Recent Blog Posts

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!  
Not to sure if this is a Texas thing or maybe it was just my old school, but I hated walking the hallways and seeing nothing but brick walls.  Me, being an art person, always wanted to see colors and pictures, but my school just never had that.  Tuesday I had the pleasure of giving a tour to the Principal and a couple of teachers from Oak Meadows Elementary School, Manor ISD.  We recently put up a Mural in their school and I can’t tell you how grateful they were to have something so wonderful on their walls. The teachers absolutely loved the mural, but the kids thought it was the most awesome thing!  (especially the young man in the picture J) So as I gave the tour, I spoke more about what our CEO, Joe Garcia, wanted to do and in the making.  He wants to help cover up those ugly brick walls with some nice, beautiful artwork made by our artist and these students.  Here is part of an e-mail he wrote to the company: “In the meantime, we still want to continue with the mission of helping disadvantaged schools and school districts by providing art, art supplies such as our bi-products which can be stretched canvas, rolls of paper, loose canvas, wall coverings, returned art work, etc. Our cause is to help keep art essential! Many schools districts are cutting or eliminating art programs. This teaches kids that art is not important. I would love to see more people involved in this great cause which aligns well with the company” I am absolutely stoked about this project in the making, which we hope will be called InvisionART, a non-profit foundation. We thank the Teachers, Principles, Director of Advanced Programs and Fine Arts and Superintendent from Manor ISD for all the help, inspiration, and excitement that they have given our company.  We hope that the art given to you all brings joy to you and your students as much as it gives us! On an ending note please keep a look out as we continue to work hard on building this foundation!  We are excited! Take a look at the link below for a sneak peek! InvisionART MANOR ISD

Decorating Your Bathrooms

Tweet The bathroom is often one of the most visited rooms in the house. The holidays always remind me to pay extra attention to my powder rooms as they can make or break a visitors experience. I also find that … Read More

The bathroom is often one of the most visited rooms in the house. The holidays always remind me to pay extra attention to my powder rooms as they can make or break a visitors experience. I also find that re-decorating my bathrooms makes me feel like I refreshed my living space. Mirrors and bathrooms make sense.  Why not pick an image and print in on a mirror? This is a great way to add a creative touch to a bathroom. How contemporary and cool does the mirror to your right look? This would look beautiful above a bath tub or behind the toilet. Think that is too much? Than go for a calmer image like a seashell or foot prints in the sand. You can search through thousands of images in the Gallery Direct Image Vault. Obviously this is wall art decor, it's not for the main mirrors in the powder room. You could pick interesting shapes and frames for the standard mirrors if you want to add some spice to the functional mirrors. The hallways and stair cases are not the only places to place family photos. Go ahead and post some of your favorite family moments in the powder room.  You can always rotate the images from around your house. Move some from the hallway into the powder room. Themes are great. I like to put the memories from the past seasons in the bathrooms. I have last years New Years photos that I plan to put up around Christmas and then some beach images in the summer. If your bathroom is off of the living room or a bedroom, it's nice to incorporate that decor and colors into the bathroom. Keeping the wall decor consistent throughout the transition from the bigger room to the powder room makes your home flow nicely.  If your living room has bold abstract images, go ahead and place a large bold abstract in the bathroom and keep the shower curtain or towels in a solid complimentary color. I like to add a touch of uniqueness to my powder room images by printing on aluminum. Aluminum will give any image a shine with a contemporary edge. Have a bathroom decor tip? Please share it with us by leaving a comment.
Are your walls ready for the holidays? One of the best ways to make a great impression for your guests is to have beautiful artwork in your home. Trust us, we know. We get thousands of happy art buyers telling us how many compliments they get on their purchase from their guests. To celebrate all the wonderful compliments we want you to get on your art this holiday season, we are offering you a chance to win a $500 shopping spree to www.gallerydirect.com.  Three winners will be picked, and it's simple to enter, just like us on facebook and enter your e-mail address, so we can contact you if you win!
Here’s the last installment of our 3 part series. You can take a look back at Part 1 and Part 2 to find out more about Vintage and your own photo uploads. We’re ending with Gallery Direct’s Exclusive Artists. I think it’s the most exciting part and it’s the reason why we are... who we are. We Love Art. Every single piece of Art first comes through our Imaging Department. Not one thing goes untouched and it goes through quite the process before it actually becomes available for you to purchase. Here’s the rundown on how it all works: The Artist
  • All of our Artist’s are unique. They are all signed to work exclusively with Gallery Direct. So, your art isn’t being sold anywhere else. You can ONLY get it here. There is a wide variety for you to choose from and it is a far cry from ‘boring’. Every art is exciting and new and you can sometimes be the FIRST person to ever buy an Artist’s piece. That’s pretty darn exciting if you ask me.
The Scan
  • We take the Artist’s painting and scan it using a high technology scanner called the Cruse Scanner. This scanner is among the best. It is the ultimate instrument for digital capture and is also used by the Vatican’s Secret Archives, Vatican City and the Czechoslovakian National Library, Prague.
The Color
  • Once it is scanned… we are ready to make it polish and shine. The scan is good when first looking at it. But, we want to make sure it’s perfect. We adjust the color to make sure it looks as close to the original as possible. Adjusting anything we see that can make it better. The texture that the Scanner creates makes it feel... and look... like the real thing.
artwork by Darvin Jones and a new artist, Stella Alesi

