Tweet Summer is the perfect time to update the art around the home. I like to change it up at least once a year, and access to a variety of imagery is one of the great perks of working for … Read More →
Summer is the perfect time to update the art around the home. I like to change it up at least once a year, and access to a variety of imagery is one of the great perks of working for a fine art publisher. My project this summer was to update the art in my home office, and I knew that deciding what to display would be the hardest part.
When selecting artwork it helps me to define a point of view. Sometimes it is as straight forward as choosing artwork that I personally find beautiful or interesting. Sometimes it's the desire to showcase photos I took during a family vacation. Other times, the reasons go deeper.
I recently lost my grandfather, who was 100 years old. That was a joyous occasion, not because he was a mean old man, but because he lived a full life worth celebrating. Shortly after, I also lost my 41-year-old cousin to breast cancer. She left behind 2 young children, a devastated husband and her widower father. Somehow I wanted to give a face to the emotions and thoughts I couldn't necessarily express or fully understand. I wanted to reflect on these events and acknowledge that life just keeps marching forward.
It was in this mind set that I choose these 3 works from our digital photos library. There is peaceful silence in each of these photos. Because of the fog and muted colors there is also uncertainty and melancholy. The images fit my emotional state, and I enjoy looking at them as a set. They pull me in and my mind can wander and think about what it will.
The next step was to customize each image. Gallery Direct allows for a multiple customization options. This is both a blessing and a curse. The options are so varied that it can be overwhelming. I can customize the size, the material the images are printed on, and the frame.
Deciding on the size is easy. The room and purpose dictates the size. Learn more about sizing an image here. I wanted the images to be large but my office at home office is small. I had a discussion with myself, measured the wall twice, and we decided that 26" x 26" (outer dimensions) would do the trick. Not too big for the room but big enough to see detail from my desk.
Now I had to decide what to material to print on. Gallery Direct offers prints oncanvas, framed paper, aluminum, acrylic, mirror andbirchwood. The home office had a lot of natural light, and I knew that I did not want a lot of reflections, so that meant aluminum and mirror were out. I also knew I wanted a frame so birchwood was out as well. I didn't like acrylic glass for these images. Prints on acrylic glass offer great clarity but there is a levity to the material that I felt was inappropriate for the subject matter. I was down to framed paper or canvas and eventually decided on framed paper because I wanted a matte around each image. White space around the image was important to me. It allowed the images to "breathe". I then choose a clean white frame to go along with my white walls. This was a pure aesthetic decision. Because of the relatively large size of the set (about 82" across) I felt a darker finish or a heavily ornamented frame would take away from the subtle and quiet nature of the images.
Overall, I am very pleased with the finished results. It is in part a personal memorial to family members that have passed and a reminder that life moves quickly, but at the same time the selections reflect my taste and personality.
Tweet I’ve been on a mid-century modern kick in my search for design inspiration lately. There’s something about the strong shapes, clean lines and utilitarian flourishes that appeals to my brain. Granted, I have waaaaay too much stuff to ever … Read More →
I've been on a mid-century modern kick in my search for design inspiration lately. There's something about the strong shapes, clean lines and utilitarian flourishes that appeals to my brain.
Granted, I have waaaaay too much stuff to ever fully embrace the minimalism of true mid-century modern design, but a girl can dream. And, I know that even if I can never have a magazine-ready mid-century modern home from top to bottom, I can always incorporate pieces that fit the MCM aesthetic.
[caption id="attachment_3898" align="aligncenter" width="528"] [Jaime Bush (http://www.jamiebush.com) interior, via Desire to Inspire][/caption]Chair. Desk. I love you. Get in my living room now, please. More from Jaime Bush here.
Want More MCM Design Inspiration?
One of my favorite blogs for mid-century modern design inspiration is Desire to Inspire. Kim and Jo are an amazing pair of bloggers. Despite having never met (Kim is in Canada and Jo is in Australia!), they have put together a meticulously curated blog full of drool-worthy images. Desire to Inspire features a variety of eye candy: interiors by fabulous designers! Reader house tours! Interesting architectural projects! Jo and Kim give us all a glimpse of great design and architecture from around the world.
And who can forget the weekly Pets on Furniture series? It features--what else--cute pets on great furniture. It's design inspiration for animal lovers!
From Inspiration to Reality...
Of course, many of the rooms featured on Desire to Inspire contain amazing art. Here are a couple of my favorites--along with Gallery Direct art to fit the bill if you happen to be inspired by what you see.
