The Artist at Work

The Artist at Work
The Artist at Work

Saturday, March 31, 2012

A book, a bottle and a toast!

The Biltmore Estate has announced the winner of the wine label contest. . .
Out of nine fine designs, the winner was Marcus's creation, Biltmore Winter.

Visit the Biltmore Estate site to see the ranking and official announcement.

Visit our post about Marcus's idea behind Biltmore Winter.

Here's what Marcus and Anne have to say about the matter:

What a joy to report Biltmore Estate wine label success!
Biltmore Winter will be the 2012 Christmas wine LABEL!
This victory that would not have been achieved without the enormous networking effort generously provided by an overwhelming amount of people, family, friends and friends of friends. The networking puzzle is an intricate process that generated the energy to achieve the impossible.
Sincere thanks to everyone who shared the passion.
Hugs, handshakes and a hearty toast.....
Marcus, Anne

The book Flight of the Mind will be available by the time Biltmore releases their Christmas wine in the late summer/early autumn. There's talk of "A Book and a Bottle" launch. Check back for more details on the festivities as we finish up work on the book and raise a glass to the impossible possibility!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Dark of the Moon

Tears of Time
This has been a big week for the earth and sky. Tuesday marked the first day of spring with the vernal equinox, day and night of equal length. From here on out, until autumnal equinox, the hours of light outnumber the dark ones. And today - Thursday, March 22 - the moon is new.

The new moon, also known as the "dark of the moon" is a good time for planting and starting seeds, especially now on the leading edge of spring. Plants started during this hallowed time will grow as the moon grows, magically emerging out of inert darkness, blossoming into ripe fullness to bask in the light of the sun.

So much life begins under the cover of darkness, safe and warm. Until it finds expression in the light of day - through love, art, good words, hard work and grace-full gestures.

I like to think of Marcus's mask for the Denver Hospice project as a representation of the moon's other face . . . her dark side.  This is the face we never see, but would recognize instantly as the face of subterranean wisdom that grows within our psyches - truths about life and mortality and a land beyond time. These truths need the mask of art to give them faces and permit them to speak.

What does the moon's dark face look like to you? Plant a seed with your comment below. And stay tuned for the finale of the Mask Project series. . .

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beauty and Truth in a Mask

Whether you know the origin of the warning to beware of March 15th or not, the day, coming in the middle of a stormy month, carries an ominous and reckless feel. It is a day when anything can happen, and one must be watchful for the unexpected, glancing over the shoulder, on the lookout for mishap and betrayal.

On a day like this, a mask would come in handy. Though we often associate masks with dishonesty and think of them as props used to hide our true selves, they have more power than mere subterfuge.  I think on the Ides of March, the common conception should be reversed. So I'm declaring the 15th of March to be Mask Appreciation Day.

There's a sense in which a mask can be liberating. Crafted or chosen with care and attention to detail, masks allow us a special freedom to be exactly and defiantly who we are . . . in disguise. A creative mask could be the expression of our most daring dream or boldest imagining, offering us the opportunity to recreate and reinvent ourselves, without the trappings of our ordinary "operating personas."

In our darkest moments, when we are most vulnerable, a mask has the power to protect and transform. Marcus knows this from his own experience. Bringing beauty and truth to the surface, he is currently at work creating a mask for the Denver Hospice benefit, The Mask Project. For this project, he will use the watch and sky from How Time Flies as his spring board. We will document his creation here.

"The aim of art," writes Aristotle, "is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." Let's toast to the Ides of March then, and appreciate the power of masks to accomplish the revelation of those inner truths we can not always and readily wear on our faces, but require the bold artistry of a mask to express.

Reflecting on his early intentions with the mask, Marcus writes:

My goal is to refine the watch idea which will center around the left eye. Perhaps a complete watch crying parts that will be flowing over the inner housing, my eye will remain in the center but will look more like Julie Speed's "The Oculist".... The independent eye surrounded by mechanical parts. Tears of Time. The right eye socket on the mask will become a beautiful, tranquil scene offering a feeling of continuation.

Think about how you might create your own mask. Given a blank face, how would you fill it?