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.

Move That Bus!!!

Tweet If you remember, a group of the Gallery Direct team went out to the Extreme Makeover Home Edition build last year.  The episode airs tonight!!!  Tune in to ABC at 7pm Central Time. The two hour show is the special Christmas-themed … Read More

If you remember, a group of the Gallery Direct team went out to the Extreme Makeover Home Edition build last year.  The episode airs tonight!!!  Tune in to ABC at 7pm Central Time. The two hour show is the special Christmas-themed episode, where host Ty Pennington visits the Zdroj Family of Smithville, TX. Mizzy Zdroj is a female firefighter volunteer whose own home was destroyed by the largest wildfire in Texas history. The episode features an appearance by BMX biker Matt Hoffman, Chef Art Smith and some special guests from "Star Wars." No longer than two months before we arrived to the home, the most destructive wild fire in Texas history ripped through this area destroying over 1,600 homes; leaving many families and the surrounding pine forests completely devastated. The community has since demonstrated that even a natural disaster of this magnitude couldn't keep them down. After the month long fire ended, volunteers with varying skills from Bastrop and surrounding areas banded together to rebuild their homes from rubble. Extreme Makeover spent a lot of time in Bastrop speaking to locals about the specific destruction they had experienced while also searching for a family who was in need of more than a little extra help. During their search they learned about the Heart of the Pines Volunteer Fire Department which had been completely destroyed during the fire while the firefighters were out battling the flames themselves. Members of the Heart of the Pines are all long standing volunteer members, but during such an unexpected and overwhelming catastrophe, many members of community left their homes behind to help aid the Firefighters defend what was left of the town they share and call home. One of these selfless individuals was Mizzie Zdroj. The Zdroj home was located less than 400 yards from the Heart of the Pines fire station, and burned to the ground in mere moments of each other. Abandoned foundations and burned single standing chimneys lined the road leading up to the Zdroj and Heart of the Pines site. It's heartbreaking to see the widespread damage throughout Bastrop and Smithville. In just 7 days, Extreme Makeover and the community not only rebuilt the Zdroj family home, but also completed a fire station for Smithville's Heart of the Pines firefighter family. As proud sponsors of this effort and Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Gallery Direct got out of the office for a few days and into the volunteer action over in Smithville. Nearing the end of the project, for 3 days hundreds of volunteers came out to help with the finals stages, from landscaping to simply moving furniture in. Every aspect of building these new structures was donated, sponsored and offered up freely by Extreme Makeover and the community. That's pretty powerful, see for yourself and tune in tonight at 7p (CT) on ABC.

BECAUSE ART = FREEDOM

Tweet “Because Art = Freedom” is written across the Touch a Life Foundation’s website, followed by, “These children are being empowered through the freedom of expression. They are learning, some for the first time, how to be kids and dream … Read More

“Because Art = Freedom” is written across the Touch a Life Foundation’s website, followed by, “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.” The Touch of 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 over 100 of the 7,000 children and use art as a way to heal. Gallery Direct learned about their mission and jumped at the opportunity to help these brave children.   We are honored to have recently donated artwork and supplies to help bring inspiration and a smile to these children.  The supplies included blank canvases, wallquotes, and empty frames. I encourage you to read the story about "Mark" 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, Founder For more information about the Touch a Life Foundation please visit: http://www.touchalifekids.org  
Do you day dream about the French Countryside? Are you constantly trying to bring a little more french country cottage into your home decor? Then you need to meet Gallery Direct Style Ambassador Courtney. Courtney is the owner and talented decorator behind French Country Cottage a blog full of French inspired eye candy! Meet Courtney in her own words: I am a day dreaming girl and am a stay at home mom to three incredible & inspiring (and goofy!) kids. I have a passion for  Interior design and decorating and now that my babies are older  I am beginning to pursue that part of my dreams. Courtney is constantly finding ways to inspire beautiful french decor and she has beautifully incorporated several Gallery Direct pieces into her home including farmhouse sheep artwork, vintage flowers, and some puppy love. Be sure to check out those inspiring posts and many other on her beautiful blog French Country Cottage.  You can view those images on Gallery Direct here:  Vintage Flower, Sheep image.    

Composition: Vertical vs. Horizontal

Tweet The composition or focal point of your image will subconsciously set the mood of your room.  Our artists carefully balance their paintings composition to connect with their viewers. Powerful composition elements are often displayed through the overall lines of … Read More

The composition or focal point of your image will subconsciously set the mood of your room.  Our artists carefully balance their paintings composition to connect with their viewers. [caption id="attachment_2421" align="alignleft" width="303"] Calming Horizontal Composition[/caption] Powerful composition elements are often displayed through the overall lines of an image. The simple horizontal, vertical, or angled nature of the composition evokes different emotions and draws the eye into a specific element.  Horizontal lines like those seen in beach scenes or sunsets often induce serenity and peace. [caption id="attachment_2422" align="alignright" width="305"] Energenic Vertical Compostion[/caption] Vertical lines suggest energy that encourages progress. Think of a towering tree, a high-rise building, or a horse and rider.  Angles that represent movement harvest a sense of speed, agility, or movement through time.  An image with strong angles may bring a sense of excitement or anticipation to the room.  Let the mood you’re looking for in your space guide you and the rest will fall into place.

