The Austin Art Scene is the Heart of Texas

Tweet Austin is renowned for its live music and awesome festivals. But when it comes to the art scene, Austin’s East Side hipsters could give Brooklyn’s hipsters a run for their Hush Puppies. In the heart of one of the … Read More

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Austin is renowned for its live music and awesome festivals. But when it comes to the art scene, Austin's East Side hipsters could give Brooklyn's hipsters a run for their Hush Puppies. In the heart of one of the largest conservative states is a liberal oasis where retro style meets contemporary sensibility. Whether a current resident or a visitor, there's plenty to explore. Austin has its selection of art museums, like Blanton Museum of Art. But it's Texas, rugged country. Get off the beaten path. Try the graffiti park at Castle Hill in Clarksville. With the ever-changing artwork, think of it as a free outdoor exhibit you can rediscover on a monthly basis. Looking for original art to buy from new artists? Head on over to Austin Art Garage. You might see some familiar work by Joel Ganucheau and Judy Paul, two of Gallery Direct's artists. For more of the visual feast Austin has to offer, check out our Pinterest board, "ATX Art Scene". On it, you'll find links to galleries and events and hidden gems around the city.

Inside Gallery Direct: The Sanctuary

Tweet In the heart of Gallery Direct’s production warehouse is a small room with no windows, but it is the only space with pure, natural light. An entire wall is flooded with full spectrum daylight lamps for our team of … Read More

vitruvian man birthday
In the heart of Gallery Direct's production warehouse is a small room with no windows, but it is the only space with pure, natural light. An entire wall is flooded with full spectrum daylight lamps for our team of imaging specialists to properly match the prints we manufacture to the original art. These specialists lovingly refer to this space as "The Sanctuary". Passing through the Sanctuary doors, the noise of printers and framers and the bustling production floor fades away. Once beyond those doors, an unspoken vow of silence is taken as the specialists sit down at their stations to worship at the altar of art. The images lined up along the sacred Sanctuary wall change almost daily. Besides color correcting every piece of art that is scanned into our database, our team of specialists also tweak and enhance each image to the Art Director's and artists' specifications. Ultimately, it is the job of the specialists to insure that every print looks like the real deal. They are Gallery Direct's first line of defense in quality control. Once the art is approved for printing, they become available on our site for orders. This week's Sanctuary image includes the works of Justin Garcia and Sylvia Angeli. To keep up to date with artwork being processed in The Sanctuary, visit our Facebook page weekly.  

Fall Art Trends: Black and White

Tweet   Fall fashion trends are hitting my favorite boutiques and I can’t stay away!  Through my shopping adventures, I noticed a trend in my shopping bag, that matches my walls.  Black and white! Here’s a shot of a display at … Read More

 
black and white trends

Fall fashion trends are hitting my favorite boutiques and I can't stay away!  Through my shopping adventures, I noticed a trend in my shopping bag, that matches my walls.  Black and white! Here's a shot of a display at my favorite boutique in San Francisco, Ambiance. They paired the classic colors with a splash of blue. That black and white dress is absolutely stunning and puts a new modern twist on a contemporary look.  This boutique has consistently been voted San Francisco's top woman's boutique for several years, and it's obvious why. Black and white are playing a huge role this Fall and are adoring runways across the globe. No longer reserved for basics, it’s time to embrace the freshness of the bold contrasts. Art works the same way. Artwork follows the fall trends of the runways, just in a more subtle way.  Like your clothes, with art you can pair your current or older décor with new décor, making a huge impact in your space.  This bold black and white abstract makes a huge impact in this room.  Changing the artwork from florals to abstract makes it look like a complete makeover.

