About Joie Tamkin

Joie Tamkin is the Director of Marketing and Communications at Gallery Direct. She grew up in San Diego and loves living in Austin, Texas. She enjoys running the trails of Austin, home decorating and has an obsession with all things digital, especially social media.

Art as Your Focal Point

Tweet When designing a room it’s always helpful to have a starting point, such as a piece of artwork like the Art Deco Butterflies 60 featured above.  Artwork is a wonderful source of inspiration for an interior. The colors present … Read More

When designing a room it’s always helpful to have a starting point, such as a piece of artwork like the Art Deco Butterflies 60 featured above.  Artwork is a wonderful source of inspiration for an interior. The colors present in the artwork, the artistic style, and the overall mood of the piece can inform many of the decisions you’ll make for your interior. Aside from offering color and style direction for a room, the right artwork can serve as the focal point of your space. Consider the focal point to be the center of interest or activity in a room. Where do you want the eye to be drawn? The focal point may or may not be the actual center of the space, but it is always the most important part. Because a focal point engages users and draws attention to the space, it’s placement in a room must be thoughtful.  A stunning piece of art above a fireplace will call users to the living room to sit and gather; a bold piece of art placed at the end of a hallway entices users to progress through the space; and a unique piece can serve to anchor a seating grouping or activity zone. For a step by step guide to making artwork your focal point visit please visit our Design Help and Inspiration Section. This article was originally written by Interior Designer, Desi Creswell. You can find more of her great tips in the Gallery Direct Design Help and Inspiration section.

Houston Texas’s Best Artist

Tweet Gallery Direct Artist, Justin Garcia, was voted the Editors Choice Best Artist of 2013 by the Houston Press. Painter Justin Garcia calls himself an abstract expressionist. It’s a more accurate label than simple artist, he says. Garcia is currently … Read More

Gallery Direct Artist, Justin Garcia, was voted the Editors Choice Best Artist of 2013 by the Houston Press. Painter Justin Garcia calls himself an abstract expressionist. It's a more accurate label than simple artist, he says. Garcia is currently enjoying success with both collectors and critics. In today's fickle art world, that's rare. Rarer still is Garcia's drive to blend his artistic endeavors with good business sense. Putting good work on the canvas isn't enough. His self-imposed job description includes getting those canvases in front of an appreciative - and buying - public. "I believe that Houston is a great city filled with great artists.  I'm grateful to the Houston Press for their recognition of my work and honored to have been chosen to be a part of their Silver Anniversary edition. Congratulations on 25 wonderful years and your many contributions to the City of Houston."

                                                   Justin Garcia

Justin has been honored twice this year by the Houston Press.

View his works: http://www.gallerydirect.com/art/artists/justin-garcia

Artist Spotlight: Kim Curinga

Tweet Meet our newest Artist, Kim Curinga.  Kim is a digital photographer and photo illustrator who studied at Art Institute of Pittsburgh, The Maine Photographic Workshops, and The International Film and Television Workshops. Her photomontages are the result of her need … Read More

Meet our newest Artist, Kim Curinga.  Kim is a digital photographer and photo illustrator who studied at Art Institute of Pittsburgh, The Maine Photographic Workshops, and The International Film and Television Workshops. Her photomontages are the result of her need to create personal landscapes from images she feels compelled to photograph, things she needs to document. The subject matter varies with what she is seeing around her and what is meaningful to her. Her work is featured in an Associated Press article, Trend Blast, an online trend site, and numerous corporate and private collections, including the Greater Latrobe Art Conservation Trust, regarded as one of the finest collections of 20th century.  Browse her works: http://www.gallerydirect.com/art/artists/kim-curinga  

Fall Art Trends: Black and White

Tweet   Fall fashion trends are hitting my favorite boutiques and I can’t stay away!  Through my shopping adventures, I noticed a trend in my shopping bag, that matches my walls.  Black and white! Here’s a shot of a display at … Read More

 
black and white trends

Fall fashion trends are hitting my favorite boutiques and I can't stay away!  Through my shopping adventures, I noticed a trend in my shopping bag, that matches my walls.  Black and white! Here's a shot of a display at my favorite boutique in San Francisco, Ambiance. They paired the classic colors with a splash of blue. That black and white dress is absolutely stunning and puts a new modern twist on a contemporary look.  This boutique has consistently been voted San Francisco's top woman's boutique for several years, and it's obvious why. Black and white are playing a huge role this Fall and are adoring runways across the globe. No longer reserved for basics, it’s time to embrace the freshness of the bold contrasts. Art works the same way. Artwork follows the fall trends of the runways, just in a more subtle way.  Like your clothes, with art you can pair your current or older décor with new décor, making a huge impact in your space.  This bold black and white abstract makes a huge impact in this room.  Changing the artwork from florals to abstract makes it look like a complete makeover.

