New Year Resolutions

Casey, Charcoal sketch. Vivien Blackburn

Other bloggers are starting to make New Year Resolutions, something I normally give a miss! this year I thought maybe I ought to, so that I have targets set. I'll be covering a colleague on maternity leave and my time needs to be a bit more organised so that I get time to paint and have work ready for upcoming shows.

I'm definitely organisationally dyslexic so this is tough!

I'll continue to work in series

  • The waterways series: looking at local rivers, streams. ponds and reservoirs - one for when the weather is a little kinder to my arthritis, though I do have sketches to work from now.
  • The coast series - I have lots of sketches and research to work from
  • Local landscape series - ongoing
  • to do more work in the flowers series doing more research and more large canvasses
  • sketches of new grandson Sam as he grows :>)
  • sketches of the cats - simply because I like sketching them
  • a new series of totally abstract paintings, incorporating collage in some
  • maybe to look at the possibilities of still life - something I haven't done much in years
  • to continue using my sketchbooks as a way of thinking through ideas, gathering information, remembering artists work or quotes, experimenting etc etc etc

Then I plan to

  • organise my studio space better - uggghhhh a huge task!
  • sort out the junk in there and cut it down to size another huge task :(
  • improve my website
  • create another website with available work for sale
  • get work out to more galleries
  • have work ready in time for local shows of groups I belong to (I missed a couple last year simply because I was so busy :>( )
  • Keep on top of the organisation by using my diary properly to give me adequate warning instead of suddenly realising that ooooops I need 3 new pieces for next week .....
  • do an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of work - ugggghhhh another huge task :>(

any organisational advice will be gratefully received - I'm not joking about my appalling organisational skills - or lack of them. Simple systems for idiots needed!

Next resolution is to get to more exhibitons - the Contemporary Art Fair at the end of January (? not sure of the date yet) and the David Prentice exhibition in Moreton in Marsh (his paintings of London this time) are the only ones in the diary at the moment but I'm planning more.

I want to get out sketching plein air with friends and alone more - last summer forgot to arrive so I didn't do as much as I would usually have done. Often it was really cold :>(.

My younger daughter has moved into a house with a spare room and it's only 40 miles from the coast - so hopefully I'll be able to combine visiting, taking her to the beach and painting which would be great.

There's probably lots more I should add but I can't think of them just now.

Do go and look at the great post on a great artist, Joan Eardley, by Gesa JE worked in a way not unlike Kurt Jackson and I loved her work long before I'd heard of him.

The sketch at the top of this post is of a past and much loved cat, done in charcoal. She was empty headed and not too bright but with the sweetest disposition and longest fur. Like all our cats she was a stray that we had taken in.

A totally different target for this year is to get the sewing machine out and do some sewing and maybe some textile art. I see such beautiful work on some of your blogs that it makes me long to have a go.

OK - now I have to try to achieve these!

How about you?



Lindsay said…
I have not used this program but several bloggers have talked about how great it is for artist's wanting or organize their work.

Gesa's post was wonderful. Great link
And best of luck to you with all your projects. I agree with you about wanting to see more shows. I hope that covering for your collegue will not put a crimp in your plans.
sharon young said…
Hi Vivien
I too don't go in for NY resolutions normally, but this year I felt the need to make a very significant one as my time seems to be running away as never before!
So I decided to make 2 days a week my creative days, and these are non negotiable days, Tuesday and thursday each week, and if something URGENT crops up and I lose one then it MUST be compensated.
But having looked at your list I think I have to be a bit more organised and plan for each days activities in the week before, maybe with one of those big A4 desk diaries. Will keep you posted if I think of any other organisational tricks.
vivien said…
I'm off to look at that programme Lindsay - thanks

the non-negotiable/or must be replaced days sound great Sharon

yes, please do update me with anything helpful
Jeanette Jobson said…
I started a list last year and found it really useful to analyse what I accomplished in the year and plan more effectively what to concentrate on in the coming year.

I'm the least organized person in the world, but have found that the more you do and busier you become, the more organized you become.

You have you list of what you want to do. Print it out and keep it close by so you can constantly refer to it in the future to ensure you're on the right track. It also pays to revisit your wish list half way through the year or even quarterly .
vivien said…
Jeanette, Yes, I thought printing it out and sticking it on the studio wall and in the front of my organiser might be good ideas :) - I'm good at lists of 'to do' that I don't look at until too late!

I'm very easily sidetracked!
I have recently become a regular viewer of you blog and enjoy seeing your wonderful artwork, especially the loose, colorful watercolors and pastels.

I am equally impressed with your resolutions and ambitions...good luck with them.

Although I don't consider them "resolution" because they are not conceived at years end, I do operate with a "grand plan', an outline of my goals and objectives for the given time period, usually 6-12 months at a time. With multiple shows to prepare for and the rapidity of time, especially as we get older, i find this very helpful.
Making A Mark said…
Well done for making the list Vivien - I'm beginning to see some common themes! ;)

I've got some ideas for organising my stuff so maybe I'll start sharing and you might then useful too.

I thought we might try sketching around the source of the Thames when we go to see the David Prentice show.
dinahmow said…
Ahh...the dreaded "to-do lists." I know folk who have so many of these they never have time to read,let aloneDO them!
But however you portion your time, I hope you derive pleasure from what you do.
vivien said…
thanks Dinah :) - I have the attention span of a gnat with 'to do's' so need my lists!

and whatever I don't need to be getting on with always seems the most interesting option!

William, Hi,thanks :) and reviewing like that is a good idea .

Katherine your organisational skills are great so please do share :)

I'll have to look up where the sources of the Thames are - I forget. I remember there were 7 ?? There are some lovely little trout streams not far away if I can remember where. I'm looking forward to the DP show :)and sketching would be good

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