TODAY |

'The most exciting thing you can do with your clothes on' - Wellington's 89-year-old with a passion for painting

A Wellington man and his paintbrush have been capturing scenes from the hometown he loves for nearly nine decades. 

Alan Collins says his passion for watercolours and painting the capital has kept him young. Source: Seven Sharp

Alan Collins, who turns 90 in November, has been drawing and painting since the age of four. It's a passion that keeps him young.

"I think water colours are just about the most exciting thing you can do with your clothes on.

"When you pull off a goodie it's almost intoxicating," he said.

As a child, painting was a creative escape for Collins, who is dyslexic.

"At school I got teased because I couldn't spell," he said. 

His artworks depicting Wellington scenery led him into a full-time career as the art director and manager of New Zealand's National Publicity Studio, creating the now-retro tourism posters for the city.

Collins has painted all over the world, but for him, there's no place like home. At a local exhibition of his 30 latest works, he talks passionately about the Wellington he's known all his life.

"We've got the most superb city and beautiful harbour - the best I've seen in the world."