My pinterest board has my wish list of black and white artwork and outfits, my two favorite things ......and these are anything but ordinary. From the runways to your walls, there is nothing boring about black and white. What are you wearing this Fall?  
Greetings Gallery Direct! I have just returned from a fabulous six-day vacation that I took during a short break from my program. Even though I'm already back in the thick of classes, I feel revivified and inspired from my travels. Last week, two of my friends and I packed our bags and boarded a train to Venice, a place I have been dreaming of visiting for years, and then on to Florence (but more about that next time!). As soon as I stepped out onto the piazza off of the train station, the beautiful view took my breath away. I could not believe I was finally there!
venice italy canal
[caption id="attachment_4121" align="aligncenter" width="528"] The Canals of Venice[/caption] Now, being the art history nerd that I am, I was overwhelmed by the abundance of art all around me. Not only was the Venice Biennale going on (one of the most important contemporary art events in the world), but the masterful architecture and dedication to preserving the city and its treasures were enough to make my jaw drop. One of my favorite moments, however, was when I was walking along the Gran Canale, in front of the Piazza San Marco and the Palazzo Ducale, when I spotted the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore across the water. [caption id="attachment_4120" align="aligncenter" width="528"] San Giorgio Maggiore[/caption] The stunning sixteenth-century church inspired one of my absolute favorite series of paintings by Claude Monet. The most famous (and certainly one of the most beautiful) of these paintings is San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk. [caption id="attachment_4122" align="aligncenter" width="528"] Claude Monet's San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk[/caption] It was so incredible to finally see the landscape that Monet was so inspired by. It was even greater to feel that very same inspiration. It just goes to show that true beauty, like that which is to be found in the winding streets and canals of Venice, is truly forever. What cities inspire you? Want more from Monet's Venetian stint? Check out his painting of the Palazzo Contarini! 

The Emotion of Color

Tweet Color elicits emotion, we all know that, but are you aware of which color elicits which emotion? When choosing the color scheme in your home consider what emotion you are trying to evoke in each room, this is the … Read More

Color elicits emotion, we all know that, but are you aware of which color elicits which emotion? When choosing the color scheme in your home consider what emotion you are trying to evoke in each room, this is the emotion of color I am taking about. Then you can use the easy color search option on Gallery Direct to find the perfect piece to decorate your room. RED: sense of power, impulsively, sexuality and increases one's appetite ORANGE: steadfastness, courage, confidence, friendliness, and cheerfulness YELLOW: intelligence, joy, and organization GREEN: hope, growth, good health, freshness, soothing, sharing, and responsiveness BLUE: tranquility, love, acceptance, patience, understanding and cooperation   Is your home sending the message you want? You can find Ellen blogging daily at Thrifty & Chic Mom.

The Wonders of the Waves

Tweet Last Friday, I took a trip to the ancient necropolis at Cerveteri and spent a few happy hours crawling around tombs that date as far back at 1200 BC. Needless to say, it was one of the greatest experiences … Read More

Last Friday, I took a trip to the ancient necropolis at Cerveteri and spent a few happy hours crawling around tombs that date as far back at 1200 BC. Needless to say, it was one of the greatest experiences of my young life. What could make this perfect day better? A trip to the beach, of course! After touring an archaeological museum that is housed in a medieval castle in the town of Santa Marinella, I got to dip my toes in my favorite body of water on earth: the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean is entrenched in the history of the ancient world, as well as more recent events. Its historical importance is matched only by its magnificent beauty.
mediterranean sea ocean
[caption id="attachment_4081" align="aligncenter" width="528"] The Mediterranean Sea at Santa Marinella[/caption] As I stared at the vivid blue water and listened to the sounds of the waves and the splashing swimmers, I got to thinking about how bodies of water have inspired artwork for centuries. There is just something about the overwhelming vastness of the sea that is inspiring and contemplative. One of my favorite examples of painters who expressed their love of the waves in their work is Claude Monet. His paintings from Dieppe, Pourville, Varengeville, and Etretat are all perfect examples of how an artist can be inspired by the ocean and interpret that on canvas (follow the links to see what I'm talking about!). [caption id="attachment_4083" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Claude Monet's "Sunrise, the Sea"[/caption]

 The ocean-obsession exists all throughout art history. One of Gallery Direct's very own exclusive artists, Allyson Krowitz, is so taken with seascapes and coastal scenes that they comprise almost her entire collection! Her work provides a really multi-dimensional look at tropical life, and is well worth checking out. Gallery Direct also has an entire section dedicated solely to prints with coastal or nautical themes.

