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Art School with James P. Garrett

British-born artist James P. Garrett has lived in London and New York– two of the great art centers of the world– and spent time traveling to culturally rich countries like France, Italy, and many more. But, following the recession in the 1990s, Garrett found himself drawn to Atlanta, and he has called our great Southern metropolis home ever since.

Lucky for us he landed in Atlanta, as this talented artist is truly a local treasure. Garrett works with Venetian plaster, a combination of marble dust and lime mixed into a thick, silky liquid to which he adds colorant. He says he doesn’t have much experience with other finishes because Venetian plaster features such a rich finish that he loves the feel of a completed piece. He pulls many of his painting’s concepts from distinct memories of his childhood travels.

Although Garrett does have art school training, much of his artistic flair comes purely from inherent talent. Blessed with a vivid imagination and creative nature, Garrett says he never thought of himself as an artist until he was 20 years old even though his grandfather was a prolific carpenter, sculptor and artist. Now, Garrett has a firm and deep-seeded grasp on the use of color, which he credits to his days in New York City working with artists at his uncle’s painting and decorating company. His mastery of Venetian plaster is evident in each new piece of art.

Garrett has previously shown at Kai Lin Art and is currently showing at AVA Custom American Furniture off Howell Mill with the help of Kai Lin Art owner Yu-Kai Lin. From nature scenes to dominoes, it looks better in Venetian plaster if Garett is holding the blade and trowel! MDT Hint: He doesn’t use brushes!

Garrett’s web site is