AndyKnillArt News 1st July 2017

Well PAW number one has passed, by the end of it I was elated but also weary after 16 consecutive days. I produced a range of art pieces including cards and original canvases. Sales and visitor numbers were far in excess of anything I would have hoped for prior to the Open Studio.

I took some time off initially but in the last week have started sketching again more frequently. I attended The Swanage School Summer Festival on the 24th June. The weather was not helpful but I got to speak about my art but sales were very disappointing. Today I was at the Rempstone Road Craft Fair I have done previously. This was a make a decision day – was it worth an £8 table fee and 6 hours of my time? In the end yes. I sold cards including some new original ones. 

Then a couple expressed interest in the original of the Shore Road beach Huts, a price was agreed. On seeing a sketch I had done of the south side of the bay they also commissioned a canvas 30×80 cm which I will start on as soon as my new canvas order arrives. I hastily rearranged my bookings for the next four craft fairs as this proved you just need one person to walk through the door…

I have also now received my new business cards which replace my previous slips of paper with contact details on. I started to use these today and will endeavour to carry them at all times. I have also ordered some clothing with AndyKnillArt on so that I can self publicise wherever I go and back it up with the business cards.

During PAW I ran a competition to win a free art print, few entries were received and the winner was chosen as M. Summerfield aged 9 whose design will grace my PAW 2018 silk flag design. I await a response on their choice of print.

AndyKnillArt News from PAW 2017 Day 16

Sunday 11th June

So a final day – drier, slightly less breezy and some sunshine. I opened up and almost immediately found myself redirecting people to the Coffee concert at Encombe House – my studio signs obviously work.

Friends from rowing visited included the buyer for my Swanage Regatta Fleet original – prints / cards will be available if there is the demand. My first larger original sale. A number of walkers came in and other artists including Chris Davenport and Carlotta Barrow. I sited. Chris’ husband was able to choose a free original card as visitor 250.

I then had a commission request for three Father’s Day cards from another PAW artist – no sharing until delivered. Subjects were a Heath beetle, a series one Land Rover and Concorde – so not without their own challenges.

The day finished with sunshine and then I went into the village to remove my yellow signs until next year and have since rehung the photo canvases around he house in their usual places.

This week I will do a tidy up conclusion piece – PAW has been a learning curve, a great chance to discuss my art, create many more new pieces and enjoy the feedback on the pieces that I have done and my style.

So in summary:

– new working studio

– 252 visitors

– 37 canine visitors

– over £400 taken in sales
Many thanks.

AndyKnillArt News from PAW 2017 Day 14

Friday 9th June

Nicer weather, still a bit blustery. Today I would like to thank my visitor from Poole and I wish you well with your craft plans and yes that’s it, one visitor. I drew some new original cards and did further work on editing and identifying possible pictures for clients looking for a photo canvas image. This afternoon I also got to visit the Burngate centre briefly and win a small soup pot in their tombola. I then went on to Angelika Seik who calmly says about 30 years work which just confirms that I am at the very start of my journey. I also sign up for another Saturday June event with the Summer Festival on June 24th at The Swanage School.

I also did a sketch outside and this evening cut the main lawn area where I am now watching two hares, one at each end nibble on the remaining longer stalks of grass.

I also received feedback that original cards sent to a customer’s friends jphad been well received. I also received an Artist sample pack of merchandising, I have asked followers on Facebook to feedback and will be ordering a test set of merchandise to have at summer events to gauge their success.

Two days to go, I would like lots of visitors but I am conscious how many events are on locally this weekend as well.

AndyKnillArt News from PAW day 10/11

Monday 5th June / Tuesday 6th June

Monday had a few visitors and some card and a framed photo purchase. The main output was the start of a new rowing piece using a range of photos posted online about Swanage Sea Rowing Club’s Regatta on Saturday June 3rd. I am going to post the stages I did the picture in and comment as needed.

I have read about dividing source and canvas into a grid, but still did my usual visual estimating. This first step was to get all boats and the ground at the top if the picture on.

For the wet sand I decided a base layer of light grey would dull the colour. At this point I could draw the remainder of the boats but instead I invested time in some additional details.

Now I needed to extend the Gigs (rowing boats) themselves.

Then I tested pens to decide the palette for each club’s boat (s).

The final stages were completed on the morning of day eleven. The posting of stages on Monday evening had led to an offer to buy the original piece as well.

Finally, fine pen and ink details of the inside of each boat then colouring the timber interiors.

A very satisfying final composition and a sale too.

AndyKnillArt News from PAW Day Nine

Sunday 4th June

Well not as many visitors but a chance to get on with more work. My first task to work on the clouds and sea areas of the Pre Regatta piece which is now reserved by a current sea rower. I also developed the hand-coloured range to show how the pen and ink cards might be used.

Completed piece.

Developing sea areas

Developing a palette of blues for the different sea areas and testing them to help choices to be made

Finally I tried a picture of a Red Kite from photos taken yesterday, it was not at a good enough standard to keep out.

Another busy and productive day.

AndyKnillArt News from PAW Day Eight

Saturday June 3rd

A day with many sections. The morning began waking before 6am. Some guests were doing a charity walk starting from Swanage so we were in town before 7 a.m. to drop them off. So a walk and a chance to take photographs in the bay with Pilot Gigs arriving for the Swanage Sea Rowing Club’s rowing regatta. As a club member a little disappointing as I would miss the racing, volunteering but I felt a part as I chatted to fellow rowers on duty. Some of the photographs would hopefully be suitable as drawing material.

