artist website

New Website for Veronica Thomas

Veronica was introduced to me by Boni de Laire, whose website I reconstructed in June 2014 and have maintained since then. Originally from South Africa, Veronica has lived in the States for the past 15 years. Since moving to Oregon she has been realizing her dream of becoming an artist, focusing on oil painting. When the opportunity to attend an exclusive painting workshop in Scottsdale, Arizona, arose, Veronica started looking for ways to earn some extra money to cover her travel expenses, and friends agreed to host an art salon at their home in mid-April. Mentor Boni insisted that a new website for Veronica Thomas was a must at this critical juncture, and that it be completed by the time the art salon took place so she would have an online promotional tool to work with. That’s where I entered the picture.


When the three of us sat down to discuss the project, I showed them the last site I had completed, Veronica liked it so much she went straight for a similar design using the same theme, Divi, by Elegant Themes. As with all my other clients, Veronica’s site was equipped with a full suite of plugins for search engine optimization, page loading speed, social sharing, and of course security to protect the website and its visitors.


One of the fun things we incorporated was a Google font with a special effect, accomplished with a css styling trick. Veronica wanted the headings to match the branding on the invitation mailers, flyers, and business cards that her daughter Chloe had developed for her. It wasn’t available as a Google font, but they wree able to find one that was so similar one can hardly tell it’s not the same. The other challenge was that Veronica wanted the header with the effect on the home page, but without the effect on all the other pages. Not only was I able to pull this off successfully, but the research and the execution went very quickly, so it wasn’t a spendy experiment either. I love how my clients push me to learn new things with their challenges! Another arrow in my quiver…


The one sticky part of the Divi theme seems to be the banner space. It’s a bit unpredictable how much of an image will appear in this space in a desktop browser, yet the entire image will show in a mobile browser.  I can do quite a bit of customizing, but it’s still tricky. Chloe is proficient with image editing and social media, so she was a huge help in this regard. In the end, our collaboration again resulted in a new website for Veronica Thomas in which we all take a considerable amount of pride. It was completed and launched well before her deadline, Veronica sold enough paintings at her art salon to help cover her expenses during the workshop in Scottsdale, and she is now busily absorbing all the new information she possibly can in Arizona! We will be doing the first update on her site once she returns to indicate which paintings have been sold. Meanwhile, here are screenshots of Veronica’s new website as launched on April 17, 2015. You can click these to view larger versions, and there is a link to the live website in the paragraph below., new website for artist Veronica Thomas created and launched in April 2015 by Hannah West using a customized version of the Divi theme.
Website created for artist Veronica Thomas in April 2015 by Hannah West.
Screenshot of Veronica's Bio page, showing the difference in the heading style from the Home page
Screenshot of Veronica’s Bio page, showing the difference in the heading style










Please visit Veronica’s website and help it gain momentum with viewers online and the search engines. Her artwork is beautiful and, from children to wildlife and still life to plein air landscapes, she paints such a wide variety of subjects that it took eight portfolio categories to accommodate them all! Her site is another beautiful example of how the Divi theme can be customized for various purposes. If you would like to see examples of how I have used and customized Divi in other projects, click the links in the sidebar for fashion jewelry designer (including e-commerce shop), portfolio galleries of landscapes in oil at, soft and lovely watercolor portfolios at, presentations for harp strings and related products and information at and the spectacular Mountain Glen Harps website, with one of the most amazing home pages I’ve made to date. This last one is a great way to see what’s possible with Divi.


If you like Divi’s flexibililty but would like to see an alternative, I have used a similar, and very popular, premium theme called Avada which I purchased at Theme Forest to create (very professional and takes advantage of numerous shortcodes in the design), and the gorgeous nonprofit ecommerce site, probably the most beautiful site I’ve created yet. I enjoy working with both of these themes and though there are many themes out there I’d love to play with, I do hope to use the truly premium quality Avada again in the near future.


Friends take care of friends and extend the family. I’m so happy to have gotten to know Veronica and look forward to an ever-deepening friendship with her. Many grateful thanks to my dear friend and talented artist Boni dé Laire for referring Veronica to me! Please visit Boni’s website to see her amazing landscapes in oil. You will not be disappointed, they are truly spectacular and we will be adding a new painting soon!


