Island Art Days to feature artist Marcus Thomas

March 31, 2017
By Marcy Shortuse

Marcus Thomas is the featured artist of the 2017 Island Art Show planned for this weekend, April 1 and 2 in the parking area of the Boca Beacon, 431 Park. Ave.
At the age of 26, Thomas suffered a skiing accident that broke his neck and left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. Six months into his rehabilitation, he took up a simple watercolor set and a paintbrush rigged to fit comfortably in his mouth. An activity that started as something to do for fun quickly became his passion. Since the moment he discovered painting, Thomas has lived the artist’s life, transcending the limitations of his body, pushing beyond physical boundaries, and perfecting difficult techniques to capture profound and subtle images in color and light.
“My first painting resulted from the need for a new adventure … having limited options requires that we become a little more creative with deciding what to do for new entertainment. And soon a new passion was discovered,” he said.
His creative process starts with a vision that is a product of his imagination.
“It’s usually the result of something I have seen through television, a movie or during our travels,” he said. “Reading also plays a big role. My ability to send a message through a drawing or a painting allows me to comfortably challenge my imagination.”
He said that when a project is completed he feels a sense of joy and satisfaction.
“The emotion is usually brief and inspires me to start the next project.”
Thomas and his wife, Anne, participate in approximately 25 shows each year. After 30 years in the business, they have become more conservative with their scheduling, and staying closer to home is their goal now.
Thomas authored a book that was published in 2012, “Flight of the Mind: A Painter’s Journey Through Paralysis,” detailing the true story of his journey as an athlete who, upon breaking his neck and suffering paralysis, went on to become an acclaimed and award-winning artist. The release of the book honors his 25th anniversary as an artist.
“The creation of the book was a grand way to share the story with a broad audience. ‘Flight of the Mind’ is certainly our most rewarding accomplishment and continues to open new doors. No new written projects are on the agenda, but perhaps that will change in the future,” Thomas said.
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