Tweet It took me a while to warm up to the idea of figurative paintings. In the past, I felt weird about liking them—like, am I a huge creep for being so drawn to a picture when I don’t know … Read More
It took me a while to warm up to the idea of figurative paintings. In the past, I felt weird about liking them—like, am I a huge creep for being so drawn to a picture when I don’t know the person depicted? I recently decided I’m over it and Katherine Fraser is responsible for changing my mind. Whether I’m a creep or not, her paintings are just plain beautiful. And if the purpose of art is to make you think, they certainly do the job: Fraser’s portraits are haunting. Her images are striking in their vivid detail and a little bit disconcerting in their intimacy. I don’t know the women in Fraser's paintings, but I feel like I can imagine feasible stories about them based on their faces and surroundings. It’s become a game…what’s the story behind the image expressed in a single sentence? She’s swathed in black for a clandestine meeting; her feathery stole will help her blend in with the shadows. [Stare by Katherine Fraser] She’s sleepwalking across an empty landscape, dreaming a dream-within-a-dream. [Constellations by Katherine Fraser] She’s staring into her bathroom mirror and contemplating the symmetry of her reflected features. [Intuition by Katherine Fraser] An oversized framed print of “Constellations” is about to find a home on the wall of my new den. I love the look of black and navy together, and I think the inky blue of the night sky in the piece will look fabulous with my soft grey walls and graphic black-and-white throw pillows: See more of Katherine Fraser’s gorgeous portraits here.
[gallery columns="2"] Okay, so my 20-year old daughter Annie thinks this room is “oh-so-70s” and can’t be bothered with it… I say it isn’t so – In fact, there's nothing 70s about it! I call it the “Parlor” and have filled it with great finds that my husband Clay and I have collected over the years. Clay tested the Modernica sofa (in front of a TV of course) – at the Nickelodeon store on Michigan Avenue – and had to have it. I wasn’t crazy about it but went along and have since improved it with two perfect pillows from Double D Ranch – Yoakum TX. By the way – it’s great for sitting but horrid for reclining – Forget about taking a nap there. (Happily, I still like the Chinese red after all these years!). I got the Alvar Aalto webbed chair from my dad – actually traded an amazing Bruno Mathsson (vintage original I inherited from my mother), but the webbing in the Mathsson had given way after 20 years of abuse from me, my three siblings, and countless pets, so who knows who got the better deal? The second Aalto chair (upholstered in Donghia) is unarguably the most comfortable chair in the house – I routinely lounge there (with a glass of Chardonnay naturally), read on my I-Pad and watch the neighborhood like Mrs. Kravitz. The Pièce de résistance – besides the art of course – is the spectacular Odegard rug that I convinced Clay to splurge on. Did you know that Odegard is the exclusive rug source for the J. Paul Getty museum in LA? (Yep – read it in a magazine!) And after 10 years, it is still my prized possession! Full Disclosure – My poor sister spilled red wine on it when it was quite new. I was not very nice about it but we’re still the best of friends. The cabinet is a 100% Christopher Deam original that we bought it in the late 90s. I’m not sure if CD is still designing/manufacturing furniture but he did do the interior for the new Airstream. Note – If my heirs ever need a windfall, they can sell this beauty on Antique Road Show one day! The lamp is – you guessed it – Target – and my favorite in the house (including the Noguchi that my housekeeper seems bent on destroying!). Okay – time to share details about the art. The black and white photograph is from PoP Gallery in Santa Fe. It’s Thomas Barbey’s Tourist Trap, a rendering of actual negatives spliced together (vs. photo-shopped) – another treasure I was able to talk Clay into! And the abstract – Speed of Light I from Benjamin Arnot – has an asymmetrical and amorphous feel that delights me. I actually bought it from gallerydirect.com long before I started working here! Benjamin’s recent work includes paintings in which he presents familiar objects in both conflict and harmony, which invite us to “explore our odd and constant obsession of iconography and precious objects,” (Benjamin’s words and my sentiments exactly!)
I'm not a designer but I love great design, and the art I see around our offices -- on our walls - in our front gallery - our presentations and videos - on the scanner - coming off the printers - and being framed -- inspires me every day. It makes me think of all the rooms I want to create. Here's one I've done in my own home since I joined in May. I'm now the proud owner of two Judy Paul prints - Get Out I and Get Out II - which I had printed in custom sizes (1 horizontal and 1 vertical) to fit my space. Notice the great pairing with my new tangerine Jonathan Adler x-Benches and the 15-year old Jean-Michel Frank-inspired chocolate mohair couch. The vintage bird pillows from dwellstudio.com were not pricey and came with inserts. The room was dark and blah before - Tell me you love it now! And oh-by-the-way, Artemide's spectacular Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp is going on sale at dwr.com this week - that will brighten things up even more!!!
This list was shared on our parent company's site, but applies to Gallery Direct too! :) I love #6. I don't order online very often but when I do, I do feel like I got one thing off my list and accomplished...so I do rest better at night. #2 would apply to my husband. He loves to browse online but not with a cappucino or herbal tea...more like a beer. So what's stopping you? Order your fabulous piece of artwork that you've been wanting for you living room the past month NOW! Order online at Gallery Direct!
