Monday, January 24, 2011

“The world is life, fun, and energy.”


No matter what your stance on the validity of horoscopes, the following is of interest. The folks at wondered if horoscopes really all just say the same thing? They scraped & analyzed 22,000 predictions to see the results.


Frankly, I find the meta-horoscope composed of the most common words from 4,000 star sign predictions may be the only horoscope that I will ever need. . .


Words to live by no doubt. . . More  here -

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A collection of work. . .


I’m in the process of updating some of the work on my visual artist website at Coupled with the fact that I recently was commissioned to create a “Narrative Portrait” work, I found myself revisiting some works that I’ve not examined in a while. I created an album on my Facebook page for the process and I found the synchronistic manner in which FB’s album app situated the works so that the eyes of each subject of the paintings are the main focus of the thumbnails rather uncanny.

You can see the full treatment, as well as the large version of each thumbnail plus a description of my “Narrative Portrait” process here -!/album.php?aid=279568&id=767354227 

Feel free to share!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Crazy Cat Animation…

It’s Friday and the perfect time for this silliness…


Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Xtras Café In Richmond’s “Carytown”

A couple of months ago, I became aware of a new hot spot in the “Carytown” section of Richmond called “Xtras Café” that just opened last September.

The place is off to a great start getting rave review after rave review in the Richmond press, including being named one of the best new restaurants in Richmond”  in the January issue of Richmond Magazine.

The reason that Xtras came across my radar is the fact that they have practically designed their phenomenal deco themed interior around one of my large-scale paintings entitled, “The Farewell  which was purchased from The Chasen Gallery a wonderful gallery with whom I have been represented for a number of years now.

(interior shot of Xtras Café with “The Farewell” center wall)

(detail of interior shot of Xtras Café with “The Farewell” center wall)

I’ve not had a chance to get to Xtras yet, but I have an artist friend who will be traveling to Richmond soon who plans to stop in and check it out. Based upon the reviews, I’ll make sure and do the same when I’m there next. I mean, after all, I already admire their great sense of taste! – Winking smile

Recent reviews online:  

Dining Out Review: Xtras Café


Xtras Cafe impresses with design, patio

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Amazing Work of Brad Elterman

I’m not sure how the work of Brad Elterman, the phenomenally gifted photographer with a golden eye who visually documented some of the most iconic entertainers of the 70s and 80s, managed to slip under my radar for decades. I find his work incredible.

These are not just random paparazzi fluff photos – it takes a keen eye to capture these moments and an highly skilled artistic eye to select the best of the myriad frames to release.

“I did several photo session with Cherie Currie of The Runaways. One day in 1977 I drove out to the San Fernando Valley to photograph Cherie at home. She was rather carefree during a tour of the family kitchen, placed a lollipop in her mouth and I took the photo. It is incredible how you can accessorize a photo session with a lollipop!” 
Photo by Brad Elterman

Visit his website and review his amazing work from his book “Like It Was Yesterday” here :

You won’t regret the visit…

Monday, January 17, 2011

“75, 25, 51”

Simply to make a rather blah January Monday fade a bit faster – a bit of digital collage to spark creativity…

Make of it what you will. Enjoy…

”75, 25, 51” Digital Collage, 2011 ©Michael Sprouse

Sunday, January 16, 2011

William Dyce painting reappears…


While I’m glad that this work has reappeared, what I’m most curious about is the story behind its being lost for the last 100 years. Where had it been?

The current story here -

LONDON.- A stunning William Dyce painting that has been lost for over a century is to be offered for sale at Sotheby’s next week. The Meeting of Jacob and Rachel is expected to fetch between £100,000 – 150,000 when it is offered for sale in Sotheby’s Victorian and Edwardian Art sale on Wednesday 15 July 2009. The painting illustrates the Biblical text ‘Jacob kissed Rachel and lifted up his voice, and wept’ - Rachel’s father had tricked Jacob into working for him without payment on the understanding that he could marry Rachel. The work has been untraced since it was exhibited in the 1850s – first at the Royal Academy in 1850 and later at the Manchester Art Treasures exhibition in 1857. The discovery was made when an image of the work was sent to Sotheby’s specialists who were later able to identify it as the original by a small part of torn label on the reverse that identified it as having been in the Manchester exhibition.

