So I thought I'd do a reflection type of post, if anything it should be a good way to collect together all the cracking memories created from last year! Looking back I'm amazed how much has been fitted in, it's been a good 'un :)
First up, ART HIGHLIGHTS:
My pencil drawing of a mother and baby Mountain Gorilla, entitled "Primaternal Love", was shortlisted for the David Sheperd Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition where it then went on to sell on the Preview night before the exhibition was properly open to the public, SUCH an amazing feeling and definitely the highlight of my arty career so far. To have a piece of my artwork framed up and hung just down the road from Buckingham Palace with many staggeringly beautiful artworks was a huge privilege and certainly one I will never forget. I hope to enter again this year, the deadline is drawing closer (haha see what I did there!) but I have my entry piece in mind and hope to get cracking on with it very soon once the dreaded tax return has been filed!!
You can read more about my time at WAY here http://megghyll.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/what-weekend.html
My other main art highlight was getting the opportunity to visit internationally famous animal artist Pollyanna Pickering in her home at Matlock for a very special event to celebrate 30 years of the Born Free Foundation. A really lovely day out and the chance to meet one of my all time favourite actresses and founder of the BFF, Virginia McKenna. Read more here! http://megghyll.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/born-free-foundation-30th-anniversary.html
I'd like to also take the time to say a massive thankyou to my lovely customers who have either commissioned my work, bought products from my shop or just taken the time to like and share my work and posts online, it truly means SUCH a lot and keeps me thinking all of the time spent at my drawing board isn't in vain. You're all superstars! :) Here are a few of the commissions I've undertaken this year....
I've been very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work as an ecologist since April which has meant most of my spring and summer season has been spent outdoors, my favourite place of all :) Great crested newt surveys and translocations, bat surveys and building inspections, otter, badger and water vole surveys, it's all been going on and I've loved every minute of it, even the antisocial hours...!
Having spent the entire season putting hundreds of miles on my motorbike and numerous outfit changes every day (bike kit off and into wellies and waterproofs, back into bike kit, back into wellies...!) it was somewhat of a relief to pass my driving test (first time yippee!) back in October and the acquiring of my little Stella Skoda - yes she has a name, I know... :/ - who has naturally done many more miles since she arrived in my care! Thump, my SV650 has earned her right to stay warm and dry in the garage after serving me without fault for close to 7000 miles in a season and 4 years of being effectively run into the ground! Who knows, if I'm feeling VERY generous I may even give her a spring clean, though she'll probably fall apart then in shock....
Read more about my ecological exploits in a few posts, check the drop downs on the left hand side of this page :)
2014 was crazy busy with ecology work and my bird ringing training took a bit of a back seat as I found being available AND getting suitable ringing weather was a tall order throughout the year. However, 2015 looks set to have much in store on the ringing front, I hope to get plenty done and maybe that C licence is not so far away! I've already been out once this year and managed a busy morning of almost 90 new birds in my trainer's back garden, hopefully a sign of good and productive things to come so will keep you posted.
I've had the chance to enjoy some beautiful walks over the year, including the Forest of Bowland and mostly the Yorkshire Dales. We often have a furry companion with us too, Maya the Malamute :) I've made visits to the RSPB reserves St Aidan's, Fairburn Ings and Leighton Moss as well as a weekend at the Rutland Birdfair which was a lot of fun! Weekend breaks in Wales, Kent and France too and jollies to the Scottish Highlands and Italy. It's easily been one of the best years of all my 26 and I think 2015 is looking set to be a grand one too. I'm blessed with great friends and supporting family, not forgetting my chap who is my rock and best mate. Here's to making many more happy memories.
|Ascending Mt. Snowdon|
|Tour de France|
|Coire Lagan, Isle of Skye|
|Madame Maya Malamute|
|Manorola, one of the Cinque Terra, Tuscany|
So although it's been a year filled with positive experiences, it's also been a year with losses too, in particular, a very good friend of ours who left us too young. Never to be forgotten.
But not to leave on a sad note, here's a little Blue Tit, the first visitor to my window feeder :) Hope all of you enjoyed the festive period and wishing you a very Happy New Year!