Arty changes

In September I posted “Arty things in the pipeline” . Everything has come to pass. I am now booked to deliver four sessions for Art Workshop in January 2020.

The biggest change is that on Saturday November 2nd I got the keys to Unit 7, Tilly Mead, 1-5 Commercial Road, Swanage BH19 1DF. This address used to house “Lucy’s Farm” the hq for Lucy Tidbury who I got to know through Purbeck Artisan Yard. When she announced that she was moving two units to a new shop myself and Jo Porter a fellow artisan yard member put together a plan to open a shared art studio / shop. We have done this all in the last three weeks.

Our studio/ shop is called “The Courtyard Studio: Art in the Heart of Swanage”. In the last 4 days we have started to move our work into the shop and to create our new identity. The scaffolding board wall and counter that Lucy left are linking to a theme that we are continuing.

Already we have our own Facebook page

@ArtintheHeartofSwanage

An Instagram account

@thecourtyardstudioswanage

So the new adventure develops.

This year will be my last Artisans on the Beach as I was already heavily involved in organising the event so pulling out was not an option. In 2020 the focus will be on he shop.

Our “USP” is the “Art for Fun” table / area at the back of the shop where I will continue the activity I have offered during PAW at my open studio; during events at Purbeck Artisan Yard; with Swanage Library and also links to my work with Swanage Primary school. The idea is to encourage others to draw whatever age they are for fun, if they want to share their work with others they can, if not there is no need to. I hope that this might develop into future workshops or art sessions with individuals.

Some early pictures in our first four days.

Pause due to illness but also new works created

Well October is here. I should have hung my first solo exhibition on Sunday and spent the last two mornings at the primary school and out on the seafront sketching. I should have but a chest infection and my asthma have intervened. Nothing is cancelled and hopefully I can report on them very soon.

So recent developments:

– good card sales at my second venue – HappyHay Clothing at the Lytchett Minster Courtyard Craft Centre.

– another encouraging month including print sales at Purbeck Artisan Yard, Wareham.

– three new pieces available only as originals ready for the exhibition at RSPB Arne to start a new nature series.

– Inktober started today and first day completed successfully.

So the nature series will be based on en plein air pieces in warmer parts of the year and photographs I have taken in Purbeck, mainly at home or visiting sites inc. RSPB, Arne. To see the first three pieces visit my first solo exhibition as soon as I announce it is up subject to my asthma.

 

Arty things in the pipeline

Last month I shared my new pieces which are available from the Purbeck Artisan Yard. September has become traditionally the end to my boat season duties by the river Frome in Wareham. Recently I have sold more prints – framed and mounted versions which has been very encouraging.

In the next fortnight I will return to work alongside year 3 and 4 pupils at Swanage Primary school on Landscape art and sketching down in Swanage. This is a development of the work I did with the school back in February 2017 and I am still receiving positive feedback from that, I hope the children won’t be disappointed that the cloud suit is no longer what I tend to wear for events. I will be able to take copies of the prints produced when I last worked there.

On Saturday October 5 I get to deliver a second Art for Fun session at Swanage library, this time aimed at children. A chance to reinforce my message that we do art for our enjoyment, not to please others.

In November / December I will be exhibiting some of my work at the café at RSPB Arne as part of the ongoing linked programme with Purbeck ArtWeeks. I booked my slot almost 18 months ago.

Saturday 30 November will see me return to a beach hut on Shore Road, Swanage as part of Artisans on the Beach 2019, my third year involved in this great local event. I anticipate more drawing on my clothes and offering Art for Fun activities from my AndyKnillArt hut no. 33. The event runs through until January 2, the main focus is on weekends but as previous visitors know I shall be there most days whatever the weather.

2020 May start with involvement in delivering some other art sessions t.b.c.

Throughout all this time my work continues to be available at the Purbeck Artisan Yard in Wareham. Cards, prints and originals I share can all be ordered direct from me and card payment or bacs are available. I am hoping to see more sales of the now extended ‘Santa over Purbeck’ series and the new ‘Santa over Dorset’ series that has started this year too.

I am open to commissions – if interested please contact me directly.

Thanks for reading

Andy

New work available – August 2019

A recent visit to the printers (Art2Card) means I have added new cards to my range available at Purbeck Artisan Yard this week. There will be giclée prints soon too once I have mounted / framed examples. I also have a card that I am selling to support fundraising by my cousin who is raising money for St. Mungos by walking 1500 miles in 2019 with her dog Fizz.

The original artwork is sold and shows Fizz actually stationary when we went for a walk along the South West Coast path from Kingston to Worth Matravers via Houns Tout, St Aldelms Head, Winspit and Dancing Ledge. Each card will sell for my usual £2, £1 for each card will then go to Fizz’s fundraising. There will be A4 and A3 giclée prints which will also sell to raise funds for the cause.

Three sunsets now feature in my range of works. “Sunset over Houns Tout and Swyre Head” (top card) is not new but is joined by the two new cards. The original sold during PAW 2018, giclée prints and cards are available. “Winter Sunset” (bottom right) is an image often referred to as the one that used to be in Java Independent Coffee House in Swanage. The original was exhibited there and sold at Artisans on the Beach 2018. Giclée prints are available and now you can also buy it as a greetings card. This was the first of my Purbeck sunset pieces. “Corfe Sunset” was based on the photos I posted about on my journey back from an evening’s kayaking on the river Frome recently. Cards are available now with giclée prints to follow, the original is still available at this time.

