PAW 2019 Day one

Today the art weeks started for real. Lots of visitors, many going past for walks and not even aware of the art weeks so introduced the idea to them. More framing this morning and after a few visitors remembered labelling and prices on work so made labels for all pieces so far. Visitors came from Swanage to SAN Jose and Berkeley in California (not today). Two dog visitors today.

So in total today 50 visitors (plus 11 unofficial from last two days makes 61 so far). Today’s biggest sellers were Christmas cards! Corfe Castle sold the most, but Kimmeridge and Studland for 2019 cards sold as well.

First pic is one Charlotte Heath from PAW trustees took of me at the private view last night.

I made a real time video of walking up the drive and around the “Garage gallery” and around the “studio”.

It does go on a while and that’s without studying the pictures in detail, so remember to add in time for refreshments to regain energy afterwards.

T’was the day before PAW

Yes, I slept well and got up later today. So what kept me busy today? At the start of the morning about 08.30 the pictures were on the floor of the studio. I put a sign out to say visitors were welcome but I was still preparing the studio. I also put out my original craft show table banner between two trees so people passing should be clear who I am.

Into the studio which today as organising, framing, hanging… pieces of work. The wooden crates I was given by fellow artist Lisa Shockley yesterday look fab and have proved useful. The studio looks less cluttered than last year but there is still a lot in there. The sections roughly are on entry and clockwise around the room –

– card carousel

– Encombe, Kingston and countryside in pen and ink and colour pieces

– along the coast and then Swanage with some other places included I.e. new piece of Weymouth

– boating and boats of Swanage

– table will have pens and working on

– Santa over Purbeck as a link to Flight of fancy theme

– Redbubble Print on Demand pieces will feature.

Also in the garage end of the outbuilding will be:

– AndyKnillArt advertising materials inc. outfits

– Drystone wall pieces

– Make me an offer section.

During the day I had nine visitors, most from outside Purbeck, my first dog visitor and two sales of framed prints.

At 4.15 I packed up, got ready for and went to the Private View evening in my art bib and brace outfit. Duties on the soft drinks bar and car parking later. Eating and chatting in between.

Put up my last sign on the way home at the A351 and B3069 junction at the eastern end of Corfe Castle. Then feet up and relax a while.

Tomorrow it all starts for real with jobs in between visitors and just enjoy it.

It’s Thursday, we start Saturday …

So restless night and couldn’t get back to sleep so got up to do a distraction activity, two hours later, seven mounts trimmed and seven prints framed. What a positive start to the day.

Then it as breakfast and a new job, important with visitors coming…cut the grass. I did 3/4 this morning.

So the front of the house looks better now. Breakfast, shower etc and then collect framing gear and off to Rollington Barn – the Art Weeks hq – reframe my original piece, helped out sorting labels and enjoyed a cuppa.

Mine is piece in wooden frame.

I got home and decided to ring two nearest The Range stores to see what frames they had in stock, this then became a trip out to a Dorchester, Bournemouth store didn’t answer on any of my three attempts. On route now about 12ish we realised we were hungry so nearest place with parking – McDonalds, a rare thing these days but managed to choose salad instead of chips.

Diet not completely shot to bits.

Then back through a range of country roads and what we call “tree tunnels” in our family, so tree therapy, I was not driving now as energy as lacking.

Home and time for some water and a large mug of tea, after which I was due to have a nap. A new surge of energy and I stayed up, prepped signs for village and started putting signs on track outside our drive. Two locals passing on a walk asked if they could see studio, I explained it was in development but they came in and we talked about the art and also local wildlife we both enjoy. Then a fellow artist who had offered me some wooden crates agreed to drop them in. We sat and talked art over more tea and watched the wildlife including the squirrel.

A bit more sign preparation then dinner followed by a walk into the village putting my signs up, then voting and a walk back through an off-road route back to ours.

Rest? No the last 1/4 of the grass was now dry so I completed that in about 30 mins. Now I am resting having slowed down, but what a constructive day.

