Not to sure if this is a Texas thing or maybe it was just my old school, but I hated walking the hallways and seeing nothing but brick walls.  Me, being an art person, always wanted to see colors and pictures, but my school just never had that.  Tuesday I had the pleasure of giving a tour to the Principal and a couple of teachers from Oak Meadows Elementary School, Manor ISD.  We recently put up a Mural in their school and I can’t tell you how grateful they were to have something so wonderful on their walls. The teachers absolutely loved the mural, but the kids thought it was the most awesome thing!  (especially the young man in the picture J) So as I gave the tour, I spoke more about what our CEO, Joe Garcia, wanted to do and in the making.  He wants to help cover up those ugly brick walls with some nice, beautiful artwork made by our artist and these students.  Here is part of an e-mail he wrote to the company: “In the meantime, we still want to continue with the mission of helping disadvantaged schools and school districts by providing art, art supplies such as our bi-products which can be stretched canvas, rolls of paper, loose canvas, wall coverings, returned art work, etc. Our cause is to help keep art essential! Many schools districts are cutting or eliminating art programs. This teaches kids that art is not important. I would love to see more people involved in this great cause which aligns well with the company” I am absolutely stoked about this project in the making, which we hope will be called InvisionART, a non-profit foundation. We thank the Teachers, Principles, Director of Advanced Programs and Fine Arts and Superintendent from Manor ISD for all the help, inspiration, and excitement that they have given our company.  We hope that the art given to you all brings joy to you and your students as much as it gives us! On an ending note please keep a look out as we continue to work hard on building this foundation!  We are excited! Take a look at the link below for a sneak peek! InvisionART MANOR ISD
It's Halloween weekend and the scariest part to me is that as soon as we count our candy and put away our masks, it's time to plan for Thanksgiving and then Christmas. A houseful of family and friends is a blessing to me, and so is the power to impress them!  It's amazing how a few pieces of new artwork can really spruce up your home for the holidays. Here are a few easy tips I do every year that make a huge impact with my guests and it keeps my mother in good spirits. Warm Up The Place: Make everyone feel cozy with a warm image in the dining area.  I just purchased these two above for my dining room.  Last time I changed the art in the kitchen my friends thought I had rennovated the entire kitchen area. ha! Honor Your Guests: This one scores major brownie points with the out of towners - I always print pictures we took from our last family gathering on a canvas and display them. Often it's from the Holidays before or in my case, my brother got married so here is my niece and nephew in his wedding -- I find that putting up my siblings kids is just as special to my brothers and sisters as have pictures of them. So I often go the kids route.  The kids love to see themselves displayed and feel special. My niece wanted the last canvas I had printed of her, so this year I am printing two of each as suprise gifts. Classy Holiday Decorations:  A nice snow scene or nativity scene image printed on canvas is a very tactful way to decorate and your home, and it's easy to store for use next year.  I like to keep these images up all winter long. Have a few tips to share with us? We'd love to hear them. Comment away!

   

The Canvas Gallery Wrap Explained

Tweet The canvas gallery wraps most literal description is: a piece of canvas that is stretched over stretcher bars (you can think of this as an internal frame).  Here at Gallery Direct we’ve perfected this system (since it’s one of … Read More

