The Artist at Work

The Artist at Work
The Artist at Work

Friday, December 23, 2011

Yo Yo Yo, Merry Christmas

That first painted image,"Cosmic Christmas" ignited an energy that continues to gather strength. Entering my 25th year as a painter, Anne and I celebrate the past while focusing with great excitement on the future. EYES WIDE OPEN !
Merry Christmas and best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yo!: How To Have a Cosmic Christmas

Several weeks before the Christmas of 1986, less than nine months after the accident, Anne and Marcus' sister Amanda presented Marcus with a set of Crayola watercolors and unknowingly awakened a talent in Marcus that would turn out to be a gift to so many others.

Marcus took up the paintbrush, in the spirit of fun, and his first work was a Christmas card (pictured). The message it carried was more than just a holiday wish. His triumphant “Yo!” signaled to everyone his definitive take on the situation.  Rather than gloom or depression, the drawing attests to Marcus’ simple joy in being alive and his pleasure in this new-found form of expression. Twenty-five years since the accident that paralyzed him, Marcus still paints in the spirit of love and fun, touching lives with tenderness and wonder.

There's an ancient Hindu story about a man who spent his lifetime begging by the city gates, always at the brink of starvation, clothed in rags. After awhile, he died, and after another several years the city decided to enlarge the gateway. During the excavation, the municipal workers turned up the earth on which the beggar had stood, sat and slept for those many years. Underneath the very spot, they discovered a priceless treasure, enough to feed and clothe any number of men for any number of lifetimes. All along, the story goes, within touching distance of the hapless beggar's feet great riches lay buried, worth many times more than what he needed to survive and live abundantly. What a cosmic event that might have been! If only the beggar had ever paused to consider what lay underneath the layers both of himself and the world.

We need more messages like the message of Marcus' first Christmas card: signs, poems,  paintings, gestures that point the way to the treasure hidden shallowly beneath the surface of our everyday struggle, hungers and chills. It is in the same spirit of love and wonder that we wish all our friends and family,
Merry Cosmic Christmas! 

PS: Happy solstice all! There's nothing like the shortest day and longest night to heighten your sense of time. ;')

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Magical realism

Imagine: you are walking along the beach. In a tidal pool reflecting the day's last light, you discover beautiful shells, larger than any you've encountered before. The wind dies; the only sound is the echo of the ocean from the shells, which sounds like your own heartbeat, or could that be the flapping of wings? 

Nature performs magical feats by the millions every minute. But, busy with our private concerns and human interests, we often fail to notice nature's miracles . . . until someone shows us the world anew and wakes us up to the extraordinary quality of ordinary time.

Marcus is an artist who wakes us up. To borrow from literary terms, Marcus’ paintings, provocative and miraculous, are an instance of magical realism. He crafts scenes that defy the rules of the real world and in doing so, reveals a truth about this world we call home, and take for granted.  We willingly follow his lead, suspending disbelief because he creates a reality we only need to be shown to believe in.

"For the hard of hearing you shout, and for the near-blind you draw in large and startling figures," says Flannery O'Connor, a writer whose style anticipated the power of magical realism.

Realistic, accurately rendered elements in fanciful, impossible scenes evoke strong feelings.  Through his use of mystery and metaphor, mediating between reality and imagination, Marcus opens up a world and invites us along on an epic journey.

The invitation is the same invitation  issued by Nature, day after day, with her miracles. This winter, wake up to the world revealed anew.  The Geminid meteor shower tonight and the Christmas Bird Count are both  good ways to jump-start your belief in miracles and join Marcus on a journey which promises to be both very magical and very real.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Labor of Love

Anne in a sea of photos, selecting the perfect images for each page.
The 25-year artistic career of Marcus and Anne Thomas is best described in  images. Their life and work together has been well documented by Anne, who has an eye for meaning in the ordinary, and an intuition for how their particular story touches a universal longing.

