April 24, 2014

Much to the Chagrin of the Art Establishment, the Numbers Indicate that Thomas Kinkade Is the Most Successful and Relevant Artist in Human History

Thomas Kinkade The Cross Painting

I was enjoying a discussion with someone about hyperrealism around the time I wrote last night about my love for the works of Eric Christensen, Pedro Campos, Steve Mills, and Nathan Taylor, when they kept insisting that stil life paintings, particularly those that are close to a photograph, lack emotion.  (I completely disagree - the reason I love hyperrealism is because it stirs far more emotion in me than most other genres of art.) But I started thinking about this notion that an "artist" … [Read more...]

The Tower of Babel II by Jaroslaw Kukowski

Tower of Babel II by Jaroslaw Kukowski

Jaroslaw Kukowski has painted a work of art that literally gave me chills when I saw it. Most people won't understand the reason, but the title of the work is "Tower of Babel II". Overall, I can't say I'm a huge fan of a lot of his work (paintings like "Praying Mantis" are disturbing, to say the least).  But the symbolism and truth in this one ... he communicated an entire world of ideas in a single symbol. … [Read more...]

Hyperrealism Paintings Capture the Beauty of Life

Eric Christensen Hyperrealism "Up for Discussion" Painting

Hyperrealism is my favorite style of painting.  Then again, I've always felt like life, as it is, is beautiful.  Life, in all of its messy, unpredictable madness of patterns and light, din and music.  It is difficult to explain, but when I see a certain style of painting in the hyperrealism genre, I instantly get the same overwhelming sense of joy that bursts forth when I discover a highly profitable, well-run business or when I hear a unique composition that comes out of nowhere.  (As I write th … [Read more...]

A One-Question Exam I Would Give as a Finance Professor

Finance Exam for Dividends and Inflation

If I were to teach a course on basic finance and investing, which I have considered and will probably end up doing at some point, I would give exams that consisted of a single question.  Here is one such quiz. Twenty years ago, you bought $100,000 of common stock in a steel mill for your personal accounts.  Today, your shares are worth $150,000.  How much money did you make?  What was your profit? If any student answered the question, "$50,000", or "50% on your original investment" they would i … [Read more...]

What Is Your Body of Work? Is It Something You Will Be Proud of at the End of Your Life?

Harry Potter J.K. Rowling Box Set Trunk

There is something to be said for the concept of having a tangible, physical representation of your "body of work". Take J.K. Rowling.  Her entire fortune and career have been built upon 4,175 pages - each of which started out completely blank and that she filled with ideas - spanning seven books.  It has been estimated her works have sold more than 300 million copies and have been turned into eight movies.  There is a theme park, licensed merchandise, soundtracks, and a host of other products a … [Read more...]

What Man Has Done, Man May Do

What Man Has Done, Man May Do

What man has done, man may do. - Proverb On May 6th, 1954, at Oxford University's Iffley Road Track, Roger Bannister became the first recorded man in history to run a mile - exactly 5,280 feet - in less than 4 minutes.  His time, 3:59:04, was thought unachievable.  Men had tried countless times and failed.  This speed corresponded to a sustained rate of 15 miles per hour, compared to the male average of 6 to 11 miles per hour. Once Bannister had attained his crowning ac … [Read more...]

The Bri Institute Says Jesus Hates My Portfolio

Jesus and Biblical Investing

Due to a potential project I'm working on, there is the possibility that I may need to become a Registered Investment Adviser in the state of Missouri, even though I won't be taking on individual clients, or at least have no plans on doing so.  We won't know for certain until the securities laws are finalized following the implementation of the Dodd-Frank bill that goes into effect in a few months. As I researched RIA's, I came across an organization call the Bri Institute that tries to get … [Read more...]

My Day In Pictures – December 26th, 2010 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Christmas Redemptions at Nordstrom

Allen Edmond Brown Oxford Shoes

Today, Aaron, my youngest sister, my mom, my dad, and I went to see the first of the Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows films.  It was great.  It was so good, in fact, that I decided that even though I own all the books and haven't had time to read them, I'm just going to skip to the final one and start there.  I think tomorrow I'm going back with my other sister because she hasn't seen it, yet. After the movie was over, my parents and sister decided to go see another, the Chronicles of Na … [Read more...]

Christmas Reflections

Tiffany and Company Holiday China

I spent most of the day with Aaron and his family.  His mom completely surprised me and picked out the Tiffany & Company holiday coffee mug that I had wanted to buy for years but never got the chance to because the Kansas City boutique was always out of them, and by the time I remembered to order one online, the holidays had already passed.  It's definitely going in my "favorites" collection along with the William Yeoward avignon pattern ones. In the car, Aaron and I were talking a … [Read more...]

My Day In Pictures – Christmas Eve, 2010

The Christmas Tree and Fireplace at Mom and Dads

Christmas Eve was wonderful.  I have substantially more pictures but I want to save a lot of them for the family album and not share them with the blog.  Most of the day was spent hanging out with family at my parents' house, watching shows, playing video games, talking, and just enjoy each others' company.  There was about 30 minutes where we opened gifts, the most exciting part of which was watching my three-year-old niece get excited about the toys, books, clothes and shoes she received from a … [Read more...]