Introduction to the website
Welcome to the Pastel Artists Canada website. We hope that you'll find our website both attractive and functional, and that it will meet your needs in terms of establishing a web presence for your own pastel paintings, if you choose to use it that way. These instructions will show you how to join the PAC, choose the membership option you'd like, and create and maintain your own gallery on our site if you choose a premium membership. Regardless of which membership option you choose, we ask that you do complete an online registration form so that you have access to all the benefits of your chosen membership option.
Start on our home page at www.pastelartists.ca. As you can see, if you scroll over the images of the paper strips, they rise up to catch your attention, and clicking on any one of them will take you to more information about that topic. There are also links to many subjects of interest down the left hand side. You can explore any time.
Take a look at the Member Showcases. You'll notice that you do not have a link here yet. You can come back later when you've created your membership, and find the link to your site if you've chosen a premium membership category.
Find the About/Join/Contact item on the menu on the left on the page. Clicking on that takes you to a page where you can read about the history of the PAC, but go to the link on the right, which says "full membership information" and click on it. This links you to a page where you see several options for membership.
If you choose a basic membership, you become a member of the PAC, with all the benefits of membership except for a personal presence on our website. All PAC members can add events to our PAC community online calendar. See instructions for doing this below.
If you choose to have a web presence on our site, you'll have a "premium" membership. You'll see that the benefits of each are listed on this page.
The premium option buys you all the benefits of a basic PAC membership, plus your own full gallery on this site, to which you can add your contact information, a biography, and as many images of your work as you'd like. You'll be able to add, delete, and change images and information at any time, for no extra cost. This is a great option if you don't already have your own artist website and do want to have a presence on the web.
Instructions for creating a membership account (for all membership options)
Choose the level of membership you wish to have, and click on the "sign up now" link at the bottom of that option. Fill in all the boxes on the form that comes up. You can add your own website URL if you have one (and this is required if you have chosen a slim membership). Be sure to fill in the options regarding your interests and volunteer availability-we try to meet our members' needs and encourage active participation by analyzing this information.
Regardless of what type of membership you've chosen, it's very important to enter a current email address, as this is how the PAC will contact you with a confirmation of membership.
If you have chosen premium membership, that confirmation email will include an activation link that will enable you to start building your gallery right away. We do allow you immediate access to your member page upon joining the PAC online; however, you will need to send in your payment via a cheque in the mail, as the confirmation email will direct. If we do not receive your payment within two weeks of your registration, we will suspend your membership and your gallery will not be visible on our site. Once we receive payment, your gallery will be reinstated on the site. If we do not receive your payment within one month, your membership will be cancelled and all your images and information deleted from our site permanently.
Be sure to create your own username and password on this form, and record these for yourself somewhere, so that you can log-in to your member account at any time.
When you are finished filling in the form, click on the "register membership" button at the bottom.
Your confirmation email will include an activation link. Click on it to activate your account. Then you will be taken to the members-only log-in page, from which you can log in, using the username and password you created when filling in the membership form. In future, you can reach this page by clicking on the Members Only link in the menu on the left-hand side of the home page.
Using the Calendar (for all membership options)
Here's how to use a useful new feature of the PAC website: the interactive calendar. On the left hand menu of the home page, you can see a link to Calendar of Events. Clicking on this brings you to the calendar page, which is visible to the public. There will be events on the calendar that have been added by the PAC or by other members. You can look at past or future months by clicking on the month names, and you can view the details of any of these events by clicking on the item in the calendar-the details will appear on the right hand side.
If you log in first, you can add events to this calendar. From the home page, click on Calendar. To add an event of your own, click on the blue add symbol. Now you can type in the details of your event, including the description and start and end dates, and a URL of the event website, if there is one. Once you click on "create", your event is added to the calendar. If you click on one of your own events, you can see the details, and edit them if needed. Obviously you don't have editing access to PAC or other member events, just the ones you've created.
Members can also add events to the calendar by clicking on "my events" on the left hand menu on your member page -the interface is similar, but it means you can work on your events without moving to the calendar page.
Logging off (for all membership options)
Whenever you are finished working on the PAC website, please log off by clicking on the "log off" button (near the top of the screen), to protect your information.
Additional Instructions for Premium Members only
Adding new images
Log in, which will take you to your member page. Once you are at your member page, here's how to add new images.
Click on the blue add symbol. This brings up a new field that asks you to choose a file. Clicking on it allows you to browse your computer to find your file. You may have your paintings stored on your computer's hard drive, on a CD, or on a camera card-you can select files from any of these places as long as you have the CD or camera card inserted into your computer at the time. For best results, you want your files to be their original size. The nice thing about the PAC website gallery process is that it will automatically resize your images to fit the PAC website requirements. You don't have to worry about changing the image sizes in some other software program beforehand-just upload them directly from your original files.
Once you have selected the file, you can see that the file name shows near the bottom right of the page. Next, click on upload image. Then wait while it uploads. Be patient, as this upload may take a few moments, depending on your internet speed. Soon you'll see your new image appear in the line of thumbnails. The thumbnail image is smaller than the original, and may not show the whole image. Don't panic, as it will show up correctly in the actual gallery.
Viewing and adding text to images
Once you have all your images loaded, you can look at them at full size by either double-clicking on the thumbnail image, or by clicking on the magnifying glass below the thumbnail image. You can add text information by clicking on the editing symbol, the pencil. You can add a title, a size, and a price. If the item is sold, you can add that information in the title field. In the size field, let your viewers know if your measurements are in inches or centimeters. In the price field, you can type only numbers (not words), and do not type in the dollar sign-it will be added automatically.
Changing the order of images
To change the order of your images, you can click on one, hold the mouse button down, and drag the image in either direction. The image that is on the left of the row will be the first to appear on your gallery.
To delete your images, you again have two options. You can click and drag an image to the wastebasket, or you can click on the red x below an image to delete it.
Viewing your gallery/slideshow
To view your gallery, click on the picture of the movie screen, with "launch flash gallery" beside it. You will now see your thumbnail images along the bottom. You can click on any image to view it in full size, and you can click on slideshow at the top to start the images scrolling through in order. Each image shows for several seconds.
Creating/editing your bio
You'll also want to add your personal information and a biography to your gallery. Back on your member page, there's a link on the left side named "my profile." Clicking here brings you to a page where you add your information for the website record. Unless you are changing your username and password from the ones you created when you joined the PAC, you can leave those two fields blank, as it says underneath them.
Now, you'll click on the link that says Bio, view/edit. This brings up a box in which you can type your biography information directly, or paste it from a word processed document. You might want to include a description of your painting style, or your typical subjects, your influences and artistic education, if relevant. The contact information you typed into your profile when you joined the PAC is for PAC web registry purposes; it does not show up in your gallery, so you should also include your contact information in this bio box, so that viewers of the site can reach you. You can note a website URL here, too, if you have an additional artist website. It's best to write enough to fill this box, but no more. When you click on "update member" you'll see how the text fills the first page space on your gallery, in three columns.
You can update this bio as often as you like, so if you have upcoming shows or events, you can advertise them here. It's a good idea to keep this section current to keep viewers coming back to see what's new.
If you have questions or comments about the PAC website, please contact a member of the PAC executive (see contact information on the home page).