general announcements

Latest updates…

It’s so hard to keep this site updated when there are so many interesting (and challenging!) projects to tend to, so here’s a quick recap of a few of the things I’ve been working on.

"Master Wave," oil on canvas painting of a large wave breaking on the shore by Boni de Laire
“Master Wave,” oil on canvas by Boni de Laire
"Still Life with Red Oriental Poppies," oil on canvas by Billye Woodford
“Still Life with Red Oriental Poppies,” oil on canvas by Billye Woodford


Just after I finished the restoration of a site for Medford artist Boni de Laire, she referred another wonderful painter to me, Billye Woodford from Rogue River, Oregon. I have just finished her site, too. They’re both beautiful, and filled with lovely artwork – representational landscapes are Boni’s focus, and while Billye creates beautiful landscapes as well, she also ventures into florals, portraits and more. Please visit and today!

While I was finishing up Billye’s site, another interesting job came my way – a website for a contestant in the upcoming Miss Oregon pageant, Priyanka Samra. Born in Canada and raised in Medford Oregon, Priyanka is a college student in California majoring in pre-med. She’ll gradute at the end of the current school year. She’s also incredibly beautiful and has been modeling since she was 14 – with a special love for the runway. She’s going to be teaching runway lessons to other models to raise funds for her favorite charities – Unique Home for Girls in India, where girls who have been abandoned are given a home, education and a future under the loving guardianship of

Model Priyanka Samra
Model Priyanka Samra

their adopted mother Prakash Kaur, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), specifically for their important work on depression. Please visit to learn more and see the modeling shots in her portfolio gallery…and root for her to win Miss Oregon 2014! She wanted a site based on her friend Mabelynn’s. Mabelynn won the Miss California pageant in 2012 and her site is pretty sleek, so I went for it. As pretty as Mabelynn is, I think Priyanka’s exotic East Indian look, movie-star glamorous yet not excessively sexy, makes her site the winner. Follow her for news on the Miss Oregon pageant, which happens in November.

"Sunrise on the Rhine," mixed media on canvas by artist Christina Madden depicting a castle on the Rhine River in Europe
“Sunrise on the Rhine,” mixed media on canvas by artist Christina Madden

A couple of my artist clients have added new paintings to their websites recently.

Christina Madden paints in oil, acrylic and mixed media; her range of style and subject is quite broad, but recently she’s been refining her style to make it all her own. And is it ever! Her colorful abstract impressionist landscapes are so vibrant and full of life, like nothing else I’ve seen. We’ve also been working to improve the SEO value of her site and making progress. Help her gain better online visibility! Visit her website and feast your eyes on artist Christina Madden‘s colorful world! If you find yourself in Ashland, Oregon during October 2013, stop in at Art & Soul gallery to see a major show of her paintings. She sold ten paintings in recent months, so she had to work very hard to paint new pieces so she would have enough for her show, and they’re magnificent! Meet the artist at a reception on Friday, October 4 during the Ashland First Friday Art Walk.

"Boss," oil on wood by Eugenia Talbott of Talbott Studios
“Boss,” oil on wood by Eugenia Talbott of Talbott Studios

Artist Eugenia Talbot is an amazing woman, and she just had two shows here in southern Oregon – one at the Berryman Gallery (above the Craterian Theater in Medford) in conjunction with the production of Tarzan there in early September. At the same time I had her work hanging at the GoodBean Cafe in Jacksonville for a one month exhibition that got huge numbers of compliments! I didn’t design her site, but she brought me on for maintenance and updates, as well as to upgrade its SEO value. Once again I appeal to what readers I may have to help increase her online visibility by visiting her Talbott Studios website and take some time to look around. You won’t be disappointed – African wildlife, horses and pet portraits, portraits of people and more await you there!

Susan DeRosa art show card for South Stage Cellars show, September 2013
Susan DeRosa art show card for South Stage Cellars show, September 2013

Oh, and you must see the art show card that Jacksonville artist Susan DeRosa had me make for her debut southern Oregon show (she moved here recently from Arkansas, where she lived for a time after retiring from her career as an art educator in California universities). She is such an amazing talent, I’m glad she now has time to continue refining her own work rather now that she’s done her time teaching others! Her show at South Stage Cellars was such a success, she sold a painting at the opening reception and so many people came that she started crying with gratitude when telling me how she felt about it.

