Marathon painter’s stormy trouble in Sidmouth

Chapman's Rock by Dave Crocker

Chapman's Rock by Dave Crocker - Credit: Archant

An artist on a painting marathon of the South West Coast Path battled the elements when he reached Sidmouth.

Dave Crocker has come to the end of a year capturing 365 scenes along the 630-mile route.

When he arrived in Sidmouth, he was forced to take shelter under Jacob’s Ladder – and his work was nearly swept away.

“I was three quarters of the way through my painting when it was hit by a wave. I carried on to finish it but I had to paint over it after the water hit,” he said.

The portrait painter had not realised the power of capturing landscapes until someone told him: “That painting makes me want to go there.”

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He began painting 70 images, but soon found he could not stop.

“I realised I could do one a day, and it just took off from there,” he added.

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Sitting outside for so long meant the artist often came across people who were experts on the local area who would share snippets of information, and he regrets not recording them.

“Something ridiculous would happen almost every day,” said Dave.

“I wish I had a dictaphone when I started – I wish I’d recorded it.”

But he did take time-lapse videos of his paintings so anyone who bought one could see the work in progress.

Dave was able to give a unique memento to one family: as well as buying a picture that would hang on their walls for years to come, the children were captured in video.

It is this community interaction he wants to capture, the local secrets about an area that only a select few ever learn. The artist thinks the information could be invaluable in tourism terms.

Dave is now making connections and taking his work on tour of galleries along the coast path and hopes to exhibit in Sidmouth, but a date has not yet been set.

A selection of his work will be on show in Marine Parade, Lyme Regis, on June 6.

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