Friday, December 30, 2011

Vintage New Years Cards Facebook Covers

In order to kick off the New Year with a good start, I created these New Years Eve themed Facebook Cover images for the new FB design. These have been fashioned in Photoshop from vintage, early 20th century Postcards to work perfectly as cover images in Facebook. Click on the image below for the larger version which is the size you’ll need for the cover image. Then  

  1. Go to your timeline
  2. Click Add a Cover
  3. Choose choose “upload a new photo” and direct it to the are where you have saved the image
  4. Once you choose a photo, you can reposition it by clicking on the image and dragging it up or down
  5. Click Save

Happy New Year and Good Cheer!






Sunday, December 18, 2011

Risky, dangerous, selfish behavior…


Following suit of surrounding states,  last year Delaware wisely banned the use of a speaking on a phone while driving (unless a hands free device is being used) and all texting. Even though there is a stiff fine attached to the law's violation, I still see people blatantly ignoring it every time I get on the road.

Every. Single. Time.

Clearly, the law isn't being enforced. I find that surprising considering there have been people killed in phone related accidents in this area in the last few years. I cringe when I see people doing it. They're usually easy to spot as they are usually the ones driving slower than most and weaving in and out lanes.

I once heard an interview with a policeman who said that they recognize phone related distracted drivers because they drive just like like drunk drivers. That's how dangerous and problematic this is.

I'm on the road frequently between Delaware and DC. If I could shoot a laser beam from my eyes that would transform the cell phone someone is chatting or texting on while driving into the rotted, fetid corpse of a dead fish I'd do it in a heartbeat.

The New York Times has a very good article in the December 17th issue titled “
2 Habits Hard to Break: Smoking and Phone While Driving - Reframing the Debate Over Using Phones Behind the Wheel” .

There’s a great line from Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry at the Stanford University Medical Center, in the article that reads, even addicted smokers, he said, do not light up in theaters or churches. The same thing can happen with distracted driving. “If we create a different culture,” he said, “some of the people who feel addicted will stop.”

If you read the article, you’ll understand the context. And you’ll understand why he’s right.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Artwork of Josh George

I had a pre-sunrise, aesthetically pleasing, eye-opening experience this morning of stumbling across the work of artist Josh George

Even a brief visit to the gallery on his website reveals a truly gifted painter who has forged a clear mastery of paint to recreate his vision onto canvas honed with immense skill.

His work is beautifully composed and rich with depth and emotion. His color choices are  visually completely appropriate for the work as the perfectly meld like long lost puzzle pieces snapping seamlessly together into a dreamscape of surreal narratives that waft into the subconscious of the viewer and tap them on the shoulder releasing misted memories of the past. Like the scent of burning wood from a distant fire undulating through the frosted air of a winter’s night, his paintings give one pause as they strike hauntingly familiar chords from music that you know you but just can’t quite place.

If you get a chance, visit his site and see for yourself. You’ll be impresses to say the least…

“To Regale Luxuriously and Give Free Scope To” 48 x 48 © All rights reserved by Josh George

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

A speech to be remembered by history…

Amazingly, I can't find the words to express how important and moving this Hillary Rodham Clinton’s address before the United Nations in Geneva is. The Advocate describes it as a speech "to be remembered by history", to which I agree. In my opinion, if you are a member of the LGBT community, or care for someone who is, then it is absolutely vital that you watch the speech and then  - share it. This is how equality begins... 

LA Switzerland Clinton-Human Rights.JPEG-06261.jpg
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton shakes hands after her speech on human rights issues at United Nations headquarters in Geneva. (Anja Niedringhaus, AP / December 6, 2011)

WATCH: The Speech You’ve Been Waiting For Hillary...

Thursday, December 01, 2011

iPhone Finger Dysfunction….


It's rather frustrating when you've just left a voice-mail for someone via your iPhone and you think the call has ended and you begin singing rather loudly along with one of your favorite Steely Dan tunes from the Aja album that starts playing in the background and you just happen to notice when you hit the chorus that you're still being very much recorded onto the voice-mail from the call that never ended in the first place. Very frustrating indeed...