So home for studio opening. Another day when lots of walkers came across the studio as they went out towards Houns Tout headland. 32 visitors in total, so my best day so far. I enjoy the chance to talk to people about my art and photography and share my beautiful studio location.

In between visits I also started a new canvas – Before SSRC Regatta 2017. It is based on one of my photos and showcases two of the Swanage wooden Cornish Pilot gigs and also a Stand Up paddleboarder passing. I started with a fineline pen and ink drawing. I used a laptop to zoom into my photo and was able to see how the vegetation for example on Ballard Down has changed. I posted an image of the piece and received favourable feedback from friends on social media. To be completed on Sunday 4th, if I can get the sea area right, quite daunting but this piece shows the progress my work is making.

After the studio closed we went back into Swanage, watched the end of the last gig race and took more photos possibly to use for future pieces.

At the end of today I had been visited by 170 visitors and now taken £200 in sales.

AndyKnillArt News from PAW 2017 Day Six

Thursday 1st June

This was a day to be found by lots of walkers who weren’t expecting to find a studio / gallery on their walk. Later in the afternoon a visit brought a sale of several original cards. Also earlier in the day a photographic follow up will need action next week. I have liked that my photography has made a good impression as well as my art.

A sketch done in the morning outside the studio in the seating area recovered and to be developed further.

Four sets of cards have seen new orders placed with replacements on Tuesday or before – this is definitely a feel good moment that I need to restock.

Phancy Pheasant piece starts, this will take care because of the detail and colour combinations. Watch out for a finished picture over the weekend I hope.

AndyKnillArt News From PAW 2017 Day Five

Wednesday 31st May

Today I celebrate four months since I declared myself as an artist. A day with more visitors and chats. Sales included my framed photo from Woodbridge, Suffolk that was where the gentleman used to sail on skiffs as a child. Just over 20 visits and some. Card sales, it was good to have a chance to chat to visitors. 

In the morning I sat outside and sketched one of the walls outside and the stone path to the studio.

In the afternoon I started a new series which will use photos taken of wildlife in our garden, number one is a Robin feeding.

In the evening I welcomed members of the Swanage Depression Support group that I belong to for a social evening. It meant that all 12 who attended could see how my drawing has developed from earlier pieces that they had seen.

A good day with a chance to meet a wide range of people and much better weather. I also made an additional sign to encourage passers by (walkers) to come and have a look. It certainly grabbed attention as many stopped to read it.

AndyKnillArt News from PAW 2017 Day Four

Tuesday 30th May

A brighter day, a slow start again but more walkers discovering us by accident. Being on the footpath attracts interest to my gate side notices and PAW brochure box but not always then coming up the drive, even when dogs welcome read. I have to stop myself from heckling and calling out to people.

So more hand drawn card creation and a decision to move some of my #pollock-like acrylic work and place the hand drawn card out on the display table so they can all be seen rather than having them at the bottom of the carousel.

New cards:

So a wider range available now. We were expecting a lunch visit from some old friends from Essex. Before they arrived the sun came out and we started to get more visitors, the day ends up totalling 21 visitors and 10 dogs so the welcome to our four legged friends is bringing more two legged visitors in. The stone floor of the studio is dog proof and only two photo canvases rest on the floor.

Our friends came but also Purbeck friends in Josh Hollingshead and Azita Heartly who both have work in Swanage at our favourite Java Coffee House in the burgeoning art centre of Commercial Street. Other PAW businesses include- Art workshop Swanage (run by Suzanne Dominy and an opportunity to try out different art techniques in groups where experimentation is the key aim,where I and Anne are learning Acrylics currently), Lucy’s Farm (new retail outlet for Lucy Tidbury and especially her Moo-selfie range), The Old Stables including Purbeck Footsteps with Julian Sawyer’s excellent local photography especially of wildlife. If I have missed anyone out please let me know.

We had a great lunch together and due to a lunchtime lack of visitors I ate indoors rather than the studio. In the afternoon more visitors came including an ex-colleague. Sales were lower but a good number of visitors. The lunch and afternoon with a number of friends was added to when my landlord arrived with some friends as well I hope that next time he can stay longer.

AndyKnillArt News from PAW 2017 Day Three

Monday 29th May

 It’s an English bank holiday and rather predictably, at least up in the Purbeck hills, it’s a wet one. Slightly drier at times. So wet weather to start meant that I knew that I would be able to get on with a lot more work. I only saw one walker pass in two hours in the morning.

So, clearer signage as my prices poster/notices did not seem to do their job clearly enough. Using some card stock I set about producing more individualised card price information. Also I reorganised the card rack so that handmade cards would sit at the bottom section with a clear break.

For example:

Also I had found that the QR codes on my compliments slip were adding confusion, so I cut them off and made a pouch to take details from and also a card that could be photo’ed showing my full online details and contact information. It may only be day three but marketing is a key aspect of the PAW open studio experience for me in my first year.

So I am now identifying my key information for a business card and that has to be the next step, allowing for being Studio-bound during most people’s business day.

There were 8 visitors including a family who run a luxury bed and breakfast in Wareham, they wondered if a second sign half way down the footpath would help flagging visitors to tell them how far to go. Caroline Snell, the mother, took a photo and said she would place a photo on her business Instagram account ( more on this in day four). A third hand drawn card was sold and I worked on expanding the range.


Created and awaiting customers

Generally I am going with local scenes as there is much to celebrate locally, but also conscious that if visitors can recognise the scene it may prove more popular.

So a busy day but fewer people, here’s hoping for a drier Tuesday. 

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