Paintings at Auction

The two six-inch paintings I submitted to the Kingman Center for the Arts were accepted into the “6×6 on Route 66” show. They, with 12 others, were chosen from among 400 entries to be actioned at the Kingman, Arizona fundraiser. The show, which is part of “Andy Devine Days”, will run from September 22 through October 9, 2017.

My sincere thanks to my great friend Mindie for making all this happen, including suggesting I submit something to the show.

Art Museum Crawl

I am on day two of another two-day solo museum crawl through the Philadelphia area. It’s been years but wonderful to revisit.

Yesterday I spent two hours in the Frank Frazetta Museum, starting out with a personal tour through the collection by Frank Frazetta, Jr. Wonderful to get a run-through of his life and achievements, illustrated with his original works and conducted by a very knowledgable guide. I found his palette and surface handling enlightening and encouraging. He struggled with some of the same issues as I do. If he could overcome those to create such epic results, there is hope for me.

Whatever is said about his subjects, marketing style, personality, and whatever, his works inspired me as a 13-year-old boy to seriously pursue the arts. For that, I am grateful.

Crystal Cave Shot
Crystal Cave Shot

Aside: I had to stop off at Crystal Cave first (“Pennsylvania’s most popular natural attraction”), because my wife and I enjoy them, and I have a painting in the works that requires the reference best found in caves. Perfect.

Today: The Brandywine River Museum, Delaware Art Museum, and either the Rodin Museum or the Philadelphia Museum of Art, depending on how distracted I get by the others. Much, much more to see here. What a blessing having such opportunities.

Rock Your Day

Nephi and Laban
Click to enlarge

In all things, honor others’ advice, but do what you feel best. You can’t blame others for your decisions; the rewards and consequences will be yours, not theirs. Choose your path and walk it with purpose and joy. Deal with the good and bad that follows.

An illustration for this concept comes from First Nephi chapter 4 verse 12: “And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me again: Slay him, for the Lord hath delivered him into thy hands.” For me, this has everyday application: “This day is gifted to you from God. Do what you want with it, but whatever you do, slay it. Rock it. Make it awesome.”

God bless you!

Illustration: Nephi and Laban.

Blueprint to Success

This interview is instructive and motivational for artists like me trying to make it.

In five years, Todd McFarlane grew his humble beginnings in comic book illustration into an entertainment empire. Now with a personal net worth of $300 million, McFarlane discusses his love for the arts and the motivations and principles that made him the most successful comic book artist and collectible creator ever.

From Discovered on Gurney Journey.

I transcribed the outline and my favorite points below.



  1. Find Your Passion
  2. Learn the Details
  3. Look for an Opening
  4. Be Persistent
  5. Make it Sexy
  6. Fight the Status Quo
  7. Know Your Weaknesses
  8. Hit Your Deadlines
  9. Entertain Yourself
  10. Make Business Serve Art

Second Story

  1. Know Your Value
  2. Watch Your Back
  3. Do the Math
  4. Empower the Artists
  5. Own Your Ideas
  6. Have a Sustainable Plan
  7. Create Stories You Don’t See


  1. Find the White Space
  2. Demand Excellence and Charge for It.
  3. Always Say Yes
  4. Diversify Your Brand
  5. Get Help When You Need It
  6. Learn from Pain
  7. Know Your Limits
  8. Finance is Freedom
  9. Stay immature.

Major Points

In the beginning of his career, to break into the comics market, McFarlane sent out 700 samples — 10-20 packages a month, and got 300 rejections, until he “wore down” the editors. His determination: “I’ll show them all. I don’t analyze myself against anybody else.”

If you’re mediocre and you hit your deadlines you will have a long career.

McFarlane’s brand began with the Spawn comic book then diversified into toys, video games, live action movies, and TV animation.

“I’m in business for one reason: to drive my art, to drive my ideas. I taught myself business as a second language.”

“Why are we still successful now 25 years later? Because we allow people to own their own ideas and property.”

“In its simplest form [a sustainable plan is] just the Three Little Pigs story – you can build it out of wood, out of straw, or out of brick. And it’s hard to build it out of bricks and it takes a little bit longer, but it will sustain itself a lot longer. I was just the pig building the brick house.”

“How Did They Not? All’s I’ve done was make stuff that already exists look sexier. I never invented anything.”

“Always Spend Your Own Money, ‘cause that way no one will be able to tell you a single damn thing.”

“There’s only two things that have value for me: My wife and my kids.”

“Dumb luck must be a semi-regular friend.”

“Time should teach you something, and what time should teach you is where the mistakes and the potholes are.”

“Here’s what drives me: My goal in life is to outlast every one of my enemies. That would be the sweet revenge that I get.”

“Nirvana is finding the space and doing it your way. And it works. Wow, and they actually pay me for it.”

“Whenever you have a bad day you have to ask yourself who started it. Uh, duhh – it’s that guy I shave with every day. It’s me.”

“Every day that I don’t have to work for a corporation is a moral victory for me, and I’ve been doing it now for 30 years.”

“I’m smart enough to find brilliant people that have skills that I don’t have that make me look good every day.”

50K Welltower Words Today

50 Welltower Words
Click to enlarge

Today I passed 50K words in writing Welltower book 5. Parts of the book are polished to a sheen! Well on the way to September’s publication date!


Fifteen Hundred Words — Welltower Book Five

Welltower 5 Cover
Click to enlarge

Oof. Fifteen hundred hard-fought words today. I completely rewrote the climax to Welltower Book Five. The book is only at 43,000 words; quite a ways to go yet. Pretty exciting stuff. Next week I’ll dive into the unfinished chapters, and then on to the final polish. A few days ago I let out a few pages to some supporters, to very positive reviews. I think I’ll treat myself to dinner. 🙂

Benjamin Zander on Music and Passion

In this 2008 TED presentation, Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, shares a life-changing realization that his job is to awaken the possibilities in others.

“It’s one of the characteristics of a leader that he not doubt for one moment the capacity of the people he’s leading to realize whatever he’s dreaming… The conductor depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful… I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people… And do you know how to find out (if you succeeded)? You look at their eyes. If their eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it… I have a definition of success. It’s not about wealth and fame and power. It’s about how many shining eyes are around you.”