December 10th and 11th – away from the beach.

Monday – duty day at the yard and far busier than I had expected. I spent the morning resolving an accounting issue from Saturday’s busy duty. Jobs for myself included updating my card stock listing and framing three new print copies – two for the yard and one for the beach. I also added d-rings and hanging cord to another framed print. Some pen tray resorting and that was about all I found time for.

Tuesday – collected new stock items of Santa over Wareham Quay cards. We then travelled into Weymouth and visited Acutts a workwear specialists where I bought a white boiler-suit for my next art on clothing challenge.

Conversations while travelling include ideas on extending the “Santa over …” range in 2019. Also I am going to get organised with Etsy and online sales for 2019 and see how this goes after several requests lately to look at my online catalogue of my work for potential customers.

Sorting my garage out as it is being used for a filming project on Friday and last chance really for me to prepare it, I will miss this as I will be at the hut.

So from Wednesday 12th I will be at hut 54 from 10 to 4 pm each day and until 7 pm on Saturdays subject to customers. This is the longest stint for 2018. I also get a chance to do more drawing and work creation and enjoy watching the sea.

Day Seven, Sunday December 9th…

Yes, okay posted the next day, weary last night. Away from my artiness I used to be a teacher as I have shared with many of you when talking about my work. I left after a breakdown and still get the occasional nightmare where I am having a breakdown in a school – this was my start to Sunday morning. Slightly discombobulated I had a lie in and didn’t arrive until 9.15 – shock horror, still an early bird.

My focus was, despite the Penguin onesie and Christmas bells jumper, to have a calmer day where as the forecast was dry I could draw. My main focus was the new larger #pirate box that I had started the art line work for on Saturday evening. This kept me busy for three hours, meanwhile selling some cards. I added additional artwork and greatly enjoyed the task which also led to additional chat with passers by seeing me drawing / colouring and the extensive pen collection beside me. Later two youngsters had a go while Mum and Dad shopped and even kept their parents waiting for their lunch too.

So said box for sale for £25…( balancing budget against 5 original artwork sections)…

Starts with a cover treasure map using my geographer knowledge. I commented to some of my neighbouring artisans about the fact I was drawing and colouring the underlayer to look like wooden planks on a wooden box.

Each of the four box sides supports its own design. the bottom of the box remains blank if the buyer / recipient wishes to add some drawings of their own.

To be honest drawing these is fun and feeds off my long held interest in large wooden sailing ships.

Two of my fellow Artisans Kate and Sam of “Flying Duckies” felt pieces take part in Viking re-enactments so I made them a simple longship box design. Again an interest based on a holiday in Denmark and the link between Denmark and Broadstairs, Kent where I grew up, Viking Bay and a replica ship that stands at Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate as a link to the invaders Hengist and Horsa.

The afternoon also included starting a piece looking along the seafront towards the town, a piece I shall continue in coming days.

A recovery from a poor start and two days away from the hut now for Purbeck Artisan Yard duty on Monday and a day off well more prep tbh on Tuesday.

Day six, Saturday December 8th..

Today was the Rotary Christmas event in the centre of Swanage. You had to feel sorry for them based in the wind tunnel of Station Road while we were sheltered from the wind. We had a busy day at the huts and I shared my hand drawn suit. This was an idea I had last year but only recently found a suitable test suit – a decorating overall from a major diy company for £2. I have been adding to this gradually and it has ended the day as an exhibition bit in my hut.

Issues with said costume – limited movement so from 08:30 to 18:30 I was unable to sit down without a possible tear. This would have been easier had I not been out dancing last night. The colour work has weakened some of the surface so some internal parcel tape repairing. I have strong shoulders from rowing, getting the suit on and off proved difficult and needed assistance.

Best of all it was fun,I got noticed, I advertised my artwork and now. Want a more practical and longer lasting solutions l

Some pics

Day 5 and end of week one

Lots of huts open today despite awful gale force winds and rain overnight. A wet start which dried up earlier than forecasted and we were treated to a double rainbow to the north of Swanage Bay. Customers were few and far between especially in the morning. A few more people appeared in the afternoon although the temperature dropped with clear skies.

Today we had some new Artisans starting up and a new artisan applied to join us on Sunday so we will now be up to 34 huts, two artisans haven’t started yet due to illness.

Just a minute this is my blog not about the event… sold 13 cards today including the new PAW studio ones. There are now mounted copies of both prints that arrived yesterday and I will be framing some tomorrow as well. I added to my hand coloured suit which makes its debut tomorrow but will need several layers beneath it. I look forward to what feedback it gets. It has generated some new ideas to develop going into 2019. Christmas card sales now exceed 300.

So tomorrow we will see how the forecast wind affects the SwanageRotary event in town, we will be there whatever.

Day Four

Thursday and a lot more open huts, 15 in fact. I started my day at the post office sending off an Etsy order for 16 christmas cards.

Then it was today’s “If you go down to the huts today…” post. The weather was drier than expected most of the day so I sat outside working on my new outfit which will be worn on Saturday. I was very pleased with the result of my decision to add and a good geographer challenge as I drew an oblique aerial view.

I sold more christmas cards today taking my total sales of the “Santa over Purbeck” series to over 300 cards since they started a year ago.

New prints of “Winter Sunset” and “PAW Open Studio in the Snow” arrived today and will be available in mounts and frames on Friday. I also have a new card of the PAW snow picture too.

My blue cloud suit provided a prompt for chatting as well as my drawing outside the hut.

I stayed open later as I was staying in town for rowing (indoor) training this evening.

