What Your Mom’s Art Says About Her

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. http://www.gallerydirect.com/

Art, Missing in Action

Tweet In my last blog post, I revealed that one of my more eccentric interests is art-related crimes. As such, last week I was bombarded with news about the 1990 theft from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. … Read More

In my last blog post, I revealed that one of my more eccentric interests is art-related crimes. As such, last week I was bombarded with news about the 1990 theft from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. Last Monday marked the 23rd anniversary of the heist, which lasted approximately 81 minutes in the early hours of March 18th, 1990 in the wake of Saint Patrick's Day revelry. It is the single largest peacetime property theft in history, with the spoils valued at about $500 million. [caption id="attachment_3544" align="aligncenter" width="400"] The empty frames of works taken from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990. Photo courtesy of artnews.com.[/caption] Last Monday, the aforementioned anniversary, the FBI, who has valiantly headed up the investigation since 1990, put out a press release claiming that they have identified the thieves that have eluded them for all of these years. According to Richard DesLauriers, the special agent in charge at the FBI's Boston office, “The FBI believes with a high degree of confidence in the years after the theft the art was transported to Connecticut and the Philadelphia region and some of the art was taken to Philadelphia where it was offered for sale by those responsible for the theft. With that confidence, we have identified the thieves, who are members of a criminal organization with a base in the mid-Atlantic states and New England." My news conduits have been filled with hurrahs and hoorays and anticipatory speculation these past few days, but I have not been able to shake my admittedly jaded perspective that this is all just false promise. The Gardner case has haunted the FBI and the Boston arts community for over two decades, and people are understandably desperate for some good news. That the press release came out on the anniversary of the theft is all the more telling - it all just seems too neat to me. Additionally, the quote above forces me to raise an eyebrow if only because I was surprised to learn that this information was news to the FBI. Organized crime syndicates are behind a significant percentage of art thefts, and countless leads from the Gardner theft have been related to criminal organizations. That this particular organization is based in New England and the mid-Atlantic should come as no surprise, given that the theft occurred in Boston. This same kind of celebratory sounding-off occurred when Whitey Bulger, a longtime suspect associated with Boston criminal organizations, was arrested in June 2011 on charges unrelated to the museum theft. Almost two years later, we may be experiencing yet another false victory high. I can understand why this would be the case. The Gardner heist is not only an egregious act against the public's right to its cultural heritage, but it also appears to be a very complex and intricate crime. It has been the subject of countless articles, books, and documentaries, and speculation has taken investigators all over the US and Europe in search of the paintings and the culprits. If you find yourself intrigued by the case, I highly recommend Ulrich Boser's book, The Gardner Heist. There are simply too many ways for me to get carried away with talking about the Gardner case, so here is a very simplified version of the events: On March 18th, 1990, just before 1:30am, two men dressed as policemen approached the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and requested entrance from the night security guard, claiming that they were investigating a disturbance. Against protocol, the guard allowed them to enter. The guards on duty were bound and gagged, and were put in the basement of the museum while the thieves, in just over an hour, took 13 works of art, including three Rembrandts, five works by Degas, a