Art Objects Observed: I’m Trying, But You Are Making It Difficult, Addendum

The addendum to my January 26th post about the importance of the user friendly-ness of artist’s websites (see the re-post below),  is about a recent gallery experience. Friday, I had a drop in and say hi gallery appointment in Boston, nothing formal. The gallery owner asked me to sit across from her at a table, she turned her computer sideways and said lets talk about your work.  My website worked smoothly, nothing was spinning, beside each piece of artwork, clearly displayed, was the title, dimensions, medium and date, etc.   It was a great meeting, I’ll tell you about it when the ink dries……. just sayin’.. clean up your website.

REPOST OF :                                                                                                                         Art Objects Observed:  I’m Trying, But You Are Making It Difficult                 Recently, I blogged about artwork that I have seen in galleries under the heading “Art Objects Observed”.  Today I am writing about artwork that I have struggled to observe online.

For the past few hours I have been working on my talk, Wax Collage: Beyond Technique for the 6th International Encaustic Conference.  After reviewing jpegs of work submitted to me, I decided to search the internet for additional examples of wax collage to find a balance and conversation among the images for my presentation. However, I feel compelled to stop my work and shout, artists, PLEASE make your websites user friendly. I am confounded by the difficulty I  encountered navigating and the lack of important information on too many websites. I was confronted by a smorgasbord of flashy, moving, spinning things with little or no information about the work. Did I mention long periods of loading?… don’t get me started.  This tour of artists websites was like arriving at a gallery, and the door was locked.

For those of you whose websites must have been designed by Rube Goldberg, I offer to you, with a grin,  the Joseph Herscher video below as an example of the experience that you have created for a visitor to your website:

Now that I am done ranting, but still a little cranky, here’s a few basic necessities that I believe are important for a user friendly artist’s website:

A website is an ever changing entity, which should be frequently updated, refined and tweaked.

Your website should showcase your work, not the website designer’s work.

Your name should be clearly displayed. If you insist on having a signature at the top, please put your name in a legible font underneath.

Along with your name,  your biography, statement, resume and contact information should be obvious to the visitor; displayed along the top or side, in a font and size discernable to the human eye.  Do not make the visitor hunt for this information.  Adding a footer, also containing this information, works well for the belt and suspenders effect, but not necessary.

The background color or pattern should not compete for attention with your artwork.

The following categories should be well written and not in a PDF. No one wants to download your info.  Biography: please do not say that you have been making art since you were 3 years old. Write about your adult art life as it pertains to the work on your site.  Resume: start weeding as it grows.  Statement: here is your chance to tell the world about your work. Your artist statement is not a participant in the thesaurus olympics. Just write about  about your work. What would you tell a friend about your work? Some starting points may include your motivation, technique, process and historical or social influences.

Your contact information should be accurate, an email address and maybe your phone number. Do not give your street address.

When a visitor clicks on an image it should appear instantly and without fanfare. It should enlarge to a size that showcases the work.

Beside each piece of artwork, clearly displayed, should be the title, dimensions, medium and date.

Millions of people have access to your work, make their visit wonderful, effortless and share-able.  Do not forget to add social networking share buttons.

A website is your personal gallery. How does your website compare to your favorite brick and mortar gallery? I am sure that the gallery is uncluttered — simple, elegant website design, the artwork is immediately visible –easily accessible click throughs,  the art object description is complete and adjacent to the work, and if you ask for more information, the gallerist speaks about the artwork without ambiguity –a well written statement.

The next time you land on a website that you like, take moment to consider it’s content and flow.

Art Objects Observed: I’m Trying, But You Are Making It Difficult

Recently, I blogged about artwork that I have seen in galleries under the heading “Art Objects Observed”.  Today I am writing about artwork that I have struggled to observe online.

For the past few hours I have been working on my talk, Wax Collage: Beyond Technique for the 6th International Encaustic Conference.  After reviewing jpegs of work submitted to me, I decided to search the internet for additional examples of wax collage to find a balance and conversation among the images for my presentation. However, I feel compelled to stop my work and shout, artists, PLEASE make your websites user friendly. I am confounded by the difficulty I  encountered navigating and the lack of important information on too many websites. I was confronted by a smorgasbord of flashy, moving, spinning things with little or no information about the work. Did I mention long periods of loading?… don’t get me started.  This tour of artists websites was like arriving at a gallery, and the door was locked.

For those of you whose websites must have been designed by Rube Goldberg, I offer to you, with a grin,  the Joseph Herscher video below as an example of the experience that you have created for a visitor to your website:

Now that I am done ranting, but still a little cranky, here’s a few basic necessities that I believe are important for a user friendly artist’s website:

A website is an ever changing entity, which should be frequently updated, refined and tweaked.

Your website should showcase your work, not the website designer’s work.

Your name should be clearly displayed. If you insist on having a signature at the top, please put your name in a legible font underneath.

Along with your name,  your biography, statement, resume and contact information should be obvious to the visitor; displayed along the top or side, in a font and size discernable to the human eye.  Do not make the visitor hunt for this information.  Adding a footer, also containing this information, works well for the belt and suspenders effect, but not necessary.

The background color or pattern should not compete for attention with your artwork.

