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



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


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


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.


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


Three days to go. . .

PAW18 – day eight

Today was one of those days where PAW prevents me doing something else I love, although of course I could timetable days off. It was the day of Swanage Sea Rowing Club’s annual regatta. I went down to Swanage early from a misty garden, the sun was bright and the day looked promising for rowing.

I visited Java independent coffee house – our personal favourite and took time to have a cappuccino and a chat. Ciaron the proprietor displays art including a piece of mine. Then it was back to the seafront and taking photos of the gigs as they were placed on the beach.

By 9.30 it was time to drive home and open the studio. My first task today – to draw some rowing based pictures. I did two based on the gigs pre regatta. I sold one at the end of the regatta to a friend who rows and likes my artwork.

I had a number of visitors and some dogs too. Not much in the way of sales. The weather varied from sunny to misty several times.

At the end of the afternoon I went down in time to see the prizes being awarded and stayed to help with the clearing up after the regatta.

Tomorrow a few friends have said they will / might visit, I hope there will be less mist but time will tell. Today marked the halfway point for PAW. I have exceeded the amount I earnt last year already, I really wasn’t sure that this would happen. 140 visitors have been but the number of dogs visiting is much lower presently.

Thanks for reading.


PAW18 – Day seven

A busier day today even though the mist came and went at different times, although news that Swanage was sunny meaning that this was low cloud not mist. The morning was a bit wet but gradually dried up.

I printed off some photos from the freezing rain and a hare picture.

I then worked on some hand-coloured card designs for an elephant and rhinoceros.

Finally, I returned to add some more detail to my “Racing” yacht piece.

My best day for visitors with 28. Two prints sold and several cards and a “Ready to row” print donated to Swanage Sea Rowing Club for the Regatta’s draw tomorrow Saturday June 2nd.

Today was a great day for chatting about my work with visitors and enjoying some shared refreshments. I also took my first Christmas card order.

Thanks for reading.



I am very lucky to live in a beautiful location. When I have my Open Studio at home part of the experience is for visitors to walk 400m or about 10 minutes along the Houns Tout path from the walkers’ car park on the edge of Kingston.

I live on the edge of the woods and have a rural outlook and enjoy wildlife coming into the garden, sometimes I photograph it (e.g. Hungry Hare card and print), sometimes I draw, but usually I just watch. Visitors this week who have never seen a hare remind me of this.

So it’s Friday day 7 of Purbeck Art Weeks 2018. I woke early and sat watching the garden and then these two arrived.

How did your day start?

Come and sit in our garden and see what wildlife you see -art and refreshments provided by us, inspiration provided by nature.

Thanks for reading


PAW18 – day four

Another poor weather forecast that didn’t all materialise. Rain this morning but time for local wildlife indoors and out.

First improvement for me -a better night’s sleep. Woke and watched three brown hares playing chase in and through the garden jumping over the wall into the woods and then reappearing. I have heard from visitors in the last few days how some of them have never seen a hare except in pictures which just reinforces how lucky we are.

We put out food for the birds at home and we have gained a regular crowd of pheasants and partridges from the estate. Now we even get pheasants tapping on the window for their breakfast and as this picture shows eating while we put out the food and water.

The butterfly flew into the house as I brought the bird food back inside before opening up. Outside the studio we have a wildflower area which is entirely natural, we just enjoy it. I did a bit more work on my large drawing of this area. Currently we have Campion and Buttercups.

The other natural star of today was a homing / Racing pigeon which settled in the garden for a while. While looking distinctly different from the feral and wood pigeons it settled on the drive. When we tried to check its rings it kept flying back o to the roof but seems to have gone this evening.

So, you thought PAW was just about art… but as artists of course we are always looking at our surroundings. 8 visitors today including repeat visitors from PAW17. Most had come especially to see my work . Cards sold and lots of discussion of my work and how it has developed.

When it got quiet this afternoon I took the opportunity to get my rowing machine out in the fresh air and did some exercise too.

So tomorrow we will wait again and see what visitors come… as my last visitors said today I am clearly having lots of fun doing my art and PAW offers me a chance to share that with my visitors.

Most visitors are taking away my free postcards so that they might find the Purbeck Artisan Yard too.

Thanks for reading


7 days to PAW18 Open Studio 23

A week to go. So I was meant to head out early this morning for some errands, slept in after being awake at 5. Into Swanage where I took photographs of the sea mist and kayak fishermen out in the bay. Also Open rowing at Swanage Sea Rowing Club where I completed my errand. I also drew the gig being prepared to go out, stayed and had my first row on the water in a long time. I then started a picture of the pier activity in the mist. Both pictures are now complete and framed.

At home I framed 12 smaller pieces, completed the second picture and then moved some items in the studio.

A walk into the village (Kingston, Dorset) led to putting up my studio signs into, through the village and up to the walkers car park at the end of the village.

This evening on my way out I will put up one or two additional signs leading to the village.

I am pleased that I completed so much in the end and avoided watching a certain event in Windsor. Tomorrow is a boat shift and probably busy as it is a sunny Sunday. I may continue with hanging picture ideas once I return from work and will spend more preparation time on Monday when I also have to deliver my exhibition work at Rollington Barn. The barn serves as the central core gallery and venue for Purbeck Art Weeks, just outside Corfe Castle on the Studland road.

Thanks for reading.