Monday, November 28, 2011

“Where the needle goes, the thread must follow”

I have exhibited the work of several fiber artists over the years in galleries and exhibitions that I have curated, so I’m no stranger to fiber arts. However, these works were usually large wall pieces richly constructed from of a variety of materials assembled together in all kinds of different ways. Whether the materials were sewn, glued, bolted, tied, or woven together, these works were impressive and heady constructions that were more like soft wall sculpture rather than fiber works.

That’s why I was so impressed with the delicate miniature portrait embroidery of fiber artist Cayce Zavaglia that I discovered  when I came across an interview with her on  

© Cayce Zavaglia

While her pieces are usually just under life size and take approximately 6-8 months to create, these new works are much smaller in scale, measuring only about 8" x 12".  Though smaller than her traditional work, these gems still pack a visual wallop. They are insightful, compelling and deeply sincere. All at once, they successfully present a full circle portrait that reflects not only the humanity of the subject, but a deep awareness of the sitter’s psyche and spirit.

A viewer of these stunning works isn’t simply looking at a well executed portrait, they are bonding with it. The viewer’s eyes lock with the subject’s eyes thusly opening a channel of myriad back stories and memories, mist, light and shadow. The works are so successful, that the fact that they are composed of countless and deliberately placed stitches (normally one of the most important aspects of the works) almost becomes background music to an unforgettable scene from some classic film.

Zavaglia has so adeptly created these mini-masterpieces that once they leave the artist’s hands and studio, one gets a true sense of them beginning a life of their own with a symbolic tapestry of life experience created with one ply embroidery floss. In my opinion, Zavaglia has obtained a goal that many artist share but so few achieve – the ability to create work compelling enough to stand on it’s own without a tipping of the hat to the work’s creator. Viewer’s of these works are compelled to learn more about that artist from viewing the work – not the other way around, which, in my opinion, has become a bane of the contemporary art world.

You can read more about these stunning works and see examples of her artistry in the interview here -

To learn more about this fantastic artist and to see examples of her equally impressive largr works, visit her website at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Umbrella Man

On the 48th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Errol Morris explores the story behind the one man seen standing under an open black umbrella at the site in a fascinating and well-produced video short...

The Umbrella Man - Video Library - The New York Times


Monday, November 14, 2011

Recent Work

Here are three recent works – all digital collages of my original photography and vintage photographic imagery.

These are soon to be available as a personally hand-crafted mixed-media print on canvas in a variety of sizes ranging from 18" x 18" to 6" x 6" on gallery stretched canvas for extremely affordable, you artist friend wants to continue to exist, holiday friendly prices. The copyright information will not appear on the purchased prints.

Email or message me if interested for more information. Also, I can create astonishing works from your old family photos and letters that will make you the envy of those who purchase their wall art from the likes of Pier One and Target. Really. ♥ and Happy Holidays....

”Triplets” – digital collage with mixed media on paper and canvas. Copyright ©2011 Michael Sprouse


”Inclusion” – digital collage with mixed media on paper and canvas. Copyright ©2011 Michael Sprouse

”Autumn” – digital collage with mixed media on paper and canvas. Copyright ©2011 Michael Sprouse

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ghouls and Zombies Of The Past…

With Halloween just days away, I thought it would be appropriate to rummage through my old trunk of vintage photographs to see what spooky snapshots might be lurking about. I was in luck. It seems that the undead have been undead for quite some time.

Happy Halloween. Muhahahahaha…. 






Monday, October 17, 2011

The Visual Joy that is Autumn…

This Monday morning brings  sweet autumn air of calmness after a true whirlwind of a weekend composed of art gallery receptions, dinner parties, live jazz concerts,  sparkling and witty conversation of general socializing and travel that all took place between three states and the District of Colombia.

I enjoyed some superb live music thanks to the
Rehoboth Jazz Fest, saw and helped to sale some wonderful original art, and ate some spectacular food. I met several great new people that I hope to run into again, ran into others that I’ve met recently and visited with dear old friends that I’ve not seen in a while. Despite the hurly-burliness of it all, it was a fantastic ride of a weekend.