New Website Completed for Judy Marshall!

"Lilacs", one of Judy's most popular paintings. ©Judy Buswell. All Rights Reserved.
“Lilacs”, one of Judy’s most popular paintings. ©Judy Buswell. All Rights Reserved.

I am delighted to announce a new website completed for Judy Marshall, who paints in watercolor under the name Judy Buswell. Her former site needed a complete revamp, and we converted it to WordPress so she and her husband can manage it themselves. Judy’s work is so lovely, the majority of her pieces being delicate watercolors of flowers and gardens, and it was a joy to work with the images while creating her new site. Why wait to read my writing? Visit today! You can always come back to see what I have to say after feasting your eyes on her watercolor paintings.

Judy offers greeting cards and prints of her paintings, as well as some original paintings on her website, with a simple purchasing strategy – email the artist to order. I think this is wonderful as it requires personal contact between artist and art lover, something many artists don’t realize is an exciting part of buying art for those who love it. There is a contact form on each of the pages with items you can purchase, and the images are large and…gorgeous…particularly those of her more recent paintings. Visit and order some of her pretty Christmas cards today!

Today Judy came to my office for a coaching session on blogging. She will be posting new works on her new blog, and posting about her daily artistic activities when she goes to visit family for a few months next year. I think this is an exciting development, as Judy loves to write almost as much as she loves to paint, and her followers and those discovering her for the first time will be able to learn more about her passion for painting and see works in progress. She wasn’t hugely confident in her ability to do this, but I found her to be a quick study and was not at all surprised when she called me a couple of hours later to tell me she had already been playing with the text in a couple of posts. She sent me some very kind words later…

“Thank you, Hannah. You are a very good teacher, and an even better web designer.”

Among the back end features of Judy’s new art website are search engine optimization, Google Analytics and WordPress site stats, security, backup and restore functionality, social sharing, and copyright protection via Digiprove. I always set up Webmaster tools with Google and Bing after finishing a website, submitting sitemaps generated by the SEO plugin, a highly respected piece of work by Yoast. On the front end is a magnificent presentation of Judy’s artwork with a beautiful premium WordPress theme, specially formatted pages with special galleries to showcase her artwork, a blog, and a visible copyright protection notice in the footer from Digiprove. The sentimental quality of Judy’s paintings does the rest better than I could…

Thanks to the attentiveness of Judy and her husband, this only took a month to complete, even with a number of other projects requiring my attention at the same time and they taking a couple of trips out of the area. Thank you so much for entrusting the renewed online presentation of your paintings to me, Judy!

Site Update for Artist Christina Madden!

I’m so grateful to have had artist Christina Madden come to me for help bringing more visitors to her website!

La Casa, oil painting by Christina Madden
La Casa, oil painting by Christina Madden

The first thing we did was to add metadata to all the images of her art, both for security’s sake and to help promote her art. While the metadata contained within an image is not readable by search engines, it’s essential to have it in place in the event that it, through resharing, it becomes separated from any link to the artist’s website or other contact information. It’s always an option to lock down an image so it cannot be separated from the website where it appears, but then people can’t help you promote your work by sharing, so this way anyone can open the image in Photoshop, access the File Info, and see the artist’s website address so they can see more of their work, find their email and other contact information, and learn more about the artist. Christina’s choice was to allow her images to be shared, so the metadata was a must. This also saves time when adding images to social networks, as the most critical of the meta information – the artist’s copyright – will now be “exposed”, along with the title and description so it does not have to be retyped in. This also makes the metadata available to the search engines, an added bonus and a good reason to take the time to place this information in each image. And What a joy to work with the images of her beautiful oil paintings!

Next we added metadata keywords and descriptions to her pages for the search engines to gobble up, and AddThis sharing tools to her website to encourage visitors to share her pages. We also added a sitemap and Google analytics tracking code to her site and, though the site has been online for some time, submitted it to the search engines as this had not been done previously. In the process I saw that the code on her site was very outdated, and began the process of bringing it a bit more up to speed so it will be more search engine friendly. Completing this task for the entire site will take longer and we plan to take it a little at a time; we also will add proper text with keywords to the “Alt” field in her images.