My pinterest board has my wish list of black and white artwork and outfits, my two favorite things ......and these are anything but ordinary. From the runways to your walls, there is nothing boring about black and white. What are you wearing this Fall?  
Do people want to know how a BMW is made or do they just want it to go fast? What level of knowledge do you require regarding the items in your life, particularly the big purchases? Those things you’re going to live with for a while: your car, your flat screen TV, your kitchen counter top.  At Gallery Direct, we know that artwork would also fall into that category.  It’s a purchase you think about, something you’re going to live with for a while, for some people years, many years.  For the art lovers who know us, they know we’re the guys who let you make the big purchases without breaking the bank, a pleasant oxymoron. We’ve wondered, if more people want to know how the artwork is made or if they just shop on price. We don’t know that it can be both. The price is obvious, so we created this video that shows the step of the process, right after the original is created and checked into our facility. Our specialty is limited edition artwork. This means an original work, created by one of our artists was meticulous curated and reproduced.  The Cruse Scanner is a fascinating part of the story of how an original work of art makes its way to your wall as a limited edition.

Study: Men + Art = Happiness

Tweet In honor of Father’s Day, I thought I would share some insight into men: Art makes them happy! Norwegian Men are known for seeking happiness in life, they even build research teams tasked to discover how they can be more … Read More

In honor of Father's Day, I thought I would share some insight into men: Art makes them happy!

Norwegian Men are known for seeking happiness in life, they even build research teams tasked to discover how they can be more satisfied in life!

In a recent study conducted by these happiness seekers,  it was determined that men that enjoy cultural activities are better off in mind and body than their uncultured counterparts.  The study followed on over 50,000 men and women to tracked their personal satisfaction, perceived state of health, anxiety and depression. Overall, both men and women who participated in cultural activities—including enjoying fine artwork, had lower levels of anxiety and depression, reported more life satisfaction, and generally “felt better” than those not participating in cultural activities. But the biggest beneficiaries were men. And here’s the strange part: men more interested in watching and looking at fine art images— at home, in museums and art galleries – enjoyed the greatest benefits of all; even more than men actively participating in cultural and creative activities. Lucky for you guys, Gallery Direct has a lot of images hand selected just for the guys!   Here are our top "Guy Art" picks: [caption id="attachment_1410" align="alignleft" width="153"] The Gunfighter by Benjamin Arnot[/caption] This image, The Gunfighter, is a favorite among the guys in the Gallery Direct office. Printed on aluminum and framed it was recently featured in our Gallery right out, Joseph Garcia's office.  This is a creation by Benjamin Arnot, he combines his painting with digital imagery, adding in a geometrical element.  Very manly, yet tasteful! [caption id="attachment_1414" align="alignright" width="255"] Urban Radio II by Sara Abbott[/caption] Graffiti images are very trendy right now and are a top pick among our male customers. Sara Abbott has several graffiti images, including the image to the right. These images look great on any substrate, I think the bigger the graffiti image, the cooler the effect. These next images are sexy, yet sophisticated. Appreciating the female form in a tasteful way can liven up any room, giving it a sexy contemporary look. Cherry Rain I & II by Sia Aryai           For more art for guys browse Gallery Direct's Art For Him Collection
I crave the feeling of new decor, I think I am actually addicted to it.  I love retail therapy for my home. Too often I find myself buying new pillows, pictures, dishes, vases, throw blankets, duvet covers, towels, and most recently a new scale.  That last purchase is when I knew I had a serious problem, I bought a scale because it looked cute in my bathroom, not because I intend to stand on it. I decided it was time to break this obsession with purchasing new items every several days and that I was going to love what I already have. I am on a "no home decor purchase" pact for the next 6 months!  I can still redecorate, but I have to get creative with what I already own.  Here's five tips to show you how I have been coping. Tip #1 Moving my artwork around!  This is my favorite tip, moving artwork from one room to another creates a whole new room and a fun decorating challenge.  First, I started in my bedroom.  I took these love birds by Judy Paul that were above my sofa in the living room and hung them above my bed.  I love how modern the bedroom looks! Tip #2 pile on your pillows.  I grabbed every pillow I had in my entire home and put them on my bed. I am so pleased with the results and it doesn't bother me that they are all a little different.  As I went through other parts of the house, I pulled pillows from the bed to decorate the other rooms and still have 8 left on the bed. Yes I even got carried away and threw a white boa left over from Halloween on the side of my bed to throw the symmetry off a bit. Next up was my living room. Tip #3 I rotated my floor rug by 90 degrees.  This was scary at first, but I stuck it out.  I moved the sofa away from the wall by 3 feet after reading that moving your furniture to the center of the room can make a room look bigger.  I am not sold on this idea yet, but it did give me plenty of wall space behide the sofa to place large pieces of artwork. Tip #4 I took several books piling up in my book shelf and made a side table! How brilliant is this? Tip #5 I took all the blankets I have and placed them on various pieces of furniture. The sofa, reading chairs, even the ottoman. Bonus Tip: #6 I had a small curtain with a black and white pattern laying around. It's actually part of my winter collection.  I placed it on the table in the breakfast nook making a table cloth!  I then filled a vase with some fresh fruit, mostly oranges for the splash of color and to give it a summer like feel. Have a revamp your home tip for us? Please share with me in the comment section below, as I still have 5 months of no spending to go!  Wish me luck.    

