Marcus C. Thomas survived a snow skiing accident at 26 that paralyzed him from the shoulders down.

Now he tours art shows throughout the country, showing off his elaborate nature scenes he paints onto canvas using bright oils and six different rigged brushes.

Since he can’t use his hands, he uses his mouth.

And surprisingly, his mouth doesn’t get tired.

Coming from North Carolina, Thomas has ventured to the Peace River National Art Festival in Laishley Park for his tenth year, along with more than 65 other artists who want to showcase their medium.

The festival is put on by the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda, which offers a variety of art classes year-round. Around 1,500 trekked in the rain Saturday to view the artwork presented by local and travelling artists. All proceeds for the festival go toward center, said executive director Janet Watermeier.

But the festival doesn’t just have paintings. There are intricate wood carvings from Bob Richard and glimmering, tangled glass sculptures from Oklahoma artist Steve Brewster.

Thomas’ tent is located near the front of the festival. And wish him and his wife, Anne Thomas, a happy anniversary if you see them Sunday. His painting is also made possible through her assistance, such as squeezing paint from tubes for him to use.

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