Reflect Your Style: Art on Mirror

Tweet Below is one of my favorite styles of gallery wall arrangements- showing off framed souvenirs paired with framed fine art. I would say that the style around my home is colorful and eclectic, to say the very least. Pair that … Read More

Below is one of my favorite styles of gallery wall arrangements- showing off framed souvenirs paired with framed fine art. I would say that the style around my home is colorful and eclectic, to say the very least. Pair that with an obsession for all forms of Art and imagery; from black and white photographic prints, vintage botanicals scans to more contemporary mixed media pieces and I’m left with dense gallery walls that I always find inspiring. Some may say (my fiancé) that this “everything goes” way of styling is crazy. I say, if you love to surround yourself with an abundance of beautiful art, hang it and apologize to no one! Since my tiny bathroom walls were sorely neglected in comparison to the rest of my house, this got me thinking that I could use mirror as my print material to create a tiny wall of art for my bathroom that would be functional, eclectic and unified. This realization blew my mind for a few reasons; to start the mirror reflections actually made my bathroom feel larger and now it exhibits work from some of my favorite local artists while simultaneously offering five new functional mirrors to choose from when primping, instead of one. Complete satisfaction. I found that the key to getting what you want out of mirror is to understand that there are  two very different styles that can be achieved when printing on mirror, which are completely determined by the white values in your image. If you think about it, when an image is printed on a white paper, the white areas of that image have little to no ink, revealing more of the natural white of the paper. Now apply that same logic to an image printed on mirror and try to imagine which areas will reveal raw mirror and which will be inked. One style is more dreamy and frosted with very little visibility through the image. The other style shows the image clearly defined from the mirror, making it possible to see reflections through the image in certain areas. To check exactly where those reflective areas are and to make double sure that your image will print out exactly how you've envisioned, you can check to see where your true white values are in your image by using the eyedropper tool in Photoshop or using Pixlr (an amazing free online photo editor). A perfect white value will give you a hexadecimal color code of #FFFFFF.   If you would like even more information about Art on Mirror, watch the video below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9ViP4wsaho&list=SPKMUrphQ1ugmk4hbvGJT6ijMT2VE6rV3r&index=6 For information about the other offered materials watch our Our Unique Materials playlist.  
Being an art history geek has its quirks. How do I unwind after a long day at work? I scan through my old art history textbooks. I know it's kind of weird, but it gives me a sense of calm to flip through the well-loved pages and read the words of the scholars and thinkers who inspire me, and in turn, the artists who inspire them. Working with Gallery Direct adds a whole new dimension to my little meditation - with a quick click of a button, I can find high resolution images of my favorite paintings and prints. Last night, I was all zenned out while looking through one of my favorite books, Carol Armstrong's Manet Manette. Not only is this a groundbreaking text, but  it is also one of the first books that made want to go into art history. Armstrong spends her final chapter contemplating a single painting, Edouard Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882). This so happens to be one of my favorite paintings of all time, so I was thrilled to discover that it is also on Gallery Direct. Often heralded as Manet's last great painting, it certainly makes an impression. Not only is it beautifully executed - from the considered palette to the purposeful brushstrokes - it is a veritable field day for art lovers. Reading about this painting for the first time blew my mind. It simultaneously subverts traditional notions of perspective and viewership and yet is still utterly readable and relatable for any viewer. At first glance, it is simply a bar scene - the bottles on the counter frame the beautiful bartender as she waits to take an order. But upon further examination, you realize that the customer the bartender is waiting on is you, the viewer. She stares right at you, waiting. Digging even deeper, you realize that the background of the painting is in fact a reflection in a mirror, and to the right of the bartender, a face is reflected. Like I said, this painting can (and has) been discussed every which way for hours on end. One of my favorite things about it, though, is how it brings together so many of Manet's interests as an artist. While the Impressionists, his contemporaries, were interested in painting en plein air, or outdoors, and capturing the light and colors of nature, Manet's paintings are concerned with the emergence of modern Parisian life. Urban scenes and quotidian subjects abound in his oeuvre, along with a meditation on how art relates to consumerism. Fin-de-siècle Paris was a place of spectacle, and consumption of that spectacle was on the minds of its painters and writers. In Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Manet examines the idea of consumption from multiple angles - the subject itself, a bar, is a place for the consumption of alcohol and food. Moving beyond literal consumption, Manet examines how nineteenth-century Parisians consumed culture at the Folies-Bergère, a popular nightclub, how does the male customer depicted in the mirror "consume" the beautiful bartender, and how do we, as the audience, consume this piece of art? Manet is one of the most complex and confounding artists that I've come across, which is why, I think, he is my favorite artist. His paintings are beautiful and striking, and on top of that, they make me think. When it came down to it, my meditation last night turned into retail therapy - on a whim, I ordered a print of the painting, framed and on paper, through Gallery Direct. I am so excited to have a bit of art history right there on my wall for me to contemplate every day.

