Painters 2017

Robin Akkerman

Never ones to mind their own business, the Lamuans were fascinated by the painters’ first trip to paint in Lamu. They soon attached themselves to the  dozen artists scattered around the square. Robin, in particular, became the unwitting centre of attention. He was quickly surrounded by hordes of children who crowded around his easel. Inquisitive and questioning, they watched his every brush stroke. It was only a matter of time before Robin had surrendered his paintbrush, and reverting to his former career as a teacher, patiently conducted an impromtu art class. Generously allowing the children to paint on his own canvas, he quietly instructed them on the art of mixing paint. As word spread, the other painters surrendered their half-finished colour palettes and the event turned into one of those moments that make the Lamu Painters Festival so unforgettable.

Robin originally trained as pyschologist and became a professor of psychology at the University of Leiden.  Clearly a natural teacher, Robin gravitated towards teaching art, before taking up painting full time over a decade ago. Initially inspired by the German Expressionists and French Fauvism movement, he also cites Andre Derain, Vincent van Gogh and Kees van Dongen as influences on his work.

Robin’s colourful paintings resonated with clarity and bold lines. The clean light of Lamu clearly suited his usual bright palette. A frequent participant in European painting festivals, Robin says that his stay in Lamu was the most impressive. “Every day was special and full of meaning – I will remember my stay in Lamu as a miracle.”

Robin obviously relished his time on the island. A afficinado of Cuban and African music, he was the first one on the dance floor at the various parties and live concerts that were a very special part of the 2017 festival.

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