The Quick 10: 10 Celebrity Artists

I went to an art show last night for some local artists, including Shawn Crahan. Maybe you don't know the name, but you've probably heard of his band: Slipknot. Some people are just so overflowing with creativity that it can't be contained to one medium "“ they sing, they act, they sculpt, they paint. I don't have that problem (I wish I did), but here are 10 people who do.

mccartney1. Paul McCartney. The Cute Beatle took up painting at the age of 40, but don't expect any deep, psychological explanations behind any of them: "I basically like to apply paint onto canvas. I just like the act of it -- I make it up as I go along. I really don't analyze them that much." The one pictured is called Big Heart and was dedicated to his then-fiancee, Heather Mills. Whoops.

manson2. Marilyn Manson. He sings, he writes, he makes absinthe, and, oh yeah, he paints. He once told a magazine that he started painting in 1999 by creating quick watercolors to sell to drug dealers. He has since had several exhibitions, but at least one critic thinks Manson is overrated, saying that his watercolors look as if they're done by a "psychiatric patient given materials to use as therapy." In a bad way. But that's kind of Manson's whole thing, isn't it?

mortsensen3. Viggo Mortsensen is another one who is multi-talented. Not only is he an actor, he has 14 albums to his name, owns a publishing company, has written 16 books, speaks several languages, paints and is a photographer. Whew.

4. Josh Hartnett took up oil painting in high school after he was injured playing football. In fact, after 40 Days and 40 Nights got big, he took some time off to travel and paint. "It relaxes me because it's just me and the canvas and there's no right way or wrong way," he said. But he must keep his work to himself, because I couldn't find any examples of it.

bowie5. David Bowie has been painting since the "˜70s. This piece was completed in 1976 and is called Portrait of J.O.

dylan6. Bob Dylan created an entire series while he was on tour between 1989 and 1992 and named it "Drawn Blank." These were made into a book in 1994 and the series and its continuation is now for sale at a gallery in Germany. You can still buy this one to the left "“ it's called Rooftop Bar and is yours for the low price of £1,250.

fonda7. Dennis Hopper was actually an artist long before he was an actor. A collection of his look at the "˜60s through photos was exhibited in 2000 and included portraits of figures from J.F.K. to Bill Cosby. That's Jane Fonda with a bow and arrow in the picture.

bennett8. Tony Bennett is better known as Anthony Benedetto. His paintings are huge among the Hollywood set "“ owners of Benedetto originals include Oprah, Carol Burnett, Donald Trump, Mickey Rooney, Katie Couric and the late Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant. Don't let the self-portrait fool you: he's probably best known for his landscapes and nature scenes. But I couldn't pass up a self-portrait of Tony Bennett in a track suit, c'mon. You can see a more complete representation of his work here.

9. Sylvester Stallone. I know. I thought the same thing. But yes, Sly paints. I guess technically he's a multi-media artist, because his piece Rocky I included bits of script from the first Rocky film. I'm sure Rocky I hangs in a place of honor in a collector's home somewhere"¦

rose10. Marilyn Monroe. She may not have produced a large collection, but she did dabble. In fact, she created a painting of a red rose for none other than J.F.K., signing it "President Kennedy, Happy Birthday and again I say Happy Birthday. Always, Marilyn Monroe, June 1, 1962." She died before she had the chance to give it to him and it was sold in an auction of her personal items a few years ago.

There are plenty of other celebrity artists "“ are there any you think are particularly good? Or any who are laughably bad? Share in the comments, and have a good weekend!

10 Sweet Facts About Candy Canes

The sweet and striped shepherd’s hooks can be found just about everywhere during the holiday season. It's time you learned a thing or two (or 10) about them.


While the origins of the candy cane are a bit murky, legend has it that they first appeared in hooked form around 1670. Candy sticks themselves were pretty common, but they really took shape when the choirmaster at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany got the bright idea of twisting them to look like shepherd’s hooks. He then handed them out to kids during church services to keep them quiet.


It’s no surprise, then, that it was a German immigrant who introduced the custom to America. The first reference we can find to the tradition stateside is 1847, when August Imgard of Wooster, Ohio, decked his home out with the sugary fare.


Candy canes without the red don’t seem nearly as cheery, do they? But that’s how they were once made: all white. We’re not really sure who or exactly when the scarlet stripe was added, but we do know that images on cards before the 1900s show snow white canes.


Most candy canes are around five inches long, containing only about 50 calories and no fat or cholesterol.


The world’s largest candy cane was built by Geneva, Illinois chef Alain Roby in 2012.  It was 51 feet long, required about 900 pounds of sugar, and was eventually smashed up with a hammer so people could take home a piece.


Fifty-four percent of kids suck on candy canes, compared to the 24 percent who just go right for the big crunch. As you may have been able to guess, of those surveyed, boys were nearly twice as likely to be crunchers.


