2020 The year

2020 is at the beginning of the year which hopefully is going to be fabulous.  I have lots of ideas floating around with new drawings of a different style alongside some new maps.  Connecting with nature, the past and present making our journey memorable with our #memorymaps of which I usually add one or two more each year as we discover new waterways.  2019 saw the London Waterways Map come into print, this year we are hoping to travel down the Oxford Canal and onto the Thames during the summer, thus making our way once more through London.

The new maps will have a Steampunk twist to them, alongside some steampunk birds which have already begun to take a little shape.  The journey continues to take its twist and turns just like it has done from the beginning.

The Waterways of London, Rivers and Canals 2019

We hope to see you along the way once our plans which often are quite loose plans, come into being.

We love to meet the boats we read about.

We love to meet the boats we read about.

The sights and sounds of London Town, today we met the Kinder Transport

The sights and sounds of London Town, today we met the Kinder Transport

July saw the hosting of a music event, hosted by the Record Deck at Mile End, London

July saw the hosting of a music event, hosted by the Record Deck at Mile End, London

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘If everyone just bought a card’

poster just a card

Artist & designer, Sarah Hamilton, was passing the closed down shop and saw the quote:

“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card‘ we’d still be open”

As a designer herself, she thought ‘enough is enough!’ and she decided to fight back and created the ‘Just a Card’ campaign.  So to help… pass this on, as we have decided to join in and highlight the situation of many Artists, makers and creators with the slogan ‘Just a Card’

The campaign is aimed to promote small shops, creators, makers and artists.  To get the campaign in front of customers so they can try and make an effort to buy just a card, just a gift, just a coffee, a small gift, a token, just a framed print or a map.  If everyone did this, our high streets would thrive, be alive with activity and small business owners will do a little happy dance, as each little sale will help to keep their shop open, put food on their table, a roof over their head and buy a child that little gift for their families.

These shops are at the heart of a diverse local economy – they showcase creativity and keep many a Designer/Maker in business who champion their artists for years. They generate tourist traffic and make our towns, villages and waterways interesting places we all want to visit and enjoy.  Our circumstances are, we live on a boat, we are artists and sell our artworks, touring from county to county.  What a difference this would make to our artistic venues who we support along the way; by bringing artworks and stories around the waterway networks.

As an example, if we look at the number of our facebook followers (currently standing at 382), which we receive many great comments and appreciation for our products, If half of those followers (190) each month came to our shop and purchased one of our cards which start at (£2.50) it would give us a turnover of £475 each month from just buying a card.  Granted that is not profit but something as small as that would not only keep us shop open, but, also keep a designer trading too from just half of our followers buying a card each month.

If we take that a step further, if half of our followers purchased a map or small framed print for £20 and a Birthday, thank you or congratulations card etc then that monthly figure would become £4,275!  That would not only keep our shop open but it would put food on our table, allow us to keep a roof over our heads.  Our money would then be able to go on to support other local traders which can also do the same for them.  To be fair £4,275 would be a dream in reality ‘Just buy a card’ would make the difference to wondering whether you will be here next year or not.  It is as simple as that.

So next time you need a card or gift or meeting a friend for a coffee then please give a thought to the small independent shops like ours, pay them a visit and keep the high street alive and that one card is all it takes to keep a local independent shop open.  Keep local traders in your mind and help them to survive.

For more information on the ‘just a card’ campaign please visit their website and support the campaign and independent shops before the high street disappears.

 https://www.justacard.org/

— PATRICIA VAN DEN AKKER, THE DESIGN TRUST

kingfisher cards

Maps & Map Cards illustrated

Maps & Map Cards illustrated

Nottinghamshires Waters A6

Keep small Artists, makers and creators alive, help keep a small business afloat and support ‘Just A Card’

Just a card quote

The Long Way Round to London

The Long Way Round to London from the Nottinghamshire Waterways…  the continuation of our journey took a different start this year.

Nottinghamshire Waterways

Nottinghamshire Waterways (Map one)

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Waterways Map

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Waterways Map (Map 2)

Starting from the Chesterfield Canal; up the River Trent our journey detoured along the River Soar this year.  After our Haunts of Norbury and Braunston failing us this year – where did that leave us?   It left us with a lot more more time to go a little further on our journeys.  Bonus!  July we made Cassiobury Park, as we joined with the RCTA Floating Market Traders; a roaring success for us; placing a few pounds in our pockets to finance more of our Journey and ArtWorks.  Onwards from there… Presently we are moored at Mile End with the London Traders.  Lined up this weekend sees an Extraordinaire of Events over the next couple of days, with music taking the foreground,  this is very much to our likings; hosted by The Record Deck UK.  Dates for your diaries 19th 20th and 21st of July at Mile End, London, UK E3 5BH

check out : Lizzy O’Connor https://lizzyoconnor.bandcamp.com/track/white-bones one of the singers I am looking forward to hearing.