Manet, and a Vermeer. The loss of the Vermeer has been noted as particularly devastating, given that there are less than 40 extant Vermeer paintings known today. [caption id="attachment_3546" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The thirteen missing works. From the top left: Vermeer's The Concert, Rembrandt's Self Portrait, Degas's La Sortie de Pesage, Degas's Program for an artistic soiree (one of two), Rembrandt's Storm on the Sea of Galiliee, bronze finial in the form of an eagle from the top of a Napoleonic flag, a Shang Dynasty Chinese Ku, Rembrandt's A Lady and Gentleman in Black, Degas's Program for an artistic soiree (two of two), Govaert Flinck's Landscape with an Obelisk, Manet's Chez Tortoni, Degas's Cortege aux environs de Florence, and Degas's Three Mounted Jockeys. Image courtesy of The Art Newspaper.[/caption] No one has their fingers crossed more tightly than I do that the paintings are eventually recovered. As Anthony Amore, chief of security at the Gardner (whose excellent book Stealing Rembrandts is a fantastic resource for those looking for an introduction to the study of art crimes) said, "this investigation is an exercise in finding 13 needles in a haystack by making the haystack smaller." It seems to me as though the haystack is still quite large. A colleague of mine said it best: I'll believe it when they find the paintings and start prosecuting. For now, I'll spend some time wistfully staring at the RembrandtsDegasManets,and Vermeers that are still around.
Spring is here and we just released our Spring Art Trends for 2013! Today, Gallery Direct announced that bold colors, geometric shapes and transparent inspired decor are some of the top art trends for spring 2013. We caught up with Nick Nichols, the Director of Design at Gallery Direct. Nick says, “Bold colors are everywhere this spring. The use of digital enhancement programs and high-definition mediums has really ramped up in every aspect of our visual lives, making our eyes more attuned to vibrant images. As a result, interior designers are choosing brighter, more saturated hues—and we’re seeing consumers pick up on that trend in their own homes. Bright wall décor is an easy way to modernize any space.” 2013 Spring Art Trends from Gallery Direct Embrace Emerald: This jewel toned Pantone Color of the Year adds sophisticated energy that creates balanced depth in your space--and it’s perfect for spring time. Choose an emerald hued statement piece printed on your favorite material with an elegant frame for a classic look.  Browse Gallery Direct’s Emerald Collection here.           Go Bold with Botanicals: Flowery fine art is always in season.  Placing a few vibrantly-colored botanical canvas prints in a room can make your space feel vivacious and harmonious: bright primary colors add a pop to the room while the flowers keep it rooted in calm tranquility. View Gallery Direct’s Botanical collection here.        
Get Creative with Transparency and Reflection: Art printed on transparent or reflective materials like glass, acrylic, aluminum or mirror can create an eye-catching impact.  This is a sophisticated way to incorporate gloss and shine into your décor, and allows you the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.  Learn more about unique printing materials for artwork here.
                                                                                                                                                Grow with Plant-Inspired Patterns: Patterns inspired by plants are making an impact this spring. For example, Sia Aryai’s Zen Series has been very popular with interior designers this season. The organic lines of nature soften the pattern, lending your space a refreshing and relaxing touch.         Update Your Geometrics: The trend of using geometric shapes and patterns in design is still popular. Update this trend for spring by adding stripes.  The stripes will complement the geometric shapes for the perfect sophisticated-yet-bold combination—don’t be afraid of mixing patterns!  Browse Gallery Direct’s Geometric Artwork here.
    Got a Spring trend to tell us about?  Post a comment below!

