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Nearly half way through the year!

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

It’s hard to believe but today is the summer solstice and I’m 172 days into this journey. On Sunday I could have packed it in; I’m not sure why. It just got a bit too late in the day and it was raining and though this is nothing like the journey that Ellen McArthur made as she circumnavigated the Earth in her tiny sailing boat, we all remember her tears about it; it was hard to keep going though no one had told her to do the voyage or was stopping her from giving up apart from herself, still it was hard. When you set yourself a big challenge I guess there is an optimistic self-belief about the project before you start… you know you can do it but maybe haven’t quite realised how hard it will be sometimes!

Of course, I’m often asked, “Why are you doing this?”. There are days when I could reply, “I don’t know!” Why am I though? Is it because the challenge is there, like some art equivalent to climbing a mountain? Is it because I’m showing off or just rather obsessed with doing my work? Maybe there are elements of this but really, it’s about how wonderful it is to record a whole year in the language of landscape that I love; to take each day as a fresh, clean board and record a moment in it. Sometimes there are wonderful moments like our daughter’s wedding, then other quiet moments like those alone on Exmoor with the dog may be followed by a paint-out day at The Pier House in Westward Ho! These are the different moments that make the project interesting and at times collaborative; these are all moments that I need. This is a year spent investigating both the places I am in and looking at my practice as a painter, exploring the colours I use and the way I make marks, looking for light and life in each day, even the darker ones! I sometimes feel like I am finding The Maker’s fingerprints in these small pieces that I make. Contemplating my existence in this world as I write on the back of each new painting, its location, the date, the what3words, who I was with and then Soli Deo Gloria.

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