Mood Board: It Starts With a Story

Tweet So, I’m a shopaholic. I have accepted this about myself (even if my husband has not). Turns out that it’s not very healthy for my bank account for me to shop ALL THE TIME, so to keep my urges … Read More

So, I'm a shopaholic. I have accepted this about myself (even if my husband has not). Turns out that it's not very healthy for my bank account for me to shop ALL THE TIME, so to keep my urges in check, I've started creating mood boards of dream rooms inspired by art. I've been in love with Caroline Ashton's Story series for a while now - check out Story I and Story II. I love the cool teal color palette, and undulating lines. My mood board, inspired by Story I, has a mix of clean, modern pieces with strong lines and more organic-feeling patterns and textures: "Story I" Mood Board Artwork centerpiece: 1. Gallery Direct - Story I by Caroline Ashton The supporting cast: 2. Zinc Door - Modern Pillow 3. West Elm - Blurry Stripe Pillow Cover 4. Layla Grace - Pine Cone Hill Chambray Linen Ocean Pillow 5. Zinc Door - Arteriors Home Mercedes Mahogany Chair 6. Dwell UK - Chenile Twist Rug 7. Wayfair - Gus Modern Adelaide Sofa 8. Occa Home - Joshua Ellis Cashmere Throw  9. My Two Designers - Rodeo Ottoman 10. West Elm - Recycled Glass Jug Vase 11. Noya Decor - Adesso Maui Transitional Arc Floor Lamp What do you think of my Caroline Ashton-inspired design mood board? Does it inspire you? Want to make your own art-inspired mood board? Head over to Olioboard and try it out--for free. You can find some of my favorite Gallery Direct artwork to add to your boards here. Share your mood board and we might feature it on Gallery Direct! -- Follow Nichele on Google+
Let me come right out and say it – I am a big nerd. I studied art history and history in college, so working with Gallery Direct, I get to geek out on our amazing collection of Old Masters, like Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, our modern masters like Vincent van Gogh and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and of course our incredible collection of vintage posters, advertisements, and other cool memorabilia. But I just hit the jackpot. The team here at Gallery Direct has recently begun an effort to bring you a wide array of historical maps, and I have to tell you, I am just crazy about them. Most of our maps are from the nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century, and are as beautiful as they are intriguing. Studying historical maps is such an interesting experience. Not only are you seeing a glimpse of what once was, but how people thought about the world. I am currently lusting over this incredible 1870 map of New York. Being a native New Yorker living in Austin, Texas, seeing this map every day is a great reminder of home, as well as the city’s intricate history. I just had to have it!   These gorgeous maps are the perfect way to decorate your home. If you’re like me and living away from your hometown, you can commemorate your roots in style. Overtaken by wanderlust? Dreaming of traveling? Pick a handful of your favorite cities to put on display as a reminder of your memories abroad, or your future travel aspirations! Many of our American panoramic maps were designed by Albert Ruger, a Prussian immigrant who served with the Ohio Volunteers during the Civil War. During the war, he started drawing pictures of Union campsites. After the war ended, he settled down in Michigan and began his career in mapmaking by sketching maps of the cities of Michigan. He soon became very successful, and in the 1860s, formed a partnership with another American mapmaker, J.J. Stoner, and together, they published dozens of the panoramic maps that we have available to grace your walls today. The printing company Currier & Ives is also responsible for a good portion of our maps, another nineteenth-century outfit that helped pioneer the American panoramic map. I personally feel so lucky to be able to work so closely with these little slices of history on a daily basis, and even more fortunate to be able to see them printed in such high quality! I suggest checking them out on birchwood, one of the many awesome materials that we print on. Are you as ga-ga for geography as I am? What cities inspire you?