According to the National Confectioners Association, about 1.2 billion candy canes are made annually, and 90 percent of those are sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Which honestly begs the question: Who’s buying the 10 percent in the off season?


Bobs (that’s right; no apostrophe) Candies was the first company to really hang its hat on the sweet, striped hook. Lt. Bob McCormack began making candy canes for his kids in the 1920s, and they were such a hit he decided to start mass-producing them. With the help of his brother-in-law, a Catholic priest named Gregory Harding Keller (and his invention, the Keller Machine), McCormack was eventually able to churn out millions of candy canes a day.


December 26 is National Candy Cane Day. Go figure.


Here’s how they make candy canes at Disneyland—it’s a painstaking (and beautiful) technique.

10 Actors Who Hated Their Own Films

1. Sylvester Stallone, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot. Sly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to his film career. Despite co-starring with the delightful Estelle Getty as the titular violence-prone mother, Stallone knows just how bad the film was:

"I made some truly awful movies. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst. If you ever want someone to confess to murder, just make him or her sit through that film. They will confess to anything after 15 minutes."

2. Alec Guinness, Star Wars.

By the time he played Obi-Wan Kenobi in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope, Guinness had already appeared in cinematic classics like The Bridge on the River Kwai, Great Expectations and Lawrence of Arabia. During production, Guinness is reported to have said the following:

"Apart from the money, I regret having embarked on the film. I like them well enough, but it's not an acting job, the dialogue - which is lamentable - keeps being changed and only slightly improved, and I find myself old and out of touch with the young."

The insane amount of fame he won for the role as the wise old Jedi master took him somewhat by surprise and, ultimately, annoyed him. In his autobiography A Positively Final Appearance: A Journal, Guinness recalls a time he encountered an autograph-seeking fan who boasted to him about having watched Star Wars more than 100 times. In response, Guinness agreed to provide the boy an autograph under the condition that he promise never to watch the film again.

3. Bob Hoskins, Super Mario Brothers. He was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. As far as I’m concerned, Bob Hoskins is forgiven for Super Mario Bros. Hoskins, though, doesn’t seem to be able to forgive himself. Last year the Guardian spoke with the veteran actor about his career and he summed up his feelings rather succinctly:

What is the worst job you've done?
Super Mario Brothers.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Super Mario Brothers.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I wouldn't do Super Mario Brothers.

4. George Clooney, Batman & Robin. Sure, Batman & Robin made money. But by every other imaginable measure, the film was a complete failure, and a nightmare to the vast majority of the Caped Crusader’s most fervent fanatics. Star George Clooney recognized what a stinker he helped create and once plainly stated, “I think we might have killed the franchise.”

5. David Cross, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. When actors have a movie out, it's customary that they publicize the film by saying nice things about it. Earlier this year David Cross took a different approach. When it came to describing his new film Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, the veteran comedian — better known for Mr. Show and Arrested Development — went on Conan and called the film a “big commercial for Carnival Cruise Lines” and told people not to go see it.

6. Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up. Judd Apatow’s unplanned pregnancy comedy was a huge hit and helped cement her status as a bankable film actress. After the film’s release, however, Heigl didn’t have all good things to say. In fact, what she specifically said about it was that the film was:

"…A little sexist. It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys.”

7. Charlize Theron, Reindeer Games. The 2000 action film Reindeer Games starred Ben Affleck, Gary Sinese and Charlize Theron and was directed by John Frankenheimer. But it all somehow failed to come together. In the end the film lost a lot of money and compiled a wealth of negative reviews – including one from its star actress who simply said, “Reindeer Games was not a good movie.”

8. Mark Wahlberg, The Happening. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t exactly seem like a guy who lives his life afraid of trees. But that is the odd position M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 film The Happening put him in. Wahlberg, as it turns out, doesn’t look back too fondly on the film. He went on record during a press conference for The Fighter when he described a conversation with a fellow actor:

"We had actually had the luxury of having lunch before to talk about another movie and it was a bad movie that I did. She dodged the bullet. And then I was still able to … I don’t want to tell you what movie … alright “The Happening.” F*** it. It is what it is. F***ing trees, man. The plants. F*** it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook."

9. John Cusack, Better Off Dead. John Cusack reportedly hated his cult 80s comedy so much that he walked out of the screening and later told the film’s director Steve Holland that Better Off Dead was "the worst thing I have ever seen" and he would "never trust you as a director again."

10 Christopher Plummer, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music is considered a classic and has delighted many generations of fans. But the film's own lead actor, Christopher Plummer, didn't always sing its praises. Mr. Von Trapp himself declined to participate in a 2005 film reunion and, according to one acquaintance, has referred to the film as The Sound of Mucus.



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