The following categories should be well written and not in a PDF. No one wants to download your info.  Biography: please do not say that you have been making art since you were 3 years old. Write about your adult art life as it pertains to the work on your site.  Resume: start weeding as it grows.  Statement: here is your chance to tell the world about your work. Your artist statement is not a participant in the thesaurus olympics. Just write about  about your work. What would you tell a friend about your work? Some starting points may include your motivation, technique, process and historical or social influences.

Your contact information should be accurate, an email address and maybe your phone number. Do not give your street address.

When a visitor clicks on an image it should appear instantly and without fanfare. It should enlarge to a size that showcases the work.

Beside each piece of artwork, clearly displayed, should be the title, dimensions, medium and date.

Millions of people have access to your work, make their visit wonderful, effortless and share-able.  Do not forget to add social networking share buttons.

A website is your personal gallery. How does your website compare to your favorite brick and mortar gallery? I am sure that the gallery is uncluttered — simple, elegant website design, the artwork is immediately visible –easily accessible click throughs,  the art object description is complete and adjacent to the work, and if you ask for more information, the gallerist speaks about the artwork without ambiguity –a well written statement.

The next time you land on a website that you like, take moment to consider it’s content and flow.

First Portrait of 2012

Sylvie, encaustic and mixed media, 40x40" ©Marybeth Rothman

Sylvie has emerged first in this new year from a group of paintings that I was working on at the end of 2011. Disclaimer: photographed under studio lighting with a point and shoot, the color is a bit off.  I love being in my studio in the winter, got to get back to work.

Best Wishes for Happy and Healthy New Year

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness  and just be happy.  Guillaume Apollinaire

The Clarksburg Decision, encaustic and mixed media, 40×40″ © Marybeth Rothman 2011

Encaustic and Mixed Media Painting Studio Newsletter

I just finished my first quarterly Studio Newsletter and would like to send it to you. I just found out that Constant Contact will cancel my account if I enter your email address and send the newsletter to you without your permission. I’m sending it out tonight and will send the next one  in April.   Click here to subscribe to my quarterly Studio Newsletter.

Wax Collage: Beyond Technique– A Call to Artists

I am giving a talk, Wax Collage: Beyond Technique at the 6th International Encaustic Conference on June 1, 2012 in Provincetown, MA.  This conference draws from an international roster of exhibiting artists who are fully engaged with encaustic. I will be presenting the work of 15-20 contemporary painters, bookmakers, printmakers and photographers whose Wax Collage transcends both encaustic and collage to form a singular expression. This is not a “How To” revealing the secret techniques of a sub-group of “encaustic artists”, but an examination of the expression of Wax Collage. This exposition will emphasize the message rather than the medium.

To be considered for inclusion in Wax Collage: Beyond Technique, please follow the submission requirements exactly:                                                                                >Deadline: Friday, December 16, 2012                                                                          >Send 5 jpgs., 72 dpi                                                                                                        >Label your images:  01.Your Name-title.jpg                                                                          >Image list:  1. Title, medium, size H x W x D”                                                                       >Short bio                                                                                                                            >Contact info: name, email and website                                                                            >Please send to: marybethrothman.studio@gmail.com

I look forward to seeing your work.

Encaustic Collage — A Call To Artists

I am giving a talk, Wax Collage: Beyond Technique at the 6th International Encaustic Conference on June 1, 2012 in Provincetown, MA.  This conference draws from an international roster of exhibiting artists who are fully engaged with encaustic. I will be presenting the work of 15-20 contemporary painters, bookmakers, printmakers and photographers whose Wax Collage transcends both encaustic and collage to form a singular expression. This is not a “How To” revealing the secret techniques of a sub-group of “encaustic artists”, but an examination of the expression of Wax Collage. This exposition will emphasize the message rather than the medium.

To be considered for inclusion in Wax Collage: Beyond Technique, please follow the submission requirements exactly:                                                                                >Deadline: Friday, December 16, 2012                                                                          >Send 5 jpgs., 72 dpi                                                                                                        >Label your images:  01.Your Name-title.jpg                                                                          >Image list:  1. Title, medium, size H x W x D”                                                                       >Short bio                                                                                                                            >Contact info: name, email and website                                                                            >Please send to: marybethrothman.studio@gmail.com

I look forward to seeing your work.


Exhibiting at Clark University

Above left: Camile 7:17 pm, encaustic and mixed media.

Exhibiting in New Views of Encaustic Art


The Clarksburg Decision, encaustic and mixed media, 40"x40". ©2011 Marybeth Rothman

I am exhibiting in New Views of Encaustic Art at the Carroll House Gallery, Keene State College, Keene, New Hampshire, September 5- October 2, 2011.  This exhibition was curated by Peter Roos, and includes work by Laura Moriarty, Kevin Frank, Francisco Benitez and Leah MacDonald.

I’m Ready Irene

I am 9 miles north of NYC and awaiting Irene’s arrival with 80 mph winds in a few hours. Today I dragged it in or tied it down, filled the tub, bought water, flashlights and made chocolate cupcakes. I moved my paintings out of the studio and covered them… maybe a little belt and suspenders. I also moved my drawers of encaustic paint…ahh so beautiful.  Fingers crossed.  I’m ready Irene.