Judging – a privilege to be asked

This afternoon I took part in what turned out to be a small exercise, the joint judging entries for the Purbeck Art Weeks 2019 sketching competition. There were entries from both adults and children.

A remit had been to represent the PAW event. One adult design took in a number of activities within the event including the refreshments served in several venues as well as the arts and music. Another adult travelled to many of the venues where he sat and sketched quick pieces, before moving on to the next. I am aware of this as he visited my studio amongst others.

Corfe Castle was a firm favourite among several of the children’s entries.

My fellow judge was Fran Quinlan and we were assisted by Ali Burnett who is the administrator for PAW. The range of prizes from Daler were very encouraging and I hope that the prize winners enjoy using their new art materials. Also all 200 sketchbooks with instrument set sold out during PAW as well.

In the title I refer to this as a privilege as I see myself as being in my third year as an artist, therefor being asked on the basis of my own drawing was an honour. Thanks PAW.

PAW 2019 day 8, half way and June 1st

The forecast was sunshine all day so careful sitting in the shade would be needed to avoid getting too much sun. I started the studio day drawing the view from our drive towards the field that lies in front of us, this will hopefully develop into an A3 pen and ink piece. I drew for an hour, heard walkers passing but stayed on task and no one came in to visit.

I then made a drink and sat in the shade and read. There were some a.m. walker visitors including a request to put the framed print of “Year 3 trip, Swanage Primary” aside, it was collected later in the day. One of my drystone wall originals sold. My landlord dropped by on a very nice motorbike, he bought some cards and reserved a piece I am working on. He saw the progress in my work from PAW17 when he had previously visited.

Around lunchtime, well when I finally tried to have some lunch we had quite a rush after which there was a lull. By the end of the afternoon a number of people had drawn art cards and bought lots of cards.

Maisie, a local friend brought her daughter up who is also interested in the use of art for mindfulness, we chatted about my work and ethos and how people could be encouraged to use art as a distraction.

By the end of the afternoon there had been 43 visitors giving me a total for the first half of PAW of 288 visitors which breaks the record of 276 visitors last year and still with eight days to go.

The aspect that was clearly key to me from today is that I love to welcome visitors and explain the background story to how my art began and is developing. I like it when they take the time to stop and draw a while and as two young gentlemen showed this afternoon, become completely absorbed while drawing.

If people like my art and want to buy some it is an honour for me. I am not going to chase sales, produce items because people want them, my art is for fun and as a therapy for me. I like to share that approach with others and have had some very positive feedback in this regard this first half of PAW.

In the second half of PAW, there is no visitor target, sales target… just to enjoy the company of my visitors and friends who come up and to keep creating new art.

If this matches your philosophy please drop by.

Andy

PAW 2019 Day Three

So, after I posted yesterday one of my friends who visited posted about his visit on Facebook and I have thanked him already but felt very humbled to be honest.

So a new day, the forecast overcast and maybe sunny spells but a stronger westerly breeze. The morning was very quiet until a family group visited taking my pre midday total to 7. I had finished off the colour I had started yesterday afternoon on my “A rooftop view…” piece. I mounted the picture and it is now in the studio on sale.

I have previously thought about doing some pieces based on my PAW studio to go alongside “PAW studio in the snow”. So I sat and drew the start of “PAW studio in PAW 2019”. I did the line work but have not worked on the undergrowth or leaves yet. I then sat at the art activity table and added colour. It now awaits a new day to work on the planting.

A late lunch saw afternoon numbers increase dramatically and some takers for the art table. Today also saw an increase in the number of dogs visiting, all but one accepted a treat.

Sales today were very limited, disappointing maybe but realistically many people were walkers and I just enjoyed talking about my story, the art, where we live …

By the end of the day that slow morning was eclipsed totally with a daily total of 46 visitors and 11 dogs. A recount of yesterday’s figures shown my total to date is 144 visitors and 15 dogs. This compares to 8 days plus of visitors last year.

The sales are now behind last year’s total for the bank holiday but this is because last year I sold two originals in the first weekend. It really doesn’t matter in comparison to the sheer numbers so far and the art table popularity, also the chance to chat about my art journey thus far.

I was going to mention more about the wooden boxes today but forgot so will take some pictures tomorrow to show you what I am talking about.

Art supplies

If you produce art you obviously need some art supplies. One of the greatest costs in my first two years as an artist has been to build a stock of tools to produce my art and materials to draw onto.

