Drystone walls and other stone features

When I was a child family holidays included the Yorkshire Moors, North Wales and the Lake District. I spent my university days in the Cotswolds. Each of these areas display a range of drystone walls of different appearances and different stones but they are an important landscape feature I have always admired.

When we moved into the property we live in currently in Purbeck it comes with a garden bounded by and including Purbeck drystone walls and after some digging I also found some stone pathway and an outbuilding with traditional roofing including stone tiles.

I find these interesting to draw. I don’t claim to achieve 100% accuracy of record but I do my best to record a faithful picture of the structure within a particular wall. While we have lived in the area I have noticed a number of distinctive walking styles, some are clearly older patterns and some are produced or reproduced by wallers working in the local area. They lend themselves well to my pen and ink style and are usually pieces which require a lot of focus which helps a peaceful and mindful drawing experience.

Today I visited an exhibition at Durlston Castle, south of Swanage and saw an exhibition about how we respond to the landscape around us. One of my reactions is to take many photographs, now it is also often to add to my drawing portfolio and keep a wider record of walking styles.

The pictures below are a representative sample of pieces, some have sold, others I am still working on. One day I would like to record pieces of stone and my own attempts in a series of drawings to create even just a small section of wall.

I picked up this leaflet today and will be exploring some of the points it makes and examples it shares.

Walls and outbuilding inspiration around our home that inspire me regularly and as you can see they act as a backdrop to a range of flora and fauna.

Pieces all done within a 15 minute radius on foot – I realise how lucky I am.

What landscape features near you that are man made inspire you?

Informal sketching Meet-ups

For 2019 I have proposed to Purbeck Art Weeks especially the Visual Arts Forum about holding informal sketching meet ups rather than a formalised programme. It develops what I was doing in the autumn at Purbeck Artisan Yard where I advertised an event each time I was on duty for people to join me and try my art markers and / or draw.

So, the first one is next Sunday January 13th, the obstacle with the Artisan yard is that it is always very cold but I would love to meet up with other artists for such meet ups more often in Purbeck. There is an Urban sketching group now based in Bournemouth and Poole who meet on a regular basis too.

Later in the year I will look at some informal events around my Open Studio during Purbeck Art Weeks (Saturday May 25 to Sunday June 9). Also later in the year exploring more local landscapes including Studland, Chapman’s Pool, Dancing Ledge, Swanage Bay etc.

Your thoughts and feedback are welcomed. This is not intended as a sole effort and I am not creating another organisational role for myself.

Drawing on myself….not the usual way to sketch, but an interesting challenge during Artisans on the Beach 2018.

Drawing during PAW open studios on a sunny day – a friend who is also an artist taking the opportunity.

Trying a new media with drawing inks during PAW 18, the resulting picture is shown below.

Enthusiasm abounds

Today I went for a walk and then lunch at Studland Bay on the Purbeck Coast with Anne. We walked through the dunes, heathers and gorse and then returned along the beach to the National Trust Knoll beach cafe. This is often the place where I have left items of napkin art previously with most pictures being of Old Harry rocks.

A good lunch and then yes, a napkin piece of Old Harry was left on the raised table by the window. I later posted about leaving it on Instagram and received a response that it was found by one of the National Trust staff, this is the second person on their team who has enjoyed finding one of these pieces.

This is the Instagram edited version, the full picture is a panorama.

So an art achievement, enough then?? No, as I had gone on an early walk this morning taking photos of drystone walls and frosted area pieces to use as inspiration. Also, this afternoon I have paid my PAW membership for 2019 and completed my Open Studio application and emailed my chosen brochure image.

PAW studio in the snow – March 2018.

I have also upgraded my Flickr membership to allow more cloud storage of images as they have become important as a way to keep a record of my art portfolio but also images that inspire or help me to develop pieces of art work.

A busy day and now some rest is warranted.

