Well everyone it is the final day 31 of Marchmeetthemaker 2021. Looking back at the prompt sheet it is actually ‘Looking forwards’ but I have posted as “The future”.
Before I focus on how this applies to me I have direct messaged Joanne Hawker who created this event to thank her because after the last year and these 31 posts this has become a good time of reflection heading towards reopening the shop.
So, AndyKnillArt and looking forwards / the future, I posted a series of photos and challenged viewers to scroll back through my event posts for the month (the fact that they may see lots of other posts is coincidental of course 😉) and see if they could work out what I might be thinking for each picture shared. They can then follow that up (this afternoon) on this post to see if they got it right.
As above, this event brings together a wide and varied community of makers. In Swanage I belong to a business network group from many specialities where we support each other. I am looking at talking to all of the traders in the heart of Swanage to come together as a community to promote our hidden part of town, on the same principle as The Lanes in Brighton. I belong to other local clubs and I am very much a get involved and work together kind of person.
So going forwards – more community actions because there is greater strength working together than pulling each other apart.
Every morning since Anne (my wife) and I moved into our flat in August 2020 we wake to this potential view, sometimes obscured in mist. I post a #Goodmorning from #Swanage piece everyday on my Instagram account (@Andy.Knill). Friends who live away from the sea and miss it have liked me sharing it, yes of course I am extremely lucky to live here, I I am aware of that so sharing it is no hardship. I am going to continue doing so, I am also building a bank of images of the bay in all conditions that will feature in future art projects.
AndyKnillArt starts on Jan 31 2017. In four years it has been seen at a small local craft fair, then Artisans on the Beach and Purbeck Art Weeks. Then it progressed to a year round presence at Purbeck Artisan Yard, Wareham (left in October 2020). Then in November 2019 I started to co-tenant The Courtyard Studio – art in the heart of Swanage.
The future – the shop is successful for me and going forwards I admit I want to have a shop that is just mine so that I can have an area for Art for fun as well as display and selling space. With well over 100 different designs I could fill a much larger unit already, so let’s see what happens.
I live in Swanage, Purbeck, Dorset. I absolutely love the sea all year round and want to spend time on it ( in it) being energetic or just reflecting on life and admiring the fantastic scenery. I now swim, sail and kayak during the year. The other aspect is that I have already drawn pieces of art based on views from the water and intend to do more. I do eventually want to sketch from the kayak – I have done some wobbly pieces before and have drawn from the beach at lunchtime stops on kayak day trips before. Water sports are very important to me as they share people engaging with and hopefully respecting nature.
I have joined up with Planet Purbeck and hope to be offering an art event at their planned festival in September 2021.
I am developing an art / sailing project with Sam Whaley our local British Sailing team representative. During lockdown I have started to develop links with such diverse projects as; Hyogo junior sailing club in Japan, Olympic hopeful sailers in Austria and Italy, the Waszp class of foiling dinghies in the UK. My surfer original art postcards have proved popular. I have been busy and want to continue to develop more links and draw a wide variety of activities and the craft involved but also link it to looking after our environment.
People – I love being a shopkeeper on my shifts 3 to 4 days a week. I love talking to people about the local area, art techniques and media, how art helps my mental health, how art should be inclusive and not elitist through my philosophy ‘Art for fun’. Come to my shop and I promise to chat if it is one of my days.
Commissions and memories – every time I draw a commission for someone it creates memories for me at least and hopefully often for them too. The photo is the Kingfisher box produced this month and apparently well received by the lady it was designed for as a gift before going on maternity leave from her primary school class. I do commissions from greetings cards at £5 to larger art pieces at £250 and so many variants in between. This is now becoming an increasingly important part of my business and thank you to the clients who have asked me to do work for them.
Diversifying – I started drawing pictures on marker paper, once I started selling my work I moved to watercolour paper of much better quality. Now I draw on aprons, boiler suits, hats, card, paper, wooden boxes, walls. My art does not have boundaries. I will try more and more surfaces some of this inspired by other artists I come across online or see their art e.g. when it reopens, visit The Pink Goat in West Street, Corfe Castle and see the hand drawn wall art – it is not mine but it has inspired me. Ask Pav more about it.
Rescue – inspired by a photo on Instagram posted by one of the Swanage RNLI crew in August 2020 after their first training session back on the water. With consent I produced this piece now available as a print or greetings card – for each sale I make a donation to Swanage RNLI and have raised over £40 to date. The plan in 2021 is to work with the fundraising team at the station to auction the original artwork with all proceeds going to them.
I have done work with other groups previously and will do more in the future. Swanage has come in for a lot of praise for its community spirit and as a local artist I have a chance to help raise funds for local volunteer organisations and will continue to do so.
Trees – a recent development in the detail in my work, especially of winter trees and their branch patterns are seen in this commission produced earlier this month. Coming in April will be the new work ‘Last of the leaves’ in prints at two sizes and cards, the original sold this week to a local who had seen it in the front window of the shop during one of my lockdown displays and also posts about it developing online back at the start of 2021.
The final photo which I have posted so many times before looking forward and left out this time is my favourite picture of me drawing because it sums up how my art makes me feel and why I intend to keep doing it all the time it brings me this joy.
Thank you if you have read this far. My blogging sometimes is almost a stream of consciousness and may be overpowering for many. If you have read the whole post please comment on it, like it, tell me what you thought in person or online and if you are able to visit the shop and say hi sometime and mention this post please do.
Many many thanks, here’s looking forwards into April 2021 and beyond.
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