Every so often I then need to check how my stock is. If I had a system where every pen was stacked/ stored individually then I could just count them, but I don’t. So in recent weeks I have been developing a colouring in chart to display the colours I have in the marker pen range that I use. My main colour source is Winsor and Newton ProMarkers. There are 148 colours in the range and thanks to a great offer by Cowling and Wilcox in 2017 I bought myself one pen in every colour. However as I do a lot of pictures with sea and countryside in I use some colours more than others.

Before I decided to try and sell my art I had built my collection through a number of sets sold by Winsor and Newton often heavily discounted by Cass Art whose shops I frequented in London. Now I have over 200 marker pens which when looked after last well – I have had some of my markers since 2016 and they still work as long as lids are replaced after use.

So today, prior to an art session I am leading at Swanage library tomorrow I finally completed my stock take.

So for the next 24 hours roughly they are organised, the moment I or anyone else uses them however that organisation will start to unravel. I keep an eye on my other main pen supply – pigment based fineliners. I have bought a range of makes since it started keeping sketchbooks in 2015. My main target with these is to keep a range of nib widths to allow me options when drawing and especially when working on my pen and ink pieces – see previous post.

I have tools, what to draw on…. well anything really. I use the following: photocopier paper, sketchbooks (my regular choice come from Tiger stores), graphic marker paper, watercolour paper, Bristol board paper, photographic paper, IKEA paper rolls from the children’s range, canvases from miniature ones at The Works to larger ones from art stores, wooden boxes (The Works), and more recently decorating overalls / bib and braces.

Variety is good and I will continue to experiment. A friend gave me a large canvas which at some point will lead me to use a different media as it is too large a surface to use with my marker pens.

What do you use?

Pen and ink work

Recently I have produced more pen and ink pieces. This also linked to some of my sketches while on holiday in Canada. Indeed on Easter Monday I sat outside the artisan yard in Wareham, Sue Maclean was working on a pointillist piece of Wareham and I started an A3 version of my sketch from the Zephyr cafe in Squamish which I have just completed this week.

In the case of this and another sketch I have been adding detail to the dominant feature are the coniferous trees on the lower slopes. I have not counted the “trees” I have drawn but definitely mindful practice.

A geographer friend commented on how Langdale in the Lake District would look in this style, my only worry would be that the area was so well drawn for previous walking guides (name slips memory – aha Wainwright). An idea to add to possible future projects.

A Flight of Fancy…PAW19

A change of plan re sharing my main piece I have been working on this week. So each year Purbeck Art Weeks has a competition at the start of the year linked to the chosen theme for that year. Art 2D or 3D can be submitted that fulfils the theme brief and may be selected to be used for publicity for the programme that shares details of Open Studios, the brochure that describes the music and dance events, the poster used to promote the Art Weeks.

Within my current portfolio I have a range of pieces, including two drawn in 2018 that are relevant to a “Flight of Fancy” in my “Santa Over Purbeck” series of Christmas cards, although of course they are not relevant for an event spanning the end of May and start of June. Although, this year during my Open Studio I shall have copies of the series of four cards already available and the new 2019 designs which I have yet to draw, but have planned. It surprised me when people wanted to buy the new designs so early in the year and in fact my first Christmas card order was made on June 1st.

So another idea was needed if I was to submit a piece of work. During “Artisans on the Beach 2018” event I designed and drew on two boiler suits. On the practice one (a paper diy version) I drew a panorama that circled the body of the Purbeck Coast from Sandbanks as far as the north of Swanage bay. It was drawn from the view a bird might get or an “oblique aerial” view as I would have described it previously when teaching Geography. Much to the surprise of visitors who asked I drew said view from my head with no reference materials to hand. This was based on my knowledge of the coastline as; a geographer, rowing to Old Harry Rocks with Swanage Sea Rowing Club, reading Ordnance Survey maps, seeing drone based photography posted on Instagram and Facebook by photographers in or visiting Dorset.

I was very pleased with the execution of this piece and it linked to a previous idea I had been considering for the PAW19 theme.

So I was thinking of how a sketching artist could gain the same view as drones and based on seeing a number of paragliders above Ballard Down on the north side of Swanage Bay. So my idea would be to:

1) Use a tandem paraglider where the pilot flies the wing while the passenger is able to sketch.

2) The “wing” enables inclusion of the PAW logo and also reference to the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci.