Two preparation days remaining…

Today I was on duty at the Purbeck Artisan Yard. In my rough plans, I had finished with Rollington Barn my work is there ready for hanging, placing on racks etc.. The focus was to be a shelving unit I had been given in an artisan draw, help prep. building and add to my art bib and braces outfit, as well as welcome visitors and handle sales etc.

At breakfast I switched on Facebook to find an instruction that I was to paint the yard front door. This was met with dismay as I was already going in 90 minutes early to help with a task helping out signs around Wareham. Also I was dressed for a duty day in my original art overall.

I drove towards the yard slightly annoyed at this addition of extra tasks. On arrival this sign job was postponed as the other artisan had to be somewhere else volunteering earlier. Someone else meanwhile had offered to do the painting, I was very grateful.

I set up the shelving area using my top 10 card sellers (see older post) and then modified the design after some feedback. I now had two locations ready for PAW. We had a reasonable number of visitors and I spoke with all of them and dealt with sales as required.

The reference to the PAW theme allows inclusion of my #seasonal cards featuring a gentleman in a red suit with white trim. Also my two new designs for 2019.

The mental health aspect behind my art is very important to me and in fact has sparked a number of good discussions previously.

With numbers initially, then I reduced size of numbers, then I removed them altogether because they became the focus rather than the art. I will be interested to hear what feedback the display gets and if the cards sell.

I then decided to add more images of events I take part in on my newer art clothing. This went on to include PAW, Artisans on the Beach and the Purbeck Artisan Yard. At the time the PAW handprint looked in proportion, now looking at the image after a break from it I can see it is not and will require some additional work.

My wife brought lunch and company to chat, unfortunately she had to leave early as our son needs some support. I started a new piece based on a photo looking out of my son’s flat looking across some of the Swanage rooftops.

An afternoon phone call revealed the frame of my main piece at Rollington had fallen apart – a first for me, so tomorrow I will need to take a spare and reframe the picture at Rollington so it can be hung.

Then after my duty and before an evening meeting I was attending I put up a series of signs for PAW around Wareham leading to the yard.

A busy day as usual at the yard. Again, I now hope my yard work is PAW ready, I can at least revisit out of hours if required. Let’s see what tomorrow brings which will mainly focus on getting Open Studio 22 ready for 10 am Saturday May 25 and opening it up to the public.

One venue delivered and sorted

…well from my point of view. So after work at the river today I delivered my original piece, five prints and twenty cards plus a laminated advert for my studio.

Next…I now have some more shelves available for me to use in the artisan yard, so when on duty tomorrow I am going to display a selection of my cards. Photos to follow tomorrow. I also intend to add some more details to my latest art outfit.

Thursday and Friday will see me based at home working on the home open studio venue, also putting signs up in the village to help people find me.

Framing and hanging

When you have an art event ahead then you need product to show your visitors. Today included preparation at home this morning and then hanging work and organisation of one of the three places my work will be during Purbeck Art Weeks.

Art work to item to buy:

I have my original art work scanned by my printer James at Art2Card, Upwey, Dorset. James prints giclée copies of my work as prints and also prints and packages my greetings cards. When I started I decided that I wanted to use a Dorset based company and Art2Card came highly recommended.

I have Giclée prints made which use lightfast inks on a quality art paper. These will last and not fade. I want my customers to receive a quality product. I now buy mount sets from Kadinsky Art in Pembrokeshire and hand sign and title my prints ready for sale.

I sell the majority of my art in three formats:

: blank greetings cards supplied with an envelope in a cellophane wrapper, I am researching more eco friendly wrappers for the future.

: gicleé Print in card mount and backing board in a cellophane envelope.

: framed giclée print, I mount the artwork and use a selection of frames from “The Range” – I add d-rings and non stretch picture card so it is ready to hang. I do not invest in more expensive frames as most of my work sells at a price point where the expense of a professional frame would significantly increase the price of the piece.

Adding art into frames should be easy as frames come in fairly standard sizes, I mainly use 16″ by 12″ for A4 artwork and 20″ by 16″ for A3 artwork. However not all frames of the same outer dimensions have the same size aperture inside the frame and this leads to much trimming of mounts with craft blades so that they fit properly.