Morning at Touvelle Park, oil painting by Christina Madden
Morning at Touvelle Park, oil painting by Christina Madden

Christina had started a professional artist page on Facebook but hadn’t completed the setup, so we added a selection of paintings to her page and began promoting it. While working on this, she completed two new paintings, which we added to her website and Facebook page. Boy did they get a lot of attention! Over 200 views for one painting and almost 350 for the other, plus lots of wonderful comments! She’s up to 38 likes now, but it still needs some love, so why not visit and add your own like to her page?!

We began working on March 5 and completed this round on April 21. Currently Christina’s site is appearing in search results on Bing/Yahoo 94% more frequently than it did before, with a 200% increase in clicks from those search result pages, and all but 5 of her pages have been properly indexed by Google. Christina can now view traffic analytics for her site through her Google account and sharing analytics through her new AddThis account. In the past month (April 8 – May 8), she has welcomed 55 visitors to her site, who viewed 266 pages, and average of nearly 5 pages per visit! This represents an 89.66% increase in visitors over the previous month, a 48.6% increase in page views, and, though the total number of pages per visit is down a little, and increase in time spent on her website of 79.5%!

In addition we can see that , although most of her visitors are coming from her home territory of southern Oregon, people from 8 different countries have come to visit since we began working. Sharing has not been intense, nor has anything gone viral just yet, but 5 shares, up from zero ability to share, is promising,  and we can see that all the shares so far have been to Facebook. As these results show, search engine optimization, even if not complete, can immediately and dramatically change the visitor frequency and patterns to your website, and the ability to view and analyze these stats is very helpful to gauge how much the work you have put into optimizing your site is helping to increase traffic and sharing.

A New Website for Artist Norm Rossignol!

Water Lily, watercolor painting by Norm Rossignol
Water Lily, watercolor painting by Norm Rossignol

I am delighted to have finished a website for Norm Rossignol at! I was already acquainted with Norm as he had a listing on, the site I created to promote the art community of southern Oregon, and am happy to know him much better after meeting with him and working on his website. It’s amazing how much this endeavor can show you about a person – some clients have even said they learned much they didn’t know about themselves through the process!

Norm is a plein air painter, which means he paints outdoors, on location. He is very supportive of his fellow plein air artists, to the point that he co-founded the Plein Air Society of Southern Oregon (or PASSO) to enourage and coordinate regular paintings sessions “en plein air” with both new and experienced artists. His watercolors are beautiful, and he has taught watercolor painting at ScrappyCraft in Phoenix, Oregon for the past three years. He’s now taking a break from teaching and watercolors to renew his focus on another love – pastels – and they are just stunning! He is also a member of the Watercolor Society of Oregon and The Pastel Society of Oregon, and the Southern Oregon Society of Artists, as well as additional plein air-focused groups.

Bluebell Woods, pastel painting by Norm Rossignol
Bluebell Woods, pastel painting by Norm Rossignol

Norm is a kind, energetic and engaging man. I can see why his classes were popular! His wife is an avid horsewoman and he enjoys videotaping her weekly riding lessons on Gabriel, her handsome Haflinger. He’s not timid when it comes to trying new things, something I learned when he dived in almost immediately to create his first post his his brand new blog! I hope everyone in the SO art community and all who love plein air painting and landscapes will follow his blog as it promises to be entertaining and informative, not to mention lovely, as I’m sure he will illustrate his posts with images of his work.

Norm was kind enough to write this recommendation for me, which I just received this morning:

Wanting my very own web site seemed so daunting to me that I put it off for years. I envied those who had a site and maintained it on their own. Then there’s the need to ensure your images are protected properly from being copied.

Hannah West has been managing SOAR for some time now and I have seen that site do wonderful things for artists. One of the things that stood out from Hannah’s work is “She has your back.” Not only builds a beautiful site but all your work is safe. Another feature I needed was a Point and Shoot style operation and Hannah has a designed system that is just that easy. Most webmasters can build a web site that is just fine, but a web site made especially for artists is another matter. Hannah being an artist herself has that insight needed to develop a tasteful and easy site to display and use. I am most grateful to Hannah for her hard work and dedication to developing my site.

Easy operation
Attractive presentation
Custom built for your needs
Easy maintenance
Safe from piracy
Something to be proud of
What more could you want?

Sincerely Norm Rossignol