During PAW 2019 I released the final two cards in the “Santa Over Purbeck” series with cards of Kimmeridge and Studland Bay. The series now includes 6 designs so a complete set can be bought for £10.

I have wanted to widen the area for these seasonal cards and so I decided after PAW that I would start my second “Santa Over …” series – “Santa Over Dorset” The first two cards are now available and they are “Santa Through Durdle Door” and “Santa Over West Bay”.

During PAW 2019 several visitors asked where else my cards and pieces are available. Presently they can be ordered direct from me or bought at the Purbeck Artisan Yard in Wareham. Also I sell at my two events in the year – PAW Open Studios in May / June and Artisans on the Beach, Swanage in December. If any local shops are interested in stocking my work please contact me.

A productive drawing day

Monday July 8th found me at the Purbeck Artisan yard as duty artisan for the day. As usual I took the ProMarkers with me and my current pieces in progress. I have a list of ideas to work on.

1) New Santa Over Dorset series start for Christmas cards 2019. The first two cards will be “Santa through Durdle Door” and “Santa over West Bay”.

(Images are from Instagram)

Now these are completed I can move on with some other water based pieces. I am very pleased with how both have come out.

2) Lifeboat piece for a friend

Suzie that I work with at the boats is engaged to Mike who works for the RNLI. Last year I did a piece of Suzie sailing around The Needles as part of the Round the Island Race. Mike had asked if I could do a piece based on him out testing a lifeboat. I have drawn lifeboats previously but this is now my best example of that class of boats.

3) commission idea spot is reserved

4) sailing and / or boat pieces

I looked through recent photos that I have been collating and decided that a piece based on the False Creek Ferry company whose boats Anne and I enjoyed during our April visit to Vancouver. This piece also includes a number of high rise residential blocks and I added some orcas based on recent reports from Vancouver of sightings. Again a piece I am pleased with too.

In addition to the pics drawn I also sold art and craft pieces for a number of our collective and chatted with many visitors.

How long have you ….?

AndyKnillArt, as regular readers will know started as a going concern in late January 2017. Before then I had drawn pieces but never actually tried to sell any of my art. When my Open Studio is available to the public in Purbeck Art Weeks for 16 days visitors can see the snow range of my portfolio. Often the comment is made that I have been prolific in the work produced.

One of the items friends said I should consider from the start of seeking sales was to produce greeting cards. I chose early on to go with a product that was professional quality and in appearance and selected to use he services of Art2Card in Upwey, Dorset who were recommended by several other PAW artists.

As I reduce original prices of art I ask myself if the piece might have a wider appeal than a one off piece for sale. If I think this is the case I will consider whether to have giclée prints made (again a long term quality product) and cards printed. The minimum order I can have is 36 cards and when I started this was often the size of orders or updates. Now in my third year I find myself ordering stock in 50s, 100 or even 200 of particular designs that sell well. This identifying of patterns does take time to establish especially if like me you only sell your cards personally and maybe one outlet likeI do how with thePurbeck Artisan Yard in Wareham.

The list below is the range of cards I have now developed – most remain on sale and some have been very successful very quickly.

Next steps post PAW

A week where energy was in short supply on Monday. Thursday I was on duty at Purbeck Artisan Yard and had a few friends who dropped in to have a go with the pens.

The main art event of the week has been completing the commission I received in PAW. The image has been approved and it should be collected tomorrow all framed and ready to go with d-rings and non stretch cord ready to hang.

I have also been working on that old favourite stocktaking and moving stock from one place to another. The artisan yard bay now has the card carousel as I do not need it for an event until December. So updating of my stock records, identifying which card stock need replacing. Also it got me to update my financial records. 2018/19 was clearly an improvement on 2017/18.

I have several ideas bubbling for new pictures to work on inc. a new card series to start, some more yacht racing inspired pieces based on the feedback to “Racing” in the studio during PAW. Also further care investigations on original art clothing as work on my first clothing commission.

Just to show artists also look at other people’s work too, we bought an original moo selfie reserved with Lucy Tidbury before PAW, our favourite, a highland moo and Corfe Castle. Also after visiting Angelika Seik’s studio I am buying a statue (there’s a first) of “Reading and Drinking Tea” as it speaks volumes to Anne and I.

PAW 2019 day fifteen

2 ………

Well, penultimate day and the weather is sunny, just the 40+ mph winds put a slight dampener on the day. I got to sit outside most of the day except when showing visitors around. One dog today who was a return visitor – nervous but accepted their dog treat.

Sales wise a good day with one mounted and one framed print plus cards. A return contact re possible Art for a dementia home and two visitors today with interest about overalls and possibly using Art for fun in a mindfulness group setting. We will see where these leads may go to in the future.

Simon my Swanage pal came up briefly and drew another pic.

Also made some more progress with current commission piece too.

This evening I caught up with my stock records having done a check of home stocks of cards this morning. Over the 15 days so far, between Rollington Barn (13), Purbeck Artisan Yard (29) and the Open studio – I have sold 295 greetings cards in PAW 2019, this is almost treble what I sold last year. A stunning success.

My sales records are now the equivalent of 2017 and 2018 added together and 50% up on 2018. Visitor numbers are now at 416 after 250 in 2017 and 276 in 2018.

So, Sunday, the forecast is good for a warm, dry and less windy day and after that there will be some rest and trips out from the homestead this week as well as stock taking at the Artisan Yard.

Thanks for following my daily posts.

Andy

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.

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.