January 2019

So, Artisans on the Beach has completed bar the wash up meeting on Thursday 10th, I need to make some notes to share what was involved and also aspects of the event to work on. One that has come up in discussion is the importance of clear communication during the event and the importance of artisan peer support.

Tidying up after an event – an event can remove much of that artwork that dominates your home for a period. After the event there is bound for many of us to be work that returns home and restoring it to reduce friction with partners etc. I am in that phase currently.

Practical artwork, to be honest a few days off to just be and fight off lingering germs and start to reintroduce a daily nap when needed.

Planning ahead and items I will be blogging about;

– boiler suits and wearable art

– developing an ongoing range, for me; Santa over Purbeck series

– new ventures, possibly involvement in PAW sketching programme, I was volunteered but will have to see

– PAW19 membership and entry for open studio application due before end of the month

– develop some work linked to PAW theme possibly

– rationalising stock, materials and using accounts to plan how to spread costs more evenly.

– Purbeck Artisan Yard Bay rearrangements

A print framed and edited for client’s intended recipient, now totally unique – apparently very well received.

Colouring yourself in, in public – attention seeking boiler suit art during Artisans on the Beach and a lasting original idea.

Santa over Purbeck series – Swanage card after two seasons still in the lead, closely followed by this one of Corfe Castle in its first season on sale.

A sunny day in PAW18 having to draw in the shade outside Open Studio as too hot in the sun. Experimenting with drawing inks.

Day 20 – Monday 24th December / Christmas Eve

Well a dry day forecast but light easterly wind. We had 11 hutters opened up during the day. People left at different times for their Christmas / family time.

My day – I sold and put a Yr 3 Swanage Primary print in a frame with the addition of a St Andrews flag as part of a special request. Then card sales today. However my main focus was my #artsuit.

Last night I had used one of my photos to sketch out the view from the Banjo / Clock Tower Pier in the centre of the bay towards said clock tower, Victoria Avenue and the beach huts that our event is based in.

Now I had worn shorts under the boilersuit so that I could remove it to colour in the work from last night, however the easterly though a light wind as cool so I colour d in the suit upside down while wearing it. This did lead to some very odd angles according to some passers by and other Artisans. I made good progress during the day and will continue working on the suit and adding the remainder of the scene on the back of the trousers by the end of the event.

This was taken by Gail in Hut 52 at just 0.15 – yes check the clock behind. By the end of my day at 4 pm this represents the progress made. Some visitors revisited to check on progress or in response to the Facebook post above.

I have taken additional photos of the beach to either side to add detail including the recent increase in stones on the beach to the left in the image.

So, now for 42 hours away from my hut. I brought my pens home in case I feel the drawing or colouring urge on Christmas Day.

If you are visiting I will be back at the huts from Wednesday 26th (Boxing Day) by 10 a.m. and possibly earlier and trading until Wednesday January 2nd. I have many more prints and original pieces available plus wooden boxes, and my extensive greeting card selection.

If the idea of a hand drawn one off art suit appeals to you contact me to discuss the idea, it is something I want to repeat and will indeed be drawing myself some additional suit examples too.

Andy

Day 18 – Saturday 22nd December

Yes, the sun shone, we had lots of visitors. Kelp the shantymen sang and Judith Opsblum was crowned Artisan of the Year 2018. Oh yes and I wore my art suit.

So here are photos of the art pieces on my #handdrawnsuit.

Starting with the back and the event itself and my timeline and roles so far. This will be returning in future years.

The front chest pocket “contains” my drawing tools of course.

Their pen strokes are.

The chest picture is the first hand drawn landscape. As with my paper based art, the drawing is first done with fineliner pen, a 0.8 in this case. Colour is then added with the Winsor and Newton Promarkers.

Studland Bay with Old Harry Rocks

Each sleeve features the same landscape but from different sides.

In the case of Peveril Point on the southern side of Swanage Bay the two views are from Durlston Bay to the south and Swanage Bay to the north.

