PAW 2019 day five

The weather turned… my first visitors this morning were Becky and friend with their children who all produced artcards and enthusiastically tucked into the biscuits on offer. They came while the weather was windy but dry.

Not long after they departed (but hopefully after they were back in the car) the weather moved in, misty at first then damp, then very wet indeed. At this point you resign yourself to the fact that you are unlikely to see many visitors and in previous PAWs this has been the case but no, visitors arrive in the horizontal gusts of rain.

As the afternoon drew on the weather eased to be misty but much drier. By five pm I had seen 21 visitors a total that yet again came as a great surprise to me. This being my third year links to other events were made by several people and return visitors to the studio too.

After normal hours we hosted a social event for the Swanage and Wareham Depression Support groups that I am a member of and the charity that any refreshment monies go to support. During the evening the option is given to view the art and eight chose to do so. So a total for the day of 29.

Stunningly, five days in and I have met 202 visitors. In 2017 I had 250 visitors across the entire PAW, in 2018 this rose to 276. I am now intrigued to what the 2019 total might end up at, but to be honest it doesn’t matter as I am here to share my art and why I do it with anyone who wishes to visit.

So a successful day yet again – today on a number of occasions visitors found me dozing / asleep wrapped up in the studio after a particularly bad case of insomnia last night. I hope tonight sleep will not elude me. The icing on the cake, on checking the Purbeck Artisan Yard sales records for the day I have sold a framed print there today as well.

I still haven’t told you about the birch boxes, it will happen… but apart from admiring comments I have yet to sell any.

So good night and a drier Thursday beckons.

PAW 2019 day four

Yesterday I apologise to my morning visitors whose artcards I failed to post as photographed on another device so let’s right that first.

Olly who visited on Sunday wanted to set a pose for my drawing mannequin – proof that I haven’t changed it yet, nor has anyone else.

So Tuesday, the bank holiday has passed what would today bring? 29 visitors and no international ones today with the furthest being a lady from London. There was more buying of cards today and those seasonal Santa ones especially. Also a print of Sailing from Chapman’s Pool. No art cards completed today which was a shame. Before the first visitors today I added to “PAW studio in PAW 2019” and added the undergrowth and now have the leaves to do.

I have been very encouraged today in the number of people asking where my work is stocked, it is not the case yet but an idea going forward. I had risen at 5 this morning as wide awake – visitors around 3 pm found me asleep and left me to it, but I came to very quickly.

I am finding the visitor numbers so far actually stunning, so 173 in four days so far. Sales are also encouraging across the range of my work.

PAW 2019 Day Two

A day of changeable weather and lots of friends. We started the day with cloudy overcast and a fresh breeze when Dave Furmage our Purbeck morning bike cycle mechanic dropped by for a coffee, chat and visit. Closely followed by two other couples we know and some that we don’t. The weather started to pick up then more friends arrived and two – Simon and Olly did a drawing using the free art activity table.

Diane, one of our friends bought some homemade cake for Anne and I too. I got to split my time between friends and new visitors plus Simon, the estate Head Gardener who brought up some of his wooden boxes – more details about here tomorrow that I shall stock like last year.

A couple drive up who have previously become aware of my work at the Purbeck Artisan Yard, they came to invest and took an A3 print of the Hillview drive in,pen and ink plus a Ready to Row print.

My next sale was a set of all six of the Santa Over Purbeck series. After my lunch at around 2 the sea mist was starting to draw in and the offer of hot drinks tempted some, also the lure of the pens worked and some more art cards were done but I did not get to record these ones. During the afternoon today’s international visitor came from India. By the end of the afternoon more card sales and 36 visitors. Including the two prep days I have now had 97 visitors. Also sales for today reached £85 and the card machine has been doing sterling work once people walk over nearer to the house so I can pick up the WiFi signal. Total sales so far stand at £182 including some cards sold at Rollington today.

Last year’s figures in my old notebook at the same point last year were:

Visitors = 40

Sales = £127

By the end of the day the sea mist was truly in and it was much cooler.

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.

“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?

Reviewing sales record

It is April and for the second year I have placed my order for the run up to Purbeck Art Weeks on the 26th. I visited the Artisan Yard yesterday to update my stock records and look at what is selling and deciding on my order.

As part of the process of organising my order I decided to compile a top 10 sales list for both greetings cards and giclée prints to date. These are my findings;

Greeting cards top 10 sellers

1. Swanage Beach Huts* 184

2. Santa over Swanage 138

3. Santa over Corfe Castle 137

4. Looking East* 129

5. Santa over Wareham Quay 97

6. From Prince Albert Gardens,

North across Swanage Bay 57

7. Santa over Chapmans Pool 52

8. Prince Albert Gardens and Bay 48

8. Spa Beach Huts* 48

10. Corfe Castle from GPS surgery 39

Here we have the first card I drew and sold cards to Swanage TiC along with Looking East and Spa Beach Huts which were commissioned designs by them too. In joint 8th place is my original design for TiC which I then edited for their card version. These were amongst my first cards available to buy in 2017.

All four Christmas card designs feature. Swanage and Chapmans Pool were available for 2017 and 2018. Corfe Castle and Wareham Quay went on sale from June 2018. So the new 2019 additions Kimmeridge and Studland will be available from Purbeck Art Weeks 2019.