What's your favorite body of water? Do you like to frolic on the beach, or do you prefer the serenity of a lake? Or perhaps the energy of a rushing river? Whatever floats your boat (pardon the pun), I'm sure it inspires you in some way. If that inspiration means creating a piece of artwork that reflects your love of the water, all the better. For me, this is about as artistic  as it gets:

Not too shabby, eh? It's no medieval castle, but it will have to do.

The Fresco Frenzy of Art Traditions

Tweet Ciao! Things are swimming along quite nicely here in Amelia (quite literally swimming right now – I’m currently enjoying a mid-afternoon thunderstorm). In addition to my busy class schedule and pile of books I need to read, I’m absolutely loving … Read More

Ciao! Things are swimming along quite nicely here in Amelia (quite literally swimming right now - I'm currently enjoying a mid-afternoon thunderstorm). In addition to my busy class schedule and pile of books I need to read, I'm absolutely loving being surrounded by such incredible architecture. Living in an Italian city that has Etruscan roots and has Roman ruins around every corner is such an interesting reminder of how deep European history runs, and furthermore, how big of a role it plays in the citizens' everyday lives. I am lucky enough to go to class everyday in this beautiful complex, the Palazzo Boccarini. Built in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, it was adapted in the early-sixteenth century as a cloister of the convent of San Francesco. The chiostro, as we call it, not only houses the classroom for my program, but also the city's lovely archaeological museum. It also plays host to many cultural events such as small concerts for the local Amerini, or the citizens of Amelia. It even has a little room right off of the street, Piazza Vera, where people gather to play cards with their friends to escape the afternoon heat.
amelia cloister italy
[caption id="attachment_4066" align="aligncenter" width="224"] The Chiostro Boccarini[/caption] Adorning the corridor of the Chiostro are three beautiful frescos that I pass by at least eight times a day. Frescos are such an important part of the art historical tradition, and I'm trying to absorb and appreciate as much of it as possible whilst I'm in Italy. [caption id="attachment_4067" align="aligncenter" width="300"] The ground-floor corridor of the Chiostro[/caption] Fresco, from the Italian affresco, meaning "fresh," is a technique of mural painting that has been used since antiquity, but gained popularity and prominence with the Italian Renaissance. Contrasted with secco, or dry, painting, pigments are added directly into wet plaster, the result of which is that the painting itself becomes an integral part of the wall itself. The frescos at the Chiostro Boccarini depict both religious scenes and also the life of the Boccarini family, who were the patrons of the complex itself. [caption id="attachment_4068" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Fresco at the Chiostro Boccarini[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4069" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Fresco at the Chiostro Boccarini[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4070" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Fresco at the Chiostro Boccarini[/caption] These beautiful paintings act as daily reminders of the artistic history of the community here in Amelia. Do you have a favorite fresco? What about Michelangelo's Creation of Adam? Or perhaps Raphael's School of Athens? Maybe Leonardo's Last Supper (which is technically an example of a secco mural, but we can overlook that for now - it's still pretty impressive)?
Do people want to know how a BMW is made or do they just want it to go fast? What level of knowledge do you require regarding the items in your life, particularly the big purchases? Those things you’re going to live with for a while: your car, your flat screen TV, your kitchen counter top.  At Gallery Direct, we know that artwork would also fall into that category.  It’s a purchase you think about, something you’re going to live with for a while, for some people years, many years.  For the art lovers who know us, they know we’re the guys who let you make the big purchases without breaking the bank, a pleasant oxymoron. We’ve wondered, if more people want to know how the artwork is made or if they just shop on price. We don’t know that it can be both. The price is obvious, so we created this video that shows the step of the process, right after the original is created and checked into our facility. Our specialty is limited edition artwork. This means an original work, created by one of our artists was meticulous curated and reproduced.  The Cruse Scanner is a fascinating part of the story of how an original work of art makes its way to your wall as a limited edition.

Study: Men + Art = Happiness

Tweet In honor of Father’s Day, I thought I would share some insight into men: Art makes them happy! Norwegian Men are known for seeking happiness in life, they even build research teams tasked to discover how they can be more … Read More

In honor of Father's Day, I thought I would share some insight into men: Art makes them happy!