The canvas gallery wraps most literal description is: a piece of canvas that is stretched over stretcher bars (you can think of this as an internal frame).  Here at Gallery Direct we’ve perfected this system (since it’s one of our most popular items we get LOTS of practice!).  Once we’ve printed the image you’ve chosen for your canvas gallery wrap it is cut down and taken to our framing area.  Here is where the flat piece of canvas transforms into artwork that comes to your door step ready to hang. The canvas is printed with 2" of cloned borders around the image for stretching/wrapping around the 1.75" stretcher bars.  Our production team carefully stretches the canvas so it’s even and straight on the stretcher bars while neatly stapling the canvas to stay in place.  From this point hanging wire or D rings are added to the back of the piece -- Tada!  A finished piece of artwork!  Check out the video to see how a gallery wrap is created. Although the system of creating canvas gallery wraps is generally pretty simple, you may be asking "what is the deal with cloned borders?".  This process is a great way to make the illusion that the piece continues around the stretcher bars without losing any of the image to sides.  To create the cloned borders for each image we take the 2 inches closest to edge of the image you've chosen and clone (you can also think of this as mirroring) them to create the borders that will wrap around the the stretcher bars.  The pictures below show what the cloned borders look like.  As you can tell generally images with peoples faces close to the edge of the image don't work well for the cloned border process.  In those cases we'd suggest using a white or black border, so there isn't a third eye or double forehead situation. [caption id="attachment_731" align="alignright" width="192" caption="Sample of cloned borders - Arrow indicates the start of the cloned borders"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_724" align="alignleft" width="249" caption="Cloned borders gone bad - Notice the double forehead & eyes"]Cloned borders gone bad - Notice the double forehead & eyes[/caption]               The canvas gallery wrap is a great way to display artwork for any space! Cheers! Brooke
We were excited to hear that Burt Watts decided to open the doors of their local facilities to the public and Gallery Direct. Part of the Austin Office Building tour, Burt Watts walked us through their headquarters right in the heart of downtown Austin. As a leader in green and sustainable designs, most of the structure was built from recycled materials and designed to be energy efficient in every way, from using mostly natural light to the carpeting made from recycled tires. All of the artwork printed for Burt Watts downtown building was printed by Gallery Direct and is showcased throughout the tour. Watch the video to learn more about the Burt Watts Austin Office Building Tour and Gallery Direct.  
At Gallery Direct, we love to know what images are viewed the most on our website, and it's always neat to dig into Google analytics to see how visitors interact with our site or to identify trends in keywords, content, etc.  Checkout www.gallerydirect.com's top five most viewed wall art from the month of August... from New Years Day to Late Summer, you are sure to fall in love with these! [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="210" caption="Garden Party I by Sean Jacobs"]canvas art garden party I[/caption] Number 1 on the list is Garden Party I
The rhythmic repetition of circles and ovals in candy colors suggest masses of flowers waiting to be admired by one and all. This is a fanciful composition that shows off Sean Jacobs' skill with shapes, colors and light.
    Judy Paul - Tall & Skinny Canvas art Number 2 on the list is Tall and Skinny by Judy Paul
The title aptly describes the form of the tree that is depicted and repeats itself in the actual dimensions of the tall and skinny canvas. Her trademark use of whimsical images, from birds to polka dots, has never been more captivating or humorous.
    Canvas art by Silvia Angeli The 3rd most popular is Late Summer's Expectation I by Sylvia Angeli
Here, Nature has a hard time letting go of the brilliant blues and greens of summer. But the promise of autumn's fiery reds and golden yellows will not be denied.
    Canvas Art by Jon Eric Narum Number 4 is New Years Day by Jon Eric Narum
The brilliant blues and pinks of the sunrise, along with the wide open expanses of the horizon, speak of new beginnings and opportunities.
    Canvas art by Sylvia AngeliNumber 5 is Landscape Abstraction by Sylvia Angeli
The richness of the colors suggests a densely woven tapestry that will make a bold statement in any room of your home or office.  
Coming soon, will be more interesting statistics from from analyzing our web stats. Hope this helps you gives your more ideas on selecting artwork.     -Robin
We are loving these reviews.  We've recently launched this ratings and reviews function, and here’s one that we’d like to call out. Overall Rating: 5 stars Quality: 5 stars Value: 5 stars Ease of Installation: 5 stars True to Color: 5 stars Would you recommend this to a friend?: Absolutely Review Title: I couldn't be happier
I bought Van Gogh's 'Starry Night' on the aluminum background. My house is decorated in a contemporary style, but I've always loved this painting. So, I chose the aluminum background because it was clean lined and stylish, but does in no way insult the painting itself. It actually is a very nice clash between two styles that works very well. It's absolutely gorgeous. I have and would recommend this style and company to anyone. The quality is great.
We enjoyed reading this one: an art lover using Gallery Direct to its full potential. She created something unique, taking an old master, perhaps Van Gogh’s most famous, which we have impeccably curated and optimized, and she customized it on aluminum to suit the needs of her home’s interior. There are features only Gallery Direct offers to art lovers.  In business terms, you’d call these “key differentiators” or the value you offer your customers based on how you differ from your competitors. Most of the images we sell are exclusive to Gallery Direct, this is the artwork we sell as limited editions. An artist signs a limited edition agreement [with us] and receives a royalty each time we sell one of their images.  In contrast, Van Gogh’s work “Starry Night” is part of the public domain; therefore represents an image that many sources around the world and online sell.  But if you want this recreated on aluminum, birchwood, mirror, or acrylic, in addition to traditional framed paper and stretched canvas, we’re the guys to call on. We’re also the guys that won’t break your bank for this level of customization. Our mantra from day one is: “Fine Art For Everyone.” This message is plastered all over our facility and we smile big when we read the end of this review, “I have and will recommend this style and company to anyone. The quality is great.” Thank you! We couldn’t help but notice a new competitor tweaked our mantra to be theirs: “It’s Art For Everyone.” Thanks for the compliment. In eleven years, we’ve had our exclusive images knocked off, we’ve had our messaging/branding copied, and we’ve learned to take it with a grain of salt.  In the case of this new competitor, after looking around the site for a while, we couldn’t help but notice their “key differentiator” is exorbitant cost.  Might want to re-think that slogan guys. Watch our Fine Art on Aluminum Video
Last month, the folks at “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” asked us to donate artwork to the MLB Fan Cave.  We really enjoy the relationship we have with “EM: HE” and their designers.  So when the design team, headed by Paul DiMeo, asked Gallery Direct to donate artwork to this first of its kind dream lair, where one lucky fan gets locked in a lush baseball fantasy world to watch every one of the 2430 Major League regular season games. We said, “YES!” Since “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is involved, you know the project can only be over-the-top because Everything “EMHE” does is over-the-top! The designers selected one giant mural for us to create and twenty-two other images. We’ve really enjoyed seeing the whole thing develop. You should take a look. We get asked a lot, “That partnership you have with ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ must really pay off?” We have to say, “That’s not why we did it. We love the show. We love the lives and communities the show assists. End of story.”  Of course, nobody’s buying it; they think it’s part of some corporate “cause marketing” campaign. Whatever!  “EM: HE” found us randomly, doing a search online. No PR firm was hired to make the alliance. But make no mistake, when we see our artwork hanging each week in the “walk-through,” it makes us feel pretty awesome. What goes around comes around. So, we were honored to be asked to beautify the walls of the MLB Fan Cave.  And if you’re asking, “Is it going to pay off?” We’ll reply, “Who cares? It’s just super cool!” [above: Paul DiMeo personally hanging new work by M. Drake: Frank Sees]

