Friday, December 30, 2005

So long Father Time...

Well, here it is, the day before the last day of the year. Not that anyone has a choice in the matter, but I am ready for this year to move on and let 2006 begin. I have good feelings about what this coming year may have in store and I'm anxious to begin them.

So much has happened during the year that when I stop and process it, it's seems amazing that my partner and I made it through as well as we did. Of course, keeping yourself focused mentally has much to do with it.

In spite of all of the many changes that occurred over the last year, in all honesty, I must say that at this moment, I am much happier than I was a year ago. At this very moment as a matter of fact, I am sitting in the new front porch swing on the porch of our newly purchased home right outside of Philadelphia.

Of course this is a weather rarity, but also at this very moment, the sun is shining brightly on my face and it must be at least 60 degrees.

A year ago, I didn't even know that this wonderful little town where I am now sitting on the swing on my front porch even existed. Amazing what can happen in a year isn't it? A year ago on this day, we were still unpacking in the newly constructed townhouse at the beach - a place that I later learned to dislike tremendously. Of course, without the sale of that place so quickly, I wouldn't be where I am at this very minute. Basking in the sun on my new swing on my front porch listening to Carly Simon's wonderful new CD "Moonlight Serenade"

slinking out of the open window. I do love it here - and am ready to take on the new year bright eyed and determined.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

No time like the present....

Really, how shameful. Tsk. Tsk. Its been close to 2 months since I've updated my blog. Though, to be fair, in that time, I've finalized moving into 2 different houses, been involved with 2 different solo exhibits of my work in 2 different cities ( DC and Baltimore) and have been working on getting my next solo exhibit (which opens on January 6th at the Arts Center in my home town) together.
I still have much to do. In the interim I will post some little photos taken with my great next Xmas toy - the Nikon Coolpix 7600!

All thanks to the incredible George...
First, here is the hip neo-retro white Christmas tree in the living room

I have yet to end my love affair with the white tree. It just sparkles with Winter Solstice!

Here are two very large water towers not far from my house. I love the robin's egg blue color of them and the font used in the lettering. In the foreground is the local Firehouse built in the 1860's.

Here are two views from the lovely and massive park which is about a 10 minute walk from my house. I often speed walk the parameter of this park for exercise which, when walking from my place, seems about 2.5 miles total.

And last but not least, the front of my house outside of Philadelphia...

My dear friend Suzette calls it the "Butterscotch Castle" which she says is a Captain and Tenille song though for some reason I can't recall it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Get Happy...

Well, it seems that the days between my blog postings are getting closer and closer together. I'm going to label that a good thing.

The symbolic dust is beginning to settle somewhat from the moves and I should find myself on a more normal schedule. One thing that I did find the time to do over the last week while waiting for repairmen and cable guys was to read a good book.

The book that I read was "Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland" by Gerald Clarke.

This book was published in 2000. I had every intention of purchasing the book 5 years ago, but it was just one of those things that slipped further and further down on my to do list. Last Monday, while exploring the neighborhood, I found myself in front of the local library. I hadn't actually checked out a book from the library in years, and there I was, standing in front of one. I walked in, got my card, walked upstairs and saw this book standing upright on a shelf right in front of me.

If you are a fan of Garland, as I am, you'll love this book and understand how she became that troubled, amazingly complex and astonishingly talented person. You can find this on by clicking here

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The flow of painting...

While it has shamefully been close to 3 weeks since I last updated this blog, I can't say that it was out of laziness or boredom. In the last 3 months, I have had two separate major solo exhibits in two major cities ( Washington DC and Baltimore) and all the while been in the process of moving the contents of one home into two homes 130 miles part from each other.

I had a great time at both art events ( the show in Baltimore is still up until November 26 at the
Light Street Gallery) . The Fine Art publishing company that prints my work ( Ariel Of France) released a new line of my work within the last couple of weeks as well. I'm curious to see how these go over with the public. I'm very fond of these works, and the head of Ariel chose these out of several new works of mine. Here are the new works that they have published.


