Published in The Walton Sun on April 20, 2011, by Deborah Wheeler
Aaron Sutton says he has been an artist since he was a little kid and spent his time drawing pictures of his classmates. That little kid is now 30 and makes his living as an artist along the beaches of South Walton. When he is not doing graphic design for a local real estate company, Sutton can probably be found outdoors – on the beaches of one of the state parks or in one of the local resort’s parks doing what he loves to do – paint. What he paints is whatever he sees, whether it’s people, thee beach, the gulf, the local wildlife, or Seaside Chapel.
Suttons ability to pick up on his surroundings is astounding, unless you consider, as he says, “When you have a disability, your other senses are heightened.” Sutton’s disability is that he is color blind. When asked how he knows what colors to put on is canvases, he jokes, “The names of the colors are on the tubes.”
“ I learned to work with it – and to my advantage. Some people are overly concerned about color. But people see color combinations in my paintings they wouldn’t have expected but that turned out cool,” he said.
Surprisingly, however, Sutton’s use of color combinations seems to mesh perfectly, or they appear to have been purposely mis-matched to create an outstanding mesmerizing scene that captures a viewer’s attention. Painting mostly on canvas with acrylics, Sutton stretches the canvas himself. “I build everything that I can myself,” he said.
The artist moved to South Walton 3 and a half years ago from Lubbock, Texas, with no real ties to the area. “My wife and I met at Texas Tech and when we got married we decided to go somewhere different and came here,” he says nonchalantly.
His main goal in choosing the beach was to be inspired and do more painting, he says. Sutton was familiar with the area as he had vacationed here previously, and had even lived here for a summer. In addition, he got engaged here. “I moved here right after college and surfed for a while,” he said.
Sutton’s artwork is carried by The Blue Giraffe at WaterColor, where the artist sometimes does painting demos and paints onsite.