Finding my Path at Home

Tweet I have been working at Gallery Direct since the beginning of November. What a delight it has been – I have artistic co-workers and see beautiful images all day.  I am a graphic designer and picking images for marketing … Read More

I have been working at Gallery Direct since the beginning of November. What a delight it has been - I have artistic co-workers and see beautiful images all day.  I am a graphic designer and picking images for marketing or the website is - to say the least - fun. Since I deal with beautiful images all day, I decided to put together an Evernote notebook for me (any mac users out there?!) with all the art that I wanted to buy from Gallery Direct. Almost 3 months went by, and my list surprisingly was mostly abstracts, a few Asians and lots of maps. Not to mention my own photos that I wanted to print. I would love to have my personal photos blown up and hung onto my walls. One day I realized that - duh - I didn't have enough walls for all that I wanted. I needed another list for my list. Focus! Reduce! Less is more. What did I really want for my house? Where in the house? Which wall? I realized that I would have to repaint some of my walls, because, when we bought the house in 2007, I went a little wild with the color palette, I admit it.  Now, those colors no longer make me happy. As we change, the colors that we love change, the ways that we think and react to visual stimuli also change.  I always welcome change!  Was I dying to repaint the walls? Ouch, no. So while being busy at work and having a high maintenance Border Collie that needs walks and exercise every day, I stopped adding images to my notebook. Until the day I had to make a banner for the homepage. Here it is: Inline image 1 That somehow lit up the little bulb above my head and in a weekend spell, I went to Lowe's and bought the paints I wanted, painted the living room and placed my order: 2 gigantic Todd Camp - Enlighted Path I and II, 48x36. That did it! It was just the "push" I needed to make everything else rock'n roll.  The purchase made me very happy - those colors represent so much of what I like in terms of art - freedom, color, energy (well, at least that's my view... art is art, right?). I also ordered a few smaller ones, which you'll see in the photos below. I don't think of my house as a "chic" place: I know it isn't.  Although I graduated in architecture, when it comes to my own place, it's always been more a joyful play - with room for experiments - rather than the "tried and true" styles that I know will work. Also, having 4 cats (and 8 clawed front-paws) and 2 dogs (how did that happen?), my house is not super tidy. That said, I beg you to please disregard my couch ;-))) Inline image 1 Above: Also look at that Border Collie with her moose toy - isn't she precious? ;-)))) Below: My bike has its own wall. You can not buy happiness, but you can buy a bike and art! Last photo: Colors, colors: such a blessing to be able to see them all!
Inline image 2
Inline image 3
What lights up your bulb?
-Marina

Selecting Art: Sailing in Couture Stilettos

Tweet My most recent project with Gallery Direct was selecting art with a couple in Austin, Texas that just moved from the East Coast. Two very different personalities presented themselves, which is always a fun design challenge. Nicola, a fashionista … Read More