The Recital

Ethereal Visitation I

Ethereal Visitation II


Now, what's interesting about artwork often is the story behind the works. For example, the work Wilde is actually a print of a work that I was commissioned to create as a birthday gift. Though I am a fan of the theatre and literature, I normally would not have painted a portrait of Oscar Wilde. The person for whom this was created was, so her partner commissioned me to paint it. The lettering in the work is actually based on a letter that he had written to a fan of his in Louisville, KY who had seen him at perform a poetry reading there during his American trip.
After I finished the work, I really liked the results. I photographed it as I do all of my work, which is how the President of Ariel Of France saw it. So, now it is in print production and could end up anywhere across the US, Canada or parts of Europe.
The two "Ethereal Visitation" works actually began as three failed portraits. I started them, didn't like the way they were going, stopped working on them and began other projects.
I kept them around the studio however and came back to them about a year and a half later. I then added color washes and lettering and presto - new works that I was happy with. So, let that serve as advice to beginning artists out there - if you're having problems with something your working on, don't force it. Put it away, take a break, clear your head or start something else. It doesn't matter if it takes 2 hours or 2 years, you can come back to it with a new perspective and watch it come together.
As with life, there really is a flow to painting. You can either go with the current or go against it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Solo Show in Baltimore

I have been so terribly busy packing and moving ( in addition to two back to back solo exhibits) that I've not been updating my blog as often as I usually do. I'll get back on track soon. In the interim, here is part of the digital Press Release regarding my show that opens today in Baltimore.
Light Street Gallery Baltimore

Nationally Acclaimed Artist Michael SprouseWith an opening reception scheduled for Saturday, October 22 from 6 - 9 PM, the Light Street Gallery presents the much anticipated solo exhibit by artist Michael Sprouse entitled "Ex Post Facto".

This important show marks Sprouse's first
solo exhibition
with the Light Street Gallery and already it's being called a "don't miss" exhibit by the Baltimore Sun.

Sprouse is renown for his haunting works which he models after
the empyrean facial expressions found in the subjects of vintage portrait
photography. Sprouse's work can be found in private and public collections
across the United States, Europe, Canada, and South America.

These neo-romanticism examples of some of Sprouse's work have been called
"evocatively beautiful" and "mesmerizing" by art critics and collectors
around the globe. Some collectorÂ’s of SprouseÂ’s work include Academy
Award winning director Quentin Tarrantino, Best Selling author David
Lozelle Martin, Daniel H. Schulman - President of ,
and César Gaviria Trujillo - former President of Colombia and Secretary
General of the Organization of American Sates
The exhibit focuses on the enigmatic imagery Sprouse incorporates into his "contemporary narrative portraits" and features works that date from 1999 - 2005 including examples of his work from "The Ireland Show" as well as from his "Ethereal Visitation" series, of which have currently been brought into reproduction by the famous Fine Art publishing company of Ariel Of France.
In this exhibit, Sprouse accents the mystery, drama - as well as playfulness-
that enrich and empower the subjects of his works as they peer from underneath the brims of hats or across the room.

These figures silently speak volumes about love, desire, loss, lust and more.

An opening reception with Sprouse will be held at the Light Street
Gallery in Baltimore, MD on Saturday, October 22, from 6:00 - 9:00

The Light Street Gallery is located at
1448 Light Street Baltimore, MD 21230 and can be contacted via phone
at 410-234-0047 or via email

For more information visit the gallery online at

For more information on the nationally acclaimed artist Michael Sprouse,
visit his website at

Friday, October 14, 2005


It's Friday and it's been raining for days. Pop away....

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Ramblin' Road...

We're on the road all day today.

  1. Load artwork in huge gas guzzling borrowed from close friend van
  2. Drive van 2.5 hours to Washington, DC to take down my exhibit at the Fraser Gallery
  3. Load left over works ( I sold 4) to the Light Street Gallery in Baltimore and hang exhibit there for the show that begins on October 19th ( with an opening reception on the 22).
  4. Then drive 2.5 hours back to the lovely beach.
  5. Relax

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Self Portrait Tuesday.

It's Tuesday and I have 1000 things to do today. The major item on the list is to load the van with my artwork which George and I will drive to Washington, DC tomorrow. Then we will un-install my exhibit at the Fraser gallery and then drive to Baltimore to install my exhibit which opens on the 19th at the Light Street Gallery.

However, I was able to get my Self Portrait Tuesday image in and here it is.

That's me, early this morning, about 6:45ish, taken with my cellphone cam, bleary eyed and waiting for the hyper-infused Colombian-expresso mix to kick in.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Tin soldiers and Nixon coming...

I had a very busy yet rewarding weekend working on the house in New Jersey right outside of Philadelphia. George and I accomplished all that we wanted to and on Friday evening our friends Jerry and Paul joined us for dinner at the wonderful Tortilla Press

We drove back Saturday evening in torrential rain that made the car hydroplane on several occasions which was most disconcerting.

On Sunday evening, George and I had dinner with some friends at the home of a very close friend who had just completed her first triathlon that same day. She also managed to prepare an amazing meal complete with two homemade desserts ( Apple Pie and Cheesecake). I think that she is some form of Wonder Woman.

It was a celebratory dinner and we all had a blast.

One of the conversations during dinner however has left my mind filled with questions all day. The age span between the group at the dinner stretched from late 50’s to early 20’s. At one point our conversation turned to the recollection of certain memorable events which then led to an interesting conversation as to which decade we could relate to the most as children - moreso in the mode of “child of the 60’s” or “
70’s” etc.

My friend Larry was born in 1948 and his thought was that he was a child of the 50’s though his formative years were in the 60’s. Though some disagreed, that seemed to be the prevailing school of thought, and I myself agreed with the logic as well. Since I was born in 1965, I have always thought of myself as a child of the 70’s, since those are the years that composed my early childhood and teen years. I consider my formative years to have been the 1980’s.

George on the other hand, was born in 1959 and is a child of the 60’s. The other two guests were born in the late 70’s early 80’s and could be considered children of the 80’s - and maybe even the 90’s.

Ot was very interesting listening to everyone’s different take on a variety of issues and I think it may have been the first time where I had had an intimate dinner with such a wide variety of people age wise. At that dinner, there were people that had spent their early childhood to early teen years in each decade from the 50’s through the 90’s - and for some reason, I’ve been thinking about it all day long…

Thursday, October 06, 2005

It's time for WTF??!!

I'm going to be away from my blog for a few days until Saturday, but before I begin my journey, I wanted to squeeze in this WTF??!! for this lovely yet rainy Thursday. This one stars the insidious entity of.....

So without further delay here is my famous WTF??!!! image

And here is the story...
Wal-Mart Turns in Student's Anti-Bush Photo, Secret Service Investigates Him
Matthew Rothschild
October 4, 2005

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Self-Portrait Tuesday

Alas...the uncontrollable passages of time. Due to the fact that, for a variety of reasons, I was only able to sleep for what seemed like 2.5 hours last night ( with a very special thanks to my overweight cat for using my chest as a springboard off of the bead at around 3:00 AM while at the same time raking her still razor sharp back claws into my side, I have no intention of posting my photo from today here for self-portrait Tuesday.

What I have decided to do then, is to leap back into the way back machine and post a Press photo of a band that I was in 1986. I came across this old photo while packing yesterday. The band's name was "No Nation". I was the lead singer and that's me in the middle with the huge hair.

And here is a close-up of my big hair.

Now, I'm going to the studio where I can paint and then sleep....

Monday, October 03, 2005

"Out of the everywhere into the here"

One of the reasons that I didn’t update this blog for the last 6 days is that George and I have been very busy working to organize ourselves into our two new places that we are moving into, one in New Jersey and the other here at the beach. We expect to have the moves complete by the beginning of November.

That means lots of packing and going through things deciding which to keep and which to do away with. While going through an old box of some of my things, I came across this...

I had forgotten all about this thing so when I opened the little box that it was contained in, it brought me to a stop while a floodgate of emotions and memory opened in my mind.

I picked up the tiny bracelet and swung it around my finger amazed that such a wee delicate thing could have ever been worn around my wrist. Attached to it by an old safety pin, is the ID wristband worn by my mother while she was in the hospital giving birth to me (she died of complications of breast cancer in 1989 when she was in her early 50’s).

I wish I could describe the delicate and beautiful thoughts and sensations that I felt when holding these items in my now large and adult male hands but I'm not sure that I can do them justice. It was almost as if I were holding a tiny fragile baby bird that had fallen from it’s nest, but the bird was actually myself, my past.

It made me wish to be able to travel back in time, now as I am, and watch my mother holding me for the first time. I would take her hand and she would recognize me - she would know that I was the baby in her arms visiting from 40 years in the future. I could tell her how much I love her and that I was going to be just fine - that I could make it, at least this far.

I have only seen this bracelet on a few occasions. Once, obviously, when I wore it as a newborn and was much too young to remember. Then once again, as a child when my mother showed it to me and with wistful eyes she told me the story of my birth. We both laughed at the size of the little thing. And then again, after my father died and I was going through the house for the last time with my siblings trying to process a houseful and a lifetime of memories. That’s when I must have added it to my collection of items to take with me.

And now. It reappears again - “out of the everywhere and into the here”.

David B. Sprouse: 1937- 2001
Maureen Veronica O'Brien Sprouse: 1936 - 1989

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Self-Portrait Tuesday

Here I am on this lovely morning, Tuesday, September 27, 2005 on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

All of us locals here at the beach know that the best time to actually come to the beach is post-season. The weather is usually lovely without all of the chaos and overcrowding that occurs during high Summer season.