Fortunately, during the drive back to Delaware from DC yesterday on a crisp late Sunday October morning, there was a welcome couple of hours of calm between engagements. My partner and I wisely decided to stop at the rustic Adams Fruit Market.

Nestled in the pines just past the Maryland/Delaware state line on route 404, Adams is located about 8 miles west of Bridgeville, Delaware. I’m not certain how long it’s been there, but I feel it’s safe to say at least 45 to 50 years or longer.

It was a lovely and peaceful experience. With the breeze rustling through the pines, everywhere I turned were the colors of autumn. I took some quick photos with my iPhone. Rather than post them as traditional photos, I felt like adding a bit of an artistic twist to them this morning  so I incorporated a bit of a kaleidoscope treatment compositionally in Photoshop.

Perhaps it will help to transfer the experience of being surround by the richness and vibrancy of the color that is Autumn.

© 2011 Michael Sprouse

© 2011 Michael Sprouse

© 2011 Michael Sprouse

© 2011 Michael Sprouse

© 2011 Michael Sprouse

© 2011 Michael Sprouse

If you'd like to experience an Autumnal Kaleidoscope of color in real time of your very own, I suggest you stop by Adams Fruit Market if you find yourself in the area. They have a tremendous amount of pumpkins, gourds, mums and more (I'm looking forward to the Jack-O-Lantern I’ll be carving soon from my Adams Fruit Stand pumpkin). Or, if you get the opportunity, take a drive out in the country and visit your own locally owned produce stand before the season passes. You’ll be glad you did.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Visual Jazz…

My thanks to the many who attended the opening reception for Visual Jazz last night at Prudential Gallo, REALTORS® in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. It was a spectacular event and a fantastic time was had by all.

Special thanks to Julie Borden and Sydney Arzt for their inclusion of their beautiful and fascinating work and to Touch Of Italy for their greathearted donation of delectable foods.

Also - a very special thanks to the fantastic people of Prudential Gallo Rehoboth for their tremendous support and invaluable and truly generous help with this artistic and worthwhile endeavor which just seems to get better and more successful every time.

Artist Julie Borden chats with Jazz and Music Promoter Sydney Arzt.

op2Art appreciator and Music Promoter Sydney Arzt.

op3Enthusiastic patrons attend the event

Enthusiastic patrons attend the event

op5Enthusiastic patrons attend the event

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is this portrait a lost Leonardo? | Art and design | The Guardian

I've blogged about the entirely fascinating story of La Principessa before. It seems a new chapter, quite literally, has opened in this amazing story...

Is this portrait a lost Leonardo? | Art and design | The Guardian

Monday, September 26, 2011

An enlightening interview with wise being

I’ve mentioned several times on this blog how two of Eckhart Tolle’s books, “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” and “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose”  helped me to not only change my outlook  on life and existence, but to “awaken” through a shift in consciousness.


I’ve read each one several times over the last few years since I first came across them on my journey and I highly recommend them. I came across a very well written interview with Tolle on his website that may serve as a basic introduction to the shift in consciousness that he presents in these life changing books.

The article and interview titled “The Awakening of Eckhart Tolle” is written by Paula Coppel for Unity Magazine and may be found here.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Life Imitating Art with a big price tag…

I find it admirable that one of the tactics Samsung is using in defense against Apple’s current patent infringement suit is the claim that Stanley Kubrick actually had the original idea behind the iPad and not Apple.

Here’s a still from the scene that according to this article on, Samsung says proves that at least the concept of the iPad came from someone other than the developers at Apple - not just years mind you - but 4 decades before the pricey tech tool was released! The amazing Kubrick film “2001: A Space Odyssey” was actually filmed in 1965 prior to it’s release in 1968.


Here is the  actual clip in reference can be seen on by clicking here.

I think the reason that I like this tactic is its mix of the old “David verses Goliath” story and the fact that art from over 4 decades ago is being referenced as a source of inspiration for very current technology.

