DPW Gallery Page - Categories or Not?

I now have more than one page to my gallery and wonder if I should have categories. I do paint a variety of subjects, and my page includes sold, not for sale, and available paintings, so I could divide it. My concern is whether viewers find it irritating to have to ‘click’ additional times to get to the paintings they want to view. Also, might they miss seeing a desirable painting because they limited themselves to a single category? I’d welcome thoughts on what works for others.

I’m in the same position as an artist… as a viewer, though, I find that I almost always click the ‘All’ category when looking through other artists’ galleries. My memory takes days off occasionally, and I forget which categories I’ve looked through… (I looked at landscape, seascape… wait, did I look at seascape?) and I end up going back and forth a lot.

I like to compare the way an artist handles a landscape to a still life, for example, so it’s nice seeing everything mixed in together… and it’s intriguing to see the mix of subjects that people are drawn to paint.

And sometimes you come across beautiful paintings of things that you might not normally be drawn to. If an artist’s gallery is divided by genre, for example, I’ll look at landscapes and still life paintings, but I might not look at animals or people. If all the work is in one place, I find myself looking at everything.

You can choose the option of having your gallery page open to all of the artwork rather than default to a categories page. (Do this under “Admin tools–Gallery options”) This allows viewers to start by seeing everything, then narrow things down if they wish, so I don’t see any down side to HAVING categories. (David thought of everything.) I imagine visitors would find it useful at least to have “Sold” and “Available” categories. As well as several subjects, I also have two size categories.

Thanks JM, for taking the time to respond. Your thoughts happen to mirror my own inclinations. Since the options at the top of our DPW pages already allow viewers to refine their search, the idea of presenting only four or five images just seems limiting to me. Just as you’ve said, I believe there are advantages to presenting one’s entire group of paintings. I have, however, occasionally rearranged my paintings in order to place available pieces nearer the top.

Thanks very much for answering my query, Connie. I think perhaps I wasn’t sufficiently clear. By ‘categorizing’ I meant creating the type of sub-folders such as Rita Kirkman, Dana Cooper, or Carol Marine offer on their gallery pages. What you’ve described – and how your page is set up – is very similar to mine, and I agree that it’s suited to my situation. (And, yes, David does think of everything! It’s a great site.)

You were clear, and this is what I tried to explain. Once you set up categories, your gallery opening page can appear either way, depending on whether or not you check the “Default to artwork view” box. Carol, Rita and Dana have not checked that box, so their opening gallery pages display the category folders. I DO check the “Default to artwork view” so my opening gallery page shows all the artwork and has the category list on the side. Here are pictures of it both ways. The only difference between these two examples is whether or not you check that box. So you can make categories and still show all of your artwork on the first gallery page visitors see.

Oh, Connie, I see what you mean now. Gosh, thanks very much for taking the time and trouble to explain. I can see that it’s actually a case of having a surplus of options! By the way, your work is really superb, and your level of accomplishment is more than apparent. I’ve commented on some of your posts, but could easily compliment them all. Like you, I’m a realistic painter who admires a more impressionistic approach. That said, when I look at your work, I wonder if perhaps we both just don’t think that the grass just seems greener when it’s more painterly. Thanks again, Connie!

Thanks so much, you’re very kind to say so. And nope, I’m pretty sure
the more impressionistic grass is greener. :grin: