Monday, December 29, 2014

Gratitude and Attitude - Your 2015 Secret Thrive Guide Is Here

I don't want to sound like a rehashed new age guru here, but with the start of a new year knocking on the door, I feel compelled to share my own little, timely message based upon my own personal experience. 

For about the last two years now, I begin every single, morning with a silent, contemplative meditation of gratitude. Quite seriously, I do this before I even rise from my bed. It's very simple and it can be as brief, or lengthy, as you wish. You can be grateful for anything and to anything or anyone. There is no wrong way to do it. Personally, I direct my gratitude energy to the "Universe", which, in my book is what others may refer to as God - but I'm not taking that exit ramp with this post. 

The very first thing that I am grateful for is waking up into a new day, filled with new possibilities. The rest is up to you and whatever gratitude path you want to walk down. Are you grateful because you have more money than the Vatican? So be it. Are you grateful because you have a job interview that may help you pay your rent and feed your kid? Right on. Are you grateful because you have one more precious hour to hold the hand of a loved one who is on the edge of returning to energy? Blessings. See, it can really be about anything and to anything. 

As I said, it is very simple. But it's also very powerful and very effective. You may think your current life is miserable. Maybe you wake up in prison. Maybe you wake up lonely or in an abusive relationship. Maybe you wake up in poverty, or pain - or both. It doesn't matter. Find something, anything, to be grateful for and move forward from that space - no matter how tiny or futile it may feel. 

Sometimes in life, you have to fight your way out of the darkness. I'm here to tell you that this sweet, little mental dialogue will deliver in a grand way. The new year is almost here, take this little gem with you into it and see how far it will bring you. 

With much love and wishes of peace and prosperity in the new year to all...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

On location: WRDE Arts & Entertainment Report with Michael Sprouse

I'm really looking forward to the next segment of the WRDE Arts & Entertainment Report (airing Wednesday, August 20th during the 6 and 11 PM newscasts.) Last night, I had the chance to sit in with and interview Paul Cullen (one time bassist for one of the most acclaimed bands of the classic rock era - the über-famous "Bad Company") during one of his recent - and very popular -"Tune Your Palate" Private Chef In-Home Events.


“Renaissance Man” Paul Cullen prepares pasta from scratch while being filmed by Nick Gruber (the WRDE Arts & Entertainment very talented and creative videographer) during a recent taping of the show.

Though at one time Paul could be found on stage playing before crowds of at least 30,000 enthralled fans, he is now completely comfortable - and quite successful - as an all-in-one gourmet chef, well-honed wine specialist and premier acoustic jazz guitarist. Groups of at least 10 guests or more can hire Paul to come into their home where he and his team will prepare a four course sit down Italian dinner which includes a region specific Italian wine pairing with an enchanting acoustic concert by Paul afterword (leave the serving, pouring and clean up to Paul and his team.) It makes for a truly enjoyable and memorable occasion and I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that the food is absolutely, knock-your-socks-off, spectacular.

You'll not want to miss the August 13th WRDE Arts & Entertainment Report to learn more about Paul's fascinating "
Renaissance Man" journey from superstar rock-and-roll status to culinary arts celebrity, wine specialist and top-notch jazz acoustic guitar talent. Within our coverage area in Southern Delaware, WRDE NBC Coast TV broadcasts in HD on channels 209 and 809 on Comcast (also in Standard Definition on Channel 9 on Comcast). For viewers with Direct TV and Dish Network use channel 31. For over the air non-cable or dish viewing, use channel 31.1. The WRDE Arts & Entertainment Report will is also available for streaming via the WRDE Youtube channel.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Where is Sprouse now? On TV that's where!

It's always nice to get mentioned in the wildly popular and well-noted blog of one of DC's most influential arts journalists.

This is especially valid when the author is my friend and an incredibly talented artist in his own right - Lenny Campello. 

Daily Campello Art News: Where is Sprouse now? On TV that's where!

Friday, June 13, 2014

New Season. New Career Move.

What could cause a guy like me to jump off the radar of his own blog for two and half months? Four paintings, five web design projects, three logos – oh, and yes – a brand new career move as the On Air Arts & Entertainment Reporter for WRDE NBC TV!

I’m so excited by this major event, that even I am at a loss of words. But not for long – my segments will begin to air around the first week of July.

Stay tuned for frequent updates with a side car of usual artistic flair and wit. And look for me on the air.


P.S. – Follow @WRDEARTS on twitter for Pete’s sake!

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Stop Writing Alot

This came across my radar today and I thought it too good not to share.