What a yummy living room by Anonymous Architects:
[caption id="attachment_3899" align="aligncenter" width="528"] [Anonymous Architects (http://anonymousarchitects.com) via Desire to Inspire][/caption]Right? Get a similar geometric vibe with a piece like Geometric Conclusion III by Benjamin Arnot from Gallery Direct's collection:
[caption id="attachment_3900" align="aligncenter" width="400"] [Geometric Conclusion III by Benjamin Arnot on framed paper][/caption]How about this dining room from Desire to Inspire reader Irving's apartment:
[caption id="attachment_3901" align="aligncenter" width="528"] [Irving's dining room via Desire to Inspire][/caption]Mimic his monochromatic/eclectic gallery wall by mixing paintings like Shirley Williams' Shadow Play IV (brand new to our collection!)...
[caption id="attachment_3902" align="aligncenter" width="400"] [Shadow Play IV by Shirley Williams on framed paper][/caption]...with other types of images--like a vintage map of your favorite city, like this map of New York from 1840:
[caption id="attachment_3903" align="aligncenter" width="400"] [Map of the City of New York (1840) on framed canvas][/caption]And I could go on and on. Head over to Desire to Inspire to see for yourself!
Where do you find design inspiration?
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
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.
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!
Tweet Despite reports to the contrary, art historians can be funny, that’s why this post is dedicated to “Art Historical Humor.” Sure, our jokes are nerdy to the point of embarrassment and potentially oblique (in other words, not funny to … Read More →
Despite reports to the contrary, art historians can be funny, that's why this post is dedicated to "Art Historical Humor." Sure, our jokes are nerdy to the point of embarrassment and potentially oblique (in other words, not funny to anyone else), but we try.
One of my favorite instances of art historical jocularity came about two weeks ago, when Amsterdam celebrated the reopening of the Rijksmuseum, a Dutch national treasure whose main building had been closed for ten years due to a major renovation. The reopening of the museum was celebrated throughout Europe, and art and architecture critics have hailed it as a vast improvement.
In order to publicize the museum's rebirth, the museum staff called upon a modern phenomenon - the flashmob - combining tradition and the new age with singular style. Taking place in a popular shopping mall, staff members recreated one of the museum's most well known and beloved paintings, Rembrandt van Rijn's Night Watch.
Widely considered to be Rembrandt's masterpiece, the 1642 oil on canvas measures approximately 12 by 14 feet, and is one of the finest examples of Rembrandt's mastery of chiaroscuro. The eponymous night watch is led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq (the central figure, marked by a red sash) and Lieutenant Willem van Ruytenburch (in yellow), accompanied by a cast of characters, all of whom are portrayed in the flashmob recreation.
See? What did I tell you? Our humor is top-notch.
Tweet A perfect gift idea just in time for Mother’s day, this style of gallery wall uses portrait style photos of your loved ones. Using this tutorial you will learn how to crop your digital family photos to then arrange … Read More →
A perfect gift idea just in time for Mother's day, this style of gallery wall uses portrait style photos of your loved ones. Using this tutorial you will learn how to crop your digital family photos to then arrange as a diptych or triptych. The possibilities are endless and it's really up to you to decide how many cropped sections you would like to create from one image.
Learn how to create your own in just a few simple steps by following the tutorial here.
For more DIY projects like this, ideas and inspiration, check out our section for Design Help & Inspiration here.
Follow me on Google+
Tweet It has long been said that art feeds the soul as well as the mind, and now it seems the Duchess of Cambridge would agree. The Mirror reported yesterday that the Princess, Kate Middleton hosted a charity reception at … Read More →
It has long been said that art feeds the soul as well as the mind, and now it seems the Duchess of Cambridge would agree. The Mirror reported yesterday that the Princess, Kate Middleton hosted a charity reception at London's National Portrait Gallery, one of the city's most esteemed art institutions, to celebrate the power of art in the lives of children. Natalie Evans reports:
"Kate will honour the work of one of her chosen charities, The Art Room, which uses painting and drawing to build the self-esteem, self-confidence and independence of young people. The event will also celebrate the launch of the Pledge for the Future appeal, the charity's new fundraising initiative, and its 11th anniversary. The organisation maintains a dedicated art room in a number of secondary and primary schools in Oxford - running sessions from one to four days a week - and works with more than 20 other schools."
