What is it about abstract art that can be so intimidating? For many it starts with the definition of Abstract art – paintings that do not depict a person, place or thing of the natural world and is followed by comments like, “I don’t get this.”  Or “My 3 year old could paint this.”  Or “I like paintings I can understand.” Abstract art by definition, “does not attempt to represent external reality, but instead, attempts to achieve its effect using colors, shapes and textures”. We enter unfamiliar territory and feel a bit uncomfortable when asked our opinions on a particular piece that does not portray its subject in a literal manner. This is the best part of abstract art! We’re given the opportunity to interpret a piece of art in whatever way we see fit. [caption id="attachment_4496" align="aligncenter" width="410"] Dancing by Jenny Gray[/caption] Because of advertising, television and internet, we are so used to being inundated with images that are specifically created to convey a message, that we expect precise, clear-cut information from our visual images. However, art doesn’t always have to be that way and it can quite often be better and more enjoyable when the subject matter and meaning aren’t hand-fed to its audience. The artist asks of his or her audience to participate in their piece. How awesome is that? Part of the appeal of abstract art is how intimate and personal it can be for the artist and the viewer as well. The audience is able tap into their feelings and take whatever they want from a piece of abstract art. Interpreting art is a visual, mental and emotional undertaking and can leave a viewer overwhelmed by all the feelings a piece of art gave them while another viewer may only see a mess of paint splatter. [caption id="attachment_4497" align="aligncenter" width="400"] When Will be Able to Relax by Bob Hunt[/caption] Which brings up an important matter. Just because you come across a piece of abstract art for sale or in an art gallery, it does not mean you have to like it. This article is to encourage interaction with abstract art, not to persuade you all to feel as if you must like or have an opinion about all abstract artwork. Many people will find themselves viewing abstract art and forcing themselves to see something in its colors or shapes. You don’t have to do that! It is quite all right not to like or feel a certain way about an abstract art piece. It does not mean you’re uncultured, I promise. Another misconception about abstract artwork is that it will look out of place anywhere other than an a contemporary space. Wrong! Abstract art can blend well with almost any design scheme and will spruce up your walls in a daring, unexpected way. [caption id="attachment_4499" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Silo by Jenny Gray[/caption]So, go forth and get up close and personal with some abstract art! Interpret, contemplate, FEEL! Hopefully, you now realize that you don’t have to be the owner of a swanky art gallery to appreciate or own abstract art. However, If you do want to dress up in trendy, expensive clothes and sip fancy wine like an art gallery owner while gazing at your new abstract art, by all means, go right on ahead!

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

The Original “Put a Bird On It”

Tweet Greetings, Gallery Direct! Having returned to the States after my fabulous summer of learning and exploring in Italy, I am back to the grindstone. I am currently applying to PhD programs in art history and museum studies, and had … Read More

Greetings, Gallery Direct! Having returned to the States after my fabulous summer of learning and exploring in Italy, I am back to the grindstone. I am currently applying to PhD programs in art history and museum studies, and had the occasion to visit Yale University in New Haven, CT, this past weekend for a fantastic conference on one of my favorite artists of all time, Edouard Manet. The conference was excellent, but I also got to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams: visiting the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library at Yale.
beinecke library yale
[caption id="attachment_4223" align="aligncenter" width="528"] The Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library[/caption] Not only is it the largest building in the world that is dedicated solely to the preservation, conversation, and dissemination of rare books, it is also open to both Yale students and the public at large. For a book geek like me, it's always wonderful to know that even with such precious materials at hand, people are dedicated to sharing them for the greater good. Among their collections that are out for public display (including a Gutenberg Bible) was a first edition run of John James Audubon's Birds of America. At the age of 35, John James Audubon embarked upon a mission to paint every bird in North America. In 1838, that project saw completion. Working with British engravers, Audubon transformed his watercolor and pastel works into what is now known as Birds of America. A total of 87 sets of five prints - making a total of 435 plates - were released between 1827 and 1838. [caption id="attachment_4224" align="aligncenter" width="528"] Original printing of Audubon's Birds of America[/caption] Having personally worked with all of the plates of this astonishing during my time at Gallery Direct, it was so incredibly cool to see the original works in person. Check out some of the great prints we have available over at Gallery Direct from the Audubon collection. Two of my favorites are the Great Horned Owls and the Zenaida Doves.   [caption id="attachment_4225" align="aligncenter" width="242"] Audubon's Great Horned Owls[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4226" align="aligncenter" width="240"] Audubon's Zenaida Doves[/caption] So, go ahead and "put a bird on it" with your favorite Audubon print from Gallery Direct!

Most Delish Design Eye Candy: Lonny Magazine

Tweet As the visual marketing and merchandising lead for Gallery Direct, a major part of my job is keeping an eye on interior design trends. That means I get to spend part of my day trolling design blogs, Houzz, Pinterest … Read More

As the visual marketing and merchandising lead for Gallery Direct, a major part of my job is keeping an eye on interior design trends. That means I get to spend part of my day trolling design blogs, Houzz, Pinterest and Piccsy for the most stunningly inspiring images to share with Gallery Direct customers (I know, poor me).

I thought I'd start sharing a few of my absolute favorite web haunts for great design inspiration, and today I want to talk about Lonny Magazine.

Lonny is an an online design magazine that's chock-full of to-die-for products, great decorating tips, and house tour photo arrays that make me want to climb through my computer screen and make myself at home.