Behind the scenes with Justin Garcia

Tweet Justin Garcia is just as dynamic as his paintings.  His signature style shines through his personality and all that he does.  He is truly as authentic as they come. A small team of us at Gallery Direct, spent a … Read More

Justin Garcia is just as dynamic as his paintings.  His signature style shines through his personality and all that he does.  He is truly as authentic as they come. A small team of us at Gallery Direct, spent a day with Justin in his Houston-based studio and captured everything on video so that you could get to know him as well.  His personality and inspiration makes me love his paintings even more. Justin wants people to connect with his artwork and question what they see, and why they see it.   His work incorporates mixed media of oils, acrylics and compound texture on canvas and wood, and for more exotic pieces, often features unique materials such as Plexiglas, railroad nails and stained glass. His art studio is just cool as you would imagine an accomplished artist's space to be, maybe even a little cooler, since there was a black cat roaming around with confidence. Justin met Gallery Direct's Art Director, Nick Nichols, several years ago and instantly fell into a synergistic partnership.  I won't spoil all the highlights, watch the video to learn more: Chromaticity is my favorite series by Justin Garcia. What is your favorite works of his? View his works here: Justin Garcia

What Your Mom’s Art Says About Her

Tweet With Mother’s Day only a few days away, you are probably thinking about the things your mom likes and hopefully, you have purchased her gift already.  Every mom has some type of art in their home. Have you ever … Read More

With Mother's Day only a few days away, you are probably thinking about the things your mom likes and hopefully, you have purchased her gift already.  Every mom has some type of art in their home. Have you ever thought about what your Mom's art says about her? Let's take a look:
Does your mom have a bright bold image in her kitchen or dining area like this one?  Moms that choose bold statement pieces of food love to cook and be social.  This mom is the one that is always over feeding her guests and still cooks you your favorite meal from when you were in high school. Does you mom display education material like maps or travel images as artwork?  She probably loves to learn new things and stay busy. She is the type of mom that loves to try new things, from learning a new language to underwater basket weaving, your mom is in the front row! Does your mother tastefully display adult beverage images as artwork?  Moms that display their passion for alcohol as art are outgoing and love to have a good time.  Your mom is the bell of the ball and loves to raise a glass to you being home. Does your mother go for the old masters with her decor?  Moms that love Van Gogh, and Klimt, are classic in their taste and a sucker for old memories.  This is the type of mother who insists that you try on her wedding dress. Does your mom's walls adorn landscape and floral artwork?  Moms that display timeless floral prints and scenic imagery are sweet as can be. They love all things that let people know they are a mom and most of all, they love you being in their home. They are the moms that will always remind you that you can come home anytime, no matter how old you are. http://www.gallerydirect.com/

Obama Visits Manor New Tech High School

Tweet President Barack Obama will visit Manor New Tech High School this Thursday as part of the president’s Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. The Manor New Tech High School opened in 2007 with intentions of preparing students to succeed … Read More

President Barack Obama will visit Manor New Tech High School this Thursday as part of the president's Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour. The Manor New Tech High School opened in 2007 with intentions of preparing students to succeed in an information-based and technologically advanced society. This visit is very near and dear to our hearts at Gallery Direct, as we have been a business partner of Manor Schools for several years now.  Several of their hallways are adorned with artwork created by Gallery Direct. Manor's executive team asked us to donate artwork for the President's visit. We are honored to be able to be a small part in this huge initiative. [caption id="attachment_3823" align="alignleft" width="505"] Prints on Acrylic for President Obama's Visit to Manor High Tech High School[/caption] Here are the finished prints - they passed our quality control inspection and they are now ready to meet the President!