A visit to the coast has been shown to boost our wellbeing in a range of different ways. Just the utter joy my hound shows when he is let loose on the beach is enough to release those precious endorphins in any hardened onlooker but it’s really the effects the seaside has on our senses that has the greatest impact on our health.
- Not only is the sound of the sea incredibly calming but its sheer expanse can often help us to put things in perspective and reflect on what’s important in life.
- Breathing in huge lungfuls of sea air is not only wonderfully invigorating but it’s good for the soul and aids restful sleep too.
- Feeling the sand between your toes not only gives you a little massage but increases circulation and helps you to feel grounded and at peace.
Visiting the coast also helps to trigger creativity (as so many inspirational artists show) and this in turn helps to boost our general sense of wellbeing as we become absorbed by the possibilities of all those visual treats.
A brisk coastal walk or a bit of rockpooling, that classic British summer seaside pastime, can unearth all sorts of inspirational treasures from molluscs and shells to sea urchins and fish.
Photographs taken during the visits can be pored over later if the weather is a little inclement (which can often be the case) and a sketchbook for random doodling is also very cathartic – do away with being self-critical this is a time for not overthinking, just see where the doodles take you! (See my blog on drawing confidence)
Seemingly random shots of textures and shapes are always good to have for reference later, you can often be surprised by what you have captured on your phone. Often a ‘boring’ photo can be cropped and enlarged to become something with real possibilities so don’t discard your snaps too quickly.
Back at home, get the sketchbook back out and play with the photographs and doodles you have collected, if you change the scale of the images and try repeating shapes with a range of different materials you’ll be amazed at what can be produced. For more inspirational images take a look at Pinterest
Experiment with lots of different techniques: hand stitching, wirework, machine embroidery, painting, paper cutting, drawing, photography, paper manipulation and printing – there’s something for everyone. I love them all which is why I am a mixed-media artist!
I created a ‘Coastal’ sketchbook in which I gathered lots of ideas and representations of my trips to the British coastline. The hours I spent producing the pages and getting lost in creativity were extremely therapeutic and actually helped me to get through some really tough times.
Try displaying some of your designs – be brave, artwork can often look quite different when it is nicely framed and in new surroundings, it will also serve as a little reminder of your lovely trip to the seaside!
You can see some of the products that I’ve developed from my ‘Coastal’ sketchbook designs here - they are sure to bring a little bit of the seaside into any home!