Artist's Websites

Artist's Websites

Postby CAP » Sat Apr 21, 2012 7:45 am

I've just been sprucing up my blog, trying to persuade my dealer I'm "a going concern".

:lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol: :roll: :lol:

I know some artists spend a lot of money on this (well, for me a lot of money....) OK there's probably a tax deduction there - but first you've got to spend it, right? And basically what they get (from web-designers) is pretty boring - your usual menu bar with Home|About|News|History|Works| etc - the usual tedious FLASH slide show of UNDERSIZED!!!!!!! JPGs that chug along on a timed rotation or horizontal scroll bar, and which you can maybe click on examples for their 'full' size (file URL). ZZZZZZ.

Or else it's those tiny fucking thumbnails that take some random section of a painting as 'representative' and arrange 30-40 in some tight little grid that's supposed to tell you a) what the whole painting looks like b) how it compares with others. God I hate those thumbnails! Especially the ones that are about 2 X 1cm. Come to think of it, my gallery uses those...

Ahem, so let's be clear here, we're talking about ARTISTs' websites.

Anyway I can't afford the whole customised domain deal - Me.com - my name is taken anyway. I have to make do with the free blog option. Basically you chose between Blogger and Wordpress. I've tried both. Wordpress may have been better 5 years ago. I think Blogger have lifted their game, in terms of templates and options. They at least give you a choice of fonts FFS! Without making you pay for them. Wordpress are just too hungry for payment - over everything. Both hound you for advertising and stats. I tried Wordpress for my painting blog and regret it. I don't think their dashboard or settings are as good as Blogger, but having set the whole thing up now, I can't be bothered transferring it all over to Blogger. I've done that before as well - moving from a smaller (thoroughly crooked) 'free blog' service to Blogger. It was a real pain.

The only real difference between a blog and a customised site is the template limitations. On Wordpress the home page generates new pages for each post, indefinitely, on all templates. That is, you can have as many new 'posts' or pages as you want for your work - but they're automatically stacked on the home page, starting with the most recent. Listing them through a monthly (!) archive (provided to most templates) is pretty bloody useless, frankly. And that means everytime someone comes to your site, they're greeted by your most recent post. This works really well if the blog is basically a diary of ongoing, presumably topical events, but is not strictly what you need if you're using it as an archive or display of your work.

If you have all your work neatly lined up, awaiting upload, it might work. You then post selected works in the order you want them to appear. But if you're building the site bit by bit, like me, you might want to resort to what I call a pseudo-homepage-post. What I ended up doing is writing a standard introductory page (welcome... here's how it's set up... etc) which I have to delete (or trash as Wordpress prefers to say) each time I add a new post of work/s and then re-post, editing it to include a listing for the new post/page, but ensuring that it remains the most recent post/page to the home page. As the pseudo-homepage grows more complex, I've got to copy the HTML onto a word.doc somewhere, to save me reloading the thumbnails etc. Yes I use thumbnails! But a) I use the whole painting and b) they're not fucking microscopic and c) I don't really expect the visitor to compare them - they're just an adjunct to the description and link.

Oh and if you're interested, my site is here ;)
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Re: Artist's Websites

Postby jasperjoffe » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:56 pm

all good points... On your website I am not keen on the blue... although wwr suffers from it too.
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Re: Artist's Websites

Postby CAP » Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:51 am

Yes the blue is unchangeable - part of the meagre Wordpress template repertoire -as is the font. As are the widgets! - which are bloody useless for my purposes - categories, archives, all designed for yer mindless diarist really. But this template suited me better than the others, so I have to live with the blue (although the greyish/blue background is my choice - harmonies huh)

:cry:
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Re: Artist's Websites

Postby CAP » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:35 am

And now things have just got worse. Wordpress have decided you have to load all your posts onto the homepage. Before they gave you the option of how many posts to display on the homepage - and for me - ideally it was one - a post dedicated to functioning as a homepage! But now Wordpress have decided they don't like that for some reason and all the posts get loaded - irrespective of how long or many objects they may bring. I mean we could be talking about loading over a 100 objects (JPGs) - which takes time...

