December 10th and 11th – away from the beach.

Monday – duty day at the yard and far busier than I had expected. I spent the morning resolving an accounting issue from Saturday’s busy duty. Jobs for myself included updating my card stock listing and framing three new print copies – two for the yard and one for the beach. I also added d-rings and hanging cord to another framed print. Some pen tray resorting and that was about all I found time for.

Tuesday – collected new stock items of Santa over Wareham Quay cards. We then travelled into Weymouth and visited Acutts a workwear specialists where I bought a white boiler-suit for my next art on clothing challenge.

Conversations while travelling include ideas on extending the “Santa over …” range in 2019. Also I am going to get organised with Etsy and online sales for 2019 and see how this goes after several requests lately to look at my online catalogue of my work for potential customers.

Sorting my garage out as it is being used for a filming project on Friday and last chance really for me to prepare it, I will miss this as I will be at the hut.

So from Wednesday 12th I will be at hut 54 from 10 to 4 pm each day and until 7 pm on Saturdays subject to customers. This is the longest stint for 2018. I also get a chance to do more drawing and work creation and enjoy watching the sea.

Day Seven, Sunday December 9th…

Yes, okay posted the next day, weary last night. Away from my artiness I used to be a teacher as I have shared with many of you when talking about my work. I left after a breakdown and still get the occasional nightmare where I am having a breakdown in a school – this was my start to Sunday morning. Slightly discombobulated I had a lie in and didn’t arrive until 9.15 – shock horror, still an early bird.

My focus was, despite the Penguin onesie and Christmas bells jumper, to have a calmer day where as the forecast was dry I could draw. My main focus was the new larger #pirate box that I had started the art line work for on Saturday evening. This kept me busy for three hours, meanwhile selling some cards. I added additional artwork and greatly enjoyed the task which also led to additional chat with passers by seeing me drawing / colouring and the extensive pen collection beside me. Later two youngsters had a go while Mum and Dad shopped and even kept their parents waiting for their lunch too.

So said box for sale for £25…( balancing budget against 5 original artwork sections)…

Starts with a cover treasure map using my geographer knowledge. I commented to some of my neighbouring artisans about the fact I was drawing and colouring the underlayer to look like wooden planks on a wooden box.

Each of the four box sides supports its own design. the bottom of the box remains blank if the buyer / recipient wishes to add some drawings of their own.

To be honest drawing these is fun and feeds off my long held interest in large wooden sailing ships.

Two of my fellow Artisans Kate and Sam of “Flying Duckies” felt pieces take part in Viking re-enactments so I made them a simple longship box design. Again an interest based on a holiday in Denmark and the link between Denmark and Broadstairs, Kent where I grew up, Viking Bay and a replica ship that stands at Pegwell Bay, Ramsgate as a link to the invaders Hengist and Horsa.

The afternoon also included starting a piece looking along the seafront towards the town, a piece I shall continue in coming days.

A recovery from a poor start and two days away from the hut now for Purbeck Artisan Yard duty on Monday and a day off well more prep tbh on Tuesday.

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.

December 4 – a non artisaning day, well …

I have allocated two days at the start of this season of Artisans on the Beach to have days with Anne, my wife. So no artisan tasks, well not exactly.

Today I posted on our accounts which huts would be open and when. We shopped for additional fitments for the hut – battery lights, a rod to suspend them in the porch, suction hooks to hold up my AndyKnillArt banner. Then I have added information on opening hours to template and printed and laminated these for all huts I have information for. These will be fixed on tomorrow.

I took various items from the Purbeck Artisan Yard yesterday which I will display at the hut, although tomorrow’s forecast is wet to wetter, but I shall be there all the same. Some art time including working on my second new fancy dress outfit for this year whichI want to use this weekend.

Some down time too so not all work based.

Tomorrow hut news…

Day Two

The forecast was dry, cloudy and southwesterly winds. The reality was less of the dry and quite a lot of coastal mist / drizzle. Today’s artisan outfit was my blue cloud suit, one complaint from a return visitor that they preferred yesterday’s Polar bear.

We opened from 10 to 4 and this year the cameraderie and need to check all left safely meant that all were gone by 4.30. We had a steady stream of visitors today. I sold less today but was still pleased.

In the first weekend I have sold three framed prints, one mounted print and 37 cards – many of them from my #SantaoverPurbeck series. I have exceeded my sales from last year’s first week where I was on duty every day. I have my Purbeck Artisan Yard duty in Wareham on the next two Monday’s for my monthly commitment and an additional day on the next two Tuesdays. I return to Hut 54 on Wednesday through to Sunday when I hope to start to have the opportunity in the weather to start some new pieces. Last year I drew 8 original pieces over the seven weeks of the 2017 event.

This photo today sums up the encouraging sign of visitors #browsing and considering my work. I have had many conversations this weekend about technique, media, subject matter, living in Purbeck and I have enjoyed it all and I look forward to 26 more days like them.

