Painting the Jurassic Coast by Numbers

painting the jurassic coastWhen painting the Jurassic Coast, my studio is always full of lists.

A list, I feel, is a good step towards getting a job done but inevitably the list hangs on the studio wall and the job seems to pass it by.

I’ve now come to the end of my Triassic adventure, painting the Jurassic Coast from Exmouth to Seaton, and the exhibition is only days away. To round up my very exciting year I’m going to write a list.

Over the year working on the Jurassic Coast art project I’ve….

  • Used 31 tubes of oil paint
  • Used 27 tubes of acrylic paint
  • Worn out 34 brushes
  • Used 63 canvases
  • I’ve thrown away 17 canvases because I’ve made mistakes
  • I’ve spent over 2500 hours in the studio
  • Used 27 bottles of genuine turpentine
  • Used 136 kitchen rolls
  • I estimate, I’ve drunk about 750 cups of coffee and tea while looking at the paintings and planning the next move.
  • I’ve drunk a few bottles of beer while looking at the paintings and deciding to give up for the day
  • I’ve walked about 500 miles (like the song) while exploring the Triassic coastline
  • I’ve used 14 jam and pickle jars
  • I’ve taken 3267 photographs of the coastline, but only used 43 of them
  • I’ve spent lots of money on art materials that I never used
  • I’ve had many meetings
  • I’ve had some frustrating days and some that were a pleasure.

And after a year I’ve ended up with….

43 paintings that I’m very proud of, and I feel are some of the best work that I have ever produced.

Painting the Jurassic Coast has given me a greater understanding of this amazing coastline and a new found love for my local coast, the Triassic section.

With the exhibition approaching it feels quite odd to have finished working on the Triassic section, my local coastline. I’ve had many of the paintings in my studio now for most of the year and they have become a major part of my life. It’s always great to see the collection of work hanging in the galleries, as I know that it’s the only time this series of paintings from the Triassic coastline will be seen together, as a collection, a record of my journey, my year. But, sad as it might feel to see the paintings go, I know that they start their own journey, into the lives of the people who buy them and hopefully give them the same amount of pleasure that the work has given me.

I look forward to seeing you at the exhibition.

Colin Bentley’s first Jurassic Coast exhibition is at Kennaway House, Sidmouth, from 21 to 27 October, 10am-4:30pm. Our Jurassic Coast Ambassadors will lead free guided tours of the galleries at 12:00pm each day.

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