Thursday, April 16, 2015

A new website - Botanical Art and Artists

Today I'm launching my new website Botanical Art and Artists  It provides a compendium of resources about botanical art past and present for botanical artists and illustrators of today and tomorrow.

If you just want to look at some wonderful art, there's lots to look at and links to take you to more places to enjoy the art produced in the the last few hundred years and by today' artists.

There's also lots of information to help you improve if your focus is on drawing or painting plants and flowers.

Botanical Art and Artists - a compendium website
Home Page of Botanical Art and Artists on Launch Day 16th April 2015

You can access information on the site via
  • the top menu - which has a drop down menu of pages within each topic 
  • the menu at the bottom of the page which provides quick links to headlines of content in a slightly different format.
You'll also find that due to a responsive design it can be accessed easily via a desktop, a tablet or a smartphone. (On the smartphone it reads down the columns in sequence left to right - making decisions about how to locate content more than a little challenging!)

Please bookmark it and/or share it with anybody who you think might like to access its resources. 

Today seemed like a good day for the public launch as it's also the Private View day of the 2015 Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists!  (I have two coloured pencil drawings in the show!)

Where to find the SBA

The SBA features quite a bit on various pages - and this is probably quite a good way of explaining how the site works.
  • see the SBA on the National and Regional Botanical Art Societies page
  • see the annual exhibition via the Exhibitions portal - on the Botanical Art Exhibitions in the UK page
  • see some of the SBA member artists on the Botanical Artists in the UK page via the Artists portal. Given the number of artists who could be included on this website the guideline I use for who to include on the Artist country pages is that the artist has won an RHS Gold Medal or equivalent. (I may at some point in the future also include a page for artists who are members of an art society but have yet to win their RHS Gold Medal - but first things first!)
  • Also accessible via the Artists portal are pages for top botanical artists and illustrators - I hasten to add that none of the lists of artists are exhaustive - but they do tend very much to focus on the artists with websites:
  • The SBA's Distance Learning Diploma Course is listed on the Diplomas and Certificates Page within the Education section of the site
  • Also listed under Education are:
    • SBA members (and others) who provide tuition on the Tuition and Workshops page. Listings are brief and free. This page will grow over time. My aim at present is to limit the page to people who provide tuition on a regular basis and/or are accredited teachers and/or get rave reviews if they provide only a limited amount of tuition each year. Recommendations are always welcome and the page includes a form for any teacher you would like to endorse re. a continuing presence or think ought to be included on the page.
    • a Workshops, Classes and Courses in 2015 page - which still needs some work - I'm aiming to make this one geographically based. In due course advertising will be accepted for this page - once I've worked out how best to do this.
    • Tips and techniques - which come from a variety of sources (but bloggers have a chance to shine here) - particularly those who provide Video Tips for Botanical Artists
    • [UPDATE: It now also includes a page about The Best Botanical Art Instruction Books]

More Resources for Botanical Artists and Art Lovers

In addition, the website also provides:
So as you can see there's lots of content which is why I'm referring to it as a "Compendium" website.

I do however want to emphasise the website is by no means complete.

What do you think? How can it be improved

I'd love to have feedback on the site - good or bad. I've been working on it for quite some time and I know I've got lots more I can do to it to make it even better.

I've shown it to a few people and the responses so far have been enthusiastic - so I hope you like it too.

You'll find there is a Feedback Form in the Contact section and other comment forms are strategically placed around the site offering you the opportunity to provide feedback for the site or suggest content.  Please note the comments get sent to me so are private rather than appearing on the site.

Thank you to all of you in advance if you take time out to share your thoughts on purpose, content or future direction.

and finally......

Please note that unlike my previous "resources for artists" websites, this one is costing me money to run. I can do no better than add the note you'll find at the bottom of every page
This website is free to you but not to me!
The plan is that in future it should be funded and maintained by income from:
  1. Advertising which I plan to improve. Currently Google AdSense adverts are trying to work out what to display on this website!
  2. Affliliate links to Amazon. If you buy using one of these I receive a very small sum.
I'm not a fan of adverts generally however I do think they can be useful if designed and located well. What I'd like to do is move to having display adverts (with limited use and the format controlled to avoid it being overly intrusive) which are much more relevant to the people using the site. Value added adverts is the way I like to think about it - ones where we all get to benefit! That way I can reduce the offbeat suggestions from Google AdSense!

This is the second of my new "resources for artists" compendium website. If you'd like to see the first of my new websites check out Art Business for Artists