Ta-coumba T. Aiken adds a new layer to his painting
Ta-coumba T. Aiken adds a new layer to his painting

MCAD Trustee Ta-coumba T. Aiken, a community artist fondly known as the unofficial mayor of the emerging St. Paul arts district Lowertown, is featured on the TPT series Art Is . . .  

In this video, Aiken demonstrates his transformative artistic process. He starts by taking one of his unfinished paintings and covering up the parts he wants to keep with tape. He then "paints a new story" over the top. For this particular piece, he uses paint pens, a new technique for Aiken that he learned from silk screeners and other painters when working on a huge anniversary painting for Great Clips. "Laying color right down immediately and doing layers is fantastic to me," he says of using the paint pens. When he is done adding to the composition, he removes the tape to reveal a marriage of "the old story and the new story."

"What I think art does is help your heart beat. It makes your face hurt from the smile, makes you feel like something's going on, and then, maybe, makes you want more." —Aiken

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