See any of you visiting Swanage on Wednesday or maybe in Wareham from 10 to 4 pm tomorrow.

December beckons…

In the morning on December 1st my second Artisans on the Beach event in Swanage, Dorset. Essentially I, along with 35 other Artisans, hire a beach hut from the Town Council for the period Dec 1 to Jan 2.

I will be exhibiting and selling a range of cards, small frame originals, giclée prints and larger original pieces. This year I have an extra role as part of the working group and nominal event organiser and social media responsibility for marketing. Tomorrow will be the first day in 37 that I haven’t been posting an artisan Profile on our Facebook page: Artisans on the Beach and our Instagram account @ArtisansontheBeach2018.

I intend to start catching up on recent works and events and to restart my blogging adventure as I head towards the end of my second year as an artist at the end of January.

If you are passing Swanage seafront, the only days I plan to be closed are: Mondays 3rd and 10th when I am on duty at The Purbeck Artisan Yard, Wareham, also Tuesdays 4th and 10th. I will also be closed on Christmas Day. Please drop by and say hi.

Still alive …

Well, hi any readers still left. I have had a mixture of moods recently. Some new work produced and a number of successful shifts at the Artisan Yard. Bay H is now being shared with Sophie of Made at Burngate Farm for the last couple of weeks.

I await my latest reorder of prints and cards to collect as I ran stocks down in PAW. I have entered my application for Artisans on the Beach 2018.

More sketching and some napkin art too.

Today (July 30) I sold the beach huts piece I developed while on duty at the yard back in April. The client who bought the first Shore Road huts print reserved this piece before it was even completed. I then waited until they returned to the UK at the end of their school year.

Accounts updating yet show how in 18 months I have sold £4K of art which is a very pleasing achievement and a total surprise from where I started.

What comes next? I have a few pieces in progress as the mood has varied recently. News as pieces appear.

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

Happiness is …

On Tuesday after a trip away I got to drop off an original piece I had framed from Purbeck Art Weeks, its new owner was very pleased with it. Today I have had an email that another client who let me keep a framed print up until the end of PAW18 will be down in the area and will collect their work. Last week I sold my kite flier piece to the subject I drew. I have also been sketching for the sake of it and framing pieces for family members of artwork they have bought.

On Saturday 30th I will be on duty at the Purbeck Artisan Yard, Church Street,, Wareham and will be continuing on some artwork I have started recently. Visitors are welcome and feedback on my bay is appreciated.

Yesterday I updated some of my accounts to find that in 17 months I have sold almost £4000 of art since I started which is a fabulous affirmation that my art is worth it. This continues to achieve my sales target (ongoing) of selling some work.

I think that I need to just keep on sketching and drawing and even do some pieces for myself as this is still a great therapy for me.

Developing my yard bay

In March I moved into bay H at the Purbeck Artisan Yard, I knew that the “dressing” of my bay needs to develop overtime. Post Purbeck Art Weeks gave an opportunity to do this.

On Monday I took a large portfolio of prints and a few originals to the yard ready to rearrange things. On route in Wareham South Street I spotted a wicker picnic basket for sale for £12 and decided it would make a great alternative browser for prints. So I now have a wicker picnic basket, a vintage suitcase, an old coffee table, a table and a small table made from pallet wood in the bay plus an easel. Each of these can be used to display items. I have the whole of the bay for my art so there is plenty of space to spread work out and leave plenty of viewing space.

Anne used to work in a gift shop and enjoyed developing displays and it is to my advantage because I am not so confident on the best way to display work. In my Open Studio I was very pleased with the hanging systems I had made but knew that the overall effect was too crowded on the walls – something to do consider carefully next year when I will have even more work output to select from.

We took quite a bit of time to rearrange the bay trying a number of placings of the furniture to display work to good advantage and allow access. Also the crucial matter of labelling work so that visitors know what the work is and in case they buy it so that the artisan on duty knows which bay it is from and how much it is for.

I removed a shelf from the end wall and used this for the picnic basket browser. It is a good size for showing 16″ by 12″ pieces and allows me to show 20″ by 16″ portrait style pieces too. I hope this will encourage more browsing and hopefully sales too.

Cards from my range are placed on ledges and the Swanage Collection of pieces are grouped together. The easel has been used to display my new Yachting “Racing” canvas.

I have made better use of the window wall to display photographic pieces. The suitcase shows a selection of my more recent cards.The small pallet table (made by Eddie Burrows bay A) displays some of my smaller framed pieces.

The side of the bay shows smaller canvas pieces, hand-coloured and original art cards and the coffee table includes some original pieces and postcards of my piece from the yard looking south towards St Mary’s Church.

It will be interesting to see if the new layout generates more footfall and feedback / sales as we move into the summer.