Recent Blog Posts

New Artist: Christine Wilkinson

Tweet If you haven’t noticed already, we’ve been finding some pretty awesome artists to join our family. This of course means more unique and new art for all of you! We just launched artwork from Christine Wilkinson. Her digital abstract … Read More

If you haven't noticed already, we've been finding some pretty awesome artists to join our family. This of course means more unique and new art for all of you! We just launched artwork from Christine Wilkinson. Her digital abstract collection has a lot of a psychedelic feel to it with it's shapes and colors. Christine started hand drawing these shapes back in school in the 60's, a foreshadow to what she would be doing later in life...working as an artist currently in London, England. She explores with her camera using light in many different forms: light on light, light through objects and light reflected off objects. I find this piece, Diving for Pearls, so interesting with the movement all the lines create and the layers and lightness of the different color. Though a lot of her art seems to be inspired from the psychedelic 1960's counterculture, in some ways I felt this piece was modern or even futuristic. It reminded me of a red robotic eye.   These two companion pieces, Green Pinko I & II, are very soft and feminine. They too also give us a feel of movement. I could imagine this is what it would look like up-close and inside of a bubble. These series of images, Grid Formation I-III, give us a more abstract, rigid and masculine feel. The repetitious elements seem to resemble a candle burning motif. The different stages keep your eye moving along. So if you like what you've seen so far on this post, check out more of Wilkinson's amazing art on Gallery Direct!

New Artist: Brett Pfister

Tweet Gallery Direct is excited to welcome another new artist to our family, Brett Pfister. Brett is the Print operator for The Canyon Gallery and owner of Mind’s Eye Productions. His background and degree is in Graphic Design, this knowledge shows … Read More

Gallery Direct is excited to welcome another new artist to our family, Brett Pfister. Brett is the Print operator for The Canyon Gallery and owner of Mind's Eye Productions. His background and degree is in Graphic Design, this knowledge shows in his photo treatment and technique in his digital art. Besides being a professional Graphic Designer and Artist, Brett also does Photography, Video Production and Web Design. This is one of my favorite new images by him, Veiled Eden. The female figure and soaring birds really draw you into this image wondering what could be going on in this "garden of Eden". The texture and lightness peaking through the trees really make it interesting as well. This new image, Intrepid Home, is being printed on aluminum to be hung in our office gallery right next to our CEO's office door. Brett has a couple really fascinating images using barren trees, including Stretching, Nostrum Locus, The Ends of the Earth, and Cynon Valley. This image, Break, is also going up in our office gallery. The color, technique and texture he uses in this image really give meaning to it's title. It's a beautiful piece. Come check out the rest of Brett's images on Gallery Direct!

Print Your Photos Already

Tweet I love taking pictures, and I think I am really good at it. I love showing my friends and family how they look through the little screen on the back on my Sony CyberShot– we all smile and say … Read More

I love taking pictures, and I think I am really good at it. I love showing my friends and family how they look through the little screen on the back on my Sony CyberShot-- we all smile and say awweee -- and then that photo is never seen again- except maybe 6 months down the road on Facebook. My New Year’s Resolution is to rescue these images from my camera and do something with them! I didn't really intend to fill this blog post with my family photos from the holidays, but isn't my niece adorable? She is only 2 weeks old in these pics... and if I left her in my camera any longer she would be in preschool and I would sending outdated adorable pictures. Alright, you get my point -- so this is what I have done. I went to Gallery Direct and printed my favorite images from the holidays on canvas. I kept a few for myself, and I sent a few to my mom, grandparents and of course to my brother and his wife.  It’s ridiculously easy to upload your photos and print them on a canvas. It really takes about 4 – 5 clicks of the mouse.  Canvas prints are also very affordable, and with the 75% off sale, Gallery Direct is basically giving them away. Use code: Photo75 I must say-- this simple gesture pretty much won me the award of "family member of the year" as the phone calls and thank you’s I received were amazing, I think there were actually tears.  I did let everyone in on the secret code of getting 75% off at Gallery Direct -- Enter: Photo75 at checkout. Alright, I am off to print some more photos, just thinking about it reminds me that I need to send my sister a birthday present.    

World’s Top 10 Greatest Painters & Sculptors

Tweet One of my most favorite college courses while studying art was Art History. It helped of course that I had a professor who was so passionate about our world’s greatest artists and masterpieces. I recall taking notebooks full of … Read More

One of my most favorite college courses while studying art was Art History. It helped of course that I had a professor who was so passionate about our world's greatest artists and masterpieces. I recall taking notebooks full of handwritten notes on these artists, and making flashcards of each painting and sculpture with all the known facts about them. I've been fortunate to see some of the masterpieces in person at the Louvre in Paris, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles. Here is a top 10 list of the world's greatest painters and sculptor compiled by Neil Collins MA LLB. #10 Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) #9 Jan Van Eyck (1390-1441) #8 Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) #7 Claude Monet (1840-1926) #6 Donatello (1386-1466) #5 JMW Turner (1775-1851) #4 Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519) #3 Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) #2 Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-69) #1 Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) Did you know that Gallery Direct offers some of these amazing and beautiful masterpieces such as from Claude Monet? You can also search our Photo Vault for stock images from all of these artists or photographs of their works. We also have a Classic Art section where you can find masterpieces by many famous artists such as Klimt, Van Gogh, Degas and others. Even though they did not make it on this top 10 list, they certainly made their mark on history in the world of art. Since these artists are so famous it's a given that current artists will give us a new rendition (maybe with a modern twist) on some old masterpieces. Here's an example from one of our exclusive artists Randy Slack. Want a masterpiece hanging on a wall in your home or office, get it from Gallery Direct. We can print it for you on canvas to closely resemble the original masterpiece, or give it a modern look and print it on acrylic, birchwood or aluminum like this blogger did with Van Gogh's Starry Night.

New Year = Feel Good Art

Tweet Happy New Year 2012 to all of our blog readers and customers! Each new year many of us do our best to get inspired, motivated and feel good about our lives. And then come the 2nd week of January … Read More

Happy New Year 2012 to all of our blog readers and customers! Each new year many of us do our best to get inspired, motivated and feel good about our lives. And then come the 2nd week of January we loose the inspiration and motivation. So why not get creative, make your own inspirational and motivational art to hang on a wall in your home - something that brings a smile to your face and makes you feel good everyday you see it. It's really not that hard to do, I'll show you how...   At Gallery Direct we offer an Americana line and a Vintage line of art. You will see from both these art subjects that "posters" from that time period often had a message (type) on them. And now they have become great focal points and works of art to hang up and admire. You can create your own "poster" with your favorite inspirational and motivational quote, upload it to Gallery Direct to be printed - and then you will have your own one-of-a-kind artwork that you made to hang in your home! First determine the size you want your "poster". Go to the Gallery Direct website and click on the "Print Your Photo" tab on the top right hand side. Choose the size you want it to be and using Photoshop (or a similar photo program) create a file at that size. To make a textured or colored background for your "poster" you can find free vector art, graphics and patterns at FreeVectors. I used Seamless Flower Pattern 3. Make sure the graphic or pattern you choose for your background is set to the print size you want at 300dpi. Next just add your quote!   For all of you that are familiar with the world of Pinterest, you can find a ton of inspirational, motivational quotes, or quotes that make you laugh, or quotes that just make you feel good from there. I chose a quote that makes me smile and laugh. Just type your quote on top of your background in Photoshop. To fancy it up, use some cool fonts. I found my free fonts at Fonts For Peas. I used Rage for the "R", Before the Rain for "Nice", and Haettenschweiler for "Normal". And that's it, you're done creating your poster artwork! Flatten the image and save at 300 dpi. Format: JPG, TIF, PNG or BMP. File Size: 500KB to 50MB. And upload your file at Gallery Direct!   We will print it for you on paper, canvas, aluminum, acrylic or birchwood. Frame it and ship it to you ready to hang on your wall!   We encourage you to keep your new year's resolutions this year, and do it by putting up some feel good art in your home!

Move that bus!

Tweet Recently, Extreme Makeover Home Edition was in our neck of the woods, literally!  In Season 9-Episode 14, the Extreme Team makes their way deep into The Lost Pines forest of Smithville, Texas. No longer than two months ago the … Read More

Recently, Extreme Makeover Home Edition was in our neck of the woods, literally!  In Season 9-Episode 14, the Extreme Team makes their way deep into The Lost Pines forest of Smithville, Texas. No longer than two months ago the most destructive wild fire in Texas history ripped through this area destroying over 1,600 homes; leaving many families and the surrounding pine forests completely devastated. The community has since demonstrated that even a natural disaster of this magnitude couldn't keep them down. Since the month long fire ended, volunteers with varying skills from Bastrop and surrounding areas banded together to rebuild their homes from rubble. Extreme Makeover spent a lot of time in Bastrop speaking to locals about the specific destruction they had experienced while also searching for a family who was in need of more than a little extra help. During their search they learned about the Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Department which had been completely destroyed during the fire while the firefighters were out battling the flames themselves. Members of the Heart of the Pines are all long standing volunteer members, but during such an unexpected and overwhelming catastrophe, many members of community left their homes behind to help aid the Firefighters defend what was left of the town they share and call home. One of these selfless individuals was Mizzie Zdroj. The Zdroj home was located less than 400 yards from the Heart of the Pines fire station, and burned to the ground in mere moments of each other. Abandoned foundations and burned single standing chimneys lined the road leading up to the Zdroj and Heart of the Pines site. It's heartbreaking to see the widespread damage throughout Bastrop and Smithville.  In just 7 days, Extreme Makeover and the community not only rebuilt the Zdroj family home, but also completed a fire station for Smithville's Heart of the Pines firefighter family. As proud sponsors of this effort and Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Gallery Direct got out of the office for a few days and into the volunteer action over in Smithville. Nearing the end of the project, for 3 days hundreds of volunteers came out to help with the finals stages, from landscaping to simply moving furniture in. Every aspect of building these new structures was donated, sponsored and offered up freely by Extreme Makeover and the community. That's pretty powerful, see for yourself! Check out the photos from the last 3 days right here and get ready to MOVE THAT BUS!    [gallery]           Be sure to tune in to Season 9 - Episode 14. It airs next Christmas in a two hour special! I can't wait to see the art the designers chose for the Zdroj's!   Author and Photos by Candice Benge          

