The Artist at Work

The Artist at Work
The Artist at Work

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Care-full and Thank-Full

Every year around Thanksgiving, I always want to get in touch with all my friends and family, just about everyone I know, and share a meal, throw a party, write each person a tribute and tell them exactly why I love having him or her in my life. I never quite accomplish this ambition, but it usually carries me through Christmas and New Years.

This year the impulse is especially compelling, for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the growing sense of how fragile life is. We must be care-full in the basic sense of the word. More and more, I am strengthened in my conviction that all that really matters is caring for one another and the place we inhabit.

Each individual on earth is capable of caring in a particular way, specific to talent, temperament, vocation. Some of us are especially lucky in that our gifts complement someone else's gifts and we happen to discover each other in the course of our journey. This has been the case with Marcus and Anne, and Marcus, Anne and me.

I got nostalgic and looked back at last year's Thanksgiving post about time and what we make with it, and found it as true this year, with the added gratitude of another blessed year of writing and doing this work. The physical manifestation of our care will be in our hands soon, and you can get a sneak peek if you are around Greensboro this weekend, where Anne and Marcus will have an advance copy of Flight of the Mind and the Craftsman Classic at the Greensboro Coliseum.

It was also a year or so ago that Bob Peck of Asheville Multimedia filmed me interviewing Marcus for the DVD companion to Flight of the Mind. So, dear reader (for whom we are also so thankful) I'll leave you with this Thanksgiving gift from the completed work as we all continue care-full-y along our wandering, wild and miraculous journeys. May our paths cross in good time!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Good Life for All

Anyone who has been to an art show to see Marcus' work knows the familiar face and irreverent laughter of his sister Amanda. In every kind of weather and over thousands of cumulative miles, she is a friendly and forceful presence in Marcus' and Anne's life and career, giving freely of her time, muscle, heart, and humor.

Amanda is also a force to be reckoned with in her work with Homeward Bound, the Asheville organization that works tirelessly for social justice, operating shelters and programs that feed, clothe and locate housing for the city's homeless. Following a calling she's known since college, Amanda devotes her spirited energy and gifts to serving people who exist in the cold, uncomfortable margins of what most of us consider normal everyday life.

Though it seems incongruous to pair Biltmore Estate with Homeward Bound, leave it to Marcus and Anne to combine the two in a brilliant "thank-you" (with a kick!) to Amanda.

Twelve bottles of Marcus' Christmas wine were signed by Biltmore Estate wine makers Bernard Deleille and Sharon Fenchak. Marcus signed these bottles as well and is making them available for a $60 donation to Homeward Bound. Wine warms the heart quite well, but to sweeten the deal, your donation also includes a 25% discount on an original Marcus Thomas print and  15% off framing the print at Art Accents on Main Street in Weaverville, NC.

Marcus and Amanda
Fine wine and beautiful art work together in so many ways as luxuries of "the good life." With this opportunity, you can join Amanda in working to make basic creature comforts a reality for those who don't have it quite so good. Like the days of Christmas, these twelve bottles of Biltmore's Christmas wine, featuring Marcus' piece Biltmore Winter will go quickly. They are available at Art Accents in Weaverville, where we hope to see you on December 7th for the preview book party. More on that event to come!