At first I thought this might be a space/cost-saving measure - maybe they didn't want to assign a page to each post. But that happens anyway once you click on the post title - so the pages are there anyway. I just don't get it, but it looks cheap and messy. Sucks wordpress! :cry:

UPDATE 2013

OK I've now sussed out 'parenting' of pages on Wordpress, which allows you to shift posts off the homepage and ladder (parent) them under another page (some part of your nav bar basically). This means I can have a homepage that only does the introductory things, (for me this is the equivalent of a string of thumbnails of different series of work) or is a page exclusively for a post covering this. This makes for a much quicker, cleaner download. I have to update this, obviously, as I add a new 'page' of works or 'parent' a post to a pre-existing page.

Does this seem complicated? Because I've used Blogger for so long, it took some sussing, but it seems to be working now.

:)
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Re: Artist's Websites

Postby CAP » Sat Jul 27, 2013 4:51 am

ANOTHER UPDATE

Just been looking at Graham Crowley's website - is it me or is this whole thing ropey?
Graham mate I'd have a word with developers Limner Studio if I were you, because frankly none of your buttons/links seem to be working... :roll:
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Re: Artist's Websites GC

Postby Danton » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:02 pm

RE: GC's site, his blog is a mix of the appalling and quite good.
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Re: Artist's Websites

Postby danton » Sat Jul 27, 2013 2:04 pm

And the links work fine for moi!
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Re: Artist's Websites

Postby CAP » Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:10 am

Oh well it’s probably just my crummy narrowband connection timing out again or something… It’s the nav-bar buttons at the top that were my main concern – my browser window tells me I’m at, say - http://grahamcrowley.co.uk/painting/non-figurative/ but my screen is stuck on the home page. Refreshing does no good.

I’ll try visiting from a better connection some time.

Incidentally, the nav-bar icons seem a bit pointless – since you can’t recognize them until you mouse-over and get a caption like Paintings or Print – so you might as well have just had the titles to start with.

Too arty – too farty.

The only link at the bottom of the page that works for me is to the blog, which opens in a new window. The blog actually is quite interesting, although doesn’t look like it’s seen much action lately. Too bad you can’t leave comments as well – what’s a blog without a comments option?

I actually went there to look at GC’s early abstract work. I’m old enough to remember his zany dancing crockery etc from the early 80s but hadn’t realized he came to this from abstraction. In retrospect, this looks surprisingly like the NYC painter Elizabeth Murray’s development. Murray never quite made it into the New Image show/slot along with her colleagues for some reason, but she’s of that generation/circle. Could Crowley have known of her work? Well given that young Brit painters have always watched developments across the pond fairly closely and regularly visited the scene, by the late 70s, it doesn’t seem impossible that he would have learned of the stuff, one way or another. If not, of course it’s a striking coincidence that critics might have made more of, only Crowley doesn’t really take the cartoon animation thing anywhere, just moves on, unlike Murray.

And really that sums up his whole career. He came, he saw, he left. He is a terribly nice chap and all, but the bottom line I guess is he never really gets to grips with a project for painting, can't really build a coherent oeuvre or style. So content comes and goes, style comes and goes, elegant and diligent enough but not quite hitting the mother lode, in the way that say a contemporary like Tony Bevan does. Bevan is a stayer, Crowley a journeyman.
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Re: Artist's Websites

Postby CAP » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:06 am

Okay - just tried visiting the Crowley site on a really high speed connection and I still can't see any of his paintings - from any of his sections! - via the nav bar button. It can't be just me. ;)

UPDATE

Okay following a three-way exchange of emails with Crowley and his developer Nick, it seems the problem lies with using Internet Explorer 8 with Windows XP: Not that you really have much choice of Explorer if you're still using XP - IE-8 is as much as Microscoft are prepared to do to their browser - for Explorer 9 and 10 you have to upgrade to Windows 7 or later. So the problem lies in deficiencies to IE-8's javascripting, as far as I can see.

After exhaustive trials I can conclude that Mozilla Firfox run on Windows XP has no such difficulties. And obviously running a later version of Explorer or Firefox on Windows 7 presents no difficulties either. Nick said he will try and fix it for IE-8 lovers though. He is a good egg! :ugeek:
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