Penny Templeton Studio Acting Lions














Spotlight On


artists resources


“To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication.”  
– Marlon Brando

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
– Helen Keller

“The theatre should be treated with respect. The theatre is a wonderful place, a house of strange enchantment, a temple of illusion.”
– Noel Coward

“Cultivate an ever continuous power of observation...see the sunlight and everything that is to be seen.”
– John Singer Sargent

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
– T.S. Eliot

“Feel is if you are reborn each day and rediscover the world of nature which are joyfully a part.”
– Pablo Casals, at the age of 96

“The secret of all natural and human law is movement that meets with devotion”
– I Ching



artists resources




Ingredients Of A Creative Life: Sketches Summer 2017

The Method Acting Exercises Handbook

The Laboratory Instinct

All People Are Famous: Instead of an Autobiography

“CREATE! How Extraordinary People Live to Create and Create to Live”

Films That Make a Difference

Witness to Spirit: My Life with Cowboys, Mozart & Indians

My Life and Art

A Healing Art: How Eurythmy Lives in the World

Dramatic Circumstances: On Acting, Singing, and Living Inside the Stories We Tell: Teaching Through the Lens of Neuroscience

Chasing Light: Notes on Creativity

Changing Ourselves to Change Society

An Excerpt from DAH Theatre: A Sourcebook

I Can Resist Everything Except Тheater: the Work and Role of The Macedonian Centre — International Theatre Institute

Real Life Drama


“A word does not start as a word – it is an end product which begins as an impulse, stimulated by attitude and behavior which dictates the need for expression.”
– Peter Brook

“The power of art is the power of truth.”
– Julian Beck

“The key to the mystery of a great artist is that for reasons unknown, he will give away his energies and his life just to make sure that one note follows another... and leaves us with the feeling that something is right in the world.”
– Leonard Bernstein

“In the long history of man, countless empires and nations have come and gone. Those which created no lasting works of art are reduced today to short footnotes in history's catalog. Art is a nation's most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves, and to others, the inner vision which guides us as a Nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”
– President Lyndon B. Johnson

“If you take the trouble to really listen (to the music) with your soul and with your ears - and I say soul and ears because the mind must work, but not too much also - you will find every gesture there. And it is all true, you know.”
– Maria Callas

“An artist must be free to choose what he does, certainly, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.”
– Langston Hughes

“Each of us have a gift given us freely by the universe. And each of us with every breath gives something back.”
– Kim Stanley

“We all bear within us the potentiality for every kind of passion, every fate, every way of life. Nothing human is alien to us. If this were not so, we could not understand other people, either in life or in art.”
– Max Reinhardt

“All kinds of art serve to the greatest of the arts - the art of living on earth.”
– Bertolt Brecht

“The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.”
– James Madison

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, not how it compares with other expression. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”
– Martha Graham

“You have to live spherically — in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm — and things will come your way.”
– Federico Fellini

“If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself, and make a change.”
– Michael Jackson

Chasing Light: Notes on Creativity

A creative life could be no more or less than this: to look on the world with wonder and amazement (even bewilderment) and express it in an artful form. To realize a singular moment of visual and emotional reality in a painting has remained my goal and continues to lead my aspirations. To be awakened by the mystical wonder of existence and to express this wonder through art seems to be at the heart of my human desire. We are, after all, more alike than different, making communication not only possibly but likely.  Past, present and future are joined when an artist is successful.

Self-portrait by Tim Stevenson, found in "CREATE!"

The ability to name is both primal and primary to development in a child and the mystery of language as a philosophical and scientific subject is endlessly fascinating, Along with that “naming” is recognition, something being seen as specific, an entity. Since visual art deals with an area of recognition that is sometimes beyond words, it is difficult to be analytical about it. That is, “formula” paintings usually look just like that, a repeating of pictorial principles. On the other hand, a series of paintings can explore a recognized essence with continuing fascination. Camille Corot painted landscapes for fifty years.

Creating an outward expression of an inner vision is tricky at best. I never feel like I quite have it. But, I use recognition as a guidepost. No worthy goal is achieved without difficulty. I never feel as though I own the paintings that I produce. I have merely made myself available to the larger forces of nature, something infinite and enduring. The works may be seen as gifts, tokens others may find access to, or reminders of, subtle modes of being.