I’ve recently noticed a rise in social media posts of these infographic-like of images instructing and/or reminding people of the importance of the correct usage of grammar and spelling.

Personally, I’m tickled pink by the memes and I intend to do my part to keep the momentum speeding full-steam ahead.


Monday, March 24, 2014

“Wind II″ : The Latest Work from Artist Michael Sprouse

My most recent work is modeled after a painting that I originally created close to 15 years ago. At that time, the first version of this painting (titled simply “Wind”) soon became my most popular painting to date and large-scale, fine art prints of the work can still be located in galleries around the country.

Wind II”, 36″ x 36″, acrylic on canvas, ©2014 Michael Sprouse

But recently, it felt time to reinterpret the work with an updated vision. I enjoyed the painting process in the studio of revisiting the work tremendously. Artistically, the discovery of the nuances that became clear to me during the painting process after 15 years were genuinely surprising and satisfying.

“Wind II” will enter exhibition on April 27th of this year, but it is currently available at a pre-exhibition discounted price for interested parties. For purchase inquiries into “Wind II” please feel free to contact me here.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Wind II" Recent Work Inspired From A Painting's Past

Several years ago, perhaps 15, I painted a work that I entitled simply “Wind.” It was an exceptionally large painting (roughly 6 feet by 6 feet) and it debuted at Eklektikos Gallery (which I co-owned and curated) in Washington, DC before traveling to the Lowe Gallery (where I was exhibiting at that time) whereupon it was purchased by the president of a very successful and well-known company specializing in discount travel and hotel rates.
"Wind II" work in process, 36" x 36", acrylic on canvas  
©2014 Michael Sprouse

Shortly after the exhibition purchase, I was contacted by a well-established, international art printing house who soon thereafter licensed the work. The company printed large-scale giclée on canvas reproductions of the painting which sold all over the United States and Europe.

It eventually became one of the most popular and recognizable paintings of my career.

To this day, some 15 years later, I still receive emails from people with photographs of prints of “Wind” that they have encountered from Los Angles to London and places in-between or requests from eager, potential collectors with the wish of purchasing the original if available or a print (the publishing company closed their doors a few years ago after the owner retired following a long and prosperous career.)

For many years, I would respond with an apologetic explanation of how the original was long purchased and the prints were no longer being produced. I further explained that I had no plans to recreate “Wind.”

That is – until this week…

For no particular reason other than it simply felt like the right time to do so, I have been busy in my studio recreating one of the most popular works of my early career.

This version, currently titled simply “Wind II” - smaller than the first painting measuring in at 36” x 36” - will still deliver all of the compelling visual elements that made its forbearer so popular.

While I don’t often publicize my work before completion, I have decided to release the news about this soon to be completed work now with the offer of a pre-completion, pre-exhibition substantial discount on the purchase price.

I’ve attached a photo of the work in process on the wall of my studio next to a print of the original version of “Wind.”
For those of you who have long thought about owning one of my original works for your own collection, the perfect chance to do so is now knocking on your door.
This discount is only valid until Saturday April 26th at which time the work will be entered into exhibit. “Wind II” is available on a first come, first purchase protocol.

For those interested in purchase, I can be contacted via the contact page on my website at

Cheers and Happy Spring.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day

This graphic came across my radar late last night - at least the original version did. I searched and found this version which tickled my Irish fancy perfectly. 

Somewhere, in the great beyond, my dear departed Irish mother is rolling her eyes and trying not to giggle. Cheers on this Saint Patrick's Day one and all!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happiness Is Like A Butterfly…

I stumbled across this lovely visual treatment of Henry David Thoreau's insights on happiness as created by the very talented Australian artist Gavin Aung Than (Than is also the creator behind the wonderful Zen Pencils.)

Sublime and gentle in its eternal truth, this visual is too lovely and the message too important and too valid not to share.

Enjoy the tried and true way to happiness…


Thursday, March 13, 2014

And They Said It Couldn’t Be Done…

One particularly cold, bleak and blustery day in January of this year, I came across a little tucked-away shelf of house plants while grocery shopping at the local Safeway.

The plants, nestled in little sienna brown painted plastic pots, had a tropical aura about them and their lush green leaves and bright, cheerful blooms, shone like bright beacons of the coming promise of Spring, warmth, and sunshine.

Plus, they were under 5 bucks each.

