New Year Resolutions, Happy New Year ... and a Green Man

The Green Man, black and white photograph: Vivien Blackburn

This is a photo I took in local woodland - a perfect naturally occurring 'Green Man' of the woods in the bark of a tree, with hooded eyes, a hooked nose, eyebrow ridges/horns, high cheekbones ......

I know roughly whereabouts I took it but sadly the light has never been right to find him again, though I've looked.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with New Year and Resolutions .........

.......... but it's that time of year - what are my goals going to be? what do I want to achieve?

Because of some very serious family health problems this year I didn't do as much painting as I would have liked . It was a pretty horrible and very sad year so here's hoping next year is better.

to do list:
  • Revamp website: I plan to revamp my website - which a friend truthfully described this week as a being rather like a scrapbook! True, because it isn't well organised and is a mix of available and sold work and work that I don't intend to sell. So I must reorganise, give my images more space to breathe, de-clutter and show available work more clearly with an archive of past work.

    I created it mainly in order to show my work to galleries but now I need to decide whether I want to sell from it as well or do I simply want to keep it as a display gallery - directing all sales via bricks and mortar galleries or Etsy - or Imagekind for prints and Blurb for books. If I want to sell from it or a blog - how difficult is it to set up paypal?

  • Increase Internet Sales: I do want to work on selling via the internet as I've not done badly there this year without really putting much effort into it. I would like to build that side up. So ... via the places named above plus website? I think maybe not - separate blog? concentrate simply on Etsy? I don't want to turn this blog into a sales site I'll keep it as it is.

  • Bricks and Mortar Galleries - get work out to galleries I've shown with and to new ones - organise a schedule, contact new galleries

  • Continue working from the sketches (++++) of the coast, working in oil on canvas, with pastel, watercolour, mixed media etc in a variety of sizes on paper.

  • Continue with the Waterways Project - interrupted because of problems mentioned but a project on local waterways, canals, rivers, pools etc, sketching plein air

    Aylestone Meadows - a sub category of the Waterways Project - looking at a small area repeatedly through changing light, times, seasons and weather. A project which will link to our new Watermarks group blog, where Katherine will be visiting and revisiting a pool in her local park and Lindsay a particular stretch of her local waterways. Other members are giving some thought to repeatedly visiting some local water.

  • Do more photography - get out and about with my camera more. I'm really interested in photography and simply don't make enough time for it

  • Blurb books - create further Blurb books of work and maybe one on sketches/sketching

  • organise my studio - this one didn't get done last year, total failure here! so this year I must do it

  • Printmaking - do more printmaking - monoprints, linoprints, consider investing in a small etching press so that I can also do collagraphs, one of my favourite forms of printmaking

  • Painting Holiday - get away with friends painting for a week at some point

oh dear - looking at last years resolutions I failed on a lot! I didn't do any sewing or get the sewing machine out, sort the studio or several other targets :>(

I did do a lot of sketching at the coast and quite a few paintings and have a rich resource to draw on.

I did make a start on internet selling. I started a new group blog with friends and coped with some tough life situations . I took part in 2 international sketchbook exchanges which were great fun - one is leading to an exhibition in the Spring this year in Belfast.

I feel I learned a lot - which is always satisfying - and still have a lot to learn! which is interesting and challenging ...... I hope I manage to do all of the above this year and to you all ....

Happy New Year!!!


Jeanette Jobson said…
I think your plans are quite logical and achievable Vivien. I also think that you've done a lot in the last year considering that there were other life issues on your plate.

I look forward to sharing some of the new year with you in Watermarks. Happy New Year.
Mrs Murphy said…
Happy New Year, Vivien!
Great list of goals. Good luck for 2009!
Robyn Sinclair said…
Your Green Man made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. He's wonderful.

I'm wishing you a great deal of happiness for 2009, Vivien. Your spirit, as well as your beautiful paintings, inspired me in 2008. This culminated on New Year's eve with the return of my Flying Pictures Sketchbook. Now I have that gorgeous self-portrait of you and I'm thinking, since you've used it on your Watermarks blog, that you probably wish you had kept it. Never fear, it will be treasured!
vivien said…
Happy New Year to you all - and yes, he is creepy isn't he Robyn!

no - you are welcome to the self portrait! I very very very rarely do them.
Robyn Sinclair said…
Ah ha, I knew your self portrait was rare! I'll treasure it until your sales move from Etsy to Christies - then I guess I'll have to examine my conscience ;)
Billie Crain said…
Happy New Year, Vivien! i love your Green Man! as a gardener, he's a symbol to me of fertility and growth. how appropriate for the new year.
Rose Welty said…
Vivien, your work is very inspiring, and I look forward to seeing more of it in 2009. Setting up Paypal is very simple and easy, you shouldn't have a problem.
vivien said…
Robyn I wish!!!!!

Billie and Rose - thank you

and Happy New Year all :>)

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