This reminds me of the art show catalog I did recently, but I haven’t had a chance to scan it so I’ll have to post that later.

Apologies to the awesome folks at GMO Free Jackson County for not having time to have them with a project they contacted me about. Please visit their website and lend your support – they working hard to protect Oregon’s organic agriculture legacy. It’s like swimming upstream, there’s so much to do and so much resistance from the likes of Monsanto and Syngenta.

Well, there’s still more, but I’ve run out of time and have to get back to work, so please return another time to see if I’ve had a chance to write more about the fabulous projects I’m involved in now, and what my wonderful clients have for me next! Spoiler alert…looks like a new site and SEO help for Daljit Samra (Name sounds familiar? Yes, that’s Priyanka’s mom!) of the Rogue Valley Inn and possibly some modifications to a fantastic high end fashion site in New York, as well as adding video content to singer/songwriter Christina Duane’s nonprofit websites, Romancing the West and Oh Oregon Frontier Park when she returns from her current tour! Oh, right, I haven’t written about the pleasure of starting to work with Christina yet, have I? Well, we’ll have to tackle that next time…Thanks for stopping by and come back again soon!


Don’t miss Judy Elliott’s Dragonfly Designs West show at the GoodBean!

Note: I just started working with Judy Elliott of Dragonfly Designs West to take over the maintenance on her existing website, an exciting development that follows a year of getting to know her. I’m posting an edited version of the article we submitted to the Jacksonville Review to promote her current show at the GoodBean Cafe in Jacksonville to tell you more about her. This show comes down Friday afternoon (May 31), so be sure to stop in before the end of the month…and again after the first, when we will not only have a new featured artist on display, but one of Judy’s new large wall hangings will be installed on the rafter where the koi are now!  I’ll post a link to Judy’s website once it’s been updated (, and more on the projects I worked on last month once we’ve finished wrapping them up.      ~ Hannah West

Calla Lilly with Frog and Gadflies Wall Hanging
“Calla Lilly with Frog and Gadflies” Wall Hanging

GoodBean owner Mary Kell and art curator Hannah West of Art Presence fell in love with the hand-painted silk creations from Judy Elliott’s Dragonfly Designs West last summer, featuring a handsewn kimono in the guest artist spot above the coffee counter and a spectacular hand-painted black and red hibiscus wall hanging that fluttered delicately above our heads when we opened the front doors. Judy didn’t have much work to share at that time since she was also exhibiting at Jacksonville Celebrates the Arts. She sold nearly all her inventory at the festival, became a member of Art Presence and the Southern Oregon Artists Resource, and we were so impressed we invited her to return the following spring for a featured exhibition.

Judy has since gotten married, moved into a new home, started a new career and painted a lot of silk ~ you’ll be treated to an array of stunning pieces that will make memorable gifts for someone special – or for yourself! – if you come in the cafe for a cup of something warm (for chilly spring days) or cold (for hot spring days – we’ve had plenty of both this year!). Along with handsewn cotton kimonos and Happi (pronounced “hoppy”) coats with authentic Japanese prints, hand-painted silk scarves, handheld fans and wall hangings, we can also expect to see hand-painted paper Japanese-style umbrellas!

Handsewn Happi (pronounced "hoppy") coats with handpainted silk fan
Handsewn Happi (pronounced “hoppy”) coats with handpainted silk fan, on display now at the GoodBean in Jacksonville.
Hand sewn kimono by Judy Elliott
Hand sewn kimono by Judy Elliott

Judy shares a glimpse into her past and highlights of the process behind her creations:
“Growing up in Hawaii, I absorbed the tastes and cultures of the Islands. My father, a photographer, blessed me with an artistic eye for exotic colors and shapes. Early on I developed an interest in Japanese fashion and design, particularly the Kimono and Happi (pronounced “Hoppi”) Coat, which I often wore as a child while dancing.

