Calm in a Burning House

Do you constantly put yourself in impossible situations – simply because you’re eager and hungry for adventure and success – and then you find those situations get really unpleasant at times? I am always pressing MY envelope. I’m always taking risks to maximize what I can achieve. And that is scary. I constantly put myself […]

Will You Regret Not Becoming an Artist?

Will you live to regret it if you don’t follow your dream of being an artist? At the end of your life, will you deeply regret taking the sure and safe path instead of the road less traveled? These are challenging questions, I admit. And as an artist, you may or may not have given […]

The Secret of All Genuinely Successful People

Did you ever go on a treasure hunt when you were a child, or read Poe’s “The Gold Bug”? Then you know the first thing you have to do before you can find the treasure is find the map. It may be hidden, it may be torn in half, or in a million pieces, but […]

Artists – Do You Always Insist on Yourself?

“Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another, you have only an extemporaneous half-possession. That which each can do best, none but his maker can teach him.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson Do you ever […]

Are You Foolishly Consistent?

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson Are you foolishly consistent? This quote comes from Emerson’s essay “Self Reliance.”  And it reveals the essence of what is wrong with modern culture. The pull of culture is toward conformity at the expense of the individual.  The individual gets lost in […]

‘Boy, Do I Feel Crabby!’

In one episode of the Peanuts comic strip, Lucy announces, “Boy, do I feel crabby!” Her little brother, Linus, is quick to try to rescue his sister.  “Maybe, I can be of help.  Why don’t you just take my place here in front of the TV while I go and fix you a nice snack? […]

Artists – Let Your Life Speak

“Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.” – Francis of Assisi There is an old story about Quaker relief workers in Europe after World War II.  After receiving help from the workers, a refugee asked what Quakers believe. When a few of the Quakers explained that they believed helping people with their […]

How Small Steady Actions Move Us Forward to Our Artistic Goals

“Do not be afraid of moving slowly.  Be only afraid of standing still.”  – Chinese Proverb Have you ever thought about the importance of the small, steady actions you take every day toward your artistic goals? You can’t imagine how important these really are. Most of us have a very distorted notion of how things […]

Going Through: Surviving the Swamplands of the Artistic Journey

“Truth is always on the side of the more difficult.” – Friedrich Nietzche Not too far from the small town where I grew up in northwest Louisiana, there is a long stretch of swamplands called, graphically enough, “Black Lake Swamp.” There is a paved highway with bridges that runs right through the heart of the […]

The Song Unsung

“I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.”  –  Rabindranath Tagore Several years ago the American Medical Association found that most heart attacks occur around nine o’clock on Monday mornings. This undoubtedly has something to do with what most people are doing at around […]

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