For quite some time I've been plotting a website makeover. About a month ago I finally got going and while I'm not completely finished (story of my life), things are definitely going in the right direction. I'm no technological guru so I decided to drop a few dollaz on a telesiminar for artists about overhauling your website. I also read through a significant chunk of the "Help Center" on weebly.com, i.e. my website creation service which, by the way, I highly recommend! End result? Paintedbyholly.com is new and improved!
Some new features you may like...
1. There is now a Search box in the top right corner of your screen. It's like my own personal Google just for paintedbyholly.com. Try it. It's so cool!
2. A more organized online Store. With the new storefront, you should be able to navigate back and forth between products and categories more easily. Alas, here's where the I'm not completely finished part comes in. Not everything is online for purchase yet because I'm not allowing myself to put a single image up without a watermark and copyright line. It's a slow and tedious process, one I actually started on some time ago but have yet to finish. And wouldn't you know it, recently someone took one of those images I hadn't watermarked yet and made T-shirts with it. @%#$!! Actually, they almost made T-shirts, but I found out about it and nixed the whole thing right before the printing process. Lucky for me, I know people/ people know my work. But I'm aware I can't catch everything so I'm hoping to prevent further headaches by being super strict on myself with this watermarking thing.
3. Coupon codes! The new shopping cart allows the option for implementing coupon codes. How fancy is that?! I'll definitely be giving out some coupon codes on this blog a few times a year so stay tuned!
I'm excited about all three of these new features, but my favorite thing right now is a new painting I did for my homepage. In the midst of this makeover, I chose to work with a site design that had an option of placing a large header on the homepage. None of my current paintings fit the specified dimensions, and I wanted something fresh and new to place there anyways. I decided I should try to use this header to convey who I am as an artist. This is what I came up with...
Family and work, rolled into one.
There's a true story about Seth snatching my paintbrushes and quickly feeding them down the floor grate, but people tend to ask me more how'd you paint that? than why? so I'll focus on the former.
It started with an idea in my head and then a quick 3 second doodle in my sketchbook.
A couple of days later I started gathering references. Few artists paint or draw without references. They can be photos, live models, actual objects, or sketches from real life observation, but almost every artist refers to something.
I took this picture of Seth's shoes before I put them on him and dropped him off at my mom's.
I snagged this springtime picture of Rusty off the living room wall because we let his hair grow out in winter, and he looks like a wooly mammoth right now.
I pulled Seth's blue jeans out of the laundry so I could look at them, and obviously my water cup and brushes were right in front of me to refer to.
I was a little hesitant to paint my cup exactly as it is because it's an Ole Miss stadium cup, and I didn't want to turn anyone off who's not a fan. People are pretty passionate around here about their teams! Ultimately though I decided not to worry about it. Surely it's not that big of a deal. C'mon people, gimme a break! I've been dipping my brush in that faded old cup for nearly a decade. It's very much me. So it's in.
As for the positioning of Seth and Rusty I Googled a few images of dogs and few images of toddlers. Looking through those images helped me get the body positions drawn out accurately without forcing my own little minions into modeling.
That's just about everything. I chose to make the framed painting in the background be one of the Hernando de Soto Bridge and the Pyramid since I live in Memphis, and the walls of my studio are in fact, green.
Next up, I'm currently working on a painting of the FedEx Forum. Go Grizz! And when I go to Oxford this weekend I'm taking some pictures for a new Ole Miss painting I've got in mind.
Happy Friday everyone!