Pasadena Artist Kenton Nelson Captures Another Slice of American Life in His Fifth New Yorker Magazine Cover

Published : Wednesday, April 3, 2019 | 5:01 PM

Pasadena artist Kenton Nelson's latest New Yorker cover (at left) and the artist himself at work in his studio. Courtesy images via Facebook

Well-known local artist Kenton Nelson has created the cover art for the April 9 issue of the New Yorker magazine.

Nelson, born and raised in Pasadena and still a resident here, captures images of an era gone by but brings his style into the current day.

Nelson has a new book out called “Water: Californian Idealism.” He will be at Vroman’s on May 7 to sign copies of the book.

The prolific artist, whose unique paintings are reminiscent of the stylings of the WPA artists of the 1930s, answered questions from Pasadena Now this week.

PN: What takes up most of your time these days?

KN: I usually spend 50 hours a week working on paintings for upcoming shows, or a mosaic production or installation. Occasionally, I’ll take time off to work on projects at the studio property (cars, buildings, landscape).

PN: Do you have any special projects that you’re working on?

KN: I’m working on a large commission for a home in San Francisco. A proposed mosaic mural for Occidental College. A new book of my work, coming out in bookstores next month.

PN: What does it feel like to be on the cover of the New Yorker? Why is New Yorker in particular, such a fan of your artwork?

KN: It’s always a pleasure to be featured on the New Yorker cover. The 1955 book of New Yorker covers was one of the few books of my parents that we could rifle through when we were children. This is my fifth cover. I’m just fortunate, I guess.

PN: Do you ever paint Pasadena, or people related to Pasadena?

KN: My first 400 paintings were cityscapes and architecture in Pasadena. I’ve spent most of my life in Pasadena. I love this town. I’ve painted the bridge, to raise money for the Pasadena Heritage for the last 20 years. You can see my work in town, here and there.

PN: What medium of materials do you prefer? Oil, acrylic, or watercolor?

KN: I most often work in oil paint, and occasionally do watercolors.

PN: What’s on tap for you next?

KN: Just trying to get better at my craft. A trip to the Huntington, or the Norton Simon can make me feel inspired and depressed, all at once. We are preceded by such greatness.

For details on Kelton Nelson’s book signing go to the Vroman’s website.







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