Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Change Has Come..."

A new president and a new era for the United States. The above quote taken from the official White House website. I have been fortunate to witness first-hand this transition over the last couple of months and it has been pretty amazing. Politics is certainly not my first love. Nor my second or third to be honest, but perhaps more pointedly we can use this event to reflect on the changes in all our lives. The struggling economy has affected everyone but I've also noticed an optimism amongst my family and friends - despite hardships. Anyway in honour of the day's events here is my own 'White House', acrylic ink and graphic pen on paper:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Historic Illustrations

Since I arrived in the States, I have been making these illustrations of the historic 'old town' district of Orange, Ca. where I live. There are around 16 images so far and still a great many buildings to draw. Orange is full of history with its old houses and commercial buildings. My drawing technique has certainly improved no end in making these. When I started this project I began drawing the images straight onto the page using acrylic ink and a fine brush but have since refined the technique quite a bit - beginning by marking out in feint pencil lines to pin down the drawing and then going over with my brush once I am happy with the proportions. A fine-point graphic pen also gives great results when highlighting window frames and doors or filling them in. Not too sure where they are headed but I have a couple of ideas in mind...

Image pictured: 'Yellow House On Washington Ave.', acrylic ink on paper.

More? Visit http://www.jameskeniston.com/page27.htm or drop me a line.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Currently I am inspired by new surroundings and opportunities and so this has been a productive time for me. If you are unfamiliar with what I do then here is a brief description: I am primarily a painter and my main mediums are oils and ink. I am heavily influenced by architecture, although this has only manifested itself in my work seriously within the last couple of years. I have also worked with portraiture and landscape and still do, but the built environment is my current preoccupation. I take a lot of photos when I am out and about. For a record of my day or trip somewhere and also as a reference tool for my work. I rarely show or post these pictures - something that this blog will perhaps encourage me to do. This picture is from downtown Los Angeles during a recent visit to see the Louise Bourgeois retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The trip also allowed me to see the Disney Concert Hall which is down the street and will become the subject of a painting in the near future.

I was struck by how the 'downtowns' of the world are very similar and was strangely comforted to see the same kind of buildings that I am so used to seeing in the heart of London's financial district.
Please visit http://www.jameskeniston.com/ for further images and information.