The Murals of Cincinnati Artist Amanda Checco

The willowy woman bursts into a room like a beam of sunlight. Her positive energy and optimism energize the room. The artist is a powerhouse of color. Her work energizes the space. The woman and artist is Amanda Checco.

I first met Amanda several months ago when our youngest son Mark Joseph became friends with her through their shared interest in art and their Artworks connection. At the time, she had asked Mark to photograph her mural in-progress.

Find Your Soul in the City by Amanda Checco

Amanda was working on “Find your Soul in the City,” her second mural. This mural is located inside a store called Park & Vine in Over the Rhine, a section of downtown Cincinnati that is undergoing an artistic rebirth. You can see photos of the work in-progress and read about the design and commission of “Find your Soul in the City” on this link to Amanda’s blog.

“‘Find your Soul in the City’ mural is meant to be very spiritual,” Amanda writes in an e-mail. “I used sacred geometry, chakras and symbols from several different religious and spiritual groups.”

Amanda also used Metatron’s cube in her design of “Find your Soul in the City.” This link takes you to this mind-bending YouTube video about Metatron’s Cube and Consciousness. If you have ten minutes to spare, it is well worth it.
“My belief about colors,” Amanda writes, “is that they are powerful healing tools for everyone. I try really hard to wrap my head around color theory and subtle shifts in hue and saturation. And hopefully I will continue to master that. But for this mural, and for ice cream day dream too (Amanda’s first mural shown at the end), I just chose colors that make me happy in hopes that they will elicit the same reaction from other viewers.”
Amanda sent me the following two links about color theory and therapy, and video about chakras’ colors if you would like to learn more about this fascinating topic:
How do you turn a manageable design into a work of art that covers an entire wall from floor to ceiling? Amanda documents the process of transferring the mural to the wall and the first paint strokes with photos in this blog post.
After she began to paint the mural, Amanda decided to refashion some of the characters. “I was trying to figure out how to push some areas in the design as we were beginning to paint,” she writes in her blog.  I thought it would be a good opportunity to investigate something that Ive always loved- fashion.  I felt so many characters in this image were REALLY wanting to wear something awesome.” (From !Character Refashionizin! where you can see Amanda’s inspiration and sketches.)
This break-dancing “bird” character, according to Amanda, is based on my son, Mark. “I had just met him when I started designing, so I decided to put him on the wall,” Amanda writes. “Artists always make work about their life.”
According to Amanda, “Find your Soul in the City” is not finished yet. “It is really not knocking me over like I’d like it to,” she says. “I’ll be going back and adding more to make it a more intense experience.” The mural dedication will be Final Friday in August, (a local street celebration in this area of Downtown Cincinnati that occurs on the last Friday of each month).
Ice Cream Day Dream by Amanda Checco and Cincinnati Artworks

You can read Amanda’s five-part series on How to Make a Mural that she wrote while working on her first mural, “Ice Cream Day Dream.” This mural is located on the backside of the historic Germainia building at the corner of Jackson and 12th streets in Cincinnati’s rapidly growing arts district called the Gateway Quarter.  See more of Amanda’s artwork on her blog Doublefresh.wordpress.com.

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Can we ever really know someone?

Can we ever really know someone?

Someone has a child who amasses weapons and ammunition and takes it all to school where he uses it to kill many others and then himself. They never saw it coming.

The faithful and enthusiastic new spouse, or the 30-year constant spouse and partner, cheats.

We believe the things we think we know about someone from what he or she chooses to let us see, and what we are actually willing to see and not deny.

 

The question was recently posed as a writing prompt: If you could read other people’s minds, would you want to?

I thought at the time, and think even more fervently today, no. Maybe I would find out that truly there are people in the world with pure thoughts who glow golden on the inside, but more likely I would be disheartened by universal disappointments in finding out that people are not who I thought they were.

Perhaps the more important exercise would be to imagine that others can read my mind, and strive to form my own thoughts accordingly.