Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Hate your job? Quit.

Sounds simple enough.
No one is forcing you to work there, probably. There are other ways to earn money.
And you can be replaced with out being missed at all.

This is the current rallying cry of the bootstrap philosophy touted by so many self- help motivational guru speakers who will show you how. It's all included in their new book ($59.99 in stores) or hear them live (seminars start at $299.99).

Take charge of your life. Take responsibility. If you're underpaid and miserable, you have no one to blame but yourself!

And its not an entirely bad or wrong approach to take. Certainly there are many among us who DO need to take more action and responsibility.

But it's not complete.

Far too many new- age self- help, motivational gurus focus WAY too much on this bootstrap approach, giving their well-meaning followers tunnel vision which can leave an opening for danger to slip by on our collective blind spots.

What blind spot is that?
Well, .. for one WHY do you hate your job so much?
Is it that it is boring? repetitive? unglamorous?
bad for your health? dangerous?
intrudes into your privacy?
are you forced to work overtime without pay?
lack of health care benefits?
sexual harassment? racism? gay bashing?

At some point a job goes from "sucky" to a "violation of your basic human rights."
And I hope you can make the distinction between what is just "hard work" and what truly goes too far as an unsafe work environment.

Because in those extreme cases, quitting is not enough. You can quit, walk away; but the job is still there; like an open trap waiting for the next poor sucker.

You see there are some bad managers, and inhumane corporations in this world who will put people's life at risk to make a few extra bucks. And they often rationalize it by the same bootstrap philosophy.

"Dangerous chemicals with no safety precautions? Well, if you don't like it go work somewhere else."

"Dumping toxic waste into our community water supply? Hey you don't HAVE to drink it!"

"Don't like me rubbing my genitals up against you in the cubicle? Go work somewhere else!"

And sure you could.... you could just quit and walk away. And maybe if enough smart and qualified people left their jobs the management would come to realize the errors of their ways and reform for the sake of retaining a talented work force to crank out a quality product or service.....
but probably not.
More likely, just hire the bottom of the barrel; meek and non- confrontational at a lower wage.

Let's take an extreme example. The tragic loss of coal miners in W.VA recently. It's a gritty, dirty, dangerous job. And people can get killed doing it.
The bootstrap philosophy would state: Tough luck. Anything that happens is your fault cause you can quit at anytime.
And somehow that doesn't seem right. Sure those 19 men could have quit at anytime and work elsewhere..... but that would have left 19 job opening to be filled by 19 other men. The problem is not always with the workers, but at times with the job itself. And if we are truly concerned about "responsibility" then we have to hold others responsible for their actions as well. not just us.

Reading the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" (on loan from the public library) I was struck by the passage describing "Rich Dad's" treatment of his employees. Loyal staff that had been with him for years, Rich Dad treated them like dirt and explaining he did it because he could.
The workers never challenged him so he could get away with it. This was his explanation of the boot strap philosophy. He did it cause the workers didn't quit. They LET him get away with it.
Now is the only lesson here, that you should always stand up for yourself?
Are some people also learning that its ok to be a rude, abuse, jack-off as long as you can get away with it? What happened to virtures are their own reward or the golden rule?

I mean, at what point does this sort of thinking go to far?
"i cut your paycheck cause I can?"

"i outsourced your job to India cause you can always go find another job elsewhere"

"I mugged your grandmother cause she didn't fight back?"

"I burnt your house down cause you can always find another place to live?"

the problem i have with this bootstrap philosophy is it can easily be twisted to justify abusive and illegal behavior. ... way, way too easily.
if you are too focused on yourself, would you be blind to the responsibility of others?
Would you tend to blame yourself and not hold others accountable?

Not just on the job, the bootstrap philosophy goes by another name: The Law of Attraction.
Which states you "attract" everything that happens to you in your life good and bad.
Again I don't think this is entirely wrong , but .... incomplete.

It's not the factory- farming, genetic- tampering, agri- business putting unhealthy additives in your food and carefully glossing over with a slick marketing campaign making you unhealthy; its because you attract fat and cancer into your ass with your thoughts.

It's not because of a cultural patriarchy sense of entitlement or serious sociopathic misbehavior that you go raped; its because you attracted a rapist with that outfit you're wearing.


