Patrick Peter Kinuthia who currently goes by the artist name Kinuthia started painting at a very young age. At six years old, he found a copy of Readers Digest in a rubbish heap at his home. The magazine featured Norman Rockewell’s work and his realistic paintings and this sparked his interest and love for art.
Kinuthia was so inspired that he took dust from their farm and started painting on manila paper using dust in an attempt to emulate Norman Rockwell who is still one of his favourite artists.
Kinuthia soon started working with his father who was a patron of the arts, mural artist and in the movie business.
“My late father and I used to work together; I was an apprentice of his. He encouraged me a lot, taught me about art, colour, proportions, working with oil and so many other things.”
Kinuthia worked with his father for five years before getting employed as a graphic artist. He would come home to paint at night and try to sell the paintings in town over the weekend, although most of them were rejected. He later joined Kenya Technical University where he studied graphic design.
“It was not easy, we would take our paintings to town to try and sell them in tourist shops. Eventually I sold my first painting for 500 Kenya Shillings and I left the company I was working for to become a freelance artist. I also started holding my own shows and exhibitions which is what I do up to date.
I once sold a painting for 100 bob because I didn’t have bus fare to go to Thika and I appreciate those days because they have kept me humble and kept me working.”
The Project, #KenyaOnCanvas is celebrating the amazing work and stories of Kenyan artists through the Safaricom 2019 calendar. This project has not only explored Kenya’s beauty but also given the artists a platform to showacse their work and earn a living from their passion.
You can find the untold stories of these Kenyan artists by visiting This is My Kenya and see how you can get these beautiful paintings.
“A lot of my subjects are females because I am fascinated by the African woman. They are more expressive and intuitive and I am able to capture that in my paintings.
An African woman has flare and epitomises the beauty of a continent. When I’m drawing her she gives me room for my expressions. I can put all kinds of colour on her dress, her head wraps and her hair.”
“Thanks to projects like This is My Kenya, there is a better appreciation and deeper understanding for art. There’s more interest in art, not just here but even globally. There is more expression, more freedom, and with social media people can share their work. The art climate is much better than it was sometime back.”
Kinuthia is currently involved in art mentoring. The challenges he experienced when he started off have inspired him to mentor young artists. He hopes to provide artists with an opportunity to articulate and talk about their work and even hold their own shows and exhibitions.