Art for Life

This is the Blog for, the official website of Delaware artist Michael J. Riley.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Art of Success

The "Art of Success" is sometimes as simple as being willing to "color outside of the lines" and ditching one's eraser. Life is like drawing in ink, if one makes a mistake, he or she must learn how to work it into the composition and press on.

Friday, October 30, 2009

About Art Advocacy

During a time when art is being under funded and under exposed, there is an urgent need for more artists to take their art out of the basement, off of the family room wall and share it with the world. If you agree, do it now. There is no time to waste. The world relies on art in every way. Nothing can exist without the creative process.

It is a well-known fact that many artists are struggling to find their niche in the market place. That is simply the reality of the situation. Proper preparation, training, determination and support can help you step out of the shadows of obscurity and gain recognition for your creative gifts and artistic talent.

If you are an artist who believes that variety is a good thing, then you are invited to join the movement to restore art to its rightful place in the schools, in the churches, in the market place and in the hearts and minds of society.

All you need to do is sign-up to show-up. Make a commitment to share your work.

Here are a few ways that might help get you started:

  • Gather you work together
  • Become a fan of your own work
  • Read information on art
  • Become knowledgeable about other artists
  • Accept compliments and critiques about your artwork
  • Participate in local exhibits (Joint exhibits are a great way of networking)
  • Utilize technology (It is not a sin to use a computer to design, research and promote)
  • Be an advocate for art and spread the word about its relevance
  • Support and encourage other artists
  • Acknowledge and enhance your creative gift

Monday, October 12, 2009

Characteristics for reaching your goals

8 Rung Ladder for Success:

Ineffective Traits (Failure)
  1. Unaware
  2. Blames others
  3. Complacent
  4. Passive / Hesitant
Effective Traits (Success)
  1. Self aware
  2. Adaptable
  3. Motivated
  4. Proactive
"One must buy into one's own ideas, before selling them to others."

Michael Riley, Artist

Friday, November 07, 2008

Art and Design in Wilmington Delaware

New art exhibit opening at Nzinga's Cultural Connection in downtown Wilmington, Delaware. The turn-out was super. Met a ton of new art patrons. Thank you for your support. Also debuted my best-selling poster "Our House". Prints available online at the Afromine Store.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Knowledge Capital® Your New Road to Success

Business trends are always cyclical. In the old days, deals were sealed with one's word and a handshake. Oh, how things have changed. Today, sometimes even having things in writing is not enough to ensure a satisfying and productive business relationship. With all of the legalese, disclaimers and small print, it is often hard to determine whether one is truly getting a fair deal or if the provider has the client's best interests at heart. If protecting and growing your company’s investment is important to you, then please read on.

A Frame of Mine, LLC (Afromine), a Delaware graphic design and web site design firm, has pioneered and partnered with Creative Computing, Inc. in offering Knowledge Capital® to small businesses and entrepreneurs. This innovative approach to deal structuring provides emerging and established small businesses and entrepreneurs with a unique strategy for obtaining the professional web site design and graphic design services that are essential to successfully competing in the online global marketing arena.

Afromine’s and Creative Computing, Inc.’s Knowledge Capital® is designed to address your interests, while saving you time and money.

Knowledge Capital® is a winning strategy for both, client and provider.

Contact us for more information and to see if you qualify.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

The Pet Corner

Anyone who has had a pet living in his or her household for any period of time will agree that they are loving members of the family.

Pets have their own "personalities" and sometimes act like children and other times act as if they are the number-one breadwinners. You gotta love'em.

When I was a child, my dad brought home an adorable little lad - a two-month-old pure-bread German Sheppard. I was elated! I couldn't wait to take him for a walk outside and show him off. My dad explained to me the responsibilities that go along with having such a young pet and after I had agreed to living up to my responsibilities, my new best friend, Goliath, and I dashed out the door.

Goliath was a beautiful dog. He had very clean markings across his broad chest; long, straight ears; a long tail and the biggest paws I had ever seen. Goliath, indeed, was appropriately named.

My dog and I grew-up together. He lived to the ripe old age of thirteen (ninety-one in people years). He was a very important member of our family and I miss him dearly to this day. Goliath passed away on my twenty-fourth birthday. His memorial still stands in my back yard.

I shall always cherish Goliath's memory, but I still find it too painful to do a portrait of him myself - and I have yet to find anyone else whom I feel would accurately capture that beautiful "personality" of his that I knew and loved so much.

For this reason, I am committed to helping my fellow pet lovers by offering you affordable rates for portraits of your pet(s), rendered with the love and respect that they and you so richly deserve.

Prices start as low as $300 (depending on the number of pets in the composition).

  • Oils on canvas
  • Pastels on paper
  • Charcoal on paper
  • Contact Michael at Afromine

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Artists and Perception

Un-Common Design

by Delaware Michael J. Riley -

Artists, by nature, are adventurous and sensitive individuals. Many folks may wonder why artists are that way. One possible reason for many artists’ adventurism and hypersensitivity could be that they are designed to rely heavily upon their sense of perception.

By design, artists are charged with the task of transforming raw emotions and ideas from an abstract realm into something the world can see, hear, smell, taste or feel. In other words, one might say that artists possess a sixth sense that is used to appeal to the other five senses.

Let us examine this theory for a moment. In grade school, we are taught that, as human beings, we possess only five senses; sight, hearing, smell, taste and feel. This is an established position and a presumed fact. However, it may not apply to artists, designers, musicians, etc.

How can an artist’s or designer's perception be construed as a sixth sense?

An individual utilizing his senses in a normal fashion operates from a literal standpoint, while an artist operates from a more figurative one.


The gift of music – A rainy day

To an individual utilizing only common sense, hearing drops of rain landing on his rooftop tells him that it is raining outside and his mind then focuses on taking a simple course of action. He thinks, “Don’t go outside,” or “Take an umbrella with you.”

The same instance of falling rain, when heard by a person possessing the gift of music, might inspire him to write a symphony based on the rhythm produced by various intervals of the drops of rain.

The gift of Vision (not sight) – Colors on a wall

To an individual utilizing common perception, seeing colors on a wall tells him that the walls in a room are painted yellow. He might like the colors and go out and by a sofa to compliment the brilliant colors on the wall.

An artist or designer selects and uses colors to inspire or solicit an emotion or to create a particular mood. To a visual artist or graphic designer, the walls of the room are not simply painted yellow. They are upbeat, they are visitor-friendly and they are warm. That is how an artist communicates his interpretation of a sunny day without spelling it out.


The next time an artist or other creative individual is called “flighty” or is told that he lacks common sense; he can take it as a compliment. The fact is that he does not lack common sense. By design, he possesses un-common sense. He is not “flighty.” He is using his artistic gift to reach into the atmosphere and transform raw emotions and ideas from an abstract realm into reality.

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