My art is very much inspired by the hidden secrets of Cornwall and the places I enjoy exploring. So, my studio is hidden away in Cornwall’s beautiful countryside for a good reason! It’s a real privilege to live here and to work as an artist with such stunning surroundings to inspire me.
I could write a book about my favourite corners of Cornwall, but let’s start with the three at the top of my list. So, without further ado, here is the first in an occasional blog series: The Katey Meeks go-to places for Cornwall for magic and calm, or a burst of inspiration. Some, you may recognise. But I think there will be at least one of Cornwall’s best kept secrets here…
One of Cornwall’s longest and most spectacular beaches is right here on my doorstep. Perranporth is on the North Coast of Cornwall, it has miles and miles of golden sands between St Agnes and Newquay so it’s a brilliant place for a long beach walk. The beach gets busy with surfers and families in the summer, so my favourite times to visit are in the low season months from October to March. And I especially love it in winter time when the surf is at its wildest. Even on a cloudy day, the view is exhilarating and the sound of the surf pounding the sand is powerful and energising.
I love the beach so much and sometimes I even put on playlists of the sea as I work. But there is something special about Perranporth that you can’t really catch until you take a walk here when the beach is wild – with not a windbreak or bucket and spade in sight!
During lockdown when I used the time to really concentrate on resin work and develop my creative ideas, I cycled here nearly every day. It’s only a 10 minute bike ride from my studio – it really was the perfect escape.
The hidden secrets of Cornwall: quiet countryside
I ride my horses daily so I catch a view of Cornwall that you will never see from the car – or even the train. Cornwall is famous for its beaches and of course I love being by the sea…but you don’t need to go to the coastline or shoreline to be inspired when you’re in Cornwall.
My riding routes often take me through narrow country lanes or bridleways that are lined with wildflowers and hedgerows. There is always so much to see and nature just stops me in my tracks.
I can be as inspired by the colour of a single leaf or the pattern of a tree on the skyline as I can be by a sunset or the wildness of the beach. The countryside around my studio has pockets that are really unspoilt, so it is a different side of wild Cornwall. And while horse riding might not be everyone’s cup of tea, it really is a fantastic way to take in the real, natural beauty of Cornwall.
The unspoilt nature of the rural countryside is really calming, too. Sometimes I can feel myself relax really deeply just from being able to look into the distance. Cornwall is blessed with plenty of unspoilt places, free from cars and traffic, noise and pollution and the clarity and calmness that comes from the peace can really help put a difficult day into perspective and restore a sense of balance.
Yes – another one of Cornwall’s magnificent beaches! But there really is no substitute for getting your shoes off and feeling the sand between your toes, even in winter.
Find Kynance Cove on The Lizard in Cornwall, truly one of our most magical coves. Kynance isn’t on my doorstep – but it’s always worth the drive! There are some beautiful walks that bring you here, too. You can pick up the South West Coast Path from several points and you will be rewarded with stunning views of the turquoise waters, the white sand and the rocky outcrops which have inspired many of my three-dimensional beach artworks.
It is one of Cornwall’s landmarks for a reason – you never forget Kynance Cove, even after just one visit. And it’s a place I return to quite frequently throughout the year. The rocks here are made of serpentine, which is a distinctive blue-green colour, and some of the plants you find here are completely unique to the area. There is a rich smuggling history in this corner of Cornwall – all the rocky outcrops must have been perfect for stowing away the goods!
Wherever I go, I take the unspoiled nature and the hidden secrets of Cornwall with me. I love to travel but there is something quite special about Cornwall’s ability to provide instant escape from the stresses of everyday life – just by being here, unspoiled and ready to be embraced.