In my opinion, even though it’s being used as a tug-of-war tool so to speak between two mega-tech industries over fortunes that are practically impossible for us to comprehend, it quite elegantly underscores the eternal beauty of art itself.

One of the wonderful qualities of great art is its sense of  timelessness. Art itself borders on the eternal because, ultimately, it is the manifestation of an artist’s creative mind which is based in the eternal. It’s the same “eternal” that lives within us all.

Perhaps the final story here is the fact that an artist’s vision is being used in a court of law, regardless of the reasons, perhaps may just let those of us who notice reawaken the eternal in ourselves as well.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A politician is a politician is a politician…

Wisdom alert here!

Jesse Lava: The Real Obama Betrayal

This above is a well written article that I came across this morning on the Huffington Post written by Jess Lava (Director, criminal justice campaign at Brave New Foundation). He does a fine job of explaining why President Obama is not the same man, politically speaking, as Obama the candidate from '08 and '09.

I have believed this for quite some time, so I find it validating to see more and more articles with similar stances hitting the digital and print driven press outlets. While I was quite open during the last presidential election about my support for Hilary Clinton. I was quite taken by surprise by the strong, and at times unpleasant, reactions by my fellow progressives who were supporting Obama when the conversation would arise. There were even some who passively/aggressively suggested that my lack of support of Obama was based in racism. Ridiculous.

My lack of initial support for Obama wasn't based in racism ; it was based in my perception of his lack of meaningful political experience when it came to taking the wheel , so to speak, in leading this country out of some very thick fog. On an analogous level, I wouldn't feel comfortable letting a 11 year old drive a car through a blinding snowstorm in which I was a passenger no matter how adamantly they insisted they could operate the vehicle. However, if a seasoned professional driver who knew the lay of the road ahead had insisted on taking the wheel, I would have sat back, relaxed and enjoyed the ride. Not only did the electorate insist that Hillary get out of the car, they proceeded to hand the keys to Obama. Once he became the party's choice, I of course supported his run and did indeed vote for him. I even adopted a bit of Pollyanna vision and opted to hope, and at times believe, that perhaps his words about "change that I could believe in" were valid. Of course, his current record shows that promise to be nothing more than a slick campaign slogan.

I had a similar conversations recently with hardcore Obama supporters about my, and others, dissatisfaction with the President. For the most part, all I received were snarky responses about how "I'd better not vote Republican in 2012" and acerbically toned questions asking would I rather have a president Perry or Bachman. These are all useless comments clearly arisen out of the speaker's own frustrations with the situation and a level umbrage that naturally comes forth when one feels as if they have been hoodwinked.

Obviously, I won't vote for a Republican candidate no matter how frustrating Obama's actions, or lack thereof, may be as I realize that having a Democrat, even if just by name, in the White House is far better than any alternative. Though, frankly, with Obama's current lackluster track record, the sad and disappointing difference currently seems small.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fight For Your Right…

Somewhere, someone must be drooling...


Beastie Boys Action Figures Being Sold To Raise Money For Charity

Because it’s the day before the day before Friday…


(click above for larger version)

Monday, August 15, 2011

A wealthy and wise man speaks...

"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It’s time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice." ~ Warren E. Buffett
Stop Coddling the Super-Rich -

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Disquieting Dream…


Though I rarely discuss them publically beyond close friends and family, I have long been one of those people who have been blessed/cursed with intensely vibrant, realistic/surrealistic, often meaningful dreams. I usually remember them in extreme detail as they seem more like memories of recent events rather than fuzzy, misted dream recollections.

I have no idea why I have these dreams. Perhaps it’s because of my artistic nature, my right brain lean, my enchantment with the esoteric or a combination of all. I think it’s a bit genetic in nature as I’ve other family members with the same ability, my mother in particular was gifted in this department.

Sometimes these dreams are purely entertaining, joyful experiences filled with laugher and nonsense. Sometimes they are more somber steeped in symbolic imagery and detail. I’ve had uncannily prophetic dreams, dreams where I’ve had long heartfelt conversations with people long passed, and dreams filled with complete strangers spent walking the streets of ancient lands and other worlds.