Giclée prints top 10 sellers

1. “Hungry Hare” photo 8 Original not applicable

2. Swanage Beach Huts 7 Original sold

3. Year 3 sketching trip 5 Original donated to Swanage Primary

4. PAW studio in the snow 4 Original sold

4. Looking up at wintery sky 4 Original sold

4. From Prince Albert Gardens

North across Swanage Bay 4

7. Looking East 2

8. Winter sunset 2 Original sold

8. Sailing from Chapmans Pool 2 Original sold

8. North from Purbeck Ridge 2 Original sold

The encouraging aspect here is that only two of the originals remain available from this list. My printer James thought that Year 3 sketching trip was possibly not the wisest name but I stuck with it and it tells a tale of its own.

It will be interesting with time to repeat this exercise annually to see which remain the favourite designs.

Hand coloured cards and having fun

Yesterday while on duty at Purbeck Artisan Yard I took my materials to do some art. I was conscious that I had very little themed cards linked to seasonal events so I set about adding a; spring, Mother’s Day, Easter and flying Scotsman visit to Purbeck versions of my Studland bay land-rover defender card.

It will be interesting to see how many of these go by the end of April. This has been a great fun way to work on one picture and produce a series of one off pieces.

Spring

The idea of adding daffodils to the beach and a tree in blossom. It has been interesting how Instagram Defender groups have reacted to my frivolous designs.

Mother’s’ Day

Going with the flowers theme again and how lots of flowers are bought on the morning itself.

Easter

I admit the Easter bunny possibly looks more like a puppy. I loved the Defender design and an egg shaped sun.

Finally, the Flying Scotsman which is running steam trips on Swanage Heritage railway currently and bringing many visitors to Purbeck.

None of these ideas were planned before my deputy but they represent the chance to be creative and I love the idea of individual designs being out there and being enjoyed.

The final photo is of these cards, the original pen and ink card, still for sale too and a recent desert theme. I love the idea that people might buy my cards and add to them, I used to do this to others designs. Personalisation is great.

I was also happy and could be spotted doing a happy sales dance (the joy of the small business) when I also sold a framed copy of my giclee print of North across Swanage Bay that shows a range of boating types.

Feedback welcomed.

All of these are currently for sale in the Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street, Wareham – Open 7 days every week from 10 am to 5pm. The Spring, Easter and Mothers Fay cards are on the shelves inside the entrance at £3 each or £5 for 2 hand coloured cards. The Flying Scotsman, Desert and original card are in bay H with the remainder of my work. The original card sells for £2 or 3 for £5 with other printed cards.

I will be adding another print of the above picture when on duty on Tuesday 26th March.

Thanks

Andy

Merchandising and my art / photography

So far in the first two years I have sold original artwork in a number of formats from small easel style canvases, to pieces of work in a mount with backboard and cellophane wrapper to framed pieces. I have also sold wooden boxes had decorated in original art. Greetings cards and giclee prints printed for me by Art2card. Also original greetings cards and hand coloured versions of my pen and ink cards.

Apart from my first Purbeck Art Weeks in 2017 when I ordered a sample pack of merchandise and sold the fridge magnet, and key ring I have looked at but avoided introducing art based merchandise as the up-front costs present potentially a large financial outlay.

This week I have been reading about companies that “Print on Demand” from single items or more, I decided that as there is no upfront cost this would be a way to see if there is a market for AndyKnillArt merchandise. I have gone with “Red Bubble” and posted some artwork and photography, I will be adding more pieces to my portfolio. The system works by each product having a cost price, as the artist I then set the % markup for the public price and this is where I earn some income.

So I will be trying this method, plus Etsy and promoting sales in Facebook, Instagram and this blog /website too for 2019 at least and seeing what sales we can generate. Advice from others who have gone down this route before me your pointers would be gratefully received.

Weymouth – a non Purbeck subject

A friend posts pictures often of his travels. He recently visited Weymouth, a Dorset coastal resort we have visited several times and taken photos to use later. I decided to try one of his photos as it would give me a chance to practise my use of perspective, a skill that I am far better at now than I was previously. Like the wall styles post I now try to keep a set of progress picture to show how my work has evolved. Feedback is welcome.

So the original photo.

Some of the colours of buildings might change slightly and although the fishing boats are a common feature along the near bank here I decided to leave it out. I prefer pictures of boats to focus on the boat as the main subject.

My first task the fineliner pen and ink drawing. This is freehand and drawn straight into pen, this stage went well.

I started the colour layers on my first sitting while on duty at the Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street, Wareham, Dorset where I have a sample of my work in Bay H upstairs.

This was the end of my work on Wednesday’s duty. I was covering a duty for a fellow artisan who had covered for me at the last minute when ill post beach huts event. I hoped that I would get time to continue with the piece on Friday and maybe complete it.

Once adding colour to the vegetation I shared the piece thinking had finished. However I had left a tree in front of the top row of houses. I added this and improved (in my opinion) the main bank of shrubs. The second picture below is the completed piece which has had very positive response from friends. I was pleased with the additional work on shadows and lighting, something I need to use more now.