A BREATH OF FRESH AIR - a week away from the studio 0 Comments

My very wise uncle reminded me last year that just because I was self-employed it didn't mean I didn't have to watch "the boss" - He said I needed to make sure I was a good employer to myself, and ensure that I took the same time off to rest and recuperate that any full time employee would legally be entitled to. Which in the UK means 4 week's holiday annually.Yes, 4 weeks!

For those of you running your own businesses , you'll know that it can be notoriously hard to set aside regular chunks of time off -the old mantra " if you're not working you're not earning" rings loudly in your ears and often within the creative industries, we're somehow programmed to believe that because we're doing something we love, we're practically  on holiday all year round and don't need a formal holiday!

So I set my email "Out of Office" reply and planned a day out  in East Sussex. We're so lucky where we live - we are sandwiched between gorgeous coastline, idyllic chocoloate box cottages with picture postcard village greens, impressive stately homes and National Trust treasures.

Here I am relaxing in the privately owned Pashley Manor Gardens which is opened to the public during the Summer months- owned by Mr and Mrs James Sellick they live all year round in their Grade I listed timber-framed house, dating from 1550 which was then later enlarged in 1720. They opened their gardens to the public in 1992, having brought them to their present splendour with the assistance of the eminent landscape architect the late Anthony du Gard Pasley and their team of gardeners.

It has a very relaxed feel and a mix of large ponds and dense woodland as well as vibrant floral borders closer to the house.It's not a very large expanse so you can easily walk it in an hour. But what was  almost more alluring was their inviting open air swimming pool (no bathing allowed) and their amazing lunch menu cooked fresh every day by 3 cooks with a dessert selection to put all the National Trust cafes to shame!!!

I decided that I'd experiment and try to do some sketching and dug out my ancient watercolour set and attempted to fire up my more artistic side - it was fun! It was so wonderful to be out of the house and office - because home is work and vice versa I find my mind is alwaya whirring about things I haven't done/need to do/should be doing - but out in the fresh air with a like-minded friend, we could really forget our duties and get stuck into the beautiful landscape.


K sketching at Pashley Manor

Here I am lounging amongst the flower beds

During my week off I played crazy golf with friends and dabbled in watercolour painting

Finding a shady spot to draw the large pond and weeping willows

 My sketches, a bed of artichcokes, my friend Lisa enjoying Pashley's incredible lunch, the view of the pond (sketch and reality)


Taking time out to do something completely different to your normal working week needn't be a massive extravagant holiday but it really rejuvenates your soul and gives you much-needed energy to get cracking with work again.

To find out more about Pashley click HERE