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  • Ellie Lovett

Filey - connecting with the land, sea and nature in a beautiful place.

Updated: Dec 8, 2022

I've just come back from a Holiday in Filey, North Yorkshire which was absolutely lovely, and I was so glad I packed my watercolours and a few brushes and paper.

I’d not worked with watercolour for some time and thought if my daughter wanted to paint, this was the perfect medium to take, and practically, it didn’t take up too much room in the car. As you may know, packing a car for holidays is usually a logistical nightmare, so taking my easel was out of the question but that was fine, I found just having my paper, brushes and watercolour easily at hand when I needed it, a perfect way to get some painting done of the coastline, beaches and in land.

If you have been to Filey or Scarborough or the Yorkshire coast, you will know how beautiful it is. You can tell the coastline is looked after and its wildlife too. I think it's rated one of the top cleanest coastlines. We were lucky enough to see some puffin's nesting on the rock face when we went to Flamborough, North Landing, which is near to Scarborough. It was a wonderful sight to see.

We stayed in a location called The Bay in Filey - about a 10 minute walk to the beach. There were a couple of days where we were lucky to get some nice weather, so we spent some of the time on the beach, making sand castles, finding pebbles (which we then took back to our holiday home to paint) running into the sea - my 4 year old daughter was more than happy to get us involved and show us a more care-free side of life, even if it was for just a while :-) It’s as though when we become adults, we lose our care-freeness (is that even a word!), or at least we forget how to be care-free. For me this was a welcome change and the time has been good for the soul.

For me painting as well as being my passion is one activity where I find calm, inner peace and clarity in my mind. So the act of creating art, or painting is both therapeutic and enjoyable in its creative process. I’ve not painted in situ for a long time, and it was a breath of fresh air to do it. To take in the sights, and sounds, to take time (even if it was for 10 minute or more) to play with the medium I was using and to portray what was in front of me, focusing on the colours, layering and exploring texture to convey the sand and sea, whilst feeling a natural pull towards a deep connection with nature, land and sea.

Through this process I rekindled my love for watercolours and realised how versatile the medium can actually be. You can make such beautiful washes of colour, yet you can also thicken to add detail or texture or depth etc.. or you can add more water and see the colour expand and and move of the paper - I found it really quite extraordinary.

The subtle movement of the medium with water on paper connected the paintings and me to the natural environment. Like the waves or the shifting of the tides, a gentle breeze through a tree or grassland. Its transparency reminded me of water, of the sea, of its beauty and power. It reminded me how delicate nature is, how beautiful it is, and how vulnerable it can be. It connected and grounded me to nature, to earth, providing a fresh appreciation, perspective and understanding of who I am within a much larger and important existence.

I'm intrigued to see if I went larger on say a canvas or a big sheet of paper, how these would look, and I also want to explore further this deep connection I feel with nature, land and the natural elements of the world, and feed my emotions into what I produce from the connection and emotional pull within.

Watch this space for more updates, and if you ever want to explore Filey, or the North Yorkshire coastline, I’ve dropped some links below

Bye for now x

The Bay Filey | Yorkshire Coastal Holidays | Aria Resorts

Filey, Filey Tourist Information, Accommodation, Attractions.

Home | YWT - Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Flamborough North Landing Beach - East Yorkshire (

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