My 3 words for 2015


Chris Brogan has been encouraging his readers and friends to come up with 3 words to describe their goals and intentions during the next year. He cautions against writing out long, drawn-out statements or resolutions, the theory being that we end up making vague statements such as “I am going to exercise more.”

In that light, my 3 words are:

  1. Simplify
  2. Magnify
  3. Multiply

Simplify: Stop expending energy in a dozen different directions, hoping something will stick. Sit down, plan a little, think about what motivates you, fires your passion, and pursue the artists, bloggers, musicians, filmmakers that are doing it the best. Search their “secrets” of success, and begin to develop your own good habits.

Magnify: Once you have settled on your focused goals, magnify your efforts to expose your art, idea, product, song or film to the world. I never gave it much thought to reach out to interior decorators as a source of income from my art, for example. I will now.

Multiply: Once income begins to flow in, double your efforts to provide more of the same art, music, product, coaching, or service to your very loyal fans and clients.

Go be successful!

Companion Cats (calendar)

Face it, our precious cats are more companions than pets to us! They provide love, joy and friendship throughout our time as their cat guardians. I designed this 12-month 2015 calendar, and features contented (maybe even a little spoiled) cats! A portion of all proceeds will be donated to Alley Cat Allies, and to a Jackson County, Mississippi animal foster and rescue group.

Coach Walter J. Brugh: The Victor

Pen and ink drawing of my dad, Walter Brugh, who coached football for 44 years at Paintsville (Ky) High School. Pen and ink illustration by Michael Brugh, 2006.


A personal note, about my father, Walter James Brugh, Sr.

My father was a football coaching legend at Paintsville (Ky) High School. He played football for Paintsville, then fought in the Philippines during World War II. He returned home, graduated from Paintsville High School, then went on to play college football at The Citadel. He then returned home to coach Paintsville football from 1951 (as an assistant coach under Jim Wheeler; he became head coach in 1955) to 1994. He amassed a record of 280 wins, 136 losses, and 5 ties.

He is even in the 1993-94 Congressional Record.

This post does not even begin to list his accomplishments. Perhaps one day I will honor him with a proper site as a tribute to his enduring legacy. He passed up many chances to coach college football in favor of helping young boys become men. Men of honor, good character, and assets to their families, their team, their community, and their country. I am blessed and proud to be called Coach Walter Brugh’s son.

His way of motivating us to play hard and play our best began in the locker room. Before each game, he would have all the players, coaches, and managers, take a knee, while he performed two tasks: Reading C. W. Longenecker’s “The Victor,” and reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

We were all the better for it.

The Victor (by C.W. Longenecker)

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost certain you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

My father passed away Feb. 11, 2014, at the age of 87. His spirit of excellence, his determination, his exuberance, his good character, lives on. It will live on in his family, his former players, coaches, managers, and teachers. He joins my beloved mother, Nancy, who passed away in May 2011.

I presented to Dad the above pen-and-ink drawing back in 2008. It was one of the few times I had ever seen my dad tear up. He was visibly moved by the gift. I am glad he was able to see it, and receive a small (indeed, a too-small token) of my love, affection and appreciation for him.

A kind remembrance of dad was written by my former teacher/librarian June B. Rice, and can be found here. Another article detailing his amazing life and career can be viewed here.

A painting without light has no life

Photo Credit: Jack Skipworth via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Jack Skipworth via Compfight cc

Another gem of an article from artist Jack White. How you paint light can make or break your piece, and quite possibly help your career along the way.


Sluggish Sameness
by Jack White
I leave you with this challenge. Discover what light can do for your work. Take the dare to shed sameness and climb to the top of the heap. What do you have to lose by trying? You have much to gain. When you are successfully able to work light into your originals you will stand out for exceptional achievement. Believe me, if I can learn then anyone can. […]
Read the rest of this article at:
This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).
For a complimentary subscription, visit:

On the Wings of Art (exhibit)

The Sun Herald described it this way:

Art lovers gathered Friday at the Jolly McCarty Depot Art Gallery, 504 Yon Ave., Pascagoula, for the opening of the Singing River Art Association’s spring art show titled “On the Wings of Art.”

