Thursday, 21 May 2015

Web sites and stuff.

Good grief, it's been over 2 months since I last posted .... doesn't time fly when you're working your socks off? LOL.

As most of us know, it's that time of year when our gardens beckon and anyone with a 'formal' garden will know just how much post-winter tidying up and spring weeding, trimming and pruning is necessary. My greenhouse is bulging at the seams both with tender plants that have overwintered in there, and with new plants born from cuttings. I'm an old fashioned gardener so won't plant out any tender plants before the end of May. Nearly there!!!

We have also decided to have a new kitchen so remodelling has also been high on the agenda. I'm needing to finish painting the hall and passageway now that our new Front and back doors have been fitted but progress is being made as I spend sunny days outside and wet ones inside. Sometimes I feel like the little man in one of those old Swiss Weather Cottage ornaments. LOL.

On top of everything else I've also been fixing my web site - JWJonline. Google recently announced that they would be giving less importance in their search results to sites that were not 'Mobile Friendly'. They use all sorts of complicated expressions like 'Responsive Design' but what it really comes down to is a flexible layout that looks good on any size screen. At first I ignored this 'advice' but eventually looked closely at the statistics for my site and found that my traffic is fairly equally split three ways, one third from phones, one third tablets and one third desktops, This is a massive change even over the last 12-months.

With 2/3rds of my traffic coming from mobile devices I decided I had to deal with the matter. For template-based sites run by hosting companies there is little the end-user can do to alter the technical structure of the site but for someone who has built their own site from scratch, as I have, the ball is firmly in my own court. It's been necessary to look up lots of things and my learning curve has been steep, but I'm there now and very happy with the results ..... fonts rescale, images rescale and text moves fluidly around the screens. Whether you view my site on a phone, tablet or desktop, the pages ought to look good. (Let me know if you see something that could be improved). I have to applaud Google for providing some extremely useful tools especially one that allows a desktop user to see how his site looks on any other device.

So, while all of this has been going on I haven't been able to do much art. I've occasionally spent a little time doing ink sketches, such as this tree, old rowing boat and village green, just to keep my hand in, but 'serious' art has had to take a back seat. Still, summers almost here, the web site is virtually finished, the garden will soon be looking after itself and the kitchen won't take forever, and then I'll be out in the summer sun with my sketchbook as I'm determined to do some urban sketching this year.

18 comments:

  1. I do understand that art has to take a back seat until the work in your house is finished! I'm having my bathroom remodeled and it's not easy because my house is a mess just having one room done. lol
    Thank goodness I have an extra room in my house that I can set up my easel and just close the door when I don't paint... Your sketches are outstanding as always, John! I love the rowboat and Village Green....!!!! I look forward to more of your beautiful work...we'll be here when you finish your kitchen!

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    1. LOL ... I know what you mean about the mess Hilda. I hope it all goes smoothly for you. ;-)

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  2. Hi John.
    Glad you are almost back mate. First class drawings. I do love seeing drawings especially Ink drawings. and you do both. All the best John.
    Vic.

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    1. Thanks very much Vic. All the best.

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  3. Hello John. It's good to see that you are keeping your hand in, and the work is still of a consistently high standard.

    The website looks good too, and I know how much work and frustration is involved. I've noticed one small problem: at resolutions narrower than 400, the "Most recent painting" and "Most recent drawing" links don't seem to be active. I tried it with several different testing apps and it was the same with all of them. The other links seem to work OK. I hope that doesn't cause you too much work!

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    1. Good catch Keith, thank you. It was nothing more than another div overlapping the links at low screen sizes. Easily fixed by forcing them to stay on top. Thank you for taking the time to look for me. ;-)

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  4. Your drawings are absolutely beautiful!
    It sounds like you have been working really hard. We are trying to keep up with the weeding and that's hard enough! Now we have planted some vegetables too... Still, it's nice to stand back when it's all done, until a week later when it needs doing again, gaaagh! :0)

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    1. Weeding is certainly a never ending job Sandra. I've grown veggies for many years but decided not to do any this year, a decision I'm coming increasingly more pleased about. lol.

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  5. John, sounds like your getting all your ducks in a row. You do manage a lot, your art, gardening, and remodeling too?
    Love your drawings.

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    1. Never a dull moment, that's for sure. Thank you BJ.

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  6. Beautiful drawings, John! I also found out my website is not mobile friendly. And though I used WordPress, I changed so much that I feel I have to start from scratch again. Yours looks great, and all the best with the garden, the kitchen and the hall!

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    1. Thank you Judy. Like you, after I'd made my site mobile friendly there was so much of it i didn't like that i also felt like starting again. Still got a lot to do before I'm satisfied with it. Web sites are great to have but they can be very challenging.

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  7. John-wonderful pen and ink drawings. Sounds like you are very busy. I garden as well- so understand about art taking a back seat right now. Sketching and little serious painting being done in my studio too. Your previous posts containing your other pen and ink work is so wonderful. I agree hatching is hard for me to make look natural. Must practice more. You inspire me. Good luck with your kitchen project.

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    1. Thank you very much Debbie, you're very kind. The thing I struggle with is making the hatching look natural. Mine always looks so 'clinical' .... but I'll stick at it. ;-)

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  8. Somebody is always trying to make us learn new stuff whether we want to learn it or not. Thanks for sharing what you've learned about all this. Nice drawings. Sometimes the "serious" art is less heart-felt than the more spontaneous pieces and has a beauty of its own.

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    1. What's so annoying Linda is that 5-years ago 'they' wanted us to do things a particular way yet now 'they' say that's all wrong. Go figure !!! LOL. Thanks for your lovely comment.

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  9. My goodness I'm tired just reading all that. Nice drawings posted. Thank you for your frequent popping in to my site.

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    1. Thank you Sue. Visiting your site is a always a joy. ;-)

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