The morning today is glorious, so George and I jumped in the bug, dropped the top and took the 5 minute drive to the beach to stroll the mile long boardwalk. I had him take my photo at the shore for Self-Portrait Tuesday.

Here are some other photos that I took this morning. Some of these are of a very cool sand and shell sculpture work of a human face that I came across on the beach. I have no idea who the artist or artists is/are.

Monday, September 26, 2005

In memoriam....

When I was a kid, we absolutely would not miss "Get Smart". Anyone 35 and older will know Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, AKA, Agent 86.

Anyone under 35 will know him as the voice of Inspector Gadget who, of course, was based on Don Adams' portrayal of Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86

Don Adams
April 13, 1923 - September 25, 2005

She's so good-looking but she looks like a man

This is just a quick post to state that it was on this day 36 years ago that the Beatles released "Abbey Road", which happens to be one of my favorite albums of all time.

I have great memories of this album from when I was a child and my older cousin (I would have been around 5 and she was about 16 then) would play it for myself and my other siblings. She lived with us for a while then and she would play her albums for us constantly, making sure that we were the hippest (or more close to reality - the hippiest) kids on the block.

I grew up with this album and it's wonderful songs. It's been very interesting, now at the age of 40, to look back on how I have changed and how my interpretation of the meaning of the music and the lyrics have changed as I have grown older. Though, no matter what my latest incarnation of meaning form this album may be now or prove to be 30 years form now, I will always treasure the memories of that early Autumn of 1969 and dancing around the room as a carefree long-haired child to the sound of "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window".

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The thrill of it all...

On Friday evening, I went to a party with some friends of mine.

(here's a pic taken shortly after arriving at the gathering)

Afterwards, we went out dancing afterwards. By that point however, I had probably had too much vodka.

By the time we had left the dance club and I was somehow unlocking my front door, I had definitely had too much. Thank God for designated drivers. Of course, I spent all of Saturday recuperating. George (who didn't go out that evening) and I ordered Chinese food and watched movies which was perfect for my muddled head.

While flipping through the channels looking for something to watch, we landed on the Turner Classic Movies station ( one of my favorites) just in time to catch a Doris Day/James Garner flick entitled "The Thrill Of It All".

This was the typical Doris Day light romantic comedy of the early 60's. Though the storyline is very dated, she really looks phenomenal throughout the film (great costumes) and there are some funny moments that still work 40 plus years later. There are also, however, some far fetched moments as well which may have been more believable in 1963 to less sophisticated audiences. This includes the character played by Arlene Francis. In the film, she is supposed to be pregnant for the first time. Though her age is never revealed in the film, there is an implication that she is older than most first time mothers and James Garner's (her doctor in the film) states that "she has been trying for 20 years" to get pregnant. In reality however, Alrene Francis was 56 when she made this film and well, she looks like she's in her 50's. I just didn't find her in that role as believable at all.

There is also a scene where a swimming pool in Day's backyard gets filled with detergent and the suds that form overnight fill the entire backyard - over the roof of her house. They actually call in professional movers to remove the suds with shovels. They then fill in the back of dump trucks with the suds. Again - very unbelievable and they play on the gag way too long. The chemistry between Day and Garner is very natural however.

This was one of Doris Day's three top-grossing films and lines formed around the block to see it when it was released in 1963. This film was directed by Norman Jewison who also directed "Moonstruck", one of my personal favorites.

It was very interesting to see ZaZu Pitts

in her small role as the maid in this film. Zazu was a star of silent film making her first film in 1917. She was renown for her expressive eyes and hands. Famed silent film director Erich von Stroheim called her "the greatest tragedienne of the screen." "The Thrill Of It All" was to be her second to last film as she died the year it was released.

If you have any interest in this film at all, click here to find an in-depth page on the flick including a MPEG of the film's theme song which is actually not song by Doris Day.

The other brilliant film that we watched was "Kinsey" starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Peter Sarsgaard.

This was an amazing film indeed, poignant, dramatic and humorous on many occasions. This film deals with the life of Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey

and his famous studies of sexuality. Laura Linney was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Clara McMillen, Kinsey's wife. Neeson should have been nominated and I don't understand why he wasn't. This film is currently available on most pay per views throughout the country if you have digital cable. I highly recommend this film. By the way, the funniest line from this film in my opinion involves a heavy accent and the word horse. You'll know it when you hear it. Also, watch for an incredible and heart touching cameo by Lynn Redgrave at the end of the film.

By the way, I just took an online "Politics" test and here were my results...
You are a

Social Liberal
(76% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(20% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid