A Brush with The Coast

An Artist's Search for inspiration along the South West Coast Path

With the launch of our competition to win a signed copy of Sasha Harding's A Brush with the Coast, we invited the artist to tell us what she finds so inspiring about walking the coast.

Guest Post by Sasha Harding 6th October 2015

I have always loved walking and having been raised by the sea I have a natural inclination to head for the coast in order to get my fix. Living in Cornwall I have been spoilt for choice when it comes to coastal walks as the magnificent South West Coast Path hugs its cliffs and beaches, hidden coves and harbours.

I am a painter and I find walking and painting to be inextricably linked, one feeds off the other. I get most of my ideas when I am walking and all my inspiration comes from a lifetime of living near the sea.

Three years ago I decided to walk the whole of the South West Coast Path, I wanted to experience what it was like to just walk and walk for weeks on end, to fully immerse myself in being in the elements. It was life changing, for one I was the fittest I have ever been, but I also shed all of the usual worries and concerns of everyday life and just concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other.

As I walked, ideas for paintings came thick and fast, and I sketched and took photos and wrote copious notes.The sounds and smells of the coast were as vivid as the sights; I would inhale great lungfuls of the salty air and stop frequently to listen to the boom of waves, or bickering seagulls. Just as noticeable, if not more so was the absolute silence on parts of the path where you could walk for a whole day and not see a soul.

Since returning from my trip I have an even greater love for the coast and a stronger connection, and that is why every morning before anything gets done I must have my fix.

Sasha Harding

Sasha settled in Cornwall after completing her degree in Fine Art at Falmouth and draws her inspiration from the seashore and local life. Her book, A Brush with The Coast is a 220-page lavishly illustrated account of the artist's walk along all 630 miles of the South West Coast Path with her dog, Jess. It's available to purchase on her website.

If you wish to explore the South West Coast Path for yourself, High Point Holidays offer the following self guided walking holidays:

Cornwall's Dramatic Northern Coast

Dorset's Jurassic Coast Path

Explore all our Coastal Trails

See our full list of Independent Walking Holidays

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