Discussing the work Grant Ford, Senior Director and Head of Victorian Paintings at Sotheby’s said: “This is one of the most important pre-Raphaelite paintings to appear on the market for some time. It is thrilling to have uncovered the whereabouts of this striking Dyce work, especially as it was just last autumn that we set a record William Dyce, The Meeting of Jacob and Rachel, Est. £100,000 – 150,000 for a work by the artist at auction with Welsh landscape of two women knitting which was included in the sale of the Scott Collection at Sotheby’s London.”
The painting illustrates the Biblical text ‘Jacob kissed Rachel and lifted up his voice, and wept.’ Rachel’s father had tricked Jacob into working for him without payment on the understanding that he could marry Rachel. However, after fourteen years he insisted that Jacob should first marry his elder daughter Leah before eventually allowing him to marry Rachel. This theme must have been particularly meaningful to the artist as he had been forced to delay his own marriage until January 1890 – maybe on account of the 27 year age difference between him and his 19 year old bride.

Other highlights of the Victorian and Edwardian Art auction include Liverpool Docks, by John Atkinson Grimshaw, an atmospheric night-time depiction of 19th century Liverpool estimated at £250,000-350,000 and Wind and Sun by Dame Laura Knight – a light-filled costal scene painted in Cornwall expected to fetch £200,000-300,000.

More on Dyce here:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New home for Degas painting

Congratulations Saint Louis Art Museum for your recent acquisition, Edgar Degas’ phenomenal painting, The Milliners (Les Modistes).


Degas has long been one of my personal favorites of the late 19th and early 20th century European artists. I remember clearly the first time I saw his tremendous work in person the first time I ventured into the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in the summer of 1990.

I was in my early twenties and I had just moved to DC from a small university town in Kentucky. It was a pivotal and life changing move and that summer presented the expected torrent of discoveries and new experiences that naturally accompany youth and transition.

As an young artist in Kentucky, I had only read about the splendors of the famous museums and galleries during Art History class. Then, as if floating through a blur of a hundred fast forward buttons, one day I found myself standing in front of Degas’ astounding work, “Four Dancers” in the National Gallery Of Art in Washington, DC.


It was a mesmerizing moment and I became completely lost in it. Though, “moment” isn’t the correct word, and frankly, I’m not sure what would be. It wasn’t a moment as much as it was a cloak of eternity that enveloped my artistic psyche. My senses became one with the masterpiece – the colors, the composition, the flow, shapes, texture, expressions, form, movement and so much more. Each second of awareness of something extraordinary brought others that exploded like super-novae exponentially across the canvas and my mind.

I left the gallery a changed man and and artist.

So, I was quite pleased to learn of the purchase of The Milliners (Les Modistes) by the Saint Louis Art Museum – in particularly - for the following reasons

  1. This is the first Degas to join the museum’s collection
  2. The work had been in private hands since it was first sold after Degas’ death in 1917
  3. If I ever get to Saint Louis, I now know one place to put on my “must see” list.

Details of the major acquisition can be found here - Saint Louis Art Museum Acquires Important Painting by Edgar Degas

Monday, January 03, 2011

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face…

Whether the claims made by the Italian researchers are true or not, I don’t know. It is intriguing nevertheless.

Still mysterious after 500 years….

Personally, I can’t think about the Mona Lisa without remembering the time that I first saw the masterpiece during a trip to Paris in the autumn of 2001. The tickets for the trip were purchased in the summer of that year prior to the fateful 9/11.

My partner and I, plus a mutual close friend, would be  traveling together. After the events of 9/11, we had a brief discussion between us as to whether we should go ahead with the trip or not. (our trip was scheduled for the last week of November). Based upon the idea that security would more than likely be at an all time high, we decided to go ahead with the trip.

It turned out to be the perfect decision resulting in a marvelous trip to Paris. One of the unexpected outcomes of traveling internationally within 2 months after 9/11, was the effect on tourism. Basically, at least in Paris, trips had been canceled left and right leaving the entire splendor of the city available without crowds or lines.

This was most noticed during our day trip to the Louvre. The three of us had practically the entire museum to ourselves. As you’ll see in the video above, there are usually mobs of tourists surrounding the Mona Lisa. The day we were there, there literally only the three of us in the room, plus a few security guards.

I was amazed and I asked our friend who had been to the Louvre several times in the past whether it was normal for us to be the only ones in the room. “Absolutely not” was her reply.

It was a rather magical moment to say the least…