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By KARI MUTU
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Painter Patrick Kinuthia has been travelling around Kenya taking in new sights.

His current exhibition Aspects is combination new and old paintings in acrylics and watercolours.

Kinuthia’s landscape and nature images continue to attract interest and several of the paintings already have red “sold” stickers.

There are sunny countryside paintings of streams, small lakes, forested glades and wide savannahs in vibrant colours of sun brown, yellow and subdued greens.

Some works are arresting, like the hazy purple mountains and peach sky that backdrop candelabra trees and a waterhole in the painting Suswa. A herdsman in a red shuka drives his cattle through the sun-bathed plains in the painting Narok Cattle.

Kinuthia also spent some time at the coast. He found inspiration in Lamu Island’s narrow, sunlit streets traversed by working donkeys. From Malindi town, he brings us three-wheel tuk tuks cruising down the shop-lined roads.

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After visits to stables and training fields he has taken on the equine world. The two horses in an acrylic painting seem a little off in terms of proportion. But the single brown horse on a green canvas looking sideways is eye-catching. Smaller watercolours show everyday scenes between riders, grooms and horses.

Kinuthia made his name painting Afro-contemporary figurative art of women. Some of his signature portraits are on display, in which he employs thicker brushstrokes, uses colour freely, and focuses on the play of light on the subject’s face.

He has since changed his figurative style to paintings like Debonair, which has a woman looking down over her bare shoulder, wearing a blue halter dress and head scarf. The brushstrokes are finer, the figure fades into the navy blue background and the whole technique seems more Western.

The profile of the woman in Congenial is set against an abstract geometric background, her shadow falling onto the backdrop.

Kinuthia studied graphic design so this a return to his earlier training. He says he digitally created the background and before printing it onto the canvas.

Aspects is on until October 16 at the Polka Dot Gallery in Nairobi.

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