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I have found it interesting to discover that quite a number of artists took up painting for the first time, in later life. In my case the reasons for taking it up were twofold. Firstly, my career at Anglo American did not give me the time to paint and secondly, and more importantly, I did not know that I had the ability to paint, or for that matter, that I would enjoy it quite so much.

I have always appreciated art and architecture so when I came to live in the Cape at the end of 1999, I thought it might be interesting to develop a creative interest along those lines. My previous business had involved a certain amount of creativity, although not in the same vein. Painting has now become almost a second career for me and certainly an absorbing and full-time interest.

Prior to coming to the Cape, I had spent the year in Paris and eighteen months in London , consulting for the mining industry. Prior to this period I had lived in Johannesburg and had a full-time career as an Executive Director of Anglo American. My job with Anglo as Head of the New Mining Business Division took me to many parts of the world, particularly Europe, Australia, the Far East and South America. During these trips I always made a point of exploring the local art and culture.

On returning to South Africa I chose to live in Cape Town and built a house designed by van der Merwe Miszewski. Purely by chance I met David Porter, who told me he was taking art lessons with Lindy Waterkeyn in Hout Bay. I contacted her and joined her school in the Spring of 2000. She turned out to be an inspirational teacher who has been largely responsible for my taking up painting on a
full-time basis. David and I now share a studio in Claremont and are busy there most days of the week. My wife, Penny, has given me a lot of encouragement and critique. However, I think that she has an ulterior motive in that I am now off her hands during the week unlike many men who have retired and struggle to occupy themselves, unless of course they are golfers! We travel to Europe several times a year, in particular to Italy and France, and during these trips I am always on the lookout for ideas and inspiration.

The style of painting which appeals most to me, is loose, bordering on the abstract and using a lot of colour. The artists who inspire me are Matisse, Rothko, de Stael and a number of other abstract and expressionist painters.

Of course there is not much point in producing to stockpile – hence the exhibition which David Porter, Geoff Burr and I are planning for November. We all have very different styles and life experiences which I think, will make for an interesting and varied exhibition.

alan mckerron
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Title: Sea Shack with Sun Deck and Blue Chair
Size: 66 x 71 cm
Media: oil
Price: R 7 000
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