26 February 2007

Rethinking My Web Site

Hey, I'm doing better. It's only been 5 days since I last wrote. That's better than my week or more off at least. I really do need to write daily as I see from my web site stats, this blog does get people to look at my web site.

That is another thing I need to work on -- my web site. I've been trying to figure out what exactly I should do with my site when it comes to sold work. I mean, if I do paintings daily and I sell them regularly on eBay, do I want extra pages on my site for unavailable work? And what should the relationship be between my web site and my eBay store?

Thanks to a couple people on various artist boards, I think I have answers. I don't know if they are THE answers, but they make sense.

Basically, my web site has three parts, so there's three different plans:

  1. The Learning Center -- The purpose of this section is to pass on some of what I have learned. Maybe help some new artists. This section does come up very high in various searches. I probably will add some affiliate banners and maybe Google ads in the hope of getting a bit of revenue. I'll just keep adding to this section and nothing will be removed.
  2. The Portraits -- Since portraits are sold on past work and not on available work, I'll pick out 8-10 of the best in each medium, plus 1 or 2 recent ones. The rest will be removed. The reason to include the recent ones is that people do like to see their portrait on the Internet. (I also need to get back to featuring them on the home page.) Having about 10 excellent examples should be enough for anyone to decide.
  3. The Non-Portrait Art -- This is the section which is a problem. While having lots of sold work is nice because various things come up in search engines and hopefully people visit the rest of my site, I feel the for-sale art is being lost. There's some much sold work that the few pieces which are available are hard to find. So, I'm going to be watching the web stats and check out my Google rankings, and then remove those pages for sold items which get few if any hits. Eventually, I may get down to only available artwork plus 2 or 3 excellent, but sold examples. I can always use the sold pieces in various places across my site.
Now, the one problem I have is with the botanical watercolors. I think of them more as plant portraits, so do I treat them like the other portraits? If I got decorators to come to my site, would they like to see the range of my botanicals or would they just be interested in the available pieces? I wonder if I called a couple decorators if they would talk to me about this?

I'm thinking my site should have a lot more background and info on me and my portraits, plus few exclusive pieces, as opposed to my eBay store. The store will be the main sales location and I will have some links from my site to eBay and any other web sites that I have artwork on. This makes sense, but I'm not totally clear or convinced that I like this. I need to think about this more. (Besides, I'm still trying to figure out how to get my web site back on my computer so I can actually update it!)

In the meantime, I have been working, even though I haven't posted stuff here. This weekend, I finished two pieces.

This is Clara, a cute bulldog. It's oil portrait on canvas and goes to one of a wonderful client. She was VERY patient with me as I struggled with this portrait. Basically the problem was, she took the photo with a flash which washes out colors, gives the dog red-eye, and creates bizarre shadows. So, after doing it once (actually twice because I first screwed up the proportions), I didn't like it because of the shadows and I redid it. They say three's a charm and in this case it was. She loves it! And I'm relieved. In any case, I have to think of some way to make the delay up to her.

This is a marsh wren in acrylics on canvas. I did it as part of the PAAO Theme Week Contest, and the theme was "W-Z" animals. I think it came out fine, although I almost quit on it half way thru it. I didn't like the cattails, in part because there was a big white hole for where the wren was going to go. I kept working on it and then finally put the wren in and, like magic, it all worked. What people don't realize is that the background took about twice as long as the bird, and yet the background is not really important unless it detracts from the bird. It's kind of annoying! Anyway, it's up on auction until Friday, so take a look and bid!

And now, I had better go get back to work! I still have 5 commissions to do plus new stuff for my eBay store.

1 comment:

John said...

maybe you could get ideas by looking at other artist sites.
An artist I met in Spain is at www.adolf-art.com or his art school site http://www.sant-cugat.net/adolf-art/classes.htm
may giv ideas. He shows both sold and for sale paintings and prints but you must click on which category you wish to look at at the top of the page. Thus, you have a gallery of work done but also a gallery of available work in a separate list. His website can be hard to navigate since it is sometimes hard to find the homepage.