And sometimes I have dreams filled with deep mystery that hint of messages from beyond and leave me feeling as if I must search for a missing puzzle piece before I can see the “big picture” of it all.

Last night was one of those experiences….

It began in a hospital. A hospital in some town in some state somewhere in this country. There had been a major renovation to the hospital – either a new wing had been added or one had been completely renovated.

I found myself in the dream space a few minutes after what must have been the ribbon cutting for the new addition. The area was filled with medical professionals, community leaders, and citizens of the town that seemed connected somehow to the renovation. Everyone was quite pleased with the new addition and there was much chatter amongst the attendees over bites of cake and sips of punch.

No one seemed to notice me at first and I was able to pass amongst the crowd as I pleased. I saw a printed program documenting the event on a desk and I decided to read it. That’s when I realized that the reason that I was there was that some of my art had been placed in the permanent collection of the hospital and was being featured somewhere in the renovation. For some reason, either I didn’t see or can’t recall exactly where this hospital was in the dream.

I still hadn’t been noticed by the crowd so I decided that I would explore the area myself and locate my art, as I was curious as to what work of mine was part of the collection.

I started off down a hallway to the left of where I had been reading the program leaving the chattering of the crowd behind me. The hallways were well lit with and painted a soft beige color. Everything sparkled with a feeling of newness to it. I still didn’t recognize my art so I continued deeper into a series of hallways and I soon realized that I had become lost in the process.

This made me slightly uncomfortable as I was now completely alone in a hospital with zero idea of where I or it was located. I decided that the best thing to do would be to try and back track my steps and listen for the voices of the crowd to find my way back to the main area.

I started back in the direction that I had came, but everything began to look the same and I was never certain that I was going in the right direction. That’s when it happened.

Suddenly, I found myself walking through a hallway that was darker and much cooler  than the others. I realized that there were literally no lights fixture in the hallway. The hazy ambient light that was there was coming from an adjoining hallway that was separated from the one in which I was standing in by a wall of windows. The windows were of an old fashioned kind that had some sort of protective wire meshing incased within them. I stood in the middle of the hallway and looked through the glass into the other side.

It was like looking into the hospital’s past. I’m no expert on vintage industrial interior design, but I would guess it to be anywhere between the late 1930’s to the mid 1950’s. The floor had been yellowed and burnished with use and the light fixtures were of an earlier time. The light was yellowish which cast everything with a vintage sepia hue. A few chairs and a desk or two also had the same retro look and feel. It was then that I noticed the door.

Across and slightly to the left of where I was looking was a door to a room which caught my attention for no apparent reason. I found myself staring at the door for what seemed like quite some time as if I were waiting for something.

Then, quite suddenly, something startling happened.


The door knob transformed in a photograph of a little girl. It was about an 8.5” by 11”, black and white studio portrait of a lovely little girl with pigtails and a big smile. She was about 7 to 10 years old and the photo seemed to be taken around the same time period as the wing that I was looking into. I found myself entranced with the photograph. She had dark blond hair, blue eyes, and she was wearing what appeared to be a hand made knit sweater over a blouse of darker color. I could feel a connection form between my eyes and hers. I could sense that the girl was trying to tell me something but I couldn’t quite make it out. It was as if there was static filling the airwaves.

Without warning, the photograph began to very slowly turn as if by two invisible hands. I could hear the clicking of the old mechanism of the door lock and I watched as the door creaked open revealing a completely dark room that seemed to go for an eternity. I felt a rush of cool air come over me and the sound of wind.

At that very moment that I was able to peer into the cavern of the room, the lights in the hallway in which I was standing popped on with a brilliant bright flash.

I found that the wall of windows was simply gone – now replaced with the sparkling newness of the other beige walls of the new addition. I found myself now face to face with one of my abstract paintings – now part of the permanent collection and hanging on the wall that a nanosecond before had been a portal to the hospital’s past.

