A Look at Painters with Portfolios
Recently, Michelle announced the launch of WordPress.com/portfolios. If you take photographs, record music and video, illustrate and paint, or design things, you can build a portfolio here on WordPress.com, using one of our portfolio themes.
I was curious to see how painters use WordPress.com as an ultimate canvas to compile and display their masterpieces. If you’re a painter looking for ways to build your online portfolio, find inspiration from these artists:
Born in the Philippines and now living in New Mexico, self-taught painter Fatima Ronquillo paints classically inspired portraits. Yet her body of work also evokes magical realism — it’s playful and even eerie. Fatima’s gallery of paintings covers seven years (click on “Works” in the menu to browse back to 2007), so take the time to browse her collection. She uses Portfolio, a premium theme in our Theme Showcase.
Under the “Representation” tab, she’s created pages for her work in galleries in New Mexico, Utah, and Texas; and under “About,” you’ll find links to her biography and a detailed résumé listing past exhibitions and press.
In addition to the evergreen content on these pages, she has a blog, accessible in the main menu. (You can set up your site this way, too; read about the Front Page option on our Support site.) On her blog, she announces exhibitions, shares new paintings, and muses on her craft. And she does so beautifully: in “Love for one’s work,” you’ll see her words are as delicate as her brush strokes:
As for myself, I love my work but rarely do I enjoy it. Drawing is pleasurable because it is immediately gratifying. Perhaps this is why I jealously guard my drawings and am reluctant to show them; they are my private joy. Painting on the other hand is too difficult and slow going. So why do I paint? For the same reason why Proust’s narrator pursues writing: love. If drawing is the seed of an idea, then an oil painting for me is that idea fully realized.
The goal is a water colour painting a day, regardless of what’s going on. The purpose is to seek out 20-30 minutes of unplugged quiet time every day. . . . The world around us is getting busier all the time. In what ways might I create that meditative space for myself?
Ian Rosenfeldt approaches Zany4Days as an experiment: to step outside of his comfort zone, to create something artistic on a regular basis, and to carve out personal time each day. He uses a free theme, Hatch, which is perfect for his painting-a-day project. Hatch is a minimal theme, yet the grid-style design displays bold images, and the colors pop against the solid black background.
If you’re interested in creating a visual layout like this using Hatch, you need to set Featured Images in each of your posts. To do this, find the Featured Image module on the bottom right when you’re creating or editing a post and select the image to appear in the grid.
We also like how Ian captures the spiral binding of his notebook in each shot, which creates a visual motif as you scroll down his front page. He’s invited us to peek into his artistic process, page after page. It’s a unique, personal touch.
Maurice Sapiro, a longtime painter in Connecticut, paints landscapes, still life, and dreamscapes and uses a customized Nishita theme to display his moody and ethereal pieces, inspired by the outdoors as well as the human figure. The Nishita theme works well with big images — its default “photoblog” layout is super-wide at 1024 pixels, which puts the focus on Maurice’s artwork.
You can also choose between a light and dark color scheme, and here, the white background showcases the delicate shades of his paintings. With large images, the viewer can see and appreciate the subtle layers and technique and movement of his brush.
Unlike Fatima and Ian above, who use a front page-style and grid-like design to present their paintings, Maurice opts for a traditional blog layout. At the top, he has an extensive custom menu to various pages, categories, and custom links to his other sites so you can easily explore his breadth of work spanning 60 years. To start, take a look at his collections of watercolors, “poured paintings,” and skyscapes.
To provide space for his super-wide images, he skips a sidebar but takes advantage of the three widget areas in the footer, using Image Widgets to link to his work on eBay, as well as the Top Posts & Pages, My Community, and Posts I Like Widgets to display notable content and the online network he’s built.
Check out other painters making a splash on WordPress.com:
- Lisa Kairos: Open Studio (encaustic painting, mixed media)
- Joshua Dildine (spray paint, mixed media, acrylic)
- Lina Raymond (acrylic on wood and canvas)
- Art by Ken (abstract and organic mixed media)
- Justin Beckett: Canadian Painter (acrylic landscape and nature)
- Art of Jodi Magi (great use of the tiled gallery on her Paintings and Drawings page)