The Artist at Work

The Artist at Work
The Artist at Work

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hunt for Beauty on the Art Safari

One thing that distinguishes humans from all other life (except perhaps hummingbirds) is the desire and longing for beauty. So great is the longing that alone among all other creatures, human beings, with much practice, are able to create beauty . . . in works of art.

You can satisfy your quest for beauty and glimpse the inner workings of its creation in many forms - from paint to metal to paper, pottery and wood - this weekend in Weaverville, NC at the Fall Art Safari. The event offers a unique opportunity to meet artists in the natural habitat of their own studios and experience their work.

Marcus and Anne Thomas open their studio for the Safari and welcome visitors from 10am-6pm. Stop by to see Marcus, and get a peek at work in progress and more. Flight of the Mind information and ordering details will also be available. Nothing compares to an up-close-and-personal encounter with a true artist except for perhaps an encounter with undeniable and lasting beauty. This weekend's safari offers both. (Please, no firearms required!)

Monday, October 22, 2012

October is a tease (and Marcus plays along)

What's that red-gold flame on the horizon? A bird? A sailplane? The mountains set alight by October's mischievous, fleeting leave-taking? A magical realist poem in color and shape, painted by a man who laughs with his paintbrush in his mouth?

October is a month of warm colors and chilly winds. She's a tease, but we don't love her any less. In fact, she endears the days to us, tiding us over with golden light, woodsmoke, pumpkins and trees that burn with beauty, spoiling us before the austerity of winter.

The month has been full of bright activity for us. A reading at Mars Hill College homecoming officially gave the public a peek at the book and orders are well underway.  The Laurel of Asheville published a bright, friendly piece on Marcus and the book. And on the cusp of all this excitement, Marcus took to the skies himself.

In the spirit of October we've got a teaser of our own. In addition to the book, we are offering a DVD created by Bob Peck of Asheville Multimedia which delves deeper into Marcus' life, work and imagination. Below is a short excerpt from the film. Savor it as you would the days of October and enjoy it while it lasts!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Homecoming at Mars Hill College

In Of Time and the River, Thomas Wolfe declares, "All things on earth point home in old October: sailors to sea, travelers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken--all things that live upon this earth return, return."

The Quad
This weekend Mars Hill College celebrates Homecoming and both Marcus and I will be returning as alumni of the school. Marcus will be showing his art in the Montague Building, a gallery exhibit to mark the launch of Flight of the Mind. I'll be giving a reading and presentation, a sneak preview of the page design and images. 

Marcus' painting, The Quad is a tribute to our alma mater and it captures the spirit (and perhaps the ghosts) of the place: homesickness tempered with whimsy, meaning deepened by mystery.

Thomas Wolfe, who I read as a student at Mars Hill College, winding my way through sentences thick as the ivy that once grew on the Montague Building, seemed to have known Mars Hill College in October when he wrote the quote above.* We return from our far-flung journeys, changed. Yet recognized. Our memories of the place, and of our earlier selves, seem as real as leaf and stone, flesh and blood. We meet ourselves coming and going in October in the mountains and it seems only right to bring out the best work we have and celebrate the timing of the full circle.

Whether you've ever been to Mars Hill College or not, all are invited to join us there as Marcus returns to the place where his love of nature, once lived through his body, now lives in his art. In honor of his journey and the work born of the soaring travels of his spirit, the college will be recognizing Marcus as Alumnus of the Year.

The exhibit opens at 9am with the reading at 11am. The Alumni of the Year presentation precedes the game at 12:45pm. The entire weekend is full of activities from music concerts to an invitational alumni art exhibit to the game itself. Get the full schedule here. You can even sit beneath a maple in full autumn glory and read Thomas Wolfe.

*Special thanks to Brandon Johnson for the Wolfe quote.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Marcus' Flight: A Gallery

Marcus entered what he calls "surreal-abstract space" on Saturday at the New Castle Airport.  
Many of these pictures were taken by Anne. The aerial shots were taken by Dalila from the chaser plane. Breathtaking.

And he's still smiling. Might be a permanent grin.