Selecting Art: Sailing in Couture Stilettos

Tweet My most recent project with Gallery Direct was selecting art with a couple in Austin, Texas that just moved from the East Coast. Two very different personalities presented themselves, which is always a fun design challenge. Nicola, a fashionista … Read More

My most recent project with Gallery Direct was selecting art with a couple in Austin, Texas that just moved from the East Coast. Two very different personalities presented themselves, which is always a fun design challenge. Nicola, a fashionista who has an extreme passion for abstract art and design. Her husband Christian, has an intense passion for sailing, the ocean, and very traditional. Their common denominator was entertaining their friends at their known dinner parties. Their Austin home had one of the best modern dining room layouts, providing his and her walls to showcase their personalities in their favorite room. Like everyone, they had a budget so we started at Gallery Direct. Nicola was shocked at the options, but extremely puzzled how to make this important space both theirs. She wasn’t real thrilled to be searching for an abstract ship to compromise. It was important for her to have something colorful and abstract of her own. To ease the overwhelming search for her we took three easy steps to get started, here they are:
  1. Check out the Brand New First Additions
  2. Use the search engine with key words that express an emotion you might want to feel in that room.
  3. Gallery Direct has the best Subjects section online. That is where we found what we were looking for. (Abstract for Nicoloa and Coastal and Tropical for Christian)
We choose the Brisbane by Brett Pfister with an aluminum finish for Christians wall and a series of four abstract pieces by Jamie Packard on gallery wrapped canvas for Nicola. Two Quick Tips:
  1. To help finalize your decision for your art selection, choose three, print them at home or your office, tape them on the selected wall(s). Leave them up for at least a day. By the end of that day you will know which one you want.
  2. When deciding on a size, use blue tape to safely show you the impact of the size on your wall.  Don’t be shy to go big!
Nicola and Christian were extremely excited to have their guests over. They now have amazing conversation pieces with the balance of vibrant energy and the calming sea showcasing both personalities they desired. Until the next project… Give the gift of art to your temple. Make it the colorful palace you look forward to coming home to. Sarah
Happy New Year from our family to yours. May 2013 bring you joy, happiness and a year filled with art.  

A special visit from Manor High’s Art students

Tweet After the recent art makeover of Manor ISD’s Oak meadows elementary, the high school art students decided to visit the Gallery Direct offices in Austin, Texas.  Everyday we transform original works of art into pretty much anything you can think … Read More

After the recent art makeover of Manor ISD’s Oak meadows elementary, the high school art students decided to visit the Gallery Direct offices in Austin, Texas.  Everyday we transform original works of art into pretty much anything you can think up, from wall sized art to prints on unique materials such as birchwood and aluminum!   students admiring the gallery checking out our fun graffiti wall mural   The students were eager to see the equipment and the process we use to create the prints found throughout our office and we were excited to show them every step of the process, from imaging to framing; which is now widely spread out since our recent renovation and growth!     We could tell by the conversations the students were having towards the end of the tour about the many creative ways in which they could print their own artwork or possibly have  future careers working with art, that they left inspired - & of course not empty handed.

2012 Art Gift Guide from Gallery Direct

Tweet Give the gift of art this holiday season with Gallery Direct’s Art Gift Guide! For the Eco-friend:  Warm up a green thumb’s home with these bright floral prints by Laura Gunn For the Bar Fly:  This classic French Poster … Read More

Give the gift of art this holiday season with Gallery Direct's Art Gift Guide! For the Eco-friend:  Warm up a green thumb's home with these bright floral prints by Laura Gunn For the Bar Fly:  This classic French Poster printed on Aluminum is sure to make a splash in any social butterfly's space. For the Foodie:  This French Poster by Leonette Cappiello is a classic food lovers delight. For the Fashionista: Compliment the fashion forward favorites in your life with Joel Ganucheau's Subtle Deception paintings. For the Traveler: Give them the world with this Walter Paulson Hemisphere Map printed on canvas. Your Classic Art Lover:  You can't go wrong with a Vincent Van Gogh!  Blossoming Almond Tree puts the finishing touches to any space. Friday at midnight is the last day to order in time for Christmas delivery.  What art do you want this holiday season?

Because Art = Freedom with ART FEEDS

Tweet Because Art = Freedom. “These children are being empowered through the freedom of expression. They are learning, some for the first time, how to be kids and dream big. At one point in their lives, they were sold for … Read More