Anne collects and records the memories; the retrospective requires her eyes on the artist as he grows, creates and evolves, as much as it requires the eye of the artist himself.  She has documented Marcus, his work and their life together over the last quarter-century, plus a few years, those years before the accident. Her diligence is a labor of love which gives flesh and blood to the words describing their journey together.

So, as anyone who has loved for long can imagine, when it came to sorting through 25 years of life in images, it was certainly a labor of love! From the photos of Marcus as a young athlete, to his time of transition adjusting to paralysis, to photos of him at work painting his latest masterpiece, not to mention the images Anne has carefully recreated from his original paintings, she can show us the evolution of their love and art.

To Anne we owe this next exciting stage of the journey of creating this retrospective. The images have been selected, and putting pictures to the story is like putting words to music. Stay tuned for perhaps a few sneak peeks and maybe even a photo essay. . .

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving: Time Is a Gift

Watch time soar.
Marcus began work on the painting How Time Flies after the first couple of sessions of interviews with Leslee for his 25-year retrospective coffee-table-book.This image was taken during the creation of the painting. The raven is gaining his third dimension and appears to be tearing out of the canvas, over and beyond Marcus' pallet and implements. The pocket watch trails in flight, haplessly careening.

How Time Flies is a direct expression of Marcus' relationship with time – the revelry and ravages, the love and loss, the joy and the heartbreak, as he is (all of us really are) simultaneously blessed and held hostage by time.  In his honesty with himself, Marcus transcends his particular experience of time and touches on something universal. We see through Marcus’ own eyes something we can all recognize in our own relationship with the time of our lives.

Time around the table with friends.

We often catch ourselves lamenting the speed of time. Days, minutes, hours go by so fast, especially when we are with people we enjoy, doing work we love, creating something we believe in. We can't help but wish for more time. It's probably high time we recognized the commodity time is - we can spend it, waste it, lose it on crazy nights perhaps worth forgetting, we want to steal it, and oh if we could just stretch it out to last a little longer. . .

But time fools and foils us completely. We trick ourselves into thinking time is exhaustible when the truth about time is that we make it. Just like we make art, memories, love. "I cherish every moment," says Marcus, when he reflects on the time of his life, nailing the true spirit of Thanksgiving in his depiction of this holy theft."The raven seems like it could surpass time, and I’m hitching a ride – the fountain of life."

"An infinite perspective is the fountain of youth," Marcus says and this is what he shows us in How Time Flies. And this is what defines human thanksgiving - simultaneously blessed and held hostage.

So, here from this corner of the world to yours, wherever you may be: let us give thanks for the folks that make life and time meaningful, for good work, the people who inspire us, the moments we spend with one another . . thanks for art, and cadmium yellow, alzarin crimson, Payne's gray and cobalt blue, trickster ravens, lovers, friends, deep sky over the mystery ahead, and for time and life itself which gives us all these possibilities in which to dwell.

What are you thankful for in this moment? Add to the infinite list (into cyberspace, for which we are also thankful) below.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kairos, the spirit of good timing, is with us

Bob films Marcus cruising through the lovely day at Lake James.
The ancient Greeks believed in two different aspects of time. Chronos embodied the passage of clock time, responsible for days, hours, minutes, the way we age. Kairos embodied the split-second opportunity, the spirit of good timing and the eternal instant. This spirit of "the right time," Kairos, is depicted balanced atop wheels with wings on his ankles, holding a sharp edge representing the "split" second in which opportunity arrives and must be seized.

As we work on capturing the last 25 years of Marcus' time creating art, we find ourselves blessed with many good moments in which we almost seem to transcend clock-time to dwell in possibility and opportunity -  moments that last a lifetime.  The spirit of Kairos hovers around us as the right people gather at the right place in the perfect time to create the book.

Lydia Inglett, Marcus, Leslee and Anne (behind the camera) discuss timing.
In the past couple weeks - how time flies! - we've begun to work with Lydia Inglett, who will design the book. That process will soon be underway and her vision is inspiring us all.

We've also spent some time in front of the camera ourselves, thanks to Bob Peck of revpictures, a talented videographer who is working with us to film the DVD portion of the project. Saturday afternoon found us all at Lake James. Vibrant leaves served as a fitting backdrop for a fireside chat which was profound and inspiring.

We cannot know what the next days, weeks and month will hold, but with the good work before us, the right people beside us, and the blessing of good timing, we know we are in for a harvest season of grand possibilities. 

Kairos, the spirit of good timing.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Are the Painters

Marcus' mom, Betsy Thomas, recently presented Marcus with a slim hard-bound book she just happened to find in a used book store entitled Painting as a Pastime by Winston Churchill.

Churchill, who discovered painting late in life, revels in his discovery of the sheer pleasure of painting, describing it as a “joy ride in a paint-box.” And for this joyful journey, expectations should be left at the door, he says: “Audacity is the only ticket.”

“Painting is a companion with whom one may hope to walk a great part of life’s journey,” Mr. Churchill writes, a truth close to Marcus’ heart.  Each step is an opportunity to see more, do more and learn more.

Winston Churchill and Marcus Thomas both learned the same secret: painting transforms the hours. No matter what weight burdens the heart, or what frustration nags at the mind, no matter if infirmity cripples the body, painting releases the soul and launches it into wonder. Churchill proclaims:

The whole world is open with all its treasures. The simplest objects have their beauty. Every garden presents innumerable fascinating problems. Every land, every parish, has its own tale to tell. And there are many lands differing from each other in countless ways, and each presenting delicious variants of color, light, form and definition. Obviously, then, armed with a paint-box, one cannot be bored, one cannot be left at a loose end, one cannot ‘have several days on one’s hands.’ Good gracious! What there is to admire and how little time to see it in!

What little time indeed for all the wonder the artist's soul can hold! A daredevil at heart, game for the joy-ride painting invites, Marcus’ work gives substance to his audacity and joy, as well as his poetic soul. As he faithfully takes up his brush, cherishing each moment, time itself, ordinary and mundane, begins to glow golden.

“Happy are the painters," declares Mr. Churchill, "for they shall not be lonely. Light and color, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end, or almost to the end, of the day." He concludes his own testament to the art of painting with a exhortation strikingly similar to Marcus’ philosophy of life: “Go out into the sunlight and be happy with what you see.”

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Invitational Show @ MHC Homecoming

Marcus' alma mater, Mars Hill College, is celebrating homecoming this weekend and as part of the festivities the Weizenblatt Gallery will showcase three alumni artists: Kristalyn Bunyan, Joelle Diepenbrock and our own, Marcus C. Thomas.

Marcus graduated MHC in 1985 with a degree in Recreation. Three months later, he survived a skiing accident that paralyzed him from the neck down. Before the accident, Marcus was a talented athlete. After the accident transformed his way of being in the world, he became a gifted artist.

We are thrilled about the show, which opens this week (Saturday @10am) and stays up all month. If you are in the area, consider a visit to see Marcus' work live.

From the artists' statement:

My voice as a painter amplifies multiple personalities that include a desperate cry for environmental help, a deathly cold walk through life, endlessly happy days of play, historic conversation about the evolution of flight, and simply celebrating the obvious beauty that surrounds us.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Paint?

"Theirs is not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die." - from "Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

The questions, "How did you learn to paint?" and "Who are your influences?" are inextricably linked for Marcus.

I am self taught with a deep appreciation for the amazing artists who have given their lives to create timeless master paintings. I am a voyeur, who cherishes a peek at the provocative lives of other artists. Through the lens of their passion, much can be learned.

My influences are many, and with numerous styles.
Holbien Robert Bateman
Vermeer Julie Speed
Rembrandt Walton Ford
Van Gogh The Wyeth Family
Edward Hopper

The litany of names could indeed be a "light brigade" of artists. Men and women who could do no other but create through color, and values, paint, brush, canvas, all of them compelled and driven to express a vision bigger than the individual.

