I took a set of art classes at Ohlone College in Fremont in 2008, including an amazing class on museum curating administered by Professor Kenney Mencher. The class exhibited the work of David Tomb (last name pronounced “Tom”) who specializes in paintings of birds. We showed his work of the El Triunfo Biosphere Reserve, and that’s how I made my acquaintance with David Tomb.
For me, David’s site is his permanent exhibit. When you go to his website, it opens with a full-page rendition of one of his amazing bird paintings — his calling card.
Clicking anywhere takes you to the home page with a large slideshow of many of his works. Most slideshows I implement make a tradeoff between the time it takes to load the site, and the quality and number of images in the slideshow. Because David needs to show several of his paintings large and in high quality, I created a new system that loads as many high-quality images into the slideshow as we want without hurting the initial page load time. Contrast this with slideshows you see on many photographers’ sites that use Adobe Flash — high-quality large images that must all be loaded before the slideshow starts, and visitors who close the page early out of impatience.
This site also features a rare delving into responsive websites for me. Here in late 2011, sites that redesign themselves depending on the size of the visitor’s screen or window are booming — sites that present themselves smaller on mobile devices, for example. I think this confuses and frustrates visitors, especially when they need a feature the site removes on their small screen. But I did find David’s menu bar a bit hard to use on cell phones, so I increase its size and center it just for cell phones. I also increase the font size for the text of most pages, as I often do. I remove no features for the site on cell phones or tablets. Modern mobile browsers are fully capable of displaying full sites; why dumb them down for no reason?
This site also has a dynamic Exhibitions page which shows past, current, and upcoming shows that automatically place themselves in the right section depending on the current date and the dates of the shows.
Many thanks to David Tomb for asking me to design and implement his website. I had a lot of fun working with him on its development, and I hope it adds to the success he’s already achieved with his amazing paintings. Please visit his site at davidtomb.com.
You can also see a video tour of David’s site.