Changing Lives with LifeWorks, One Room at a Time

Tweet We’re always honored to have the opportunity to work with LifeWorks, an awe-inspiring organization that provides counseling, housing and support services to at-risk youth and families in the Austin area. Through the LifeWorks Supportive Housing program, former foster children, … Read More

We're always honored to have the opportunity to work with LifeWorks, an awe-inspiring organization that provides counseling, housing and support services to at-risk youth and families in the Austin area. Through the LifeWorks Supportive Housing program, former foster children, formerly homeless kids, and teen parents are provided with a safe place to live while they get back on their feet. Last week, more than 300 corporate and community volunteers came together to participate in LifeWorks' annual Home Improvement Challenge, and teams of volunteers worked with local designers to transform these living spaces into fully furnished and decorated homes—in a one-day race against the clock. We can't think of any group of people who deserve beautiful, inspiring spaces more than the kids and families LifeWorks supports. We were thrilled to play a role in this year's Home Improvement Challenge: our photographer, Candice, shot photos of each LifeWorks client family, and each of them received a surprise family portrait in their newly transformed apartment. On top of that, our amazing CEO, Joseph Garcia, and his wife spent the day working on an apartment makeover (Joseph is on the LifeWorks board).    

Fall Decor Twitter Party Tonight

Tweet   Are you ready to get your Tweet on? The coolest on-line party is here.  Join us tonight at 9pm CT to learn and share your home decor tips.  As summer is coming to end, we will be spending more … Read More

  Are you ready to get your Tweet on? The coolest on-line party is here.  Join us tonight at 9pm CT to learn and share your home decor tips.  As summer is coming to end, we will be spending more time indoors.  Now is the perfect time to spruce up your home.  Bring your tips and get ready for some exciting giveaways.  RSVP now!  Click Here  Be sure to tweet with hash tag #gallerydirect See you tonight!

Green Art, Goes Beyond the Color

Tweet When you buy art do you consider if it’s sustainable before you purchase?  Since Gallery Direct’s inception in the early 2000′s being an eco-friendly company was a top priority.  We use as many green products throughout our processes to … Read More

When you buy art do you consider if it's sustainable before you purchase?  Since Gallery Direct's inception in the early 2000's being an eco-friendly company was a top priority.  We use as many green products throughout our processes to ensure that every piece of art is safe for the environment and your home.
We've gone to great lengths to make sure that we can produce beautiful artwork without leaving a negative effect on the environment. That’s why we print with HP's green latex and UV E3 certified inks. They produce long-lasting, vivid prints that are also odorless and produce no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Using HP's green latex inks keeps our employees safe from harmful chemicals.  There are no harsh smells on our production floor, or the artwork.  Several of our materials qualify to help building and home owners earn LEED credits. For more information on that visit the Green Building Website.
 
When you have a large wall that needs to be decorated it can be overwhelming. Here are three ways to fill a large wall space.
  1. Group in odd numbers. Try grouping an odd number of pieces of art 3 and 5 both work really well.
  2. Make an impact with multiples of a single item. For example a collection of the same painting in multiple colors, I personally LOVE Laura Gunn for collections.
  3. Change up the size, try grouping a large piece with several small varying the size adds more interest.
I have a large wall in my house where I plan on placing three large Laura Gunn pieces I am choosing symmetry with repeating the same print in three colors and it is going to look amazing! You can find Ellen blogging daily at Thrifty & Chic Mom.
When you're invited to an art exhibit or gallery, do you hesitate to go in fear of feeling stupid if you don't understand the artwork?  I think we've all been there.  Most people are intimidated by art, and I used to be that way as well, even though I work at Gallery Direct.  I remember going on a date in New York City to the Museum of Modern Art and as my date stared at a brown sculpture I was looking around wondering why he and everyone else was admiring a sculpture that looked like my dog's food.  Most people, like I did, assume they must understand the art intellectually before they can enjoy it. The man in this picture could be thinking about his favorite soup that his wife cooks or where his parents used to grocery shop when he was little.  Whatever is going through his mind, he is certainly enjoying his experience. That is what art is all about! It's about the experience that it brings to your life. Art is created for you to enjoy, however you want to enjoy it.  You do not need to take an art appreciation class before picking out art that you like.  Just look at the images and let the artwork do the work for you.  The image could bring back an old memory and spark an emotional feeling.  You might be inspired by the painting to start something new, or reminded of something you used to love to do. You could find a shape or color in the image that draws you in. A song, or scenario might start forming in your mind and you start to day dream. Often, the less you know about art, the more free your mind is to get lost in the brush strokes.  Art is a lot like wine, it's not the cost or the color that necessarily matters, it's all about what tastes good to you. How have you learned to enjoy artwork?