It took months to get to this point. Spending two or three hours at a time, and working across several different sites each with different characteristics has allowed some forward movement. More than anything I am struggling to get the set-up of the pages as they are written to appear in the same way on the actual site and I have come to the conclusion that you cannot. No matter how many times you resize images and move text around, when you come into the site from the search engine it never has the layout you have spent hours trying to set up.Why can’t WordPress offer a WYSIWYG design? Or have I just not found it yet? [Note: 2021 – I was still struggling with Qua theme when I wrote this. Then I updated the theme but it’s still limited. I’m looking around for other options now].
I really wanted a good portfolio site. But I fear the options are just too limited. I thought it would be possible to put grids together for each set of images, with space for commentary against each one. This is clearly not how it works.
My writing sites, both based on a free WordPress template (2014) work like a charm. I am using WordPress.com, not WordPress.org, and don’t have an external server. so if you are in the early phases of setting up your own site, maybe you need to switch to an externally hosted site because there seem to be more portfolio-based themes which you of course have to pay for. But I could be wrong about this. I might do it myself, but not right now.
Another idea is to sign up for an Art Archiving service. Again, it involves expense, in this case an annual fee. But you can put all your paintings on it, and track where they are, whether any have been sold, prices and such. Plus I think there is a facility for commenting on the paintings.