Theft spurs artist’s painting

James Garriott credits a stolen canvas with getting him interested in painting.

“In 1949 I painted a picture of Suicide Cliff in Guam,” Garriott said. “It was stolen soon after; I guess that’s a compliment.”

Garriott is the Muskogee Art Guild’s featured artist for the months of May, June and July.

A reception for Garriott is planned from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the guild, 315 Court St.

Garriott is an autodidactic painter, learning from his own courses of study. He also is known by his nickname, Cotton, which he signs on some of his paintings and which his late wife, Theda Vee Neal Garriott, gave to him.  

His painting was intermittent until he retired in 1986, after which he picked up a brush and has been fluent ever since; churning out more than 150 paintings in the last 27 years.

Garriott said it wasn’t until after retirement that he learned the basics of

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