Creativity is never a solitary pursuit in Whitstable

yvonne_speakingWhitstable resident, Yvonne Fuchs describes herself as an artist who uses textiles to communicate ideas, and a textile designer who uses fine art to inspire textiles. She also works with creatives and designers as a mentor and business adviser. Here she writes about the importance of creativity in her life and some of her favourite Whitstable places.

When people ask me why I love living in Whitstable so much I think of this quote from ‘Women who run with wolves’ by Clarissa Pinkola;

“Creativity is not a solitary pursuit, that is its power….whoever is touched by it, knows they are fed, that’s why beholding another’s creative world inspires us to our own creativity.”

It perfectly describes what is so wonderful about living in Whitstable. I adore travelling to different places but I have never known anywhere quite like this town: Whitstable is certainly somewhere where one need never be alone with their creativity. It is a town chock-full of creatives who also want to share their creativity with you.

I have a profound love affair with colour and nature and encourage others to find ‘life’ through art and creativity by teaching drawing, painting and textiles. Increasingly I find that my teaching is inspired by this place, by the colour and nature that surrounds and  touches me on a daily basis.

oldneptune_sunsetOn any day a walk along the beach provides altering skies and seas, colours and moods that change as you watch. From West Beach to Tankerton, you never quite know what the stony beach and fresh breezes may reveal. The benches around the Neptune pub may be waiting alone with only the grey sea and sky for company but along comes one of our wonderfully vivid sunsets, and a seat is hard to find.

I often turn inland and pop into Dave Brown’s Deli in Harbour Street. This deli is generally agreed to provide the best coffee in town, even when Dave himself is being a little aloof – perhaps because he’s not yet had his own coffee?


Across the road is one of the pure delights of Whitstable: The Fabric Shop. Run by the fabulous Lynn and her  knowledgeable staff.  For a textile addict like me it’s far better than any sweet shop for a quick pick me up. I love to peruse the new stock and regularly bring home an unexpected off-cut that I’m sure will come in useful one day.  A short walk along the High Street takes me to Linda’s wool shop, Whitknits, an oasis of colour and texture that feeds my Fair Isle knitter’s mind!

Walking through the Harbour towards Tankerton I often like to finish my journey by winding through the paths of the Castle Gardens, enticed with the scent of roses and delicious cream teas served in the Orangery Cafe.

I run various courses and workshops in Whitstable and The Marine Hotel is often my venue of choice situated at the top of the Tankerton Slopes.  You are sure of a welcoming reception whatever the weather. On a cold day a log fire and hot drinks can thaw out a frozen idea, and on a warm day, a cool gin and tonic will revive the mind. The Marine Hotel has long been a welcoming venue, but after a total refit a couple of years ago it’s even better. I had my glorious wedding there too!

CastleGardens1I also run my workshops and courses at the Horsebridge Centre. Not only does this venue have gallery spaces and rooms to hire, the café is now run by the Whitstable Produce Store, providing home made sustenance for any meeting. I recently held the inaugural meeting of the Whitstable Textile Society there led by the fabulous Margo Selby whose design studio is based in the town.

Another great thing about living in Whitstable is the opportunity to participate in the East Kent Artists Open Studios, which is part of the Canterbury Festival every October. I often take part and also enjoy taking the opportunity to visit some of the many other wonderful artists opening their doors to the public. It’s a great opportunity to see artists in their own habitats; to learn where their inspiration comes from: this in turn will inspire you.

I am passionate about helping others find calm and creativity in their own lives too, and to share my love of creativity and mindfulness. For me, Whitstable is the perfect place to do that.

For more information about Yvonne’s workshops see

All images in this blog were taken by Chel Eshva Negus, a Whitstable based professional photographer who is also passionate about all things creative.


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