April 29, 2015

Peaceful Day for Lucky & Techno Troubles for Tracy

Peaceful Day For Lucky - 11 x 14", Watercolor on Canvas by Tracy Feldman
I'm so glad that I'm I'm back to posting on my blog.  I have been working for months to change my art website: converting it from a pure gallery site to a sales and gallery one.  Boy, does that take more work and knowledge to do it well than I ever imagined.  Fortunately I had gotten some initial advice on doing it from Cory Huff of the Abundant Artist, and my graphic artist sister, Danni O'Brien has been working with me and holding my hand as I've faced various challenges.

As a newbie to website design, I assumed that getting on a hosting platform and buying the services of a website building program (I'm using iPage and Weebly) would allow me to get a great site up and running in no time. How wrong I was.  Perhaps I would have been correct if I only had a few pieces, or worked in a very limited range of standard painting sizes. But my sister helped me realize that without first figuring out a logical organizational structure for the site, the galleries, the pages, etc. would have resulted in my site being a confusing, hot mess to visit.  And that is a formula for scaring visitors off, not for converting visitors to buyers.  So, I've worked with her to better the techno aspects of doing things.  I also have had to write descriptions of paintings, and work on figuring out all of the techno details, hoops that one has to jump through before selling online is even possible. I've had to learn new terms and to think about how to get paid, and what to do about shipping works that can be very large.  Boy, that involved more techno details than I originally thought. And, when it is done and up, I'm going to have to get much better than I am at the techno details of art promotion. Thank God there are people out there to help, like Cory, and Danni, and my friends,  Deb Watson and Tony Crocamo, and all sorts of helpful web advice about doing that.  I'll keep you guys posted about where I am on this.

During the months I've been doing this work, I've actually  been painting quite a bit, but not even posting the small pieces on my Daily Paintworks website because I felt guilty taking time to do that when the website still wasn't done.  Recently, I've come to realize that was not a logical thing to do.  So, on April 19,  I decided I needed to start posting on my blog and putting my small works back up again on the Daily Paintworks site for auction. That will give folk, I figure, a chance to get my pieces for maybe less than they will pay when I finally post them in the Small Works Gallery of my website.  But, when I went to do that, I ran into techno problems because I had converted from a personal to business PayPal account (in order to do sales on my website).  That required me to reauthorize Daily Paintworks to register sales for me.  I worked with the folk at PayPal and David Marin at Daily Paintworks for over a week to solve the problem, and I discovered something important that I want to share here.  Pop-up windows may be a pain when unscrupulous sellers hijack your monitor.  However, they are key to enable if you want to take full take advantage of the features of sites you actually do want to deal with.  So, if you click on a button in a site and it doesn't seem to work, do this before calling the site's techno support.  Check the preferences in Safari (or whatever browser you use) and if pop-ups are blocked, authorize them and go back and check on the faulty-seeming button.  I humbly can share that that might save you lots of time I wasted for myself (and others) this week.

What about today's painting?   I started painting "Peaceful Day for Lucky" at my friend Deb Watson's house.  She's a wonderful watercolor artist.  I hadn't remembered to bring anything for reference material, and she suggested I search through some of her reference photos, and one of those images evolved into this work. I loved the peaceful feeling I got from the scene.  It reminded me of scenes I'd seen many times in the west of Ireland. but the contrast and coloring were too similar in the photo.  So, I simplified the composition and adjusted the lighting and coloring to make the horse stand out.  I am very happy with the result, and I hope you are too.  I'd love to hear what you think.

As usual, I'm going to put the piece in my Daily Paintworks Gallery, so if you're interested in it, check out the auction there. I'm starting it at $50, but if it's still around after the auction I'll raise the price to what I"d normally sell my small works for ($100+ -- the actual price will depend on the work's size, media, and whether it is framed or not).

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