Day three or December 5th for you gregorians

My third day at the hut. The weather forecast promised a damp morning with a wet afternoon, but forecasts can be wrong can’t they. Last night I typed up and laminated an opening times template for each hut based on the information they had given me on Sunday.

On arrival the seafront was dry and mild. I got to work as earlier than the opening time of 10 and put up the signs for all lower huts where I had information. Damp wood on the upper huts meant these will be done another day. My new hooks to put up my AndyKnillArt banner wouldn’t cooperate so a parcel tape job worked, that would do.

A quiet day but some social hut drinks with passing friends and pricing up of items that I have moved from the Purbeck Artisan Yard. I also completed an updated stock take based on work in the beach hut on my tablet copy of stock spreadsheet.

I have moved some items which are not originals, cards or prints as I try a more diversified range of items that allow me to share my artwork. Last year I completed some wooden boxes with local scenes, in 2018 I am trying some themed boxes. I received a commission for a client’s grandchild based on this idea a few weeks ago too, and to be honest they are fun to do.

So currently I have a Top Secret chest, two pirate treasure chests and a larger fairy cottage. These are plain boxes which I then draw onto using my usual pens.

I hope that they will all sell and possibly even lead to commissions for more pieces.

I have also moved some miniature and mini easel canvas pieces which I will share in a future post. I made one card sale today to a local artist whose son I had taught when working with a local primary school in February following last year’s event. We had a good chat about subjects, media and sketchbooks.

The afternoon saw more rain as promised and a number of photos of conditions to use as prompts for future pieces.

December 4 – a non artisaning day, well …

I have allocated two days at the start of this season of Artisans on the Beach to have days with Anne, my wife. So no artisan tasks, well not exactly.

Today I posted on our accounts which huts would be open and when. We shopped for additional fitments for the hut – battery lights, a rod to suspend them in the porch, suction hooks to hold up my AndyKnillArt banner. Then I have added information on opening hours to template and printed and laminated these for all huts I have information for. These will be fixed on tomorrow.

I took various items from the Purbeck Artisan Yard yesterday which I will display at the hut, although tomorrow’s forecast is wet to wetter, but I shall be there all the same. Some art time including working on my second new fancy dress outfit for this year whichI want to use this weekend.

Some down time too so not all work based.

Tomorrow hut news…

December 3rd – Artisan-ing elsewhere

So as a member of the Purbeck Artisan Yard I do duties each month. My December duties have been fitted around my Artisans on the Beach commitments. I started this morning by posting for the Beach about whose huts would be open today. One of our aims this year is to be mindful that visitors wanting to know which hut is open and when so that they do not have a wasted journey. So we are addressing this in two ways.

Each artisan has completed a schedule of their opening times and I am producing a neat version of each which will be printed and laminated, then stuck outside every hut. Not all of our customers are on social media so we need a more immediate way to check too.

On our social media accounts I am then going to post daily about which huts are open or are weekends if any huts will not be open. We have already had feedback to some of the Artisans about the event pre publicity and how the profiles on Facebook and Instagram have attracted them to visit as there are products they are interested in. The profiles that we have run already will be added to across the event too.

I am going to share my profile as an example.

So each profile follows a common format. It would identifies the artisan, their hut and then I have used the text from their application and edited it into the third person. For some profiles as contacted people to add some additional information. The text is accompanied by photos submitted and in some cases images I found researching them online.

My profile includes pictures of me from previous event as my outfits are part of how I attract attention to my own work but to the event as well.

In the weeks running upto the event I produced a profile daily for 36 Artisans so it has been a big commitment to follow through on.

My day at the Artisan Yard was reasonably quiet, but I worked on admin for the beach event and also did more work on wooden boxes which I will feature in a separate post showing the range of items I am producing to try and get original artwork out there in the community.

Tomorrow is also a day off for the first two weeks and officially is a non artisan day but will also include buying more frames,preparing items for Wednesday when I shall be back on the seafront.

Day Two

The forecast was dry, cloudy and southwesterly winds. The reality was less of the dry and quite a lot of coastal mist / drizzle. Today’s artisan outfit was my blue cloud suit, one complaint from a return visitor that they preferred yesterday’s Polar bear.

We opened from 10 to 4 and this year the cameraderie and need to check all left safely meant that all were gone by 4.30. We had a steady stream of visitors today. I sold less today but was still pleased.

In the first weekend I have sold three framed prints, one mounted print and 37 cards – many of them from my #SantaoverPurbeck series. I have exceeded my sales from last year’s first week where I was on duty every day. I have my Purbeck Artisan Yard duty in Wareham on the next two Monday’s for my monthly commitment and an additional day on the next two Tuesdays. I return to Hut 54 on Wednesday through to Sunday when I hope to start to have the opportunity in the weather to start some new pieces. Last year I drew 8 original pieces over the seven weeks of the 2017 event.

This photo today sums up the encouraging sign of visitors #browsing and considering my work. I have had many conversations this weekend about technique, media, subject matter, living in Purbeck and I have enjoyed it all and I look forward to 26 more days like them.

See any of you visiting Swanage on Wednesday or maybe in Wareham from 10 to 4 pm tomorrow.

Day one

Artisans on the Beach 2018 was greeted by strong southwesterly winds and rain first thing this morning. The rain became mist and eventually the day dried out. Did it dampen our spirits? No, a great first day, lots of visitors and customers. The official opening with the Town Crier, Mayor, Carnival Queen and Princess all went well.

Plus I dressed up as normal, no didn’t look normal but definitely dressed to be noticed. I also had far better sales that I had hoped for so a great start.

Oh and that outfit…