“In 1991 I brought these passions with me to Oregon. To expand on the skills I developed while attending interior design school in Hawaii, I began offering hand-painted silk scarves, wall hangings, and mid-length kimoros, often worn as a robe. Now I frequently receive commissions to create custom pieces to wear or to decorate a home or office.
“My line of kimonos are made from Japanese and Hawaiian printed polished cotton. I’ve found that cotton is a far more comfortable choice of fabric for everyday wear, and the variety of prints are more accessible.

Judy paints a silk wall hanging.
Judy paints a silk wall hanging.

“Silk comes from the silk worm and is spun into threads to weave into various items. While visiting a silk carpet manufacturing facility in Turkey, I learned more about how the threads are formed and used. While silk appears to be a very delicate fabric, it is actually very strong and durable. Silk is a unique item to paint on and requires trial and error before beginning the process. I enjoy working with silk, experimenting with new ways to use it. Some of my hand-painted scarves and wall hangings are outlined with gutta, a rubberized substance that prevents the dye from traveling from one section of the scarf to another. Some of my newer scarves are painted with dye and wax, accented with the use of salt to create beautiful effects. Each scarf must be heat-set after a four day process to prevent colors from bleeding. They can then be handwashed with a mild fabric soap.”

Hand painted silk scarves by Judy Elliott on display at the GoodBean
Hand painted silk scarves by Judy Elliott on display at the GoodBean

Though she didn’t get the Mother’s Day sales I expected with all those colorful and beautifully hand painted silk scarves on display, Judy has had a very successful show, selling two gorgeous kimonos (including the one pictured above) with magnificent Japanese crane prints to one enthusiastic buyer last week! Better check out those scarves before they’re gone…

When I asked Mary how she liked what Judy had done with her exhibition, she said “I feel so fortunate! Not everyone has beautiful art like this in their business!” A known mermaid who loves spending time by the ocean, it’s no surprise that Mary finds this show close to her heart. I’ll have to bring her to the reception for the Art Presence show in June, as Judy will be exhibiting two works not seen at the GoodBean now as part of the “Coastal, By the Sea” show of member works.

"Koi" handpainted silk wall hanging by Judy Elliott
“Koi” handpainted silk wall hanging by Judy Elliott
"Koi" handpainted silk wall hanging by Judy Elliott
“Koi” (reverse) swimming…overhead?!




This is a wonderfully colorful show with graceful designs that create a lovely ambience in the GoodBean’s cafe ~ please enjoy it enjoy while there’s still time as it comes down at the end of this month. If you miss it though, all is not lost, to calm her wedding day nerves, Judy created another spectacular wall hanging called “Tropical Splendor” which will replace the one pictured on the left.

How to prevent email spam when putting your email address in your website

I’m a web designer who created and manages a fairly large and well-visited directory website promoting the art community in my region, the Southern Oregon Artists Resource, and its companion blog, Art Matters!. Both sites, but particularly the directory site, have a lot of other people’s email addresses in each page, and from the outset I wanted to protect them by obfuscating their email addresses.  I use a script written by James Crooke for this, and use a plugin called “emOba” (for “email obfuscator”) in the WordPress sites I build. Of course, making sure you pay the extra little bit for domain privacy when setting up your website’s domain name is also extremely helpful, and I recommend doing both to protect your identity and reduce the time it takes to manage your inbox.

If you’d like to try the technique I use at, first copy this chunk of code and place it in the <head> section of your page:
<script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”>
// Script Originally by SSI Developer (
// Modified by James Crooke of CJ Website Design (

function protectmail(name, address, link, subject, body) {

document.write(“<a href=’mailto:” + name + “@” + address + “?subject=” + subject + “&body=” + body + “‘>” + link + “</a>”);


Then, in the part of the code corresponding to where you would like the email link to appear in your page, place this chunk of code, edited to reflect your own email address and without the line breaks you see here:
<script language=”JavaScript” type=”text/javascript”>protectmail(“webmistress”,””, “Click here to email”, “RE: I found you at the Southern Oregon Artists Resource and wanted to ask a question”, “Hello Hannah,”);</script>

You can see there is no “@” in the email address, the key feature that tips off the spambots to an address they should harvest. It also gives you the opportunity (as addressmunger does) to put custom text for the link, custom text in the subject line and a greeting in the body of the email that will pop up when a visitor to your site clicks the link.

