Thus a concrete programme was designed, which can be stated succinctly as follows. For ten years, from 1925 to 1935, Bartlebooth would acquire the art of painting watercolours. For twenty years, from 1935 to 1955, he would travel the world, painting, at a rate of one watercolour each fortnight, five hundred seascapes of identical format (royal, 65 cm x 50 cm) depicting seaports. When each view was done, he would dispatch it to a specialist craftsman (Gaspar Winckler), who would glue it to a thin wooden backing board and cut it into a jigsaw puzzle of seven hundred and fifty pieces.
For twenty years, from 1955 to 975, Bartlebooth, on his return to France, would reassemble the jigsaw puzzles in order, at a rate, once again, of one puzzle a fortnight. As each puzzle was finished, the seascape would be "retexturised" so that it could be removed from its backing, returned to the place where it had been painted – twenty years before – and dipped in a detergent solution whence would emerge a clean and unmarked sheet of Whitman paper. Thus no trace would remain of an operation which would have been, throughout a period of fifty years, the sole motivation and unique activity of the author.