If you're an art and design junkie like I am, I highly suggest adding Lonny to your daily reading list.

I completely fell in love with two images in Lonny's November issue; both feature oversized artwork with a graffiti-esque, gritty feel:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="476"] Image Credit: Lonny Magazine[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="476"] Image Credit: Lonny Magazine[/caption] Amazing, right? I'm considering a similar look for my new living room. If you're inspired too, check out our Urban Edge collection on Gallery Direct. I also took the liberty of pulling a few of my favorite pieces for your consideration: [gallery order="DESC"] Want one? Find them here...
Top Row:
Raisonne II by Sean Jacobs
Street Language by Todd Camp
Bottom Row:
Graffiti I by Sara Abbott
Rogue Waves I by Sara Abbott
East Side of Town by Sara Abbott
Today is the last day to save big on our Memorial Day sale. For most of us Memorial Day kicks off summer, so why not pick up a summery image or two from Gallery Direct.  The two images featured in our banner would give any room a breezy feel. I can almost smell the banana boat sunscreen now.

New Artist: Wyn Bielaska

Tweet I am very excited about introducing our next new artist, Wyn Bielaska. I have the same passion about architecture, art and graphic design that he does. Wyn is an architect that has worked on a wide range of projects … Read More

I am very excited about introducing our next new artist, Wyn Bielaska. I have the same passion about architecture, art and graphic design that he does. Wyn is an architect that has worked on a wide range of projects in the United States, Canada, China, Europe, and the Middle East. He has also been teaching option studios in the Masters Program at the Faculty of Architecture (now called the Faculty of the Built Environment), University of Washington, since 2002. Being a former Architecture and Graphic Design major in college, I was so happy to see Wyn's art roll in to Gallery Direct. You can see his background in his art, it has an architectural flair & structure and it also has a graphic design edge to it. Last month we released his "Ship Hulls" series. Here are some of my favorites: 21 Again II Noguchi Lost                  

Shirley Williams Art Prints

Tweet Have you checked out the art we’ve launched on Gallery Direct by Shirley Williams? I love getting to know our artists, and was able to meet Shirley face to face. She’s very sweet and I love her art! She, … Read More

Have you checked out the art we've launched on Gallery Direct by Shirley Williams? I love getting to know our artists, and was able to meet Shirley face to face. She's very sweet and I love her art! She, like us here at the Gallery Direct Blog, loves to blog about her work and what she's doing at her studio. Start following her on Shirley Williams Art Blog. Her abstract paintings show so much movement. The colors are so clean and vibrant. Her art would brighten up any space! Some of my favorite pieces by her are: Transforming Current II Horizon IV   Core Brick Which is your favorite? Stay tuned into the Gallery Direct Blog, I will be sharing about another new artist we recently launched!    

New Artists: Shirley Williams & Bob Hunt

Tweet We are excited to announce 2 new artists that have joined our family. First is Shirley Williams. Shirley lives and works in Canada and has been professionally painting for more than 15 years now. In her art she focuses … Read More

We are excited to announce 2 new artists that have joined our family. First is Shirley Williams. Shirley lives and works in Canada and has been professionally painting for more than 15 years now. In her art she focuses on intrinsic energies of color and organic form. We're super happy to have her work in our line now. I conducted an e-interview with Shirley, the Q&A's are below... WL102A, Horizons III Q: What or who inspired you to paint? How did you discover your talent for art? A: My first memory of wanting to become a painter was at the age of 11. It may sound like a cliche, but I remember standing in front of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre awed by the power of a painting to emanate such energy. It was as though I'd been struck by a profound thunderbolt. From that moment I knew my path would be forever changed. WL104A, Natural Wonders I Q: Do you work certain hours each day or only when you are inspired to work? A: I'm very blessed to have a 1500 sq. ft. studio in a white-walled renovated warehouse. I work every day, usually from 10 - 6 and have a studio assistant who comes in occasionally to help me. Normally I handle the business side of things for a few hours every morning. Then I have lunch, meditate and get to the creative work in the afternoon. My original paintings are multi-layered and can take a month to finish, so I'm usually working on several at once. Then of course there's always a lot of non-creative studio work to get done such as preparing canvases, shipping work to galleries etc. So it's definitely a full-time job. WL107A, Core Bice Q: How long have you been painting? How many pieces have you painted? What mediums do you use? A: I've been painting full-time for 19 years. Mostly I work in acrylic on canvas, and also enjoy working with mixed media and encaustic wax on paper. In an average year, I normally I finish 10 - 20 large scale canvases, 40 - 50 small canvases and countless works on paper. WL115A, Transforming Whorl I Q: Your new work that we just published is abstract, do you only paint abstract or do you paint other subjects? A: Although my formal training included learning how to draw, recreating something realistic have never been interesting to me. I'm more inspired by the challenge of creating something that will move people emotionally in a way they may not be able to put their finger on. It's the mystery of questioning what we see and how we respond to it that fascinates me. Introducing our next new artist, Bob Hunt. Bob is a local artist here in Central Texas. His abstract paintings are filled with vibrant colors and texture. We've just recently launched 20 new images by him. From left to right: When will we be able to relax, Obtrude, and Amalgamate I. His art can definitely bring color to any room you put it in. We especially love his art for wall coverings, like shown above. So please, come check out our new artists and new images on Gallery Direct today!

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!