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.