Over 20 years ago, after exploring India and Napal for a few months, I returned to the UK with an extremely unpleasant gut infection. Numerous courses of antibiotics were not working and I was feeling extremely under the weather. Not fit enough to work but determined to try and do something useful with my time, I stared volunteering at The Countryside Volunteer Center just outside Shrewsbury. It was a great experience, I learnt lots about the natural world that I love, and began my journey into pen and ink drawing. It was even better when an old friend turned up to gain work experience in his first post graduate position.
There along with managing Shropshire’s footpaths as a group we pursued a number of conservation projects and activities, including running creative days for kids using arty activities along side conservation and countryside themes, funded by the National Lottery.
Time moved on as did we both, onto knew projects and jobs, and for me 2 years over seas teaching English in Japan.
Twenty years later that friend is still working in Conservation, and is managing the conservation project at the Bog. He is also organising this years Hay Meadow Festival.
So it felt like the perfect place to do my first ever outside event with my new stall.
I will be taking my prints and cards, my mugs and coasters, place mats, fridge magnets, and more, all of which are being expertly produced as we speak.
I have even created a new work of Art just to celebrate the occasion, “Bumble Bee at Buttercup Meadow” Not quite finished in the below mosaic.
Am I nervous, yep absolutely, this is a huge step for me and one that I have waited a very long time for.
But the great thing about this upcoming event (Saturday 24th June, The Bog, Pennerly just by the Stipperstone!) is that it is being organised by a friend and some of the people there will know all about the journey I have been on, have listened to all my ” I can’t do it’s”, ” I ‘m not good enough’s” and “I ll never sell anything’s” so will understand what a big deal it is for me to have finally made it to this point.
So a big thanks to all of them, looking forward to Saturday, fingers crossed for the weather and hopefully see you there!