Hanging or arranging your sales / exhibition space:

My work at Rollington Barn for Purbeck Art Weeks will be hung by the team of volunteers and I will only know where my work is when I go to the Private view on Friday May 24.

At the Purbeck ArtisanYard I share Bay H with “Made at Milldown”. I was conscious that my work was not displayed as well as it should be so today I rearranged my space and rehung all of the framed prints on my main display wall at the end of the first floor of the yard. This now presents my work more clearly with some additional labelling of when work was done or pieces that link together.

On Thursday and Friday I will go through the same process with my home studio space so that it is ready for Saturday’s opening.

You enter bay H past a display of some of my printed card range. These cards are £2 each or multiples of three for £5. All cards are blank inside for your own greetings. The pen and ink cards are suitable for colouring in. I will have examples of this in Open studio 22 at home.

On the side of the bay adjacent to Bay G the basket contains examples of my range of mounted giclée prints at £25 each. The wooden boxes on the partition wall are all original hand drawn pieces and their prices are on the pink star sign and inside each box. Currently there is a pirate box, fairy cottage and Top Secret chest. The standing easel displays a framed original artwork of the River Frome drawn from life and photos looking upstream from Wareham Boat Hire on Abbots Quay where I work part time fromMarch to September.

The main display wall has a stand for Made at Milldown at the left end. Except the Flying gull photo print which is priced individually, every framed giclee print on the wall is £35. The photo canvas showing a Houns Tout sunset is now reduced to £35. All framed pictures can be reached now to be taken to pay for downstairs. Where a print is available as a card I have put one next to the framed example.

The coffee table shares some original one off cards at £3.50 each or 3 for £10. The wooden shelves display some small original canvases and are individually priced. The picture of The Monarch paddlesteamer is now going to an event on May 25. The cards and leaflets are about PAW, my open studio card and business cards.



PAW19 or Purbeck Art Weeks approaches

I was just looking back to my 2018 posts and see that I started blogging about the run up to PAW18 eleven days prior.

This year is my third as an Open Studio and I am number 22 as I was in 2017. I am very relaxed going into the fortnight although self doubt etc has struck a few times as the time approaches. I still find it hard to believe that in less than 2.5 years I have become comfortable with the label “artist” and that I have sold a wide range of work to customers both locally in Purbeck and internationally too.

So why an Open Studio?

I enjoy meeting people who look at my work and discussing it and my technique and inspirations with them. Standing by a display of work is no replacement for being able to continue working and developing new pieces as I have visitors coming in. It also allows me to focus solely on art for 16 consecutive days, to sit inside or out dependent on the weather and study my surroundings at my own pace.

What will be different in 2019?

In 2017 I had about 8 or 9 pieces of art and some large photo canvases based on my own photographs. In 2018 I created my own hanging system to show the multitude of pieces I had produced, the studio felt a little cluttered. So this year I will have work on show in two parts of the outbuilding I use.

The addition of electric lighting and sockets have helped the accessibility. The open ended garage will be used to hang some original pieces that are on a larger scale than most pieces. Some are Not for Sale and represent pieces that I have chosen to keep back for myself. Others are available to interested buyers.

The studio will have less pictures on the walls but will show the variety of topics and ways I have depicted the areas I have drawn. I have done several pieces based on local drystone wall styles around Purbeck. Also recently I have drawn a few new A3 pen and ink pieces including my first piece based on my April holiday to British Columbia, Canada. My decorated wooden boxes will be available alongside the growing range of blank greeting cards. Following the “Flight of Fancy” theme I will have the whole “Santa over Purbeck” Christmas card set that will include the 2019 designs for Studland and Kimmeridge. I have these as last PAW I was not prepared with the new designs that sold very well last year of Corfe Castle and Wareham Quay. Since Artisans on the Beach 2018 in December I will also be wearing and / or exhibiting my hand drawn outfits which have received great feedback.