Resiliency, endurance, hard work, these are the ingredients for success, whether farming or painting. Also, knowledge becomes a key element and, many times, knowledge gained from trial and error is most useful. Mistakes are often fertile ground for learning. The ability to be positive and forward thinking in the face of disaster (great or small) is a most admirable quality. And necessary!

“Confederate Violets” by Tim Stevenson

Through my years of painting, I have been witness to a deplorably large rate of fallout among artists. Discouragements are many; encouragements are few. One mental exercise, which I got from someone who heard it from someone else, is to mentally get everyone off your shoulder when you begin to paint. Good advice, especially when the temptation to paint for a market (real or fictional) or a relative or past teacher is sometimes great. “I was told to paint this way,” “Mother likes blue,” or “chartreuse is hot in New York,” are grievous errors and almost always a sure pathway to mediocrity. Unless you are an actor, pretending to be someone else is also a mistake. It is natural to emulate artists who are admired and revered, especially in the beginning and a lot can be learned from copying, but it comes at the price of losing one’s own voice.

In a sense, all art is a reflection of the artist’s inner world. One chooses the subject and manner of representation based on predilections developed over time. These inner states can be easily muddled by outer concerns. (I need to make money - people like cute puppies so I’ll paint cute puppies), but in some ways, even then, the inner is represented.

“Nebulae” by Tim Stevenson

Ideally, the artist has determined to develop this less obvious part of himself and is listening to those promptings that ultimately lead to works of art. When inner life and outer actions are working in tandem, it is usually the healthiest state of being. But not always. My rule of thumb is to get quiet routinely and be as honest as I can, turn down the noise and listen. Parallel thoughts and actions are often hard to come by.


Art is not a contest. It is about making the world a better place. The innate energies of life are always evident in great art. This Shakespeare, Mozart, Rembrandt. Spontaneous, and yet deeply thoughtful. What we think and what we see, although mutually dependent, are different. They are not the same. In a painting, or any other form of observation, we should find the balance between the two.

A teacher once asked me if I would continue to paint in the event I was stranded on an island without human contact — a question to which I have given numerous answers over the years. It is perhaps one of the most telling questions for an artist because at the heart of it is a question about purpose. This is not ignore the mysterious aspect either, the lingering (sometimes subtle, sometimes outrageous) desire to create something. Suffice it to say, though, without further elaboration, that it is a complex question, which can be asked and answered for a life-time.

I know why I love beauty, why the shimmering sensation of an effervescent moment wraps around my brain and heart, eases my breath and carries me wordlessly into a placid mental state. And I know why I crave this broad view of a broad universe, broader still than I can imagine. And I know why it is necessary for me to use my temporal being the best I can to leave reminders of what we can capably do to focus on the good. I love beauty because it is a soulful salvation.

When we put down our fears, the greed will vanish. The “getters” will become a pitied minority. When we are quenched by beauty, we will have no need to be forceful, to impose our will on others. The quest for beauty is a noble path, sometimes even honored by our fellow man. Perhaps more so in the future. In my imagination we will cease to fight, contention will necessarily be eliminated — swords into plowshares.

I know why I love beauty. It is the bell-weather of our higher nature. Can we led by beauty? History will tell. •

2012 Excerpts from Chasing Light: Notes on Creativity by Tim Stevenson. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

TIM STEVENSON, One of America’s finest landscape painters, Tim Stevenson recently had a solo exhibition of over sixty of his most recent works featuring the peaceful vistas of the Tennessee Valley, vivid still life and thoughtful figurative paintings in watercolor and oil at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur, Alabama. A native-born Alabama artist, he has been painting for over forty years in the tradition of the ‘Old Masters,’ (Vermeer and Rembrandt). A self-taught artist who ‘drew pictures for cookies’ at age three, his intermittent excursions into art included cartooning, advertising, illustration and billboard painting along the way. For nine years, Tim taught painting and drawing at his namesake art studio and school, and now teaches a small group of students twice a month in Tuscumbia. He finishes a new painting roughly every two weeks.


"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

The Soul of the American Actor Newspaper