There is another service online called Nice service, very similar technique, and easy to use for those who want to generate some code to use, but as a web designer who is also concerned about the amount of code in a page that is not readable by good web bots (like Google’s) I think it’s a little code-heavy.

Why Art Matters in Jacksonville

Hannah West, Anne Brooke & Arlis Duncan

Three years of promoting the arts community of southern Oregon through the Southern Oregon Artists Resource and of Jacksonville as a board member of Art Presence and curator of the art exhibits at GoodBean Coffee have shown me that the arts bring more benefits to our communities than many realize. I’d like to share what I’ve learned about how art affects our community and hope this will rekindle an appreciation that becomes a deeper commitment to supporting the arts in Jacksonville.

The arts have been made and practiced as long as there have been humans. They are key to children’s cognitive and physiological development, and the expressions of abstract thinking, sequencing, and eye-hand coordination needed to make art prepare young minds for mastery in reading, language and mathematics. Integrating the arts into core subjects helps students achieve better understanding, learn faster and retain information longer. Creative problem-solving and collaborative skills gained through training in the arts give kids the edge they need to succeed in the new knowledge-based economy and participate in the rise of the creative class. A new emphasis on the arts in education reflects the fact that creativity has become a valued asset to employers in many industries.

Art also has proven value in healing, and we are fortunate to have some incredibly effective nonprofits putting art to work on behalf of the most vulnerable in the Rogue Valley. From children recovering from abuse and kids battling cancer to adults with cognitive challenges or contending with degenerative diseases, art therapy is providing relief from symptoms, positive self-esteem, better communication, recovery from physical and emotional trauma and open doors of opportunity. All these contribute to a healthier community.

Results from the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV™ study in June 2012 showed that economic activity generated by the arts results in $135.2 billion in total economic activity to the nation’s economy and supports 4.1 million full-time jobs. After reading the study’s results, the U.S. Conference of Mayors urged mayors across the country to invest in nonprofit arts organizations as a catalyst to generate economic impact, stimulate business development, attract tourists and area residents to community activities, and improve the overall quality of life in America’s cities.

Additional 2011 and 2012 studies have so firmly established the contribution of the arts to the economy that government at every level has implemented programs for investments in the arts in education and nonprofit art centers, as well as entrepreneurial support for individual artists.

In Jacksonville we know cultural tourism is essential to our local economy, but it turns out that arts and cultural tourism is the fastest growing segment in the entire industry. Half of all Americans take at least one trip per year, of which 80% seek cultural or heritage opportunities; 15.4 million overseas cultural heritage travelers came to the U.S. in 2010, outpacing the average growth of all overseas arrivals to the United States. It’s so important to the national tourism industry that new commitments to support cultural tourism have been put into place at every level of government.

Communities which embrace the arts enjoy higher property values, which are more likely to remain stable during economic recessions. Jacksonville has benefitted greatly in property values and new residents with higher average incomes in the past twenty years. When residents would rather stay than move away those property values can be sustained. Though we’ve taken a hit with everyone else, we weren’t hit as hard as many other communities and have bounced back with greater resilience than most.  Southern Oregon is one of the top three regions where people moving out of state choose to relocate, and Jacksonville is one of the most desirable spots in the region. The evidence I’ve seen makes me think we have the Britt to thank for much of the gentrification we’ve enjoyed, but to sustain this we need to remain mindful of two things:

  • • As a city becomes more prosperous in terms of property values, artists are less likely to afford living and working there, and
  • • Arts & culture need active and ongoing cultivation to sustain property values, retain high net worth individuals and families, and give visitors a satisfying arts experience.

Art Presence was founded by artist Anne Brooke four years ago. Partnering with local businesses to provide venues for artists to exhibit and sell their work and attract visitors with a variety of outstanding events and displays, the group has helped bring revenue to our business community, supported local talent and is making strides toward contributing to art education, in schools and through the Art Presence Art Center in Jacksonville. With Arlis Duncan’s help, Anne achieved nonprofit status for the organization under the umbrella of the Arts Council of Southern Oregon, which in turn made the Art Presence Art Center’s new home in the former Children’s Museum possible. Soon after celebrating this accomplishment, our situation there became tenuous and finances strained. Some are concerned about the organization’s ability to survive 2013.