Because Art = Freedom. “These children are being empowered through the freedom of expression. They are learning, some for the first time, how to be kids and dream big. At one point in their lives, they were sold for the amount we pay for a few cups of coffee.” - Go Team Ghana Website Art Feeds, an art therapy program based out of Joplin, Missouri developed the art curriculum programs for the Touch A Life Foundation's long term rehabilitative care center in Ghana. The Touch A Life Foundation is dedicated to rescuing children in Ghana, Vietnam and Cambodia that were sold into child slavery.  Providing holistic long-term child care to these vulnerable children, the foundation has rescued 93 children out of slavery. [caption id="attachment_2508" align="alignright" width="317" style="float:right; position:relative;"] Photo Credit: Touch A Life Foundation[/caption] Gallery Direct learned about their mission and jumped at the opportunity to help these brave children and other children that have suffered. We are honored to donate one blank canvas to Art Feeds for every piece of Gallery Direct Artwork sold in December. Your art purchase helps bring inspiration and a smile to these children's lives. I encourage you to read the story about Mark Kwadwo on the home page that inspired the, Find Your Mark campaign.  The story is heavy on the heart, but knowing that fortunate people, like most of us, have taken a stand to help these children is inspirational. "People say I rescued Mark, but the truth is, he rescued me. He has shown me what matters in life - the things that are really important. Without Mark, I’d never be the person, the woman, or the Mom that I am today. And it all started with the decisions to believe in myself, and to take a huge risk." - Pam Cope, Co-Founder For more information about Art Feeds and the Touch A Life Foundation please visit: http://www.touchalifekids.org  

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

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet Is it human nature to collect things? I think we’ve all done it. Sea Shells? Salt & Pepper Shakers? Christmas Ornaments? For guys, I suppose it’s Fishing Lures? Baseball Hats? Mine started with stuffed animals and Barbies of course. … Read More

[gallery columns="4" orderby="title"] Is it human nature to collect things? I think we’ve all done it. Sea Shells? Salt & Pepper Shakers? Christmas Ornaments? For guys, I suppose it’s Fishing Lures? Baseball Hats? Mine started with stuffed animals and Barbies of course. Now it’s a little more sophisticated. I have a small collection of religious iconic art – the stuff you see in Santa Fe or at Tesoros here in Austin. In particular, I love retablos and crèches. I also love plates and serving utensils - and yes, Christmas ornaments. More on that another day… Today, I'm thinking about clocks.
I guess I started collecting clocks about 4 years ago when we bought this Modern Cuckoo, designed by Ingolf Haas and available at dwr.com. Only about 150 clock makers in the world make remarkable time pieces such as this (which is certified as an authentic Black Forest Clock). Namely, it must be purely mechanical (no batteries or electric cords), and entirely produced (even all interior parts) in the Black Forest, a wooded mountain range in southwestern Germany.
This next clock I found a few months ago at one of my favorite boutiques in Austin - PerriBerri - which is mostly a purveyor of gorgeous women's clothing (great brands such as red haute) and jewelry (designer chan luu is my favorite). QLOCKTWO, by Biegert & Funk, has received numerous design awards (reddot, iF, and interior innovation) and is manufactured in southern Germany, in a former jewellery factory in a town famous for its gold and silver jewellery.
Almost as soon as I found QLOCKTWO, we received the latest Design Within Reach catalog, and low and behold was another clock of my dreams - the George Nelson 1948 Ball Clock, conveniently reduced 15% as part of the semiannual sale! George Nelson often collaborated with other designers, and in the case of the Ball Clock, was at a dinner party with Isamu Noguchi, Irving Harper and Bucky Fuller. As the story goes, they were all sketching and "had a little bit too much to drink." In the morning, they saw a drawing of the Ball Clock on a roll of drafting paper and none of them truly knew who designed it! One of our artists - T. Graham - surely understands my obsession with clocks. Graham's work consists of an array of modern works of art, architectural abstracts and night time city views. A Measure in Thought I has a Synthetist aesthetic that reminds me a bit of Edvard Munch. If you didn't know T. Graham already, take a look at http://www.gallerydirect.com/art/artists/t-graham. You'll like him even better when you see the picture of him holding his sweet baby!
My kids seem surprised with this steady influx of clocks - why I don't know - as clocks epitomize the cool design objects that they know I love. (And they actually despise the cuckoo clock -- or at least  how noisy it is), so I'm sure they'll be dismayed with my next clock purchase. I don't know what that will be yet, but I do know that it will occur!