Norwegian Men are known for seeking happiness in life, they even build research teams tasked to discover how they can be more satisfied in life!

In a recent study conducted by these happiness seekers,  it was determined that men that enjoy cultural activities are better off in mind and body than their uncultured counterparts.  The study followed on over 50,000 men and women to tracked their personal satisfaction, perceived state of health, anxiety and depression. Overall, both men and women who participated in cultural activities—including enjoying fine artwork, had lower levels of anxiety and depression, reported more life satisfaction, and generally “felt better” than those not participating in cultural activities. But the biggest beneficiaries were men. And here’s the strange part: men more interested in watching and looking at fine art images— at home, in museums and art galleries – enjoyed the greatest benefits of all; even more than men actively participating in cultural and creative activities. Lucky for you guys, Gallery Direct has a lot of images hand selected just for the guys!   Here are our top "Guy Art" picks: [caption id="attachment_1410" align="alignleft" width="153"] The Gunfighter by Benjamin Arnot[/caption] This image, The Gunfighter, is a favorite among the guys in the Gallery Direct office. Printed on aluminum and framed it was recently featured in our Gallery right out, Joseph Garcia's office.  This is a creation by Benjamin Arnot, he combines his painting with digital imagery, adding in a geometrical element.  Very manly, yet tasteful! [caption id="attachment_1414" align="alignright" width="255"] Urban Radio II by Sara Abbott[/caption] Graffiti images are very trendy right now and are a top pick among our male customers. Sara Abbott has several graffiti images, including the image to the right. These images look great on any substrate, I think the bigger the graffiti image, the cooler the effect. These next images are sexy, yet sophisticated. Appreciating the female form in a tasteful way can liven up any room, giving it a sexy contemporary look. Cherry Rain I & II by Sia Aryai           For more art for guys browse Gallery Direct's Art For Him Collection
I crave the feeling of new decor, I think I am actually addicted to it.  I love retail therapy for my home. Too often I find myself buying new pillows, pictures, dishes, vases, throw blankets, duvet covers, towels, and most recently a new scale.  That last purchase is when I knew I had a serious problem, I bought a scale because it looked cute in my bathroom, not because I intend to stand on it. I decided it was time to break this obsession with purchasing new items every several days and that I was going to love what I already have. I am on a "no home decor purchase" pact for the next 6 months!  I can still redecorate, but I have to get creative with what I already own.  Here's five tips to show you how I have been coping. Tip #1 Moving my artwork around!  This is my favorite tip, moving artwork from one room to another creates a whole new room and a fun decorating challenge.  First, I started in my bedroom.  I took these love birds by Judy Paul that were above my sofa in the living room and hung them above my bed.  I love how modern the bedroom looks! Tip #2 pile on your pillows.  I grabbed every pillow I had in my entire home and put them on my bed. I am so pleased with the results and it doesn't bother me that they are all a little different.  As I went through other parts of the house, I pulled pillows from the bed to decorate the other rooms and still have 8 left on the bed. Yes I even got carried away and threw a white boa left over from Halloween on the side of my bed to throw the symmetry off a bit. Next up was my living room. Tip #3 I rotated my floor rug by 90 degrees.  This was scary at first, but I stuck it out.  I moved the sofa away from the wall by 3 feet after reading that moving your furniture to the center of the room can make a room look bigger.  I am not sold on this idea yet, but it did give me plenty of wall space behide the sofa to place large pieces of artwork. Tip #4 I took several books piling up in my book shelf and made a side table! How brilliant is this? Tip #5 I took all the blankets I have and placed them on various pieces of furniture. The sofa, reading chairs, even the ottoman. Bonus Tip: #6 I had a small curtain with a black and white pattern laying around. It's actually part of my winter collection.  I placed it on the table in the breakfast nook making a table cloth!  I then filled a vase with some fresh fruit, mostly oranges for the splash of color and to give it a summer like feel. Have a revamp your home tip for us? Please share with me in the comment section below, as I still have 5 months of no spending to go!  Wish me luck.