redesign

Jennifer Balkan website

Jennifer Balkan website

I have just completed a redesign of Austin painter Jennifer Balkan’s website into a WordPress website. We kept a lot of the basic style elements from her previous site, but added a very user-friendly filmstrip-type image gallery, so you can very easily view both the thumbnail and large images. You can click on each of the large images in the filmstrip gallery to open an even larger image. And Jennifer will be able to update and maintain her site without having to write her own html code (she had created and maintained her previous site herself in HTML).

 

Jennifer Balkan - Gallery Page

Jennifer Balkan – Gallery Page

Jennifer-Balkan - Large Image

Jennifer-Balkan – Large Image

Take a look at the site at http://jenniferbalkan.net/, and fall in love with Jennifer’s paintings the way I have.  They are terrific!17:36:3102/10/2015

Abstract Paintings by Austin Artist Marilyn Fenn, website design v4.5

Abstract Paintings by Austin Artist Marilyn Fenn, website design v4.5

I have been moving toward more subdued colors in website designs (especially for artists!), and I think even my colorful work might look better against a more neutral background than before.  Soooooooooooo, I redesigned my fine art site one more time.  Luckily, this redesign only took me a week, while the structural and visual redesign from last fall took about a month.

While subduing the color palette of my site, I also decided to greatly simplify the amount of distractions. I have removed many of the doodads from the sidebars, and even removed the sidebar from many of the site pages. In several cases, I combined several pages into one that’s still easy to navigate with the addition of post tabs, and I’ve streamlined the info in the footer widgets. In a continuing effort to offer as much as I can without download speeds being too terrible, I have also reduced the number of plugins I’m using (and I keep whittling at the speed issue).

I replaced the random image of my paintings on the front page with a slideshow. I’ve upsized my art images and thumbnails sizes for better viewing. Plus, I recently added an on-site shop where you can purchase my art. Overall I’m very happy with this cleaner design and my yummy new colors of butterscotch, eggnog and chocolate.

Anyway, I hope you like the new design.  Plus, look forward to more art coming from me soon!  Check out the changes at Marilyn Fenn Studio.

Marilyn Fenn Studio website redesign, version 4c

Marilyn Fenn Studio website redesign, version 4c

I have just finished yet another redesign of my art website! The new design is a slight refinement of the previous visual design (with which I’ve been pretty happy for awhile), but more importantly, it represents a major underlying structural change. I have upgraded my site structural and design files to WordPress 3.01 to take advantage of the new structure and features built into the latest version of WordPress. I’ve also used a number of excellent plugins to extend the functionality.

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I'm Talking to Myself travel photos website

I’m Talking to Myself travel photos website

Sometimes I wish that personal computers, the Internet, and blogging had been around when I was younger. For those young enough to be growing up with all these things, every minute of your daily lives can be documented in the greatest detail—to be looked back on fondly (or in horror) as the years go by. For those of us who grew up before then, we have to rely on diaries, memories, and (hopefully) old film to document our youth (I didn’t have a camera until my late twenties, so I missed a lot of photo ops!). A lot of the record of our lives has been lost, which is both a shame—because we did grow up in such interesting times—and a blessing—because many of the embarrassing moments of our youthful indiscretions can’t come back to haunt us.  We had less exposure and more privacy then.

Be that as it may, years ago, I started a website to begin documenting one part of our personal lives: I wanted to organize and display photos from our various travel adventures.  It was one of those projects that was always bigger than the time I had to work on it—in other words, it was always “in progress.”  I can finally say with not a small amount of pride that for now, it is more or less a completed project…at least, until we take another trip and have more photos and stories to post.

This new site design was done in WordPress, and the visual design is my own, aided by the rapid prototyping tool, Artisteer.  For the two or three previous designs for the WordPress version of this site, I tried a couple themes from Elegant Themes. They were gorgeous themes, but I’m more comfortable editing my own code, plus as a website designer, well—you know, my sites probably should be designed by me:

 
I'm Talking to Myself, On the Go theme

I’m Talking to Myself, On the Go theme

I'm Talking to Myself, e-Business theme

I’m Talking to Myself, e-Business theme

 

Before that, I tried using a Blogger blog for the travel diary and a Coppermine photo database to organize all the photos:

 
Travel at In for a Penny, Coppermine database

Travel at In for a Penny, Coppermine database

 

The first version was designed in plain old HTML with photo galleries exported out of PhotoShop:

 
Travel at In for a Penny, version 1

Travel at In for a Penny, version 1

Travel at In for a Penny, version 1, interior page

Travel at In for a Penny, version 1, interior page

 

The site has evolved into something more than my original vision and intent; in addition to a travel diary with galleries of travel photos, I am adding some posts and photos from closer to home (you may notice, we don’t actually travel that much), a few posts on diversions, and some reminiscences from times gone by. I’ll probably begin adding more local stuff, such as gardening; I’ve already added some music and art.

One of the design elements that has remained consistent from the first design through the latest design is that the basic hue has been in the brown family; now it is a yummy combination of chocolate and cherry—or looked at another way—the ancient colors of Roman centurians’ uniforms.

The website is I’m Talking to Myself, I Can’t Believe I’m Talking to Myself: Travel Photos and Blog (and some local stuff, too).

Marilyn Rea Nasky's New WordPress website

Marilyn Rea Nasky website, v2

Today we are launching the redesign of local painter Marilyn Rea Nasky’s website.  Her new site is done in WordPress, thus allowing her to do some or all of her own updates.  Visit her new site at lightwithinstudios.com: Marilyn Rea Nasky, Light Within Studios.

Marilyn Fenn Decor website, v2

Marilyn Fenn Decor website, v2

You may not know this about me, but besides being a website designer, graphic designer, illustrator and painter, I have also studied interior design.  It is one of my five favorite things to do, occupation-wise, though I am NOT officially an interior designer, I do not have a degree in interior designer, and I would not presume to do all that professional interior designers can do.  I do occasionally help folks decorate their homes, pick colors for their walls and buy great furniture.

You can see some of my little projects at a site I created for that purpose, Marilyn Fenn Decor.  I recently redesigned it into a WordPress site with a blog, which I am using to document some of the trials and tribulations and joys of undergoing a house remodeling project.  I do love my new design, which I tried to model after my previous design, while also updating the look and functions.  See the old design here:

Marilyn Fenn Decor website, v1

Marilyn Fenn Decor website, v1

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