My most recent project with Gallery Direct was selecting art with a couple in Austin, Texas that just moved from the East Coast. Two very different personalities presented themselves, which is always a fun design challenge. Nicola, a fashionista who has an extreme passion for abstract art and design. Her husband Christian, has an intense passion for sailing, the ocean, and very traditional. Their common denominator was entertaining their friends at their known dinner parties. Their Austin home had one of the best modern dining room layouts, providing his and her walls to showcase their personalities in their favorite room. Like everyone, they had a budget so we started at Gallery Direct. Nicola was shocked at the options, but extremely puzzled how to make this important space both theirs. She wasn’t real thrilled to be searching for an abstract ship to compromise. It was important for her to have something colorful and abstract of her own. To ease the overwhelming search for her we took three easy steps to get started, here they are:
  1. Check out the Brand New First Additions
  2. Use the search engine with key words that express an emotion you might want to feel in that room.
  3. Gallery Direct has the best Subjects section online. That is where we found what we were looking for. (Abstract for Nicoloa and Coastal and Tropical for Christian)
We choose the Brisbane by Brett Pfister with an aluminum finish for Christians wall and a series of four abstract pieces by Jamie Packard on gallery wrapped canvas for Nicola. Two Quick Tips:
  1. To help finalize your decision for your art selection, choose three, print them at home or your office, tape them on the selected wall(s). Leave them up for at least a day. By the end of that day you will know which one you want.
  2. When deciding on a size, use blue tape to safely show you the impact of the size on your wall.  Don’t be shy to go big!
Nicola and Christian were extremely excited to have their guests over. They now have amazing conversation pieces with the balance of vibrant energy and the calming sea showcasing both personalities they desired. Until the next project… Give the gift of art to your temple. Make it the colorful palace you look forward to coming home to. Sarah

Kid’s Bathroom Makeover

Tweet Recently I redid my kid’s bathroom and I love the way it turned out. Many people forget about the bathroom when it comes to art but it is the perfect way to make a statement in that room as … Read More

Recently I redid my kid's bathroom and I love the way it turned out. Many people forget about the bathroom when it comes to art but it is the perfect way to make a statement in that room as well. I love to use acrylic in the bathroom that way you don't need to be a worried about splashing water or steam from the shower. I have four girls who share this bathroom and I was looking for a cute kids theme that was not too cutesy as this bathroom is also used by guests in our home. I found an adorable kids themed shower curtain from Kushies but I needed some art. I ended up using the Multiverse II by Benjamin Arnot and it is perfect tying in the color theme while toning down the kid theme. I am thrilled with how the room turned out for more pictures and details about the bathroom makeover check out my whole post on Thrifty & Chic Mom.

2012 Art Gift Guide from Gallery Direct

Tweet Give the gift of art this holiday season with Gallery Direct’s Art Gift Guide! For the Eco-friend:  Warm up a green thumb’s home with these bright floral prints by Laura Gunn For the Bar Fly:  This classic French Poster … Read More

Give the gift of art this holiday season with Gallery Direct's Art Gift Guide! For the Eco-friend:  Warm up a green thumb's home with these bright floral prints by Laura Gunn For the Bar Fly:  This classic French Poster printed on Aluminum is sure to make a splash in any social butterfly's space. For the Foodie:  This French Poster by Leonette Cappiello is a classic food lovers delight. For the Fashionista: Compliment the fashion forward favorites in your life with Joel Ganucheau's Subtle Deception paintings. For the Traveler: Give them the world with this Walter Paulson Hemisphere Map printed on canvas. Your Classic Art Lover:  You can't go wrong with a Vincent Van Gogh!  Blossoming Almond Tree puts the finishing touches to any space. Friday at midnight is the last day to order in time for Christmas delivery.  What art do you want this holiday season?