We love it back here… It’s like Christmas every day with all the new art.

Here’s a video on how the entire Imaging Department works:

Brittney Melton
It's Halloween weekend and the scariest part to me is that as soon as we count our candy and put away our masks, it's time to plan for Thanksgiving and then Christmas. A houseful of family and friends is a blessing to me, and so is the power to impress them!  It's amazing how a few pieces of new artwork can really spruce up your home for the holidays. Here are a few easy tips I do every year that make a huge impact with my guests and it keeps my mother in good spirits. Warm Up The Place: Make everyone feel cozy with a warm image in the dining area.  I just purchased these two above for my dining room.  Last time I changed the art in the kitchen my friends thought I had rennovated the entire kitchen area. ha! Honor Your Guests: This one scores major brownie points with the out of towners - I always print pictures we took from our last family gathering on a canvas and display them. Often it's from the Holidays before or in my case, my brother got married so here is my niece and nephew in his wedding -- I find that putting up my siblings kids is just as special to my brothers and sisters as have pictures of them. So I often go the kids route.  The kids love to see themselves displayed and feel special. My niece wanted the last canvas I had printed of her, so this year I am printing two of each as suprise gifts. Classy Holiday Decorations:  A nice snow scene or nativity scene image printed on canvas is a very tactful way to decorate and your home, and it's easy to store for use next year.  I like to keep these images up all winter long. Have a few tips to share with us? We'd love to hear them. Comment away!

   
The Extreme Makeover Home Edition Season 9 is in full swing and is already on it's 4th episode of the season (aired on 10.16.11).  I had the pleasure to watch the episode and tweet with fellow admirer's of what EMHE does for families in need. For this past Sundays episode I was able to join other EMHE viewers online while watching Season 9's 4th episode about the Korpai family.  In this episode Ty and the rest of the EMHE crew head to Crawford, NY to surprise a family that have been advocating for dwarfism since having their daughter, Hailey.  Hailey was born with dwarfism and as a Little Person she had challenges with her home.  Jimmy and Darlene (Hailey's parents) are the President and Vice President of the New York chapter of Little People of America.  Their home serves as the facility for their Little People of America chapter and they wanted to be able to appropriately accommodate Little People visitors and Hailey.  The Korpai's are such an inspiration and a deserving family to have the help of EMHE. MOVE THAT BUS!  The EMHE crew built an amazing home and a new Understanding Dwarfism Center where everything is at the perfect level.  A lot of thought and care goes into building these homes.  Of course I didn't make it through the entire episode without crying! Hailey was such a sweet little girl!  It touched my heart to see all of the people reaching out to support this family. Every inch is thoroughly thought out by the EMHE team, including the artwork!  At Gallery Direct we're proud to be able to donate artwork to each episode of EMHE.  The EMHE crew chooses the artwork specifically for each families new home from our collection. These are the Gallery Direct artwork pieces that were seen on this episode: [gallery columns="4" orderby="title"]
EMHE has moved to their show to Friday nights starting on Friday October 21st at 8/7c.  During the episodes we give out FREE artwork to a few lucky participants during the shows!  We'd love to hear about what you think of the artwork seen on the EHME episodes.  Comment here or join us on our facebook page. Tweet with us @GalleryDirect and use #EMHE to tweet during the show.
Enjoy! Brooke