I’ve spoken with transplanted residents who love our gallery. They love Jacksonville, yet many left major arts & cultural centers to make a new life here and miss this vital part of their former lives. Their support shows that in its short existence the Art Center has already improved the quality of life for many of our Jacksonville neighbors and has the potential to do much more.

Communities that fail to support the arts suffer from its neglect. If we would continue improving quality of life for residents, increasing property values, building an attractive destination for our visitors and increasing revenue for our businesses, we must do more to support the arts in Jacksonville. We must make sure that our city seeks out and obtains its share of available funding for the arts in education, nonprofit art centers and cultural tourism, and makes a commitment to do whatever necessary to support artists and cottage industries as a key strategy for sustaining Jacksonville’s economy. The numbers are in: a healthy and sustainable local economy needs a thriving art center. Art Presence has proven its commitment to our city’s prosperity and stands willing to contribute everything the arts have to offer toward that end. We urge our Mayor to answer the call of the US Conference of Mayors to invest in Art Presence, our own nonprofit arts organization, as a catalyst to generate economic impact, stimulate business development, attract tourists and area residents to community activities, and to improve the overall quality of life in our city.

Art matters to everyone in Jacksonville, and we ask our neighbors to take action in whatever way you can:

• Visit the gallery and attend opening receptions and artist demonstrations. If you can’t buy art, leave your contact information in our guest book. Proving local support is crucial to obtaining grants and donations.

  • Go to comment on posts, make suggestions, subscribe to new posts & our newsletter, and view our committees to find an area where you can contribute and who to contact. Share our content with your social networks.
  • Contact us if you’re a grant writer who’d like to help us acquire funding. We will often be required to match grant funds with locally obtained funds, so…
  • Donate to the Arts Council of Southern Oregon with “Art Presence Art Center” in the memo line. Contact Arlis Duncan or go to for more information.
  • Write a letter to the Jacksonville Review’s editor, the Mayor and/or City Council and tell them why the arts in our community are important to you and your family.

Thanks to the Jacksonville Review for publishing my piece in Jacksonville’s local newspaper and at their website!

Thank you all so much!!

I simply could not be more humbled, honored and grateful for the kind and thoughtful letters of recommendation that artists and clients have written to recommend me for the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Champion of the Year Award. With six letters, I believe I’m ready to complete the forms and send everything in to the SBA’s Portland office. BUT, I don’t want to get ahead of anyone who might want to add their voice, so if you were planning on writing a letter for me and just haven’t had time yet (or if this is the first you’ve heard of it and you want to jump in, too), please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to wait for you.



I would like to thank my connections at LinkedIn for the thoughtful and positive endorsements they have written for me! Thanks to my wonderful clients for their confidence in me and my work, and those I have worked with in the past in many  types of creative endeavors – you are all such good friends!! I appreciate you so much and thank you for your very kind words!!

Kudos to just-published family members!

The most amazing thing happened a few days ago. My cousin, Pulitzer Prize nominee Greg Barrett, has been laboring over his new book since 2010 and it was just released. But here’s the surprise – he included the refrain from a reggae-style song by Lazar (my son, now of Tribal Frequencies, who hold the #1 spot locally in ReverbNation’s Alternative category) with a thank you to him and his father/musical partner/my husband in his acknowledgements!

The Gospel of Rutba: War, Peace, and the Good Samaritan Story in Iraq, by Greg Barrett…in the quiet and loneliness of that solitude, I was blessed with the companionship and soulful wisdom of two peace-loving musicians, Joel and Thomas West. Thank you for your music and the wakeup your lyrics provided whenever I felt too tired to keep writing and fighting for a more sane and humane world, for example:

Come on everybody, rise up like Lazarus;

Wake up from the dream that is not reality.

Those who are deceived stay inside the nightmare

That they believe, and they will never be free.