Visiting and fancy having a go – like my recent “Art for Fun” session for Swanage Library and events / duties at Purbeck Artisan Yard I will have the full colour range in the Winsor and Newton ProMarker pens available to try (please note I am NOT selling these – they are my work-tools). All ages are welcome to do a drawing to take away. Alternatively use one of the PAW sketchbooks available from Rollington Barn.

Refreshments will be available as last year for a donation to nominated charities. We will have water bowls and dog snacks too and dogs are welcome in both the garage and studio as the flagstone floor is not going to be damaged by them.

I look forward to welcoming as many visitors as possible. I am open from 10 am to 5pm everyday of the Arts event (May 25 to June 9).

If you or someone with you has a difficulty with mobility please ring me on 01929 481539 about driving up to the house. We encourage you otherwise to park in the Houns Tout walkers car park and walk up the track through the woods keeping an eye out for our local wildlife including hares, roe and sika deer. Also listening for our varied local bird life.



“Art for fun” session

Today I was joined by 13 members of the public and two of the library team to take part in the above activity – how many of these sessions had I run before? None, this was the first one.

What did I provide?

The entire colour range of Winsor and Newton ProMarkers minus French Navy, assorted fineliner pens, colouring pencils and some sketching pencils. We looked at some of the surface I have drawn on from IKEA rolls of paper from the children’s department to my overalls coloured in this Christmas.

The library also provided some paper.

What to draw?

I provided some of samples of my greetings cards to provide some subjects, others chose images from books from the library stock.

Did we have fun?

Yes we did and I was even asked if such sessions would be repeated. It as a great and happy relaxed at to spend this Friday afternoon.

Thank you to all those who attended and took part.

Art supplies

If you produce art you obviously need some art supplies. One of the greatest costs in my first two years as an artist has been to build a stock of tools to produce my art and materials to draw onto.

Every so often I then need to check how my stock is. If I had a system where every pen was stacked/ stored individually then I could just count them, but I don’t. So in recent weeks I have been developing a colouring in chart to display the colours I have in the marker pen range that I use. My main colour source is Winsor and Newton ProMarkers. There are 148 colours in the range and thanks to a great offer by Cowling and Wilcox in 2017 I bought myself one pen in every colour. However as I do a lot of pictures with sea and countryside in I use some colours more than others.

Before I decided to try and sell my art I had built my collection through a number of sets sold by Winsor and Newton often heavily discounted by Cass Art whose shops I frequented in London. Now I have over 200 marker pens which when looked after last well – I have had some of my markers since 2016 and they still work as long as lids are replaced after use.

So today, prior to an art session I am leading at Swanage library tomorrow I finally completed my stock take.

So for the next 24 hours roughly they are organised, the moment I or anyone else uses them however that organisation will start to unravel. I keep an eye on my other main pen supply – pigment based fineliners. I have bought a range of makes since it started keeping sketchbooks in 2015. My main target with these is to keep a range of nib widths to allow me options when drawing and especially when working on my pen and ink pieces – see previous post.

I have tools, what to draw on…. well anything really. I use the following: photocopier paper, sketchbooks (my regular choice come from Tiger stores), graphic marker paper, watercolour paper, Bristol board paper, photographic paper, IKEA paper rolls from the children’s range, canvases from miniature ones at The Works to larger ones from art stores, wooden boxes (The Works), and more recently decorating overalls / bib and braces.

Variety is good and I will continue to experiment. A friend gave me a large canvas which at some point will lead me to use a different media as it is too large a surface to use with my marker pens.

What do you use?

Pen and ink work

Recently I have produced more pen and ink pieces. This also linked to some of my sketches while on holiday in Canada. Indeed on Easter Monday I sat outside the artisan yard in Wareham, Sue Maclean was working on a pointillist piece of Wareham and I started an A3 version of my sketch from the Zephyr cafe in Squamish which I have just completed this week.

In the case of this and another sketch I have been adding detail to the dominant feature are the coniferous trees on the lower slopes. I have not counted the “trees” I have drawn but definitely mindful practice.

A geographer friend commented on how Langdale in the Lake District would look in this style, my only worry would be that the area was so well drawn for previous walking guides (name slips memory – aha Wainwright). An idea to add to possible future projects.