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?

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.

Day 22 – 27th December

Well rested, a slower start and arrives at the hut to find concern that I wasn’t there.

First a paraglider pic as I left yesterday.

A dry, sunny but chilly day as the huts moved further into the afternoon shadow. Again posting on Artisans on…facebook page has become a simple statement about who is open and explaining to people how emphasis is Fri to Sun and we are the extra keenies.

Wore the updated boiler suit and added some hedges, winter trees etc around Sandpit field while wearing the suit.

Sales amongst the hutters varied. My new Square reader arrived but didnt need use ;0(

The sun setting led to a number of good shots of the skies colours. Again I also took pictures with the camera.

Noisiest part of the day – a TVR run with several phases in front of us.

Tomorrow beckons a onesie day and more boiler suit art additions.

Day 21 – Wednesday 26th December (Boxing Day)

Undisrupted sleep evaded me last night so I got up at 6 and was sat outside my hut by 7 a.m. I watched a magnificent sunrise, I can not post pics currently as they are on my camera. I watched the town’s unofficial swim from a distance but heard the collective gasp as they entered the water.

A quiet day trading with a few cards for me. Others fared better. 7 huts opened.

We have been entertained by water activity including a Zapcat, SUPs, kayaks, sailing dinghies, a passing yacht and a waterbike.

Other activity has included upto 8 paragliders at a time airborne over Ballard Down. Also lots of pedestrians with families out for walks, scooting, dog exercising.

A beautiful day to be on the seafront even if the temperature drops significantly once the sun moves behind the beach huts.

My main activity has been watching the world go by, taking photographs and adding more detail to my art boilersuit.

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.

A yard day ..

Awake early,a positive dream about teaching and letting go,what does today hold?

A yard day ..

In May 2016 I explored the back streets of Wareham to find the Purbeck Artisan Yard as I wanted to find some art by Lucy Tidbury before I drove back to Essex. Unfortunately for Lucy my purchasing power was only to buy some cards to take back to Essex with me.

Twenty five months on I have been a bay holder at the yard for 4 months. What does this all involve?

The yard

It lies in Church Street, Wareham, Dorset. It is not easy to find ( this is an ongoing area to make us more prominent) as most visitors see the Quay, and ‘High Street’ (a combination of shops in South Street, North Street and West Street. It used to be the town’s fire station and also a builder’s yard. Today it houses 12 bays of Art, Craft, Artisan goods. There are spaces for guest artists too.

Bay holders

We rent a section in the yard for a monthly rent and we then staff the yard as a representative of the collective on average once every 12 days. We can rent a whole bay or with other Artisans we can share a bay – many bays are shared amongst 3 different Artisans. This splits the cost up and also the duty responsibilities.

Staffing the yard

Today I will be at the yard as Bay H representative not purely as AndyKnillArt, in fact on previous duty days I have had successful sale days for the yard but not so for my own work as I have focused on the teamwork element. My role is to have the yard open to visitors from 10 am to 5 pm. Outside that time I have to collect and return the float and any sales monies. We take cash and card payments so I must keep the technology charged,clean up in the yard and keep our sales records for accounting purposes and also so every artisan can monitor their personal sales.

I enjoy the interaction with visitors just as I do when doing my other role at Wareham Boat Hire. It gives me great pleasure to wrap sold goods so they can be taken away to enjoy. Chatting with visitors, answering questions where possible, signposting people to someone or some people who might fit their needs.

Importantly,while I am on duty there are other roles;

Today I will be hosting a new artisan who will ‘shadow’ me to see how a duty day unfolds and what is involved ready for their first duty.

I have some clients who bought some work from my home Open Studio during PAW18, but let me keep it on display until the end of the event, who are coming to collect their piece of my art.

Friends including fellow Artisans who drop by to catch up.

Anne who will come for lunchtime and if my last Saturday duty is anything to go by will help me to package goods (gift shop experience).

Finally, I represent my bay and AndyKnillArt. I will do some art work during the day as time allows. I often take much of my Promarker pen collection so I can share the media with others. I have produced a number of pieces while on previous duties.

The most significant started as a drawing of the view from the front gate of the yard. It shows very clearly where we are located and is a great example of my pen work at its best. Unfortunately rain on the day meant that I completed the piece from photos at the work table inside. Often I will work from photos while on duty.

If you decide to visit the yard today say hello and let me know you have seen this post. How will you find us?

