There’s nothing like a visit to the sea to start a New Year. With the wind in your hair and salty air in your lungs, it feels like a refreshing process. Whilst spending a few days in North Wales in a lovely creative retreat nestled close to woods, rivers, sea and mountains called Y Gribyn Cottage, at Caban Cader Idris, I found myself 4 miles from the beach. I grew up next to the sea, so it’s part of me now and whenever I’m close, I just have to go. Fairbourne has a beach of stones which I absolutely love and it looks across to Barmouths sandy beach, I could spend ages cwtched up on the shore, beach-combing and sketching.
I just loved the way the beach curved around with a fence on the sand dunes. I found my spot and sat with my back to the wind. It wasn’t the warmest of days, so I was wrapped up with my bobble hat and gloves on as I sketched my view. When I’m in a location, I’m trying to capture the essence of where I am. I do not intend to sketch all the detail, only to provide a hint of this type of landscape. I was travelling with only my travelling Windsor and Cotman watercolour set, water brush, pearl blackwing pencil and coloured pencils for highlighting edges. You can see from my paint set which colours I use the most. I need to replace some colours, but wait until they are really low before I do.
Whilst on the beach, I collected some shells, inspired by others using them as paint containers. It would be so lovely for the paints to be in something natural rather than plastic. My aim this year is to reduce my plastic use, which I’m especially trying to do in my arty adventures. Being next to the beach makes you think about the impact we are having on the sea. If I can do something to make a difference, then I will do my best.
I loved sketching on the beach so much today, that I intend to have more beach visits in 2019. There’s something inspiring and refreshing being in this landscape. When was the last time you had creative time on the beach? Too long ago. Make some time today at least to book it into your diary. Enjoy your creative adventures this week, wherever you are.