I was stunned by the event and found myself shaking my head to clear away the confusion when suddenly I heard voices to my right.

It was a small group of nurses, some of whom were long retired, that were in attendance for the celebration. They said that they had been looking for me and they were glad to see that I had located my art work in the building. My face must have still registered the intensity of my experience as they asked me if anything was wrong.

I told them what I had just witnessed and they were stunned. One of the older nurses asked me to describe the girl in the photograph. I did so. Another of the other retired nurses began to weep as a third told me that when they were young women and working in the hospital, that where we were standing had been another area completely and that this particular spot had been the location of a room where long ago the little girl in the photograph had spent her final days before succumbing to the effects of a tragic event.

The nurses said that the entire staff had become very taken with the child. That said that she had such charisma, charm, and optimism that they all fell in love with the little girl. They were absolutely devastated when she passed.

The same nurse then told me that one of the child’s  visitors, a gentle and mature man - perhaps a relation, insisted that the girl’s photograph be hung on the doorknob outside of the room so that he could find it more easily during visits as he would often become lost in the hallways of the hospital.

And at that point in the conversation, I simply woke up. I never got the girl’s name, the name of the hospital, the name of the visitor, the tragic event, or even the year.

What I did get is a haunting memory tinged by time and the sense that there may be much more to come from the little mysterious girl in the photograph…

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Smashing Success for the Opening Reception at Prudential Gallo, REALTORS® in Rehoboth Beach!

A large crowd braved the intense summer heat and the beach traffic to attend the opening reception for the Dickey, Peghini-Räber and Sprouse Recent Works Exhibit At Prudential Gallo, REALTORS® in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on the evening of Friday, July 29th resulting in a tremendous amount of fun, multiple sales of fantastic original art and a thorough enjoyment of the complimentary Hors d'oeuvres and wine courtesy of a
Touch of Italy Salumeria and Pasticceria and Prudential Gallo, REALTORS® in Rehoboth Beach.

A sincere thanks to all of those in attendance, the talented artists and the hard working and dedicated Realtors of Prudential Gallo, REALTORS® in Rehoboth Beach as well as Touch of Italy Salumeria and Pasticceria of Rehoboth and the Touch of Italy Foundation.

This exhibit runs through the end of August so be sure to stop by the Prudential Gallo Rehoboth Beach office at
37230 Rehoboth Avenue Ext. to view this compelling exhibit!

(photos from the event)








Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mr. Potato Head and Pals

I never knew that Mr. Potato Head had a pal named “Pete The Pepper”.


With a name like “Pete The Pepper”, it seems possible that this “friend” may have been one of Mr. Potato Head’s more nefarious associates possibly with ties to organized crime or at least to the shadier aspects of the vegetable import business.

I also was unaware that the first Mr. Potato Head toys were made to actually be inserted into real vegetables.



According to the included instructions, “most any vegetable or fruit” can be used. When I was a small child, the fruits and vegetables in our home were strictly for consumption and not play. It seems to me the act of shoving plastic eyes, mouth, moustache and a pipe into a ripe tomato over and over again would render the fruit unappetizing at least and would most certainly produce a rather macabre doll. I can’t imagine the fun would increase with the use of the more stable fleshed onion once it’s wildly pungent and real-life eye scalding, milky juices would begin to weep from the wounds created by the hard plastic facial prosthetics. It takes no great stretch of the mind to imagine horrified children attempting in vain to comprehend why their new best friend the onion headed doll was lamenting its creation with foul smelling, bitter and burning tears.

According to Wikipedia, “in the 1960s, government regulations forced the Potato Head parts to be less sharp, leaving them unable to puncture vegetables easily. By 1964, the company was therefore forced to include a plastic potato "body" in its kit. Little children were also choking on the small pieces and cutting themselves with the sharp pieces”. Though the date on the box above is clearly listed as 1966 and there seems that there were only “face parts” in that particular box.

Regardless of the math, by the time I was playing with Mr. Potato Head in the late 60’s, there was a plastic potato body included in the box.

And the rest, as they say, is toy history…