The question is not so much "why paint?" as it is, "how can I refuse?" The calling is irresistible and irrefutable. Tennyson's Light Brigade shows how one can be helpless and heroic at the same time. Artists are also like that. The artist makes a masterpiece from his flawed, often heartbreaking, unique experience. He transforms what he sees into rare form through his love and his skills. From Vermeer to Andrew Wyeth to Julie Speed, the lives of artists bear this out. Marcus writes:

An endless smile forms as I consider the depth of inspiration that echoes in my brain and seeps through my senses. . . Inspiration surrounds me! I gather from the daily bombardment of stimulation - the birds we feed, the sounds and sights of the familiar, changes in landscape resulting from the growth in the mountains of western N.C., and also the natural change of seasons. It's impossible not to see priceless beauty as well as the destructive pressures of a modern society.

Perhaps the painter's burning question is not why?, but how? How to convey everything honestly, how to charge the image with the urgency and vigor of life, how to fully honor the love of the world that so quickly vanishes?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Q&A - Ask the Artist

For the next few weeks, this space will be an exploration - the back and forth of question and answer sessions with Marcus. He will honestly and authentically address any question put forth in good faith.

You, dear reader, are invited to submit your questions for the artist below in the comments.

The first of entry to the Q&A series is:
What are the limitations of being a quadriplegic painter? Are there some things you just can't do artistically?

Marcus says:
I am always trying to defy the odds. It amplifies the excitement and fuels my passion. So, instead of thinking about limitations, I "dwell in the possibilities." The deeper I explore the possibilities of my tools - the paint/brush - the more the idea of limitation fades.

Sure, there is a practical size constraint. Large is not strategically sound and involves unfair demands outside of my control. Accordingly, I strive to create modest size paintings that hopefully contain a lasting, large, voice.

Keeping to a modest size does not eliminate the need for assistance but does reduce it.

Painting various segments of any given scene requires the raising and lowering of the easel for my brush as well as rotating the painting surface itself. The perspective provided by rotation helps with accurate drawing, plus also allows a broader reach with the brush. If a painting looks good upside down, the possibilities are endless!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Work in Progress

An excerpt from the book, tentatively titled:
The Art of Marcus C. Thomas: A Painter's Journey Through Paralysis

If art is a conversation human beings have with the world they are thrown into, Marcus Thomas has a lot to say. “Art comes out of suffering,” Marcus admits, reflecting on the lives of the masters,“but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer with your art.”

The conversation he participates in through his brush strokes and colors is one that is informed by suffering. The ultimate point of his conversation, however, is beauty and resilience.

Wreckage is a subtle but recurring theme in Marcus’ work - dilapidated churches, broken windows, fallen birds, birds captured and killed, beached rowboats. Yet, just about every broken thing you find in his paintings is also amazingly full of life - inhabited by birds or surrounded by natural splendor. Though the fragility of life, something Marcus knows so well, is honestly part of the picture, the story never ends in wreckage; suffering never has the last hurrah.

Marcus' paintings, from his depictions of landscapes and songbirds to his more symbolic statements, reveal both a world on the verge and the painter’s effort to save it in meticulous brushstrokes and bold imagery. Marcus is a painter capable of showing his audience the world they live in, which is often a world they have never seen before. His life, and the artistic accomplishment that it is - born of suffering, beautiful and resilient, shows us the same world.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Filling in the blanks

Closing in.
Gratifying day! Guiding the book project through a critical juncture, Anne and Leslee achieved a level of clarity that brushed a touch of gold throughout the pages. At the end of Fridays session, the tragic snow skiing accident had been relived through a detailed account of events. A roller coaster only Anne,family and friends could have ridden.
Embracing the journey!

Friday, August 12, 2011

13 Ways of Looking

Raven detail from "The Watch"
Inspired by Wallace Steven's "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird" which you can read online by clicking the link.

Thirteen Ways to See a Raven

1. The opportunist never sleeps.

2. Three blackbirds is a good omen representing   

    brightness and goodness. 
    Perhaps Wallace was in good spirits that day.

3. Ignoring change, the bird was blending, adapting, 

   Or, simply delivering a message of doom in the face of nature's dramatic change. (magical change)

4. Blackbirds (corvids) are monogamous representing relationship longevity .

5. The blackbird sings in riddle, allusive and suggestive.

    Perhaps the tune is like the bartender's last call!

6. The ghost appears outside the window, waving warning or just playing.
    Perhaps the weight of winter is seeping in.

7. The blackbird should not be shunned because of its blackness for its value is gold.

8. The spiritual blackbird, the watchful eye.

9. Significant moment , birthday?
    Life map mile marker. Personal growth , one step closer to death.

10. Emotions soar when the blackbirds fly.
      Feelings can be dark as death,
      or bright as the sun,
      even on a cloudy day.

11. Perhaps, death follows closely.

12. When the blackbird stirs, nature is on the move.
      The pace of the planet is a fine rhythm.

13. Always present, the blackbird never sleeps!

And you, faithful reader? Tell us how the blackbird looks from your perspective. Help us get 13 responses below. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Making Time for Walden - Cabin in the Woods

Marcus and I are reading Thoreau's Walden or Life in the Woods in the midst of trying times.

I bought my copy of Walden and Other Writings from The Strand bookstore in New York City in September of 2000, when I was terribly homesick for the mountains of North Carolina. When I picked it up yesterday, for the first time in years (not counting unpacking and packing it) I found within the pages, in the chapter called "Solitude" pictures of my long-gone friend Ishmael and the garden we grew together on the Bruce Farm in Mars Hill, NC. Calvin Chandler, who had cows and a tractor, plowed and raked over the soil for me - half an acre worth - and I planned to grow enough vegetables to keep students and families of Mars Hill in fresh vegetables all season. The task would prove much easier to dream than to realize - not so much the growing (I had the Ishmael, with about 7o years of gardening experience, to help me) but what to do with all the vegetables and how to get my classmates to come shovel manure in the name of community.

So mostly, it was just me and Ish at the garden. The photos are a result of my excitement at the vast, plowed expanses of what would be my garden. It was the fall of 1993, and I was starting a garden of greens and crimson clover. Ish and I were talking about how to lay everything out, and I caught a great crooked picture on a little disposable camera of Ish walking off a row, followed by two scrappy beagles, whose names I can't remember but know that I have recorded in a journal somewhere in the pink liquorstore box in my closet here in South Asheville, in the late summer of 2011.

Ishmael died in the late nineties, when I was living in New York. The place where our garden was is, last I checked, an embankment that serves as an entrance to a gated community, now starting to show the age, despair and neglect of the recent few years.

So what does all this have to do with work on Marcus' 25- year retrospective? Well, this remains to be seen, but I suspect it's because a retrospective is, necessarily, a lot about time, timing, looking back and wondering. It involves asking, sometimes too, what to make of a diminshed thing - whether we're talking about the natural world we once knew, or the people we used to be. That's the hard part. But. A retrospective well done can have a happy ending, and help us re-member ourselves as surely as we see the same person in the mirror when we pause to look ourself in the eye, every time.

Plus, in the middle of August, really, especially, who doesn't dream of retreating to a remote cabin in the woods, to study the of late summer drone of crickets and cicada, and to stare at the deepening sky, trying to catch and name that particular shade of blue. Closest thing to hitching a ride on the watch in the detail of Marcus' "The Watch" and flying into that deep color blue.

In hectic times like these, it's good to have some sort of retreat, a cabin in the woods to re-member. Maybe that's reading a book you once loved, or losing yourself in an art, the practice of making something. And then, added to that, an invitation to a good friend's "cabin" in the woods wouldn't hurt.

Marcus writes:


My cabin in the woods:
No roof.
No walls.
Canvas provides shelter from the cold,
Paint fuels the warmth,
brush along,
Invitation only!

-----------------------August 2011

Come visit us here anytime. Tell us how you retro-spect and re-member. And share where you found your "cabin in the woods" where you make the time, in these times, to practice your art, whatever it is you practice.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dwell in Possibility: Religion, Science and the Art of Metaphor

Detail from the painting titled "The Watch"

In The Life of the Skies, Jonathan Rosen talks a lot about the fracturing of the world (or the western mind) that happened after Darwin. It's a fracture Rosen himself is still trying to heal, through birdwatching as an mediating activity - one that makes people look up and see. For Rosen, as for many of us who love birds, what we see when we look up is the glory of a bird, but also all that the bird represents - literally, spiritually. Metaphorically.

He talks a lot about naturalists of that time - Darwin, Alfred Lord Wallace. And about how they also sought the divine in their work, whether this was made explicit, or not. Wallace, for example, spent years on the Malay Archipelago before he finally found the bird that sent him on this quest - the bird of paradise - a bird in which the natural and the spiritual seem to meet by virtue of a name!

Rosen uses poetry to really bring out the spiritual aspect of birding. He connects Alfred Lord Wallace's quest and love with Wallace Steven's mystical bird, the one in "Of Mere Being" that sings "in the palm at the end of the mind." Rosen makes a good distinction we really appreciate between the materialist versus naturalist.

Marcus responds to this idea in a way that reminds us of poetry, reflecting on his life, confined, yet metaphorically free through the natural world he creates in art. The following words to the conclusion of the post are his thoughts, shared with you. The featured image is a detail from his current work, the painting, titled "The Watch," which you can see in progress in the slideshow to the right:

My confined life is metaphorical happiness.
I should be miserable because?
But, I do not accept misery as a solution.

Self value is part of measuring happiness.
I have purpose, the result is bliss.

Emily Dickinson pops up the the book Life of the Skies too. Her poem, "I dwell in Possibility" evoked this response:

Why not live a life without restriction.
An infinite perspective is the fountain of youth.
Which feeds our hunger to search in a spiritual and or scientific way.

I love the intertwined idea of science and religion. Because I breathe the metaphorical, my acceptance of both is satisfying. I am not grasping for Big answers! Content with the obvious, focusing on MY metaphorical foot print and embracing what is real.
This is my consumption!
Reality is the foundation, for I live in an abstract frame.
Escape through paint, brush and love? YOU BET!
If your mind becomes bored with your heart, you are defeated.
Rock on!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Carolina Wren

I just had the pleasure of watching and hearing a Carolina Wren. Less than a few feet from my face,the power and clarity of that voice is amazing. How does that small frame produce such volume?

Carolina Wren photo credit:

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Reading *The Life of the Skies*

Currently, both Marcus and Leslee are reading the book, The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature, by Jonathan Rosen. Rosen, a New Yorker who haunts Central Park with his binoculars, writes of the world that opened up for him when he began looking up and taking note. He also does a lot to connect human nature and the act of birding. Birding, for Rosen, is both a spiritual and physical pursuit that really speaks to the tension between our destructive and creative tendencies.

Leslee, who birdwatches and loves to learn the names of things, has always suspected a connection between what people notice and what they care about. She thinks maybe the more people notice and name the birds in their backyard, the trees in their neighborhood, the fish in their streams, the more likely they will be to care for them, and fight to protect them. She also likes this book for the great use of quotes from Thoreau, Audubon, Faulkner, and this one from Robert Frost's poem about the Ovenbird:
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.

For his part, Marcus is in the business of showing folks the world in a way that helps them notice birds, among other natural phenomena, and recognize the peril, the "diminished thing" nature may become. In a way, what Marcus shows in some of his paintings, like the one of the cedar waxwings and the bobcat, is similar to the message Rosen conveys in his book.

But there are some differences. Here's what Marcus says, particularly about the thesis that we are seeing the end of nature: "Insight comes when the end is near? I am not sure I like that projection. Clearly! Cherish the moment. My take on the "ending insight" is that clarity is the result of hindsight. Actually, hyper-hindsight! The past is always clearer than the projected future." So stopping short of predicting the end, Marcus seeks to convey understanding with a decidedly less "doomsday" approach.

Stay tuned to hear what we think about the comparison of birding to hunting, and the gender inequality among birders . . .

In the meantime, what do you think? Do you know the names of the birds in your backyard? Do you notice them? Are we "at the end of nature"?

(Image is from the New York Times review of Rosen's book. Credited to Oliver Munday.)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Saturday Reflection - Monday Direction

A classic shot of Lake James, courtesy of the Lake James homepage
Saturday at the lake has become a reliable diversion from the work week. With plenty of snacks, a good book (painting project) and friendly weather, we settle in for the day.

Anne remains on deck for an interview. She seems to be in delay mode most of the time, perhaps if the exchange could be conducted at the lake, the information would flow freely. Add a glass of wine to the equation?

My current painting projects consist of work needing to be completed for the book, Florida subjects for winter shows and miscellaneous scenes needed for creative growth. More hours in the day would be welcomed!

I am discovering that the more creative paintings provide me with a satisfied emotion, a more rewarding feeling of accomplishment. Such soul-reflecting works should insure longevity and provide me the inspiration to continue painting long after I am dead.

What a concept!

With lots of shows on the horizon the typical productive week will be altered  slightly. The norm is to enjoy a complete week of painting with one day of play. Soon, the show routine dictates a pace that Anne maneuvers through like a super human (super hero). Organizing business demands, travel requirements and a host of family stuff only scratching the surface of her list. Me, the adjustment is pathetic in comparison.

The book project will adapt with the schedule. Our goal is to have a mock book in toe when we visit the design company, located in Charleston S.C.. November is the target.

Hopefully, Leslee will join our journey, providing her expertise with text layout. Multiple ideas channeled into one goal should deliver the desired result.

Go / Team / Go !

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Marcus and Leslee discuss the paintings

Marcus and Leslee spend a wonderful Friday morning discussing the process and the particulars of his paintings, particularly the ones that incorporate striking images, juxtaposing nature with myth, everyday objects and ideas.

These paintings will be shown and discussed in depth in the book. Stay tuned for further thoughts on art, life and the world.

Feel free to comment below on your experiences with Marcus' art, or even art and life in general. We'd love to hear from you.

Friday, July 1, 2011

While embracing the power of Leslee's writing, we enthusiastically continue plotting the book design.
Please stay tuned.

It's time for some July 4th play!

With a toast in mind, Happy Birthday Cameron!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Anne remains on deck for an engaging interview. Her opinion of the past 29 years should be priceless.

Sincere thanks to all the caregivers.
Marcus and Bella blogging
Last Friday's meeting was directed towards the unscrambling of a few symbolistic paintings. Multi layered compositions combined with sutle messaging make these paintings fun to discuss.
The result was another productive, blistering fast Pow Wow that makes me eagerly wait for the next session.

Thanks Leslee

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

With two meetings completed ,Leslee and I have established a rhythm of discussion that has inspired thoughts that I have not exercised in a longtime. Anne will be joining us for the next search and record session. Her contribution will be vital for Leslee to accurately cast the net and reel in the good stuff. Oh,what a journey she has lived.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Compiling 25 year retrospective

Gathering 50 years of information to create a desirable coffee table book is the journey that awaits. Anne is leading a project that will produce a 200 page biographical account of my accomplishments with a paintbrush. Revealing the unusual circumstances motivating the first strokes while amplifying the priceless satisfaction that evolves as I develop artistically.

Leslee Johnson will be deciphering interviews,photos and paintings to create a captivating text for the book. Her talents as a writer and philosopher will certainly be rewarding.