Art therapy, developed as early as the 1940s, promotes self-expression through a multitude of media, such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and music, in order to encourage communication and creativity.The Art Room, the charity endorsed by Middleton, works primarily with 5-16 year olds in order to work through emotional difficulties as well as build up a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
Whether by creating yourself or by admiring the work of others, art certainly has a way of transforming our experience. In what ways has art been therapeutic in your life?
[caption id="attachment_3738" align="aligncenter" width="528"] Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons[/caption]
Follow me on Google+
Tweet As I am absolutely certain you’ve all remembered, Mother’s Day is fast approaching. And I bet you’ve already picked out the perfect gift for the occasion, and it’s sitting all wrapped up and ready to go. But on the … Read More →
As I am absolutely certain you've all remembered, Mother's Day is fast approaching. And I bet you've already picked out the perfect gift for the occasion, and it's sitting all wrapped up and ready to go.
But on the off-chance that you haven't yet found something special for your wonderful mother, Gallery Direct's got your back. We've got a few ideas for you for how to best commemorate a lifetime of love and devotion, so be sure to check back soon for some great DIY tips and other exciting ways to celebrate your mama.
In addition to beautiful meadows, gardens, and seascapes, motherhood and family portraits were among the subjects and themes favored by the Impressionists. Gallery Direct's own image vault has a great collection of motherhood paintings from the period, particularly from Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who is famed for his beautiful, cherubesque female figures.
Tweet The big news item in the art world last week was the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s announcement on Tuesday that philanthropist Leonard A. Lauder will be giving his highly esteemed collection of Cubist paintings, drawings, and sculptures to the … Read More →
The big news item in the art world last week was the Metropolitan Museum of Art's announcement on Tuesday that philanthropist Leonard A. Lauder will be giving his highly esteemed collection of Cubist paintings, drawings, and sculptures to the prestigious New York City museum. The gift - clocking in at almost 80 pieces worth over a billion dollars - is the biggest in the museum's history.
Lauder, a longtime collector and patron of the New York art world (he has been an active trustee, president, and chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art, just to name one example), told the New York Times that from the very beginning, he envisioned it as a museum-quality collection. By all accounts, he has certainly met his goal; his collection, which he began assembling in 1976 and is still growing today, is considered to be one of the best and most important private collections of the early 20th-century movement.
We here at Gallery Direct are happy to announce an acquisition of our own. Much like the Met, we too have recently added a considerable number of Cubist masterpieces to our holdings, and we are thrilled to be able to bring them to you.
I remember when I was in college, a professor asked our class a rhetorical question. Wanting to make a point about how the Cubists created a whole new aesthetic in the world of art, he asked how many of us had a piece of Cubist art on our walls at home. He did not expect anyone to respond in the affirmative. His intention was to illustrate how Cubist art did not adhere to traditional notions of beauty, and was thus less likely to adorn someone's walls than, say, a landscape by Monet. But I surprised him by raising my hand - I just happened to have a print of one of my favorite Picassos above my desk at the time - but his point was well taken. One does not typically think of having a Picasso or a Braque above the fireplace - but why not? The best rule of thumb for picking art is to go with what you love, and I loved sitting down at my desk every day and being confronted with a piece of art that was challenging and thought-provoking.
That's why Gallery Direct is dedicated to breaking down the barriers between fine art and everyday decor. Why shouldn't you have a museum-quality image in your home? No good reason, as far as I'm concerned.
Our recent acquisitions most heavily feature the work of two artists in particular, Juan Gris and Franz Marc. Gris developed his own, unique take on Cubism, often harmonizing colors rather than using monotones, and is particularly well known for his works in collage. His work also demonstrates the popular Cubist motif of incorporating typography and painted typeface into his work, thereby inserting a sort of identifiable referent in what might otherwise be an "unreadable" painting.
[caption id="attachment_3666" align="aligncenter" width="222"]Juan Gris, Bottle and Fruit Bowl[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3665" align="aligncenter" width="205"]Juan Gris, Fruit Dish, Glass, and Newspaper[/caption]
Marc, heavily influenced by the concomitant German Expressionist movement, had a proclivity for choosing natural subjects and depicting them in an abstract manner. His use of bright, bold colors was motivated by a desire to infuse his work with emotional weight and meaning.
[caption id="attachment_3667" align="aligncenter" width="247"]Franz Marc, Colorful Flowers (Abstract Forms)[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_3668" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Franz Marc, The Mandrill[/caption]
So, what are your thoughts on Cubism? Check out Gallery Direct's new collection and let us know what you think!