Yes, we could all be taking more action and responsibility ...but NOT in a selfish way... we have to also include the realization that we are interwoven, That our actions affects others.
No one should stay in a bad job, or unhealthy relationship, or terrible circumstance. But quitting and walking away is not the total answer. There are times when you turn around and fight. Some things other than you need to change.

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Friday, April 23, 2010


Earth Day is every day.

Evaluate your material needs IN the studio.
Are there any any of your artists supplies that have long term damage? are there more sustainable options?
Maybe switching to a non- toxic paint would be a better for you and the planet. We've all been warned about washing brushes in the sink or pouring paint down the drain cause.... well, where does that water go?
Not long ago I experiment with using coffee and beet juice washes, in place of traditional ink washes. whatever medium you work in, do a little research into green alternatives or better yet; INVENT better green alternatives. The market is ripe for such things.

Recycle in and out.
Reclaim and salvage materials when you can. There's a certain artistic euphoria about raising "garbage" from the dead and turning it into a masterpiece.

And it is good for the planet. When you clean out your studio and throw things away, check to see if there is anything you can recycle first. I tend to have a lot of scrap paper that I take to a recycling bin instead of the trash.

Evaluate your material needs OUT of the studio.
Maybe there are some solvents or materials your art cannot do without. Balance it out by being more green at home: the shorter showers, turing off light bulbs, riding a bike; any and all of those green tricks and tips will do.

And probably the first and foremost:
Raise Awareness about Sustainability THROUGH your art.
Art has the power to change people's thinking. Why not use it for something good and worthwhile..... while at the same time maintaining your high level of creativity and craftsmanship. Consider it a challenge. What exactly do you believe about this planet you live on? How have you and others been treating this home? Is there anything that can be done to make things better? How can you make that look on a canvas, or sculpture?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Take your daughter to work, take your son, take anyone....

Hey Artist person, are you taking your daughter to work?
Someone is bound to ask, "Do you actually have a job?"
Cause, you know... you need a REAL job ... not that "art stuff".
Is what you do a REAL job?
Of course it is. There's a lot of hard work in the production, marketing, cataloging and showing.
And maybe people need to learn this.
This isn't just an opportunity to inspire a youngling to explore career options but to educate the public at large.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


Painting Live at Art All Night

April 24-25th 2010 at the Iron City Brewery 3340 Liberty Avenue in Lawrenceville!
The event runs ALL NIGHT LONG.

This is my 10th year doing Art All Night- one of Pittsburgh's most popular and populist arts events.

Not only will I have a wonderful painting on display but i will painting a mural live on scene from 6-8pm. My theme is Greek Mythology. Come check it out!

The idea is to use several artists who can embody Lawrenceville's collaborative spirit and partner with other artists to build on each other's work. Throughout the night, artists will be matched up, given a theme and a very large canvas and set free. Each artist will be assigned a limited block of time and the crowd will watch as the artistic visions evolve. The resulting art will benefit future Art All Night events.

Art All Night promotes artistic expression in all walks of life. The event particularly encourages children to be actively involved by contributing artwork and engaging in on-site arts activities. The show includes and attracts seniors, long-term residents, novice artists, educators, students, and seasoned professionals.

for more info:

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Monday, April 12, 2010


Tomorrow the World.

"The globalization of the art world. It has globalized in a different way than anyone thought it would. What it means to be an art collector, or an artist, is in flux, and that’s fantastic. Over the last decade, we’ve seen the whole “what does it mean to be an art gallery?” question come up. The answer, for a lot of innovative people, has been a franchise, a brand. That has been incredibly successful, and Pace has participated in it to some extent, but there have been a lot of dealers who, along with the auction houses, made the concept of planting their brand around the world a defining characteristic of what they do."

One more reason why websites are important.
My website is my window shop to the world and I always have to present my work as if the world were watching.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Sam Thorp's Super- Huge, One –and -Only,

Fine Art Adoption Event & Studio Sale!!!

Time for a Moving Sale. Rather than hide this artwork away in storage You can take it home. This is your best chance EVER to own original one of kind fine art by a local emerging artist. All work under $50. Take My Art Home. Cash & Carry
The only condition is: if I need it for a future show I may need to borrow it back.

321 E. 2nd Ave. Tarentum, PA 15084
One Day Only: Sunday April 11, 2010 12noon to 8pm
Light Refreshments Served. Contact Me for Directions.



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