Pantone Announces 2013 Color of the Year

Tweet As a company that likes to keep up with current trends, we are always looking forward to Pantone’s Color of the Year announcement. It’s never a color chosen lightly. Combing the world for influences from film, art, fashion, travel, … Read More

Pantone 2013 color of the year emeraldAs a company that likes to keep up with current trends, we are always looking forward to Pantone’s Color of the Year announcement. It’s never a color chosen lightly. Combing the world for influences from film, art, fashion, travel, and even technology, Pantone’s process is lengthy and thoughtful. So, "what is the color?" you ask. It's -- drumroll please -- Emerald (or PANTONE 17-5641 for us color nerds). Following last year’s Tangerine Tango, which was all about recharging and moving forward, Emerald reinforces this idea while also promoting balance and harmony. “Green is the most abundant hue in nature – the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. The brilliant and luxurious perception of Emerald also brings along a sense of healing, rejuvenation and renewal. Imagine bringing this jewel-like hue into your home. Whether on the walls in an entryway, bedroom, or dining room, or as bright pops of color throughout, using Emerald can bring a sense of tranquility and well-being into your space. As you might expect, I’ve taken the liberty of compiling some of our favorite Emerald color art that would look great in any home. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="248"]Modern Flower IV by Laura Gunn Modern Flower IV by Laura Gunn[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="204"]Suburban Perspective I by Sean Jacobs Suburban Perspective I by Sean Jacobs[/caption]   [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="250"]Red Poppies I by Kim Coulter Red Poppies I by Kim Coulter[/caption]

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet Greetings! As you may recall, I wrote about my office a month ago – October 31 – I’m sure you all remember my bragging about how great it is?! Well, today I have an update – featuring new pics … Read More

[gallery columns="5" orderby="title"] Greetings! As you may recall, I wrote about my office a month ago – October 31 – I’m sure you all remember my bragging about how great it is?! Well, today I have an update – featuring new pics of course. And the lamps?  Both from one of our partners – HomeGoods. (If you didn’t already know, HomeGoods has a fabulous lighting selection.) Notice I’ve moved Pug across from my desk – see him towering over the white Barcelona chairs? Awesome! I've got another new piece – Adagio II by Sia Aria, which is nicely offset by its monochromatic surroundings. And check out my “Grunge Girl” from the Condé Nast Collection – so compelling – and available to the trade starting January 2013! Well, apparently my new digs have inspired those around me to spruce up their own. In fact, our CEO Joseph Garcia (who already has an amazing office) and I are somehow determined to outdo each other (albeit in a friendly fashion). But first – some context: With more than 30 years in the consumer business, Joe has identified the following buying patterns:
  • Competitive
  • Aspirational
  • Humanistic
  • Spontaneous
  • Methodical
Indeed our marketing analysis supports these consumer trends. Further, our own buying patterns are reflected in our offices. I’ve already shown you mine. Now contrast it with Joe’s: The furnishings are almost exclusively Four Hands Home – another one of our partners – and right down the street. Very masculine, don’t you think?! I love the lamps (one from HomeGoods naturally) and the over-sized brown lacquer tray from Jonathan Adler, both of which I selected! And how about that helmet from Indy 500? Sweet! Now take a look at Joe’s art. We recently launched an internal competition – a group of us competing on who can create the best collection. Joe is working on “Cool Art for Cool Guys” and clearly has a head start in his office. Lake City I by Roman Solar is spot-on as wall art. Another great mural directly across – Tatara's Negroni – is a street scene that works well with the windows cut out of it.  The Palm piece on acrylic is by Sony Warsono from Getty Images. It reminds me of South Beach at night – one of Joe's favorite haunts! Following the theme are Brett Pfister's framed Drifting on Water's Wings and the two Formula 1 images on aluminum– very cool, very masculine, and very Joe – do you think he might win the contest?! With a wardrobe that is almost exclusively Zegna – combined with Ferragamo and Gucci shoes (not to mention what he drives and where he lives), Joe is pure competitive. I – on the other hand – am aspirational. (I love my Trina and Tory but wouldn’t know where to begin buying what Joe has. And then couldn’t bring myself to do it!) So how does an aspirational compete with a competitive? That’s just it, we don’t. So, in concession – not defeat, I’m waving the white flag (which matches my office BTW)!