In the case of Durdle Door the views are from the sea (viewed from the south) and from the coast (viewed from the north).

The landscapes gave me a chance to use my training as a geography and geology teacher and my knowledge of the local coast with artistic license applied too. They are great examples of how art can be used to then explain geographical or geological ideas.

Thanks for reading.

Day 16 – Thursday 20th December

A dry day forecast and apart from one afternoon heavy shower that was the case. There were reports of lots of visitors in Swanage for the Santa Specials on the Swanage Railway. Numbers at the beach huts varied.

My focus today was to add to the art on my new boiler suit / art suit. I had stopped yesterday because of a lack of ideas.

So today, I started with the chest pocket and drew some of my drawing tools with their lids on. Under the pocket flap the nibs of the pens were revealed and the lines that their marks make.

Then I added decorated christmas trees either side of the back design to indicate that it is a christmas event.

(no picture currently)

I then decided that a landscape would look good on the front and drew the view of Old Harry rocks and the southern side of Studland Bay. I added additional detail by extending the view to take in the WW2 fort on the rocks in Middle Beach.

I then decided to work on one sleeve. I have completed one side with the view of Peveril Point from Durlston Bay. The opposite side of the sleeve will be the view of Peveril Point and the pier from Swanage Bay. As the light went it was not clear enough to draw the pier which I will continue working on during Friday opening. I will wear the suit in whatever state of progress it has made on Saturday 22nd when we have local shanty men Kelp performing and the announcement of Artisan of the Year 2018 at 12 pm by the beach huts.

Day 15 – Wednesday 19th December

Well a forecast which optimistically could be interpreted as dry with showers. instead showers with some dry. Sophie in hut 28 and I were entertained all morning by the changing colour of the sea and sky as Ballard Down and the Isle of Wight came into view, were obscured, vanished and so on. We both made some sales and Karen came down to 20 later and also had sales. Generally quiet though with pedestrians dodging the rain as and when they could plus a Swanage power cut in some areas.

I finished the pen and ink piece I started yesterday, finished my reading book and received a small commission to work on.

Tomorrow’s forecast is dry with strong sw winds which is ok as we are sheltered by the huts. My focus for Thursday is adding art on the new boiler suit.

Day 14 – Tuesday 18th December

So the forecast is windy and wet, not a hut day. So of course being stubborn I opened up this morning and only expecting to see Karen in Hut 20 later. She then was diverted by a matter elsewhere but Denise and Judith 21 and 18 came for a while. Rain started late morning.

Just watching the waves against Ballard Down was a positive experience. I started a pen and ink drawing of Ballard Down which I shall continue with this week.

A quiet day with some card sales and chats with a few visitors. I am pleased with the event for the 2 weeks I have done, but wish the weather could improve, a facebook memory today showed how I’d stayed this time last year to watch a great sunset at the end of the afternoon.

Days 12 and 13 – Sunday 16th and Monday 17th

Sunday had a dry morning but a wet afternoon. Monday was gloriously sunny and calm in the morning and cloudier in the afternoon.

So the weather has not been particularly helpful at weekends so far. It has two chances to redeem itself.

I used Sunday to sit outside in the mild morning air without lots of layers and got some air to my arms. I worked on a small pirate chest which wasn’t even completed before it sold, the customer wants to collect it next week so said if someone else wanted it in the meanwhile and I could do another for them …yes it sold and today Monday I made its replacement which has some individual customisations relevant to its intended recipient.

I also did a chest with local activities in the bay that we have seen while at the huts, again this was finished today. I also sold a number of cards too on Sunday. Today was more about sitting in the sunshine, I sold one card but saw some friends and chatted with a few visitors too.

Tuesday’s forecast is awful but I shall be there inside the hut working on pictures / new boilersuit so if passing please free to drop in. Hot drinks available for free. Only able to accomodate 4 drinks at a time.