Originally I thought that I would choose a coastal view, but then decided to show the view onto Rollington Barn where the main PAW exhibition is based. It also allowed inclusion of the Purbeck chalk ridge and the village of Corfe Castle. Unlike the work for the boiler suit I had to refer to some aerial photography so used “Google Earth” as a source. There is distortion of scale and perspective as my artistic interpretation is applied. I don’t know that a paraglider without a motor would actually be able to “fly” over this section of Purbeck.

Having a fixed deadline motivated me to develop the piece over a number of days and I even went on a cycle ride on Thursday to take additional photos from East Hill above Corfe village to gain additional detail to what I could see on “Google Earth”. The final piece is very pleasing and has now been submitted. This has been one of my most challenging art pieces to date and will be available as an original and possibly as a print during my Open Studio. Feedback is welcomed.

Now I can return to my other piece based on drystone walls on the boundary of our home, this has also attracted some interest already too.

Daily art again

Carrying on from my last post I am currently working on two main pieces. In addition I am sketching when out in my sketchbook and / or on napkins as last week showed. The two main pieces are:

Panoramic drystone wall piece which also features a large expanse of stone chippings in the foreground. The last few days have focused on gradually infilling the chippings area, working upto an hour at a time before a break is needed to rest my eyes. Once this area is complete I need to develop the vegetation above the wall. That will work include trees and shrubs immediately behind the wall and then plants beyond them. I am still considering whether to keep the piece as a pure pen and ink piece or to use colour for the grass and vegetation areas.

The second piece is on the theme of “Flight of fancy” linked to Purbeck Art Weeks 2019. I had an idea that I developed and started to plan while based at the beach huts in December. The work has been added to over the last 3 days. I am very pleased with the progress. The idea is complex and is coming off well so far. I have shared online the initial subject of a paraglider and dual passengers. The rest I will keep a record of but not share publicly until the decision is made about which images PAW19 will use. I aspire to having my piece chosen but I doubt it.

So more information and images next time of pieces progress.

Getting busier

This week I have drawn three separate #napkinart pieces in two different cafes. This aspect of my art is a great release using a surface material that is not always easy. I am starting to get feedback from staff in two cafes about the art pieces, I do not know if the third one today were even aware of what I had done.

I have started a panoramic canvas piece 80 by 30 Cm that so far initially is a pure pen and ink pic but may include colour for some elements. The scale of it is so much larger than pieces done previously, so for example this afternoon I spent two out of what may be four or even five hours potentially of drawing stone chippings. I have it in mind to develop a number of larger pieces this year to display and possibly sell during Purbeck art Weeks in May/June.

Thirdly I researched a number of aspects that I wish to use to produce a pic for the theme of PAW2019. His meds to be done by the 31st if I am to enter it for consideration for the three publications that carry artists pieces achieved year. The publicity would be useful for my work, however the key idea for me is to draw a ice that challenges my skills and a concept that links my geographical, artistic and outdoor sporting interests in the Purbeck landscape.

So there are going to be plenty of pieces of new art that I hope to be sharing through this blog over the next three months especially in the lead up to PAW2019.

If you have any questions, suggestions, comments please just add them after the post or send me a message using the contact form or a direct email at andy@andyknillart.com.

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?

Informal sketching Meet-ups

For 2019 I have proposed to Purbeck Art Weeks especially the Visual Arts Forum about holding informal sketching meet ups rather than a formalised programme. It develops what I was doing in the autumn at Purbeck Artisan Yard where I advertised an event each time I was on duty for people to join me and try my art markers and / or draw.

So, the first one is next Sunday January 13th, the obstacle with the Artisan yard is that it is always very cold but I would love to meet up with other artists for such meet ups more often in Purbeck. There is an Urban sketching group now based in Bournemouth and Poole who meet on a regular basis too.

Later in the year I will look at some informal events around my Open Studio during Purbeck Art Weeks (Saturday May 25 to Sunday June 9). Also later in the year exploring more local landscapes including Studland, Chapman’s Pool, Dancing Ledge, Swanage Bay etc.

Your thoughts and feedback are welcomed. This is not intended as a sole effort and I am not creating another organisational role for myself.

Drawing on myself….not the usual way to sketch, but an interesting challenge during Artisans on the Beach 2018.

Drawing during PAW open studios on a sunny day – a friend who is also an artist taking the opportunity.

Trying a new media with drawing inks during PAW 18, the resulting picture is shown below.