The Artist at Work

The Artist at Work
The Artist at Work

Friday, January 27, 2012

Work and Love: Year of the Dragon

What are you bringing to life these days?
People all over the world celebrated the Chinese New Year this past week. Apparently, we should expect a big baby boom  because the dragon is such a lucky sign to be born under. I think this lucky blessedness holds true for bringing creative work to life as well, and right now, we are in a fortuitous place with Flight of the Mind: A Painter's Journey through Paralysis. 

The text is undergoing revision for the final draft, which is a tender and meaningful process. And Lydia Inglett is at work on the design and layout. We are getting glimpses of how the book will look, feel and sound, which heightens our expectations! Indeed, it is as if we are "expecting" in the parental sense of the word, and even when we are dreaming, we are preparing a space for our love and hard work to be at home in the world.

This weekend, Marcus and Anne return to the Naples Invitational Art Fest in Florida, where last year, Marcus won Best of Show. If you are anywhere close to Naples, stop by to see the evidence of their work and love in person.

In the next few days and weeks, we will chronicle progress on the book and use the blog to fine-tune some of the sections, testing out names on you, our faithful audience. You are part of this too, and just as it takes a community to raise a healthy child, without your receiving eyes and ears, we'd just be whistling in the dark (which has its merits, but becomes rather lonely). So thank you, and please join us as we expect the best and continue the work of bringing our love into the light of day.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Epiphany! - Ere We Are Aware . . .

The egret warrants attention.
Between the portrait and the pineapple,  the bird is an epiphany.

This weekend (Friday to be exact) was the holiday of Epiphany. Epiphany is the Christian celebration of the incarnation - god made human. The day is used to mark the wisemen's journey, against all odds and caution, in search of a baby born in extreme circumstances, to unwed parents sheltering in a barn at a wayside inn on the edge of nowhere. Many traditions also celebrate the baptism of Jesus - the quintessential true-identity story of a man revealed as the long-awaited hero of people forsaken and forgotten.

Epiphany marks a date of revelation and recognition, and it comes about the time that, here in a temperate climate, noticeably warm this year, I start planning a spring garden. Epiphany has me cleaning out pots and trays, calculating when to start the seeds that, hopefully, will feed us a couple short months from now. At epiphany, even if the world is cold and gloomy, the hope of spring needs preparing for. Nature, even while dormant, calls us to be aware.

Here on the blog for Marcus' book, epiphany begins a season to plant some seeds of the metaphorical variety. The book, Flight of the Mind: A Painter's Journey through Paralysis, which is ripening as we dream through these long nights, will be released in the summer - a balmy dream from today. But as it ripens, we want to explore some of the ideas, feelings and revelations Marcus' story and work brings to our attention.

The wise men on a quest to redeem their souls.
"In God's wildness lies the hope of the world," proclaims the environmentalist and naturalist John Muir, writing a century ago, but leaving clues for our time, when natural wonder is at stake. We can find hope in "the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness, [where t]he galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware."

Regardless of time, religion, culture or upbringing, the natural world,"God's wildness," is calling us to be aware, for our own healing. Maybe it's the birds we can't help but notice, maybe it's the unseasonable weather, maybe it's the light that wakes us at sunrise or makes us sad at twilight. Something sacred, absolutely incarnate and revelatory needs our attention.

My worktable is littered with gardening books that are calling me back. Marcus' artwork also calls us back, to a world that we've missed, to a revelatory world of miracles, magic and reality, which is an epiphany - when magic and reality collide.

Please tell us about your own epiphanies and check back here for Marcus' and my own reflections on nature, religion, and whatever moves us to pay attention and share with you.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Poetic and Prophetic

The new year arrives, healthy and pink with promise.
Happy New Year! This year we celebrate good work and great love. May the year 2012 sharpen our mind's eye and our sense of kairos. We look forward to many good and magical moments, and a continued Flight of the Mind.

Check out this beautifully written article about Marcus' work in Asheville's Bold Life magazine, "The Mind's Eye," by Ursula Gullow.

Check back here, or subscribe, for new-year updates on the progress of the book, Flight of the Mind, and painterly musings on subjects dear to our heart.