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Artistic Memories by Alice Review by Donna Campos

By Alice R. Craig
Artistic Memories by Alice
712 S. Sampson
Tremont, IL 61568

Several pieces from the collection of Artistic Memories by Alice will be described in this review. These include Soldier of Truth pieces (coloring page, 11" x 14" poster, and 8" x 11" photo poster), Safe in the Arms of Jesus Pewter Ornament, Safe in the Arms of Jesus 11" x 14" matted print, and Daddy's Hands 11" x 14" matted print. There are many items available on the website, and several of them can be personalized with first and last names, house number, or other information. Mattes are available in a variety of color choices, and the frames come in oak or black. The art pieces are available in various sizes, including notecards (in packs of 6, 50, or 100), matted or matted and framed prints in 5" x 7", 8" x 10", or 11" x 14", and a print-only version with no matte in an 8" x 11" size. The Soldier of Truth pieces are available in 11" x 17" black-and-white coloring sheets, as an 11" x 14" full-color, glossy poster, or as an 8" x 11" full-color, glossy photo poster that has a cut-out hole in the space of the soldier's face for placement of a child's picture. The Soldier of Truth photo poster is the same quality glossy paper as the larger poster, but it arrives in a clear plastic sleeve with light cardboard backing and an additional page of poster details behind that, creating a two-sided poster with full explanation included.

A variety of art pieces are available. Some are intended to memorialize the loss of a loved one. Some commemorate the adoption of a child. Others encourage children and adults in their faith or simply capture the love among family members. All of the pieces would provide beautiful decoration for any area of the home. These works are not specific to homeschooling, but they are definitely of a Christian worldview.

The Soldier of Truth artwork portrays the Christian's armor as described in Scripture. It includes Scripture verses from various translations as well as descriptive words on each referenced body part. For instance, the word Faith is written in bold lettering on a shield displaying the cross and the verse Romans 10:17. An arrow lies on the ground beneath the shield, and the word "Boink!" shows that the arrow bounced off the shield. A total of ten verses surround the soldier, and more are listed as references. Important questions are also included at various points of importance around the soldier, stressing the importance of the armor and the reader's relationship with God. Our family found this to be an incredible work of art, albeit in a comic style. It would be ideal for placement on a schoolroom wall. A smaller photo poster could be placed in each child's room for daily encouragement. The coloring pages provide an opportunity for hands-on work as a parent reads through the corresponding Scriptures. These items are simply beautiful. The only negative we found was that the soldier is only available as a male. Our daughters would have delighted in a female version of the poster.

The pewter ornament titled "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" arrives in its own zip-top plastic bag with an explanatory card. The artist shares the story of her own loss of a baby daughter, Grace, and the healing process God carried her through in months that followed. The ornament does not show all of the details visible in the artist print, but it is beautiful. It is oval-shaped with a ribbon tie for ornament placement. The ornament portrays Jesus seated in a rocking chair holding an infant wrapped in a blanket while clouds grace the background. Engraving is available on the back for an additional fee.

The matted print version of "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" arrives in a clear plastic sleeve of moderate durability. This larger piece reveals more detail: the tender expression on the face of Christ as a reminder that the baby feels no pain in heaven, the nail-scarred hands and feet to remind us that God willingly gave up His Son for us and knows the sting of parental loss, and finally the clouds as a reminder that there will be no more death or mourning in heaven. Our family greatly appreciated Alice's sharing her story of loss, as we have lost children to miscarriage. Her words will surely help many others work through their pain.

The final piece we reviewed was the 11" x 17" matted print titled "Daddy's Hands," which I was unable to find on the website or in the flyer. It may be one of the newest additions. The artwork shows an infant hand holding the thumb of an adult hand, with the anonymous quote "Small boys become big men through the influence of big men who care about small boys." The infant wrist shows detail of the chubby wrist so adorable in a child, as well as detail of fingernails and the awkward bending often found in those early grips of fingers. The adult hand is detailed as well, and the entire piece is shaded just around the hands to set them apart as the center of the piece. Alice Craig has a definite talent that shines through. Anyone who has attempted to draw a hand knows the difficulty in capturing one with accuracy--Alice has clearly captured both adult and infant with excellence.

We are thrilled with these items and will have to purchase more for our own family and as gifts for loved ones. The detail is amazing, and the artist obviously has a heart for Christ. Many more pieces are available on the website, including infants with oxygen tubing, twins in the arms of Jesus, and (our favorite) "The Gift," which portrays a mother handing her infant to Jesus, reminiscent of Hannah's sacrifice of her gift. Artistic Memories by Alice are simply gorgeous pieces of artwork by a gifted artist! We encourage you to browse the website thoroughly!

Product review by Donna Campos, Senior Product Reviewer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, December 2009