The Artist at Work

The Artist at Work
The Artist at Work

Friday, September 28, 2012

Marcus takes to the skies and lives his metaphor. Literally.

Transcending all metaphor and leaving his paintbrush behind, Marcus C. Thomas the artist will launch into the great blue yonder over the Shenandoah valley tomorrow morning at 11am.

It is a rare occurrence when an artist takes the metaphors through which he has made reality shine, and reverses the equation, leaping into reality through the living of his favorite metaphor. But leave it to Marcus to do just that.

The Fourth Flight
For 25 years, he has painted the magic and mystery of flight represented in all manifestations: fierce birds of prey, delicate songbirds, ethereal hummingbirds, and the ingenious inventions my early pioneers of the art of flight. The Fourth Flight, pictured here, depicts the Wright Brothers at the Outer Banks, launching their handmade creation into the sea winds. This trial, the fourth, was the successful one that once and for all proved that human beings - featherless and equipped with wings only in the imagination - were capable of flight. The top photo shows the sailplane that will carry Marcus tomorrow; a non-motorized enclosed glider. In reality, and in Marcus' art, flight has come a long way on those same wings of imagination.

Tomorrow morning, he will coast the thermals, shared with his favorite raptors, in a two-seater sailplane, piloted by Matt Broughton, a lawyer from Roanoke and a good friend who has known Marcus since high school. The flight will be a leap into the ever-enticing unknown, a celebration of the completion of Flight of the Mind, and a chance for Marcus to confirm his own lofty visions and soaring adventures of imagination from a bird's eye angle.

Read the press release on his sailplane flight from New Castle airport here, and send him soaring blessings and the luckiest skies for tomorrow! May the wind bless your wings, Marcus.
See a gallery of photos from the flight itself here. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Biltmore Wine Unveiling

Time seems to be speeding up a bit as we anticipate the arrival of the book, begin to take our first orders, and prepare for the Mars Hill College Homecoming reading. Intoxicated by the season and the winds of change, we are giddy. Or could that headlong rush be the wine. . .?

This past Saturday, Marcus and Anne celebrated the unveiling of the Biltmore Christmas wine, a beautiful bottle emblazoned with Marcus' painting, Biltmore Winter. The lovely winter-blue vision sets the perfect scene for the wine, a semi-sweet blend of Gerwurztamier, Riesling and Muscat. The wine will soon be officially available at the Estate. The full-sized painting is included, with the blessings and permission of the Biltmore Company, in the book, Flight of the Mind. The gathering at Lake James was festive and included Dini Pickering, vice-chair of the Biltmore Board of Directors and granddaughter of George Vanderbilt, who we are sure would have recognized the magic in Marcus' scene. 

We can't think of a better way to spend a winter evening than sipping a glass of wine and getting lost in Marcus' vision of winter wonder.
Marcus and Anne toast with Dini and Chuck Pickering.
But those clean crisp snows are still a few months away, and there are many adventures in store for fall. . . This Saturday, we hope Marcus takes a bottle or two with him as he takes to the skies, literally. Stay tuned for a detailed account of his airborne odyssey on the thermals and over the mountain landscape inhabited by the birds he paints so well. . ..

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Flights Made to Order

The time has come! We are proudly accepting orders for Flight of the Mind, the 25-year retrospective and true labor of love for Anne and Marcus Thomas.

Currently, we are tracking the progress of the book, still in the care of our publisher, as it leaves the presses, receives all the finishing touches - a little gold leaf here, an embossed image there - finally to be bundled up and released into the wide world. We expect the first printing to land on our doorstep in the first week of December. All orders will be fulfilled immediately at that time, soaring straight and true to light underneath your Christmas Tree.

We know, too well, how uncertain, time, life, and the weather can be, so the arrival date is not 100% guaranteed. But there's also a chance we are being conservative with our arrival estimate. We can promise to stay in touch as the shipment of the first printing approaches. Please visit our Ordering FAQ page for detailed information on the process.

From now until October 15th, you will receive a 15% preferred customer discount. Gold and Platinum Editions include wonderful supplements to Marcus' story, such as a classy slipcover, a DVD showcasing everyday rituals and a cast of characters from life and art, and original signed prints - hummingbirds to lift the roof of your mind to heights of inspiration.

On Saturday, October 13th at 11am, we will be offering a special reading and preview of the book and DVD at Mars Hill College Homecoming.  All weekend, Marcus will be exhibiting his work in the Montague Building on the college campus. On Saturday morning, Leslee Johnson, author, will give a reading of selections accompanied by slides of the book itself. We're excited to share this glimpse of our work and love and look forward to seeing as many of our faithful readers, in so many ways our beloved community far and wide for whom we built this book, as possible.