Artists from across the Coast and beyond entered the show to compete for monetary prizes and awards. The show is on display during regular gallery hours through May 17. Judge for the show was Joan Daughtery, a well-known artist from Mobile, who also teaches art at her gallery.

I am grateful to Joan and the Association for choosing my painting entitled “Fishing Buddies” for the Excellence in Realism Award. Here is the painting:

Are you improving on nature, or honoring her?

Keith Bond of FASO reminded me of an aspect of painting I am just now realizing: Favorite locations in nature can be changed or altered as you paint them. I have often viewed a a scene in nature that I thought was a perfect painting, except for this tree, or that pond. Or maybe I said to myself, “A pond in that area would make this scene so much better.” What I am now realizing, is that I was exercising a natural function of we artists. Keith Bond has described the process in his article “Show Me Your Relationship with Her.”

by Keith Bond
How close you stay to (perceived) reality and how much you deviate and create something entirely new is completely up to you. But don’t be so tied to a literal depiction that you fail to see the possibilities of improving upon the design you see in nature. […]
Read the rest of this article at:
This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).
For a complimentary subscription, visit:

Three creativity challenges to improve your art

Parasol (watercolor on paper, 16×24) by Keiko Yasuoka
Parasol (watercolor on paper, 16×24) by Keiko Yasuoka

Try freshening up your paintings and painting habits with these tips from artist Keiko Yasouka, courtesy of Cheri Haas, Online Editor of the Artist’s Network.

Three Creativity Challenges to Improve Your Art 

Keiko Yasuoka’s paintings take you to many places. Winter mountain ranges, a busy evening in San Francisco, a sublime bay with sailboats waiting for dawn to break, just to name a few. And these are just her landscapes.Her still life paintings are simply beautiful; and they vary in style, making an interesting collection of work. Keiko is featured in Watercolor Artist (February 2013). In case you haven’t bought your copy yet, I’d like to share her recommended creativity challenges that are meant to inspire you to take your work to new places.

Keiko’s creativity challenges

• Limit your palette when starting your next piece. Using three or four colors will help ensure harmony throughout your painting and strengthen your color-mixing skills.


    • Toss your photograph aside after you’ve blocked in the main elements of your painting. Because no photograph can accurately capture the colors found in nature, it’s best to rely on your knowledge and memory and just use the photograph as an occasional reference.


    • Try something different from your usual [art] workshops. Take a pottery class, work with mixed media for a month or break out your colored pencils. Having a range of experiences to draw upon can help you master techniques that are effective across media and subject matter.

Julie Gilbert Pollard is another talented artist who shares traditional watercolor painting techniques and tips for achieving a loose, painterly quality. Explore more in her book, Watercolor Unleashed: New Directions for Traditional Painting Techniques.

Artists, Don’t Give Up

Rock Climbing

We artists go through periods of self-doubt and discouragement, especially when it seems nobody wants to purchase our art. We all know admirers who tell us that our work is very good (but they wouldn’t dare buy anything from us!). Artist Jack White always inspires with his Texas straight talk and razor-sharp wit. Here is an excerpt from his latest article. I hope it inspires you to stay tenacious and everlastingly at it, when it comes to achieving your breakthrough.




by Jack White

Whiteism: Rejection can be painful, but never fatal.

The single most powerful reason artists fail is FEAR of rejection. It’s impossible to be an artist and not experience rejection.

When I started writing I knew I would face multiple rejections. I remember reading the story of crime novelist John Creasey. John set a record of 742 successive rejection slips in a row before he was ever published. John received 500 more rejections than Stephen King before he was published. But once John’s first book was published, he wasted no time exploding on the market.[…]

Read the rest of this article at:

This excerpt appears courtesy of FineArtViews Art Marketing Newsletter by FASO,
a free email newsletter about art, marketing, inspiration and fine living for artists,
collectors and galleries (and anyone else who loves art).

For a complimentary subscription, visit: