogs and cats to humorously interweave the heart & soul of their motivations into the background and foreground of each piece of artwork.

Zinc or Copper plates are etched, printed and then painted.

KYEGOMBECityscape & Animal Oil
Bold colors saturate the canvas with abrupt brush strokes – a symphony of artistic chaos, yet all the while, magnetizing the eyes to its subject.

Realistic depiction embodies instinctual energy.

Definitely worth the visit – a leisurely stroll of cultural artistry – May 2011 be sure to visit the Georgia Peach!

The Painted Memory

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chinoiserie Chic - I'm captivated!

My recent exploratory of Chinese style lattice - sparked a quick sketch session. Bringing out the conte crayons from art class and a scrap of craft paper were all I needed at midnight to capture the idea-spring in my imagination swirl.

More than 3,000 years ago the Chinese began using wooden lattice designs in their windows. The smooth inside of the lattice has traditionally been covered with paper, which is replaced each year on New Year’s Day. In the 1920s and 1930s, Daniel Sheets Dye collected over 1,200 examples of lattice designs, and these were later published by Dover Publications in two books: Chinese Lattice Designs (1974) and The New Book of Chinese Lattice Designs (1981)

Principles of Chinese lattice are grounded in a rhythmic composition of geometric shapes, layering of lines with a consistent weight, and tailored embellishments without over-the-top flourish. A classic addition worth considering adding to your home as a piece of art, wallpaper or textile that adds interest and will stand the test of time.

A favorite book of mine that elegantly depicts Chinese pagodas with a stunning array of lattice interpretations.

Enamored by the allure of textile creation, I translated this energy into a new repeat pattern suitable for a lovely powder room wall-covering - heroing pristine white, a painter's swish of light blues and taupe ribbons resembling streamers falling at an angle. The repetition of china urns checkered with an impressionistic landscape exudes a calming cadence – so pretty for window treatments or wallpaper.

The Painted Memory

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pillow Talk

Always in search of a project, my medium of choice may be paints and a brush, but the surface can vary quite extensively depending on my latest inspiration. This time, my success criteria called for dupioni silk pillows! Transfixed by the parrot tulip - and it's tiger-like stripes and lion's mane edge, I knew this would be the focus of my composition. I absolutely love the extensive range of colors and species. When creating a thumbnail sketch, the hardest decision consistently seems to be narrowing to which variant suites my interest in the moment. Although this time around, my decision was dictated by the established color-way of fabrics within my room. Smitten with corals and celery, this occasion would call for complimentary colors with bold pops for interest.

Parrot Tulips have petals that are feathered, curled, twisted, or waved. Besides this, the flowers are very large and brightly coloured. As a result, Parrot Tulips are extremely flamboyant. If you want dramatic tulips, these are a great choice.
Parrot Tulips were developed from mutations of certain late-flowering tulips, and from tulips in the Triumph class.
Although tulips are often associated with the Netherlands, they are not a native Dutch flower! About four hundred years ago Europeans first discovered tulips in Turkey. At that time Carolus Clusius, a famous botanist, introduced the plant to the Leiden botanical gardens in Holland. Since tulips were extremely rare, and expensive, only Kings and Emperors could afford to plant them in their gardens.

A customized touch is to identify the flower on a sweet call-tag, or add your monogram with interlocking script.

After completing two distinctive companion executions, a finishing touch was needed to deliver the closure kiss. TRIM! A visit to the Design Center actually brought more challenge than anticipated to this decision. The many beautiful choices evoked artist’s excitement like that of Christmas morning!!! (You, interior designers, can understand the feeling!) The finale, a very simple and tasteful two-toned trim was selected to deliver understated elegance as to not compete with the painting itself.

This was such fun, that I’ll soon be painting a pair of Wedgewood-blue silk pillows for my sister – in a style I dub: Chinoiserie Chic meets Palm Beach Bliss

The Painted Memory

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Zest for Lemon

Once back home from Capri - lemons have ever since exhibited a magician's power and I can't help but to be drawn to them. A favorite local bakery must be just as enthralled! Cincinnati's delicious BonBonerie creates the most elegant cakes with liqueur soaked layers, which makes for a devilish taste explosion. (Soon to be challenged by Bobby Flay in a Throwdown, I have no doubt!)

Such beautiful eye candy, that I snapped way too many pictures while enjoying the sugar coated lemons sparkle in the setting sun, and springtime daffodil confection complimenting the marzipan citrus.

Enjoy a different creation each month, along with the delicious standards that have placed our local bakery on the map as a worthy competitor nationwide.

The Painted Memory

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Capri Sun's Lemony Gift

Our day of planes, trains and automobiles - was surpassed by adding a hydrofoil from the Naples harbor to the enchanted island of Capri. Immediately greeted by the sweet aroma of jasmine at the Marina Grande dock, my memory of this fantastic vacation is now forever cemented with this idyllic scent.

With our ultimate destination, atop the limestone mountain, we boarded our next mode of transportation - The funicular - which charged up the 45-degree sloping silhouette at sunset.

In search of our lodging, the gals and I exited the train and were immediately captivated by the scene onto which we stumbled at the path's first bend. It was like a Vogue photo shoot for a luxury, lifestyle brand. The warm glow, clinking glasses and company decked to the 9s required the girls to pinch me - bringing me back to reality. A scene perfectly described as 'Magic Hour'!

Aside from jasmine, bottled by the lovely Carthusia Perfumes ( -worth the visit to enjoy a scent-seekers carnival - Capri is also known for its citrus produce. However, these lemons are nothing like I've ever seen in our local groceries in the states. Their dimensions rival that of a cantaloupe and boasts a nubby rind - so it was only fitting that we celebrate in style with a toast to our arrival into a very 'Jackie O" vacation dream on what could mistakenly be called paradise island - with a sip of lemoncello.

Translating this watercolor into a toss-repeat pattern would make for such a fun and refreshing wallpaper in a kitchen! Don't you think!?

The Painted Memory

And yes, this picture has quite a story behind it!