– you’ve been before and know where we are

– follow the arrow signs in town

– look for St Mary’s church from my picture -its wind vane is a golden fish on top of the tower. It lies at the south side of the town close to the Quay. Walk to the church and from the front door look for the pink cottage, walk along the side of the churchyard to it. Take the small street alongside the end of the house and find the wall with words painted on about work you may see inside-you have arrived. Walk through the yard, past the pig and enter our front door.

Hope to meet you soon. If reading this from a place far far away from Dorset please comment and give me some feedback.

Thanks for reading

Andy

AndyKnillArt

Gig art

I have drawn two types of gig since I started my artwork. The first is the Cornish Pilot Gig, a traditional clinker built wooden rowing boat that has its own class for competition and a growing number of clubs in the UK and across the world. The second is drawing while at gigs -music events.

In this post I thought I would share examples of both including some sketching I did last week on a trip up to London.

Rowing gigs

In 2017 I completed a few pieces where I drew gigs mainly static on the beach. I hope gradually to take my own pictures of racing gigs and develop art from these. This year for PAW18 I took some photos pre Swanage Sea Rowing Club’s Regatta on the second weekend. I produced two small framed originals which I took down after the studio closed and sold one of them.

These are a selection of gig pieces and a bit about them.

In fact these first two are not gig pictures and show earlier boat drawings from Essex and Norfolk. I have always been keen on water based sports and find the perspective involved a challenge and especially like pieces that show the structure or construction of the boat.

These are two canvas pieces I completed in PAW17 based on photographs pre the SSRC regatta last year. The gig fleet pic was photographed as it developed and sold pre completion. The other pieces has faded slightly after being on show at events but I still love the different ideas I tried out with the clouds, geology, water subject to shadows from the sky.

These all developed from trips out with the rowing club at Swanage or visits to Swanage Bay. A print of “Ready to Row” was donated to the 2018 regatta raffle.

This is my most recent piece complied from lots of my own photos, research online and work in my sketchbook before doing the final piece. I am pleased with it, but still aspire to complete a black and white pure pen and ink piece in the future.

Music gigs

Early on when I kept sketchbooks I started to attend more live music events and as a lapsed musician (one who plays infrequently and fails to practice) I like to watch the musical techniques and skill of the musicians. Not confident in my drawing of people I started to do sketches at gigs, they vary in standard but have always been sketchbook based so far.

These are from an Artsreach concert in Chetnole, Dorset. The Kora instrument has fascinated me for a while through the music especially of Maliaan Toumani Diabate. As a stringed instrument player (cello) I find this stringing, structure of the instrument and technique intriguing.

Another Artsreach event this time Moishes Bagel at Corfe Castle. The first picture shows how a moving Fidler can end up distorted but overall I was pleased with the details I picked up about the musicians individually.

Nick Mulvey, the first two at the Cambridge Folk Festival 2016, the second two in concert at the O2 Bournemouth in 2017. Do you think the work has developed?

The Reptiles performing at Swanage Fish Festival on the last weekend of PAW18 in the amphitheatre setting of Prince Albert gardens, Swanage – I felt the urge to draw and used a card about my open studio then gave the work away as an Art card

Finally, the set for Ed Sheeran’s tour at Wembley Stadium last week. Pre the warm up acts I sketched the stage and section of stadium around it – a different scale to capture but an enjoyable piece that took about 40 minutes once I had shaded in the covered seat areas (after this photo).

So in my opinion, both gigs offer lots of drawing opportunities, hope you enjoyed the range of pieces.

Thanks for reading

Andy

Only a week on from PAW18

Well last week seemed quite long as we kept busy. As the last post said I had gone out and bought frames for original pieces bought by clients who had asked for a specific frame design I have used previously.

Before our friends came to visit for the evening I had started framing the pieces. I invested before PAW in a bulk order of D- rings and screws to attach them to frames. I also bought a 200 metre reel of reduced stretch picture cord. When I buy frames they come with a variety of fitting to hang pictures by, I prefer to give a corded frame that can be hung straight away. So, as a new direction all framed pieces will come with d-rings and picture cord fitted.

Once our friends arrived we chatted a lot and sat outside to enjoy the dusk views of nature -J had never seen a hare before and was in for a treat as we saw 5 playing in the adjacent field. We used binoculars to watch them closely. They also saw a deer later in the wild grass area. It was great to show how my range of work had increased since we had huts near each other for Artisans on the Beach. I didn’t expect it but sold them a print of the popular Wintery Sky piece.

