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  • Writer's pictureJ Susan Aitken

One painting, a tent & an Indian wedding

What do "one painting, a tent and an Indian wedding" have in common? Well, I suppose they could be the start of a bad joke... OR they just be the latest news from the JS Aitken Art studio! I'm excited about this new painting, Tranquil Garden (oil on canvas, 24 x 30"), because it includes a sculpture. I visited the Linnaeus Teaching Garden in Tulsa with my sister last summer and fell in love with this sweet little statue. I incorporated the idea of silver stain (used in original stained glass to create values) in its gray shading. The neutral grays play off the pinks and greens, highlighting the bright colors of the coneflowers in the garden. This was fun to paint and I hope you enjoy it!


The "tent" grabber in the title simply has to do with a purchase I made about a week before Christmas. I am taking my art on the road! I bought a display tent to take to art festivals and fairs. A photo of the tent "sent-up" is required on the fair applications, so I had to set it up in the snow! Thankfully the day we chose to do this chore was the only day that week the snow was actually melting- you can still see a bit of the snow left in the picture (the next day we got about five inches!). Although the timing was a bit unfortunate, being December, the exercise wasn't. Now I know how to put up the tent and have an idea of what I will need for my first art fair. You are all invited to join me over Memorial Day Weekend at the Charleston-Mt. Pleasant Art Festival if you are in that area! I am looking forward to meeting the other local artists and collectors, and would love to meet you - should be lots of fun.


Last but certainly not least, the Indian wedding was not just any wedding, but my daughter's. My husband and I traveled to Madurai, India, just after Christmas to stay with the new in-laws, and immerse ourselves in the Indian culture. What a fascinating place India is! So many contrasts, colors, sounds! I am still processing the monkeys, loud crazy traffic, auto-rickshaws, ornate temples and colorful saris. Since what we experience in life changes us, subconsciously or consciously, these things will affect our artwork. It will be fun to see how this Indian encounter will show up in future paintings!

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