Immediately, the sucker-for-a-bargain section of my psyche (firmly planted by my Depression-era raised Yankee mother) leapt into action. I moved closer to the display of the cheery, tiny pots of sunshine as a vision of one of them happily fitting perfectly on a lonely, winter weary shelf in my bathroom filled my mind. 

Moments later, I had one of the pots in my hand. It was a small, yet well formed plant with a cluster of vibrant yellow flowers encircled by healthy green leaves. I could almost hear it greeting me a sincere good morning in that happy sing-song way as I stepped out of the shower. 

The clerk at the checkout informed me that the plant was called a primrose and that they they had been very popular that week. He further explained that after they were gone, they wouldn’t be getting any back until next winter. The sucker-for-a-bargain section of my psyche internally smiled with smugness because the only thing better than a bargain is bargain that’s flying off the shelves…

After purchase and arrival home, I realized that I had made the right decision the minute I repotted the primrose and placed it on the bathroom shelf. It did indeed brighten the bleakness of a cold winter morning and the blooms gloriously lasted for weeks.

It wasn’t until the blooms began to fade and drop and the leaves began to brown and crumble around the edges that I decided to read about the primrose. According to everything I read, the plants were known as “throw-aways.” Once the bloom was gone, toss it out and move on as getting them to rebloom was next to impossible.

It may have been the most depressing words about a houseplant that I had ever come across – not that I spent much time reading sad stories about houseplants, but the idea of tossing out my little pal that had brought such cheeriness simply because his usefulness was questioned made my heart sink a little.

My green-thumbed Yankee determination kicked into high-gear. I was not only going to save this little plant, I was going to carry it across the impossible valley of darkness and into the magical land of “Rebloom”.

And that’s exactly what I did. Say hello to my resurrected, re-blooming as of this morning, little bit of sunshine Primrose buddy. And realize that Spring really is just around the corner and that sometimes the impossible is possible…


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Artistic Recharge In Nature

I'll be the first to state that I fully realize that I am quite fortunate to live close enough to the coast that I can be standing by the shore of the glorious Atlantic ocean in less than 10 minutes after leaving my home (20 if on my bike). But, I  think it's important for anyone working in the arts to realize how potent the recharging effect of one's artistic psyche's internal creative battery can be by stepping away from your work and into nature.

Illuminated by the golden light of the setting sun, the shadow of artist Michael Sprouse stretches along the boardwalk leading to the shore at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware.
Illuminated by the golden light of the setting sun, the shadow of artist Michael Sprouse stretches along the boardwalk leading to the shore at Cape Henlopen State Park in Lewes, Delaware.

If you can't get to the beach, then head to the nearest nature trail. No nature trail, then head to the nearest park. If there is no park, then head up to the roof the closest, nearest tall building and gaze into the heavens.

The point is this - taking the time to occasionally connect to the eternal energy of pure creation - which is not only all around us at all times, but it is indeed also that which we are all part of - and looking deeply into it with the open eyes, mind, heart and soul of an artist, is sometimes all one needs to center the creative mind and to refocus on your art.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cowardice and Hatred Sittin’ In A Tree

Hopefully, the mouth-breathing morons responsible for this
low-brained reprehensible action will be brought to justice. It doesn't take a psychic to know that the men being sought probably consider themselves "real" Americans, are devoted to the likes of Rush Limbaugh and FOX news and identify as Tea Partiers (or worse).

AP Photo / Thomas Graning

The only bright side to that probability is that, generally, the Tea Drinkin' kinds who complain the most about the government usually do nothing about it. Many have never stepped foot into a voting booth let alone attended a public meeting or written a letter or made a call to their representative.

No, far from it. Instead, they opt to wallow in the fetid cesspool of ignorance barking their puerile and inane words to whatever like-minded nincompoop willing sit still enough to listen.

Predictably, these two didn't have the balls to carry out their hate drenched and deplorable action in the middle of the day. Rather, they opted to do so in the pre-dawn murkiness of a Sunday morning when, according to one maintenance worker who saw them from afar, they could  shout "racially charged rhetoric like "white power" and the N-word" while wearing their much treasured "camouflage attire." I bet they even made it back in time to gleefully attend some snake handling church revival meeting with their normally dim-witted eyes all alit with pride for their cowardly act.

I suppose, in Mississippi, stupid really is as stupid does. Let’s hope in this case, the authorities will find these two backwoods buffoons and show them that there are indeed not so stupid and very serious consequences for their actions.