-Lazar, from the album Chants, Woes and Lamentations


Lazar’s in good company, with a Foreword by Archbishop Desmond Tutu (who also quotes Bono of U2) and Afterward by peace activist Shane Claiborne. Claiborne and fellow peace activist, three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly, play major roles in The Gospel of Rutba: War, Peace, and the Good Samaritan Story in Iraq, a true story of people from the small desert town of Rutba, Iraq who saved the lives of three American peacemakers when a car wreck nearly killed them on their way out of the country, just days after the Shock and Awe campaign began in 2003 and despite the fact the Rutba General Hospital had been destroyed by bombs just 3 days before.

The people of Rutba never asked for anything in return, and when sending the Americans on their way, their hosts had only one request: Go and tell the world of Rutba. In fulfillment of that pledge, the peacemakers returned to Rutba in 2010 to thank the doctors and all who saved them, and to contribute to an ongoing process of peace, friendship, and reconciliation. Barrett joined them for this reunion, where he began the research that would become this book. Read the first chapter of this inspiring story about courage, compassion and enduring friendships forged against all odds at the book’s website:

In his Afterword, Shane Claiborne (author of The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, and one of the three peacemakers) describes the impact of this experience and its ongoing meaning:

Now that the war in Iraq is over, history will tell how we remember it. I’m sure there will be all sorts of books on the Iraq war… But in the end, I hope that history will also remember the story of this little town called Rutba.

Greg is a twenty-year veteran of news correspondence for US wire services and newspapers. Prior to writing The Gospel of Father Joe: Revolutions and Revelations in the Slums of Bangkok, he was a print journalist working everywhere from small-town Loris, S.C. (earning less than $10,000 and squatting rent-free in a Myrtle Beach lifeguard house) to Augusta, GA., Rock Hill, S.C., Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Md., and, Honolulu, Hawaii (a haole reporting on Native Hawaiian Affairs and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his investigation into the Bishop Estate’s mismanagement of Kamehameha Schools).

In 2000, Barrett was a national correspondent in the Gannett News Service/USA Today Washington bureau when he was sent to Thailand to investigate human trafficking. It was in those reports that he met Father Joe Maier and saw his Mercy Centre orphanages and schools. Surprised by the magnanimous Bangkok charity that lit an otherwise dark corner of the world, Barrett returned five years later to find out why the poor, abandoned, abused, HIV-infected children at Father Joe’s charity hopped, skipped, whistled and played at a clip faster than the children in his own relatively affluent cul-de-sac near Washington, D.C. The Gospel of Father Joe became his first nonfiction book.

In 2003, Barrett reported from the streets of prewar Iraq during the buildup to the US-led invasion. Seven years later, he returned to Iraq with Shane Claiborne and several other peacemakers to tell the story of how Iraqi Good Samaritans in the rugged desert town of Rutba, Iraq had helped rescue Shane and two other Americans during the Shock & Awe bombing of March 2003. His latest book, The Gospel of Rutba: War, Peace, and the Good Samaritan Story in Iraq, has been available at since May 23, and is now available in bookstores, too.

I’m so proud of my talented family!

I would like to thank the book’s publisher Robert Ellsberg, son of whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and editor-in chief/publisher of Orbis Books, for taking Greg’s book under his wing and permitting his quote of Lazar’s lyric within its pages.

WordPress 3.4 Update

All clients and any blogger using WordPress should back up their databases and update WordPress without any further adieu! That is, if you haven’t done so already. While you’re at it, update your themes and plugins if you find that updates are available. These updates not only increase the reliability and functionality of your blog, make it run faster and increase security for you and visitors to your site. If you need a hand with this, contact

Just accepted into the Organic Themes affiliate program!

I just ogt an email that I have been accepted into the Organic Themes affiliate program and I’m so excited! Organic Themes are created by artists for artists, bloggers and businesses. They’re beautiful, the layouts are refreshingly uncluttered and functional, they are mobile-friendly and the code is clean and updated frequently so it will also remain secure. I can’t wait to work with one!

I have exploring to do before I can say too much more, but I’m still finishing up the mobile site for Wineceros, so not just yet. If you’d like to take a look for yourself, click the banner below:
Organic Themes

Boy, is my sidebar loaded with banners and links! I’ll clear them out and make pages for each type of service, but…not yet…and for now I’ll be adding yet one more banner…for Organic Themes!