10 Ways Our World is Like the Renaissance

10 Ways Our World is Like the Renaissance

After studying the Renaissance for nearly 25 years — and writing books about it — I seen striking and strange similarities between our era and that era of exploding art and science from 500 years ago. So, here are my Top 10 Ways Our World is Like the Renaissance

7 Great Acting Books for Writers

7 Great Acting Books for Writers

For those of you who want to pick up a few acting tools to learn how to create better characters, write more compelling dialogue, and craft stronger scenes, you might take one of my “Write Like an Actor” workshops and then read some of the following books about acting

Top 10 Recommended Books for Fans of Oil and Marble

Top 10 Recommended Books for Fans of Oil and Marble

My Top 10 Recommendations for nonfiction & fiction reads for fans of Oil and Marble.

New Novel Coming April 2020

New Novel Coming April 2020

It’s finally official. My new novel is entitled Raphael, Painter in Rome. It will be published (once again by Arcade) on April 7, 2020 in time for the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death (he died on April 6, 1520).

Top 10 Must See Art in Paris

Top 10 Must See Art in Paris

Are you going to Paris, but overwhelmed by the AMOUNT of art to see? Want to check out a few masterpieces, but don’t want to get bogged down in museums? I mean, just one wing of the Louvre could take an entire day, right? Here are my top 10 Must See Pieces of Art in Paris. This list doesn’t cover all the great art in the City of Lights, but if you see these, at least you will be off to a good start…

10 Small Art Museums with Giant Collections

10 Small Art Museums with Giant Collections

I love giant art museums — the Louvre, Met, Getty, Vatican, British Museum; you can wander through their halls for days and still not see everything on display. But even more than a giant museum, I love walking into a TINY museum that has a collection that rivals the big kids.

Recommended Books on the Craft of Writing

Recommended Books on the Craft of Writing

Often when I teach a writing workshop, my students ask for my favorite books about the craft of writing. So here’ s my odd list—a combo of books about writing prose, screenplays, and even musicals to help you find the kinds of books you want to read to improve your craft.

Shockingly True Things in Oil and Marble

Shockingly True Things in Oil and Marble

Today, a new Leonardo da Vinci drawing was discovered in France (see featured image). To honor this very real discovery of very real history, here are 10 shockingly true stories from my historical novel, Oil and Marble: a novel of Leonardo and Michelangelo. I wrote lots of imagined bits — that’s why it’s fiction — but these historical facts may surprise you.

Groundbreaking Impressionist Exhibit in Dallas

Groundbreaking Impressionist Exhibit in Dallas

Starting in June, you'll have to travel to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris to see the groundbreaking exhibition about Impressionist painter, Berthe Morisot -- but before the Parisians have this exhibit, you can see it at the Dallas Museum of...

Top 10 Works at Portland Art Museum

Top 10 Works at Portland Art Museum

Earlier this month, I spent an afternoon at the Portland Art Museum, and I was delighted by this oasis of art. Around every corner there was a new masterpiece to enjoy… So to help you navigate your way through this museum, here are my top 10 picks for the must-see pieces.

Hack a Museum

Hack a Museum

Recently, I went on a Museum Hack tour — “unconventional tours of the world’s best museums” — at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. So, here are 8 reasons why — if you ever get the chance — you should definitely hack a museum!

Learn to Be Unreasonable: Lessons from Artists

Learn to Be Unreasonable: Lessons from Artists

At 42 years old, I feel I’ve spent my whole life being very reasonable. Perhaps it’s time for an era of unreasonableness. In honor of this, here are my top 10 favorite unreasonable artists. May they inspire us all to be a little less reasonable.

Writing Historical Fiction: Choose Better Details

Writing Historical Fiction: Choose Better Details

(I teach writing classes all across the country. Check my Events page for upcoming classes) The question came as we were wrapping up the discussion about my novel, Oil and Marble: "How do you find and choose specific details in your...

Research and Recommended Reads

Research and Recommended Reads

A lot of people ask about the research that went into my art historical novel, Oil and Marble. I’ve been obsessed with Michelangelo, Leonardo and the Italian Renaissance for over 20 years (I’ve read every book I could find, crawled into …

Find Other Leonardo da Vinci Novels

Find Other Leonardo da Vinci Novels

If you're anything like me, you're eager to read Walter Isaacson's upcoming biography of Leonardo da Vinci. But it doesn't come out until October 17th, so what are you going to do until then? To tide you over, here's a list...

Gaudi’s La Pedrera: Night or Day?

Gaudi’s La Pedrera: Night or Day?

Nearly everyone’s “Must See” list in Barcelona includes a visit to the Antoni Gaudi apartment building Casa Milà (commonly called La Pedrera). But when you go to buy your tickets, you’ll be faced with a tough choice. You can tour La Pedrera by day OR by night. So, I wanted to give you the inside scoop between day and night so you can make the best decision for your trip.

Leonardo da Vinci: Top 10 Quotes

Leonardo da Vinci: Top 10 Quotes

In honor of Leonardo da Vinci’s 565th birthday today (he was born on April 15, 1452), I’m celebrating with 10 of my favorite quotes attributed to the maestro (yes, many of these can be found in my novel, Oil and Marble).

Scratching Out a Little Girl’s Dream

Scratching Out a Little Girl’s Dream

Today, the Slovakian translation of my novel arrived. That’s two translations so far (the first was Spanish), and my publisher says there are more on the way. Oh, if I could’ve shown myself this picture when I was seven… or sixteen… twenty… thirty-eight.