The gals and I in the Imaging Department were talking the other morning on which category wins for the most user uploads to get printed here at Gallery Direct. It was between these 3: wedding, pets & children portraits. In the Imaging Department we like to give our user uploaded photos a little clean up and boost if they need it. After all it will be hanging in your home so it has to look it's absolute best! Unfortunately, we do receive many user upload photos that are fuzzy & out of focus, or are dark or have major flash shadows. And there's not much we, the Imaging Department, can do for those problems. So here are some photo tips that I've found useful when taking photos of my own kids or dog! I also love to take pics at family & friends weddings. Go to them, Keep the eyes sharp, and Use natural light. [caption id="attachment_2277" align="alignnone" width="720"] My dog, Penny Lane. Shot down at her level, focusing on her eyes and using natural light.[/caption] It's important for your kids & pets to feel comfortable. Get down to their level and go to them. Have you ever heard the saying, "eyes are the window to the soul"? Be sure to focus in on the eyes and keep them sharp. Photos using natural light always come out so much better! No flash burst or shadow from the flash. Experiment, Be Patient, and Schedule. [caption id="attachment_2278" align="alignnone" width="720"] My kids. Experimenting with different angles, patiently taking lots of photos and scheduled to do it a time of day I knew they wouldn't be grumpy.[/caption] Experiment with different angles, approaches and compositions. Be patient and just take A LOT of shots. Worry about the results later. It's always good to schedule a time to take portraits when your kids and pets are most energetic. Backdrop awareness and Non posed. [caption id="attachment_2279" align="alignnone" width="500"] I found this blue bonnet field a few miles from my home. Wouldn't it be a perfect backdrop for a wedding portrait!?[/caption] We've seen several times photos of the most adorable kids with maybe a pile of laundry or dirty dishes in the backdrop...or a wedding couple with other people or cars in the backdrop. Be aware of what is behind your subject, and if possible pick a beautiful backdrop out! We also see a lot of posed portraits and those are great, but sometimes I find the non posed ones to be most interesting. Like capturing a wedding couple, walking, talking and laughing. It really makes the photo more intimate. I hope you found my tips useful. We love seeing the customer photo uploads that come through our Imaging Department, so keep uploading and ordering from Gallery Direct!
Join us in welcoming our newest artist to the Galley Direct family, A. J. Andrews. Although A. J.'s parents were musicians, he ended up an artist & photographer because he has a good eye for composition, balance and color. From a young age A. J. enjoyed taking photos of interesting people, animals and landscapes. As the years passed his realistic photography went more abstract. A. J. feels he is always learning from his environment, life experiences, lucky mistakes and looking at the work of others for inspiration. Today A. J. lives with his wife in a small town in New Jersey. Here are some of my favorite images by him, and I love the explanations he gives for them. AJ102A Light Display on House in the Midwest "Sometimes people go overboard with decorative holiday lights on and around their homes. For me as a photographer, however, the more the merrier! Here was an opportunity where layers of lights were twinkling and flashing, while my camera was zigging and zagging, resulting in a couple of very engaging images." AJ106A Window at Barney's "People call Barney's in New York an emporium of style and fashion, and their recent Lady Gaga windows were a special visual treat. The calming colors of a “crystal cave” blended together to create this memorable ice image. Cool!" AJ112A Large Mineral on Display at AMNH "Rare iridescent fossil shells of disk-‐shaped ammonites can be found along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. One such beautiful gemstone specimen offered the colors and shapes that seems only nature and time can create." AJ115A Clivia Miniata in Bloom "During a recent visit to a nearby botanical garden, planters full of these colorful blossoms were just calling out for attention. They were not to be ignored – and my camera obliged." Be sure to check out the rest of A. J. Andrews work on Gallery Direct!
Thought I would share a few of my favorite quotes about Art. I've placed these quotes on a few of our newly released images, you can see these images along with others on our New Releases page. Do you have a favorite quote about Art?
We recently launched work from one of our new exclusive artists, Fatmir Gjevukaj. Fatmir considers himself a traditional artist. Here is a quote from Fatmir: "My love for movies and comic books since my early childhood and my interest and focus which has always been on creatures and characters made me enter the world of cg art five years ago, and that's what I have been doing pretty much ever since." This definitely shows in his artwork. We love all the bright vivid colors and characters he paints! Be sure to check out all of his artwork on Gallery Direct! And here's a sneak peek at the latest work he's dropped off with us. Currently working on the digital files in our Imaging Department...
So yesterday marked the first day of summer! People take advantage of the warmer temperatures by spending more time outdoors during the summer. Activities such as traveling to the beach and picnics occur during summer months. Here at Gallery Direct I work in a room with no windows, it's for a good reason though, I can't have any light from the windows shining on the art I am working on in the imaging department. So I can't gaze out the window to see the beautiful summer blooms or see the summer breeze rustling the leaves on the trees. But that's okay, from the photo above doesn't it look like summertime in the imaging department!? Lots of beautiful, bright, vivid colors. Found a summer vocabulary word list, here are a few words: berries, daisy, flowers, fresh fruit, gardening, grass, hot, June, outdoors, picnic, relax, rose, season, sunny, visit, warm weather, watermelon. Some of those words come to mind working in my windowless room, thanks to the incredibly beautiful art I get to work with.
Did you know that Gallery Direct is on Pinterest? If you haven't started following our boards be sure to start doing so now! We have a "Pin It To Win It" board with your chance to win free art. I've been a Pinterest user for awhile now. I love the ideas, creativity and inspiration I can draw from Pinterest. One person I love to follow on there is Jessica Colaluca with Design Seeds. She has a passion for color (something we have here at Gallery Direct too!) and shares her color palettes that she journals from photos of art, architecture, nature, food, animals...you name it. So if you are having trouble coming up with interior color schemes for you home, you surely can get some inspiration from Design Seeds. And here is the thing, don't just stop at painting your walls these colors use the color palettes to help you find art! If you don't already know, you can search and browse through our art per color palette. Here are some examples of Design Seeds palettes I choose to inspire me in finding some Gallery Direct art...