On the 21st May 2012 I went down to Bovisand Beach near Plymouth and painted the first painting of this project, "Purple Rock at Bovisand"
For the next few days I went out and painted some more pictures along the coast path Then I found a gallery that had an exhibition space in August I checked out their wall space and there was room for about seventy pictures which meant I would have to do one a day to fill the gallery and so the idea was born - once I had done the first seventy paintings I just told everyone that I met on the coast path that I was going to do 365 in a year.
Those first seventy pictures were completed between Wembury and Mount Batten near Plymouth. The remaining 295 are from the 630 miles of the South West Coast Path between Minehead in Somerset and Poole in Dorset.
I loved every day of this project and met so many wonderful people and made some good friends.
When I painted the first picture of this project, I didn't know it was going to be the first picture of 365 but as the end approached I was struggling to decide where to paint on the last day. I had so many favourite places. Then watching QI on the television one night at the end of the show I heard Stephen Fry quoting T.S. Eliot
"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time"
Decision made. I went back to Bovisand Beach and painted the purple rock.
When I got diagnosed with cancer in June 2022 I made some radical changes to my life which included daily sessions of mindfulness. The key to mindfulness is getting your mind to stay in the present moment, not reflecting on the past or worrying about the future just focusing on the present. I now realise that between May 2012 and May 2013 for a few hours a day I was totally in the present. It never occurred to me till I had a name for it. Reckon that's one of the reasons I loved doing this project so very much.
Here is the ITV South West news report on this project
Here is the time-lapse film I made of day 365.