New Artist: Andreas Langley

Tweet Yesterday we launched artwork from Andreas Langley, our newest member of the New Era – Gallery Direct family. His art is very unique as it is of something we’ve never seen! He explores the mystery and wonder of ancient crystals … Read More

Yesterday we launched artwork from Andreas Langley, our newest member of the New Era - Gallery Direct family. His art is very unique as it is of something we've never seen! He explores the mystery and wonder of ancient crystals revealing to us layers never seen before. Andreas has "an inherent and spontaneous drive for spirituality and a passion for metaphysics". Andreas grew up in both Europe and the United States but now resides in Arizona. He has a background in broadcast television and film. But lucky for us he explores in the visual arts by revealing the micro cosmos of mineral consciousness expressed in crystalline form of quartz. Above are 2 companion pieces, Record Keeper and Gateway Mystical. Andreas describes them as follows... Energies take shape in other worldly Gnome formations and entice with warm Salamander glow... A gateway offering to a forgotten Land of Dreams. In this series of 3, Spirit Timberland, Andreas describes them as follows...  The Nature Spirit of Forest and Trees expressing its range of energies in its mystical workings. [caption id="attachment_1282" align="alignnone" width="528" caption="LY114A Triumphant Celebration by Andreas Langley"][/caption] We hope you enjoy Andreas' work as much as we do! Click here to visit his gallery of work.  

Screencast: Color Correcting

Tweet My main job duties have me focusing on color correcting all of our digital image files from scans of original artwork. I thought I’d give you a short screencast showing you what is involved when color correcting in the … Read More

My main job duties have me focusing on color correcting all of our digital image files from scans of original artwork. I thought I'd give you a short screencast showing you what is involved when color correcting in the Imaging Department. Using Adobe Photoshop I am able to "fix" overall or select areas of the image that the scan did not capture perfectly. It's important to us here at Gallery Direct that we offer our art-loving customers limited edition prints that pretty much look exactly like the original artwork. In the above photo you will see the original series of artwork (larger paintings) with my paper printed proofs next to them.

In this screencast you will see we work in adjustment layers. When I first start on an image I will make some basic overall adjustments by sharpening, bringing in the black & white levels, adjusting overall color casts in selective colors, adjusting the hue and saturation and finally adjusting the brightness and contrast. Since our monitors are specially color calibrated, what I see on my screen should be exactly what prints out. So I want the colors on my screen to match the colors from the original artwork up on the wall in front of me. Right away I saw that there were some specific areas on the image which needed some tweaking. The green/yellowish background behind the flowers needed to be adjusted. Also several of the stripes needed to be color tweaked or toned down.

Once I made those layer changes, I print out some paper proofs to see how they look in comparison to the originals.

Do anymore areas need a little more tweaking? Take a look closer...

It's not perfect yet, back to working on the adjustment layers until it's just right!

If you're in the Austin, Texas area sign up now to help build a miracle in Bastrop County.  That is right!!! Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is headed to Bastrop County. Join the crew tomorrow night for a pep rally and sign up to help out!  Visit www.joinextreme.com/texas

New Artist: Stella Alesi

Tweet This is an exciting week, we get to launch artwork from a new artist that has joined our New Era family! We are introducing Stella Alesi, who resides in Austin, Texas and has a very distinct style of painting. … Read More

This is an exciting week, we get to launch artwork from a new artist that has joined our New Era family! We are introducing Stella Alesi, who resides in Austin, Texas and has a very distinct style of painting. My coworkers and I, who have been color correcting the digital files from the scans of Stella's original artwork here in the Imaging Department, have noticed her interesting painting style. Her oil paintings have a very soft and subtle texture to them, yet they are bright and alive with color.  The botanicals Stella paints are very realistic imagery. Stella already has several different series of artwork. One of them being her Vanitas series. In the arts, vanitas is a type of symbolic work of art especially associated with Northern European still life painting in Flanders and the Netherlands in the 16th and 17th centuries, though also common in other places and periods. I just love how realistic Stella painted these companion pieces, Backyard Plums I&II. She was even able to capture the dusty-white coating that gives them a glaucous appearance. Another series Stella paints is her Mandalas series. Maṇḍala (मण्डल) is a Sanskrit word that means "circle". In the Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions their sacred art often takes a mandala form. The basic form of most Hindu and Buddhist mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. This piece, Intuition Intenetion, is the first of this series that New Era has launched. Lastly Stella also has a collage series. I find these companion pieces, September 11th I&II, very interesting. The older photographs really draw your interest in on the meaning behind the pieces. The colors, texture and pattern to the collages also make for great focal points. So take a look around on Gallery Direct of all of Stella Alesi's new art we are offering, you're sure to not be disappointed!