Walk About: Fine Artist Aileen Singleton Reflects on her Inspiration

Fine artist Aileen Singleton of Waterbury, Connecticut, creates from her soul. She unites her interest in, and love for, people with others' stories and insights about their lives and their cultures. As she researches the topic of her work for the right images, fabrics, and cultural icons, she connects with that world and brings it into her own. The result: paintings, drawings, and collages that glow with the light of her joy and optimism.

Singleton says she never took her art seriously before her late husband, Jeff, encouraged her to exercise her talents. His encouragement and her persistence has led her to success. Together they started her growing fine and commercial art business, Faces, Inc. She is showing a sampling of her works at the 663 Main Street Gallery in Watertown, Connecticut, for the next month.

When we met the other day, Singleton was trimming threads on a collage depicting Guatemalan women. A Guatemalan friend brought her the fabric, which was woven and dyed in that country, after a recent visit. Thus, the creative work of a group of women from Central America became a central part of the story behind Singleton's painting--a work she could not have completed without the help of her friend.

Similarly, "Blue Diamonds," is a work that transforms another culture's folk art into fine art. This fabric collage depicts the collaborative spirit of the women of the N’debele tribe of West Africa, who gather to paint their village.

She is happy to tell the stories behind her work, to talk about the collaborative nature of her creative process (she says her three kids are her best critics), and to share her knowledge of the cultures she depicts.

“Each of us has a potential for greatness and talent to share. However, it is when we come together that we can truly achieve something great.” Through her work, she strives to promote cooperation among people and to promote cultural awareness. Singleton's work is about making all the right introductions.