Day 26 – Monday 31st December

Well there were certainly lots of people about in Swanage today and quite a few came and investigated what we had to offer at the artisan huts. For me more card sales and an original that has sat in Java – a Swanage Institution for a while has been sold to my best customer.

December has been my best month as an artist in the 23 months since I started with 50% more sales. This links to being in a large event but is very pleasing and a sign that things are moving forward.

2019 starts with two more days at the huts with some possible interest in at least one more print perhaps going. Either way I am going to enjoy my two last days for this episode at the seafront.

Many thanks to all my customers and supporters this year, you are all appreciated.

Andy

Day 25 – Sunday 30th December

Slow to start and then more people about but very little spending generally. Comments on art suit, liking pieces but not purchases. sold some cards, read my book and helped hutters finishing to have correct number of items in their huts.

One positive from the day was achieving highest monthly income as an artist to date as earnings topped £1000. A new record by almost £300 and very encouraging going forwards.

Days 23 and 24 – Friday 28th and Saturday 29th December

Fresh air doseage is now causing tiredness of this artisan. I am struggling to arise and down to Huts by 10 a.m. which has caused some consternation in my fellow hutters as I have been so reliable. I have continued to sell mainly cards but sales have been lower these last few days.

On Friday I added the remainder of the artisan huts to my suit and then wore it today (Saturday). As other hutters finish there seem to be a range of suggestions / wants for next year which at this moment I really can not compute. I just need to pace myself through my remaining four days and make the most of the dry conditions.

Pacing – now starting to run on empty a bit, but so be it.

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 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 19 Sunday 23rd December

Sunday, due to be light rain, but then apart from a drizzly phase a cloudy and mainly dry day. A mixed day. Away from my art focus I had my day affected by a conversation with my eldest son – he has figured in posts on my personal blog previously. Today I have to pass on my thanks to my fellow artisans for their support and for Anne for coming down to be with me.

Later I was making the most of the penguin outfit to be – #penguinonthewall, #friendlypenguin, #penguinthatdraws.

Sales today included “Looking at wintery sky” which I framed while the customer was dog walking with their family – the second framed print of this to go in two days, in fact down to one copy at the artisan yard of current print run.

I also had a commission for some pictures of geckos from Ibiza collected.

Then there were 10 cards sales boosting Christmas card sales now to 385 across the four designs in just under 13 months – a series to continue with next year’s cards already planned ready for drafting and drawing in January.

So a day of up and down moods, silliness as a penguin, cake provided for the artisans, a chips treat, meeting return customers and people that lived in area we are previously. This December is proving to be my most successful month since AndyKnillArt started on Jan. 31 2017.

Also some ideas about possibly going into developing a rental unit as a follow up to Artisans on the Beach, this may well not work but a good positive focus this morning at least.

Oh and I bought myself a rather nice fishy piece from my neighbouring artisan.

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.

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 Four

Thursday and a lot more open huts, 15 in fact. I started my day at the post office sending off an Etsy order for 16 christmas cards.

Then it was today’s “If you go down to the huts today…” post. The weather was drier than expected most of the day so I sat outside working on my new outfit which will be worn on Saturday. I was very pleased with the result of my decision to add and a good geographer challenge as I drew an oblique aerial view.

I sold more christmas cards today taking my total sales of the “Santa over Purbeck” series to over 300 cards since they started a year ago.

New prints of “Winter Sunset” and “PAW Open Studio in the Snow” arrived today and will be available in mounts and frames on Friday. I also have a new card of the PAW snow picture too.

My blue cloud suit provided a prompt for chatting as well as my drawing outside the hut.

I stayed open later as I was staying in town for rowing (indoor) training this evening.