Noose Found Around The Neck Of Statue Honoring Civil Rights Icon At Ole Miss

Friday, February 14, 2014

Moronic Dr. Smith Look Alike Really is Lost In Space (at least when it comes to the American Political Process)

Put down your candy hearts and Valentine’s Day cards for a minute and get a load of the original Bubble-Headed Booby himself (AKA Tom Perkins).

Tom Perkins in his best
Dr. Smith from Lost In Space pose. Oh the pain! The pain!

Apparently, Perkins (a venture capitalist, who recently made a lot of people angry by comparing progressives to Nazis) told an audience in San Francisco Thursday that people who pay more money in taxes should get more votes.

The audience, making the understandable assumption that he was kidding, responded in laughter to his inane comment.

Imagine the awkward silence and shock that must have sucked the air out of the room when they realized that he wasn’t kidding – not in the least. In fact, he told a CNNMoney Reporter offstage that he “intended to be outrageous, and it was."

He didn’t mean outrageous as in ha ha hilarious. He meant it as worthy of causing outrage to those around him.

It’s wildly moronic, but it’s just the kind of crap-speak these clueless plutocrats love to utter at any opportunity that arises. The basic ploy - have mic will open mouth and spew forth garbage because even garbage will stick to the wall of those stupid or delusional enough to believe it. 

The one perk of Perkins? He has time against his side as he’s just south of being older-than-a-pile-of-dirt. Soon he and his fellow selfish, warped and woefully misguided lot will be tossed out with the rubble of forgotten history making no more of a mark on it then the dissipating smoke from the wick of an extinguished candle.

You can read the entire news article on the Huffington Post here…

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Artist Tip Of The Day

Here's an Art Tip for the day: Artists, as a creative exercise, focus on making the visually mundane compelling at least once a day. Your mind will quickly become open to seeing the world in a new and spectacular way...

© 2014 Michael Sprouse
Photo by sprouseart

And The Horse You Rode In On: The Back Story of the F-Word…

Certainly several of you out there in FBville will find an occasion to utter the F-word today during an attempt to weather the weather or, at least, you'll encounter its sharp cornered, four-letter-damn-it-allness at some point during your day.

Perhaps it will occur when the mild-mannered town librarian flies feet first into the air after a trip fantastic over black ice. Or, maybe as you watch your neighbor's teenage son donut spin his I-like-to-pretend-to-be-an-adult SUV directly into your new mailbox.


Why not embrace the inevitability and ponder the f-word's fascinating history as you slug back your coffee before grabbing the shovel...

There’s a well-written article covering the history of our favorite four letter friend written by Kate Wiles on the delightful language blog “So Long As It’s Words”.

You can read the article here:

Christie Sinking Like a Leaky Boat...

Enjoy the spin down the drain Chris Christie; your electability argument for 2016 has vanished and your bully-based political career is sinking like a leaking boat. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Once Again – Art To The Rescue

Once again, leave it to a work of art (
in this case an editorial cartoon created by the very talented Rob Rogers of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette) to make a most valid point about the asinine claim currently being made by the GOP which claims that Obamacare is a job killer.

Job Killer

In fact, Rogers does a good job on his blog of discussing the issues with these words, “The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office report on Obamacare says the health law will have an effect on jobs. It does NOT say, as the GOP would have us believe, that it is a job killer. Instead, as this story in the Washington Post points out, Obamacare will allow those who are forced to work simply so they can afford health care to make other choices.”

Hats off to Rob Rogers, his keen eye, wit and talent.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

August Sings Carmen Habanera

This was described as “the most fantastic thing you watch online today” and indeed it was. It’s August Schram starring in the video and actually doing the singing in a short film called August Sings Carmen “Habanera” and it’s worth every second away from whatever you were doing before…

Click on the image to view the video.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Enough. Winter. Already.

I’m not really the type of chap to bemoan the weather on any kind of grand scale. At least, no more so than then average Joe or Jane on the street sludging through the frozen rush hour commute.

But this morning, I feel the urge to sculpt a soap box out of snow, stand upon it an announce to the universe that I have had enough! Enough snow. Enough ice. Enough Arctic blasts. Enough sub-zero temperatures and enough Holy Freakin’ Hannah wind chills.

Perhaps one of the many Winter Gods or Goddesses (Ymir and Skadi from the Norse, Boreas and his wife Orithyia along with daughter Chione from the Greek, Cailleach from Ireland, Yuki-onna from Japan and good ol’ Jack Frost for starters) will put down their frozen daiquiris long enough to listen to my plea.

But I doubt it.

In the interim, feel free to enjoy this warm photo of the view taken from inside my studio to a freshly and particularly snowy and frigid morning…