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  • Behold the turtle.
    He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.
  • 2010 Portfolio Updates


    Leanne Wildermuth 2010 Portfolio This update is long, long overdue!

    I’ve spent the last couple of days inserting all of my projects to date into my portfolio. I can’t believe 2010 is almost over!

    I’ve added over 20 things to draw to my portfolio, so if you see yours here, please pop right on over to your project and leave a comment. It is so helpful to have feedback on my projects so new and old clients alike have a good feeling for the quality of my work as well as my trustworthiness and reliability!

    I’ve even been able to add a few photos of framed pieces (Moggie, Lilly and Joey’s portraits) which is really neat! I love having photos from clients to share!

    I’d also like to thank each and every one of my clients who entrusted me with their projects. It’s incredible to me to look back over the work I’ve done just this year and see such a variety, which means that many people put a lot of faith in me to be creative in whatever medium their project requires. That is a very cool thing, and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to create in such a variety of ways. I never get tired of it – and don’t think I’ll ever narrow down to just one “thing”, even though I have contemplated just that on numerous occasions as many people recommend a specialty – I just can’t do it!

    Thanks again to all of you for your continued support on my artistic journey. Love and hugs to you all!

    Custom WordPress Site Design : Susan McCorkindale


    Another recent project that I completed is a custom WordPress site design for book author & copy writer, Susan McCorkindale.

    Her site previously consisted of html pages that were full of images that had text on them – which doesn’t help much with Search Engine Optimization. (Designers, if any one of you are doing this, you are doing a dis-service to your clients and need to seriously re-think this practice!) I installed WordPress for her, illustrated her “signature” and created a clean, simple site design so that her readers get an eyeful of her hilarious writing and beautiful face! I gave her site an added boost using plugins specifically for SEO and social networking, as well.

    Go check her out and pick up a copy of her latest release, Confessions of a Counterfeit Farm Girl!

    Portfolio Updates!


    custom dog portrait chocolate lab oil painting art by Leanne Wildermuth
    Just a note to let you all know that I’ve just added 14 (FOURTEEN!!!) projects to my portfolio! You can view them all here: Leanne’s Portfolio

    …and by all means, if you’ve got a project included in my portfolio, feel free to leave a comment! All of my weekly portrait giveaways, blog designs and paintings are present and accounted for.

    Happy browsing!

    Completed Blog Design : Reading Red Letters


    wordpress blog site design

    Over the past few months, I’ve been putting together a site for Lindsey over at Reading Red Letters. I had already designed her site once before, so I was excited to hear about the new vision she had for her site.

    Lindsey uses RRL to challenge herself and her readers to learn and understand the Gospel. She found a plugin that would rotate themes with each change of season in the Liturgical year. Scott Lenger’s Liturgical Year Themes plugin does just that!

    My task, then, was to create a theme with a strong structure that would carry the five themes she had in mind. Ordinary time, Advent, Epiphany, Lenten and Easter – she gave me the general color scheme and I started browsing for imagery that would convey those messages accurately, and give those graphics an old world feel to bring you back in time.

    The first mockup – eh, it was okay. Lindsey was ever so patient and gave me creative license to dig in and create something that, though it was different from what she envisioned, still gave it the look and feel she was going for. The end result is something we’re both proud of, and something visually interesting and appealing for her readers.

    reading red letters liturgical wordpress themes by Leanne Wildermuth
    (click here to view this image just a smidge bigger, for detail.)

    The themes will switch automatically from season to season, and each season is identified beneath the blog title and will convey a message that will apply to that season. It’s really a very neat plugin, it was a very cool project, for a very awesome client!

    Dog Illustration : Ruby


    dog illustration by Leanne Wildermuth

    I wanted to share this final custom dog illustration alongside the photo so you can see how I’ve turned my client’s pretty boy, Ruby, into an illustration that he can use for his business! He was such fun to doodle, and I’m delighted to add Ruby to my illustration portfolio!

    You can see Ruby’s illustration in action at!

    I’m 38!


    birthday muffin cake blog party invite photo by leanne wildermuth

    I’ve been continually verbally assaulted with birthday wishes and greetings from friends and family on Facebook today. Don’t you feel sorry for me? No? Well good. Because DANG if there’s a place on the internet where you feel really special on your b-day, Facebook is IT!! I just want to make a hot cup of cocoa and stare at my wall for a few hours. It’s that nice.

    38. The big three-eight. What’s the big deal? Honestly, the older I get, the farther away from “old” I feel. The years may be whizzing right past me, and I might not remember your name, but darnit I’m always going to be 16 in my head. So what do you do on your 38th birthday? Appreciate the people who take the time to pop in on your day, have a piece of cake, and smile.

    dog illustration by leanne wildermuth
    So this is me, smiling at you. Thanks for popping by.

    And while you’re here, I’ll show you what I’ve been finalizing the last couple of days. This is a custom illustration of Ruby, a beautiful mixed breed pooch wearing a scarf. It’s in the proofing stage so there may be some tweaking but I have to say – Adobe Illustrator rocks so much. I previously drew my doodles in using PSP using my Wacom and the paintbrush tool. This time I used Adobe’s pen tool to piece the dog together in a hundred or so different shapes – and I love the pen tool! I can definitely see getting much more accomplished in the way of illustrating using AI in the future. Very cool.

    Hope you’re staying warm – the polar bears are almost finished with the igloo they’ve been building in my back yard. I’ve got to run to the store to get some salmon. (Translation: It’s -40 something degrees here. I think everyone who lives in an area with these kinds of winters should automatically qualify for disability checks from the state for being mentally impaired. There. I said it.)

    New! Improved! HUGE Changes! Look! See?


    For the past several weeks, I have poured nearly every moment of every day into a complete overhaul of This is, after all, my bread n’ butter. I’d like to go over some of the changes for you and give you a quick run-down on the restructure of my site.

    First, the geek speak. I’ve been running my site using 3 different installations of WordPress. This has been completely counter-productive, as each one had it’s own design and separate administrative areas. Not to mention separate databases, separate feeds, and separate plugins. What you’re seeing now is everything merged into one database (one GInormous database) and one design. I’ve used custom queries and code to create different looks for each section (category) of my site.

    On to the design changes. I’ve made modifications to specific areas so that you’ll definitely know where you are as you move through my site and portfolio. Obviously the main page (screenshot above) stands alone. Three featured paintings, nice and big, direct you to my portfolio to browse through my work. Once you’re in my portfolio, here are the views:

    You might find it interesting to know that the art desk you’re looking at is, indeed, mine. I photographed it a few years ago and have finally had the opportunity to implement it into my design! I’m very excited about that!!

    The portfolio, viewed 9 thumbnails at a time, can be easily navigated using the wonderful PageNavi plugin by Lester Chan. You can further narrow down which area in the portfolio you’d like to view using the New! Improved! drop down menu, just mouseover the Portfolio, drop down to “Paintings” and you’ll see all of the category options. Once you’ve arrived at a portrait you’d like to see details on, just click the thumbnail and you’ll get the full sized image with details, and can view or leave comments on my projects as well.

    Each single post has even more options. You can send the project to a friend or post it on any of your favorite social networking sites, you can view related projects or entries that relate to that particular project, you can leave a comment and continue browsing or, better yet, go straight to ordering your own custom portrait!

    My Photography section is just a little different from my paintings, as I wanted to make a better distinction between my paintings and my photographs. Here, you’ll see my camera sitting atop the section instead of my workspace.

    Another interesting note – for this part of my design, I photographed my camera with my camera. Want to know how I did that? I used a white background, set it on a white cabinet, and held a full length mirror in front of it after setting the timer. I simply mirrored the image to create this graphic. Neat, huh?

    The single photos enlarge nicely and include navigation to browse directly within the category (my other portfolio categories work this way, as well). You have most of the same options here, to send the photo to a friend, share it on one of many social networking sites, the difference is here, instead of viewing similar photos, you can click right through to the photography prints in my shop to browse those prints available. Also, of course you can leave comments here as well. This is actually my old photoblog, merged into my old photography category – so there are both old and new photos here.

    Okay. Moving on! Some neat things I’ve included in my design include a Site Map and Archive that allows you to get specific with the feeds you’d like to subscribe to. Have a look:

    On this page, you’ll see all of my categories with their RSS button and feed URL. Now, my blog feed hasn’t changed if you’re subscribed to it directly, but now if you’re subscribed through Feedburner, the feed has been redirected to the main feed. If you want to be more specific about the areas you’re subscribed to, the Site Map is the place to do that. If you want to stay updated on everything I do, then my FeedBurner feed is the feed to grab.

    More stuff. Yes, there’s more stuff.

    The navigation menu is now super intuitive. Things that were not so easy to find before are SUPER easy to find now. Pricing, prints, contact, quote, and everything you could possibly want to know about me and my artwork. It’s all there.

    The blog, well, I kept some things from my old setup because I really liked that design. I just spiffied it up a little bit and added some really neat quotes up top to keep you on your toes. I cleaned up my “Bits n’ Blurbs” so they have their own look now, even when you view them all at once.

    I’ve also been quite a bit of dirty work to the e-commerce default stylesheet for my Shop.

    Using PayPal as my payment gateway, e-Commerce makes it really easy to set up shop. I’ve included Custom Portrait Packages, Original Paintings, Prints from Paintings, Photography Prints and also, new to my shop, I’ve added Gift Certificates. I’ll also be adding downloadable wallpapers and even prints to my Freebies page, so those will be up there shortly!

    Overall, there are things you may notice now that you never knew were here before. This was truly a labor of love and long overdue! I hope that you enjoy the changes and, as always, I’m totally open to suggestions and feedback to make things even better for you.

    Thank you ALL for being so patient with me during this transition!

    Solaris Studios Site Design


    solaris studios screenshot

    I recently launched a design for Solaris Studios, run by Aric Hoek, an incredible and unique photographer in the Houston area. His site is fully run on one single installation of WordPress, of course, and I provided him a lot of custom code to make the various pages and categories of his site function in specific ways. He utilizes pages for primary content, posts for his blog content and specific categories combined with the YAPB plugin to run the photoblog section.

    He’s really maximized the various uses all in one installation – which I’ll be doing here on my own site over the next couple/few weeks.

    Lisa’s Chaos Blog Design


    I managed to talk Lisa into moving to WordPress, which she did ever so gracefully (heh! seriously, she jumped right into it!) and now she’s sporting a new custom design that I created for her that will really highlight her (amazing) photography so much better. I had such fun creating this design – go have a look around!

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