Originals Framed

Originals Framed

The beginning of this year… we have been left with… Where to go… which direction to London? Oxford or the G.U. well funding the journey decided our fate as we were invited to join some of the Southern Traders Events.  New Maps… that has a ring to it… The London Waterways is now in progress…  Watch this space for updates…

The Rochdale Ring

The Rochdale Ring  (latest Edition)

More New Updates : New to the Series The Rochdale Ring… was published this year!  As always little sketches and drawings added to illustrate the map to show locations and our favourite encounters embellish the map.

Lots of new things happening this year, and it is all change….

Diary Dates: 19th 20th & 20th July Mile End Park London (basically we will be in London for a few weeks to discover and investigate London by Water.

Diary Dates : 23rd & 24th August Milton Keynes, Floating Market with the RCTA Traders

Diary Dates : 13th & 14th September, Leigh Canal Festival 5th Leigh Lancashire on of our regulars; very supportive and add vibrancy to the local town.  A lovely festival to catch and very supportive and encouragement for Artists, Musicians and Traders.

Venue : Mile End London E3 5BH

 

 

 

Beautiful World… Where are you?

Beautiful

Beautiful World… Where are you?  An exhibition of diverse and interesting topics; engaging with galleries and loose on the streets of Liverpool.  Social Cleansing, reduction of rights, loss of heritage, a celebration of cultures from around the world.

Liverpool Biennale is a fantastic host to a lively and engaging exhibition; this years topic got us going…  What we did next was… to engage with it.  Austerity is over… Yes!  Right…

Austerity

Ask the man on the street, ask the locals, then ask the politicians.  Is Austerity over?  Ask the beggars!  Is the structure change so damaging? Ask the shoppers?  How many food banks and charity shops do you see up and down the country.  So there you go… and we hope to highlight in our little way by exhibiting both in galleries and on the street the plight of ‘Austerity’

Food Bank

You can get anything you want from Gov’s Restaurant… find a food bank near you!  What are we losing the right to a decent standard of living.

House of Card... Self assembly

House of Cards : Self Assembly kit comes in two forms one with Garden and one without.  Both left : one in a gallery and the other in a student led venue.  Build yourself a home… get yourself on the property market.  A political appeal in the 1990′s – Thatchers Vision… the name ‘House of Cards’ derives from a tv sitcom which is on a par with Bouquet of Barbed Wire… Both programmes were a political look on society and governments.

Hekla on Tour

I could give more information about which galleries or public spaces but that would spoil the fun.  Safe to say they are; in and outside two galleries alongside public spaces.  There are ten to find around Liverpool.

Webshop Updates

Shroppie kingfisher cards

Webshop Updates : we are currently working on the webshop with the new cards and maps being added along with some other items.  It has been an ongoing process after encountering a problem with gauging an accurate postal pricing system.  Great news… we are now linked with the royal mail to gain up-to-date pricings with weights.

So there we are, over the next few weeks there should be some activity with lots of new maps going on there along with cards and mugs.

kingfisher cards

Maps… talking about maps we have 3 new maps this year with the Nottinghamshires Waters, Chester & Llangollen Canal along with the Warwickshire ring.  All maps are now uploaded and the cards will join them shortly.

It’s great to be able to finally get the webshop up and running properly.

We are currently on the Chesterfield Canal on the Nottinghamshire Waters… its been a lovely summer and its been great travelling some of these waters this year.

Nottinghamshires Waters A5 Nottinghamshires Waters A6

Nottinghamshires Waterways

Expo 18 at The National Waterways Museum

The opening at The National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port on the 20th of July.  It runs till the 4th of November, I have some pieces of work in there as part of the group exhibition Canal Art… not what you might expect.

I have been travelling on the canals and rivers of England and Wales on the ‘never ending journey’ on the ‘Wrong Way Round’ since January 2014.  As it says on the tin… so to speak it is a journey of ‘Art & Travel’ recording, writing, drawing the things we see and the routes we take on that journey.  I exhibit those findings as and when possible… in this case it is maps and wildlife which are influenced by milestones, time and scale.

Mile stones, boundaries and maps.

Milestones, boundaries and maps.

Wildlife & maps

Wildlife & maps

Instruments for measuring distances... old mapping equipment still in use today.

Instruments for measuring distances… old mapping equipment still in use today.

Boundary Stones

Boundary Stones

It is an eclectic exhibition with contributions from the Guild of Waterway Artists of which I am a member.  Here are a few photos taken on the opening night.

Opening night 19th July 2018

Opening night 19th July 2018

 

A charming exhibition of the Waterways

A charming exhibition of the Waterways

‘Summer Exhibition’

23rd & 24th June at Braunston Historic Boat Gathering and Canal Rally.

An eventful weekend from start to finish, the sun shone and the people came to see the ‘Summer Exhibition’ by the Guild of Waterway Artists.  It was well attended and I had a good weekend, and it is always nice to sell something.  In this case the ‘Kingfisher Dive’ I finished in May is now sold and has gone to his new home.  It was one of those paintings that I had been working on for about two years and finally completed in May and Sold in June at Braunston.

An original Watercolour, Pen & Ink drawing

An original Watercolour, Pen & Ink drawing

Highlight of the weekend was Timothy West and Prunella Scales who came to look around our exhibition, showing an interest in my Lockmaster Maps Illustrated series.

Taking a look at my Lockmaster Maps Illustrated.

A small write-up with more updates to come.  Trying to keep on track with our journey which from Braunston is taking us to Nottingham to have our boat blacked and to see our first Grandchild.  Sixty miles, 33 locks and 8 days to get there at 3 miles per hour.  Early mornings and early evenings to avoid the heat of the day.

Canals, Maps and Festivals

Canals, Maps & Festivals… we have been updating our maps and adding more as they are illustrated.  Which we will be adding to the webshop over the next few weeks.

O.S. Maps part of a series mapping the canals and rivers of the UK & Wales.

O.S. Maps part of a series mapping the canals and rivers of the UK & Wales.

We enjoyed being part of the Norbury Canal Festival and Rally where we brought Maps, Wildlife Drawings and cards.  Newport & Shrewsbury Canal Trust host a fantastic lively festival which is well liked and attended and of course we really enjoy being part of it.

The Warwickshire Ring O.S. map/

The Warwickshire Ring O.S. map/

New to the series this year is the Warwickshire Ring illustrated maps of our journeys along with history or notable buildings and locations.  With more to come as they become available soon to be available in our webshop as we are updating it with the new Map cards which come in A5 and A6 sizes.

This is going to be a very busy year for us as we have a few festivals and exhibitions we are part of where you can see drawings and maps as part of our journey mapping the way.

There has been a little delay in updating… but rest asured we are working on the webshop to bring our new products for sale.

Canal Art Exhibition 2018

18th March – 14th April 2018  10am to 5pm daily -  Audlem Mill Limited, The Wharf, AUDLEM, Cheshire CW3 0DX

What’s On! Where we are today!  I have 4 Illustrated maps in the Canal Art Exhibition at Audlem Mill over this Easter.  It runs daily with the exception of the 23rd of March : noted closed for the day.  Over the last two years I have been adding to an ever increasing collection of my illustrated maps.  They feature history alongside our journey thus marking the extent of where we have been.

compass small

As a travelling artist, I am making a story of where we have been, it is a small selection of the routes we have made from Birmingham to Liverpool each one has their own journey to show.

The Four Countie

The Four Counties Ring

The Cheshire Ring

The Cheshire Ring

The Back Country Canals

The Back Country Canals

Pennines West

Pennines West

It is the first exhibition of the year with the Guild of Waterway Artists, and the first time showing of some new maps.  The maps are Illustrated drawings, framed and are of varying sizes.  All are for sale at Audlem Mill over the Easter period.

Over the year there will be new additions with some wildlife versions, if you keep an eye on my facebook page or my diary dates for new venues as they unfold.

Lock 1 Aire & Calder, Leeds

3rd February, 2018 – 10am to 4 pm – Visitor Open Day – Leeds

We are heading over to join with the Canal & River Trust for the Visitor Open Day by invitation from the trust.  It should be an interesting day; with the lock taking precedence, together with Art, Photography, Music and lots of activities to learn more about the locks.

Aire & Calder, Leeds

Lock 1, Aire & Calder, Leeds

127 Miles of Canal

With Maps, Map Cards, Drawings and books… we are bringing a selection of our journey.  Which has been through these locks on a few occasions.  We will be coming by car, not boat this time.  The marque is provided by the Canal & River Trust; it is looking to be an interesting event.  Hope you can join us on the day.  We will be there on the 3rd February; the event is open for two days 3rd and 4th with various activities taking please.  Please see links for more details of the event on the Canal & River Trust Website below.

See Links : https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/events/2018-02-03-leeds-open-weekend-aire-and-calder-navigation-3-4-february-2018

Maps & Map Cards illustrated

Maps & Map Cards illustrated