Later in the week before Fathers Day we had a visit to see if the framed picture of Hungry Hare was still available as it had been admired and talked about at home, I had a copy and that has now gone to its new home and a happy father.

While out in Swanage during the week a request was made for the small kite flier framed original that was displayed in the studio, so this week that will be on its way too. I have delivered one framed piece and have two to deliver or have collected when it suits the clients. I also have a Broadstairs beach huts piece that was bought based on a Facebook posting when drawing it awaiting its buyer to contact me to arrange delivery. I have enjoyed that work continues to sell.

I have also done some other drawing work but will share this in another post.

I completed a sailing commission piece of Father’s Day that has been received well and already enjoys pride of place. My confidence to complete commissions means I will advertise this service more going forward.

Thanks for reading

Andy

PAW18 – day fifteen, penultimate day

A day of warmth, then rain threatened, then warmth again. Over the day the studio had 22 visitors and now only needs 4 visitors on Sunday to equal the 252 from 2017. Dog (canine visitor) numbers have been lower this year but we still have plenty of treats to give out tomorrow.

Sales today included Flying Gull – a photographic card and a framed print of the studio in this year’s snow.

Old friends from Billericay, Essex where we lived before our move to Purbeck came today and it was great to catch up. I had a great day chatting with visitors about my work, colouring in and how lucky we are to live here (a common theme – but if you have visited you understand why, if not, well you know what to do).

So one day to go, a hugely successful PAW open studio experience for AndyKnillArt. A good number of visitors, possibly a new record tomorrow. Sales have far exceeded my wildest hopes and I will finish with over £700 in a fortnight. New ideas have come up for future work and possible avenues to explore. One thing is for certain I intend to be here in the same studio for PAW19 and hope to welcome you and many newcomers too. Not sure how I will exhibit all my art at the rate I have been producing it so far. Once we finish PAW I will blog a summative piece about highlights, work successes and possible future plans. Your views are welcomed especially if you have become a regular reader of my art posts. My work continues to be in the Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street, Wareham where I will need to be having a reorganisation of my bay. If you still wish to visit my home studio contact me for a private appointment.

Many thanks for reading and your support.

Andy

PAW18 – day thirteen

A good day. Slightly wet at first this morning but after I had already seen a young hare and a deer behind our garden I went into Swanage to post the commission piece. Back at the studio I cut some grass and took some photos of a bee entering a foxglove -not the best pics but taken with an iPad and something I could try drawing at some point.

This was a good reminder that our garden offers opportunities to draw drystone walls, a wide variety of plants and trees and some great wildlife. It’s on a list to work up to and I have taken many photos as source material to help me.

Today however my focus was to be a large picture of a rowing gig boat. During PAW 17 I had drawn a piece of the Swanage rowing regatta fleet that showed some of the structure of these traditional clinker built wooden boats. Yesterday I had gone through various photos I have taken and some online research too. However, whenever I got near trying to draw one I backed off. I could opt to use pencil to start a piece for a change but I did t want to change my ink first method.

Last night before a meeting I was attending I put together a sketch and produced a smaller version of what I wanted to draw. It went well so I now had an example to work from.

It took five attempts to get an outside form that I was happy with and to pace myself with so that the spacing between the seats was correct.

Starting with the stern and then working along the starboard side of the boat I developed the framing of the boat.

Some of the features overlapped so I decided that as some clubs have painted seats I would do this to hide some of the overdrawing.

I then coloured the rib structure of the boat n a darker brown than I would use for the planking – I used Promarker Cinammon.

I could have stopped at this point but I wanted to colour the planking too so I used a lighter Sandstone marker for this. Before adding the colour I drew in additional ribs and marked on the position of all of the copper nails.

I have then mounted and framed the piece and it now stands in the studio ready for sale. It is a 20″ by 16″ frame. I am not going to make a print of this so will just sell it as an original work. If you are interested please contact me via the form on the website menu or directly on andy@andyknillart.com.

I am pleased with the piece of work, the worries before doing it showed me how much I wanted this piece to be right.

Around the work above I also had some visitors and an online order for 20 blank greetings cards. My two online invoices, both paid already meant I took money today.

I would also like to thank Lisa Stockley, fellow PAW artist and #promarkerartist for bring Harvey up to the house, a great visit.

Thanks for reading

Andy

Three days to go. . .