COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Have you ever wanted to thank someone for helping you through a difficult time? It could be a death in the family or even a cancer diagnosis. Have you ever wished you had a skill that could help someone dealing with a tragedy feel better?
A man living in Westerville answers these exact questions with a yes. Marc Thomas paints portraits of people. Thomas’ style is called Urban Abstract Expressionism. Think of his pictures as portraying a person’s characteristics and what they enjoy the most about life.
Occasionally, he gets hired to paint people’s likenesses, and other times, he takes it upon himself to donate his time and efforts. One of those more recent times was during the Dayton and El Paso mass shootings at the beginning of August.
“That was a big project,” Thomas explained while he was drawing a picture to paint. “A lot of late nights and neighbors walking by.”
Thomas’ studio is in his garage. You can hear gospel music playing to “set the mood,” as he puts it.
“There’s a lot of research,” he pointed out.
He grabbed whatever news photos and stories he could from the internet to learn about his subject. That way he can properly portray their likeness and interests.
He creates out of compassion and sincerity. Once he finishes a project, that is when the real work begins. He begins researching contact names and numbers of family members.
He was able to contact two families related to Dayton shooting victims.
“They were very grateful.”
“I drove around trying to get leads and stuff,” explained Thomas. “Eventually, I ended up at a news station.”
He explained what his program is and that he could not find the families. He left the artwork at the television station hoping it would make contact.
Thomas painted NBC4’s Mike Jackson’s likeness this past winter.