High Praise from a High Point Insider

Tweet Each morning we login to the ratings and review workbench to examine the newest customer reviews of our artwork. This one caught our attention. Overall Rating: 5 stars Quality: 5 stars Value: 5 stars Ease of Installation: 5 stars … Read More

Each morning we login to the ratings and review workbench to examine the newest customer reviews of our artwork. This one caught our attention. Overall Rating: 5 stars Quality: 5 stars Value: 5 stars Ease of Installation: 5 stars True to Color: 5 stars Would you recommend this to a friend?: Absolutely Review Title: Products from Gallery Direct look like original works of art
I purchased Mountain High II by Sylvia Angeli to go with Mountain High I, which I purchased earlier. I used them in a showroom at High Point Furniture Market. They looked fantastic and many of their customers asked where the artwork came from. They thought they were original oil paintings.
The High Point Market [formerly called the International Home Furnishings Market] in North Carolina is one of the oldest and largest trade shows of its kind. The “market” as it’s called in the trade brings together suppliers and buyers of anything you can think of that might be found in a furniture store: couches, tables, bedding, rugs, lamps, etc. You can even purchase art, too. This show is not open to the public, only qualified buyers and sellers may attend.   The show itself is millions of square feet, encompassing several downtown blocks of High Point, North Carolina. Fascinating. So when we read a review from a woman, who purchased art from Gallery Direct, not to re-sell, but to dress up a showroom we are very flattered [we’re assuming she is an interior designer]. Moreover, when she ends the review stating customers, “buyers,” mistook our limited editions as original artwork, we consider that high praise indeed.  I’ve known some buyers in the past, and they are paid to be discerning, looking for the items, which will bring value to their clientele.  Their job is to recognize craftsmanship, aesthetic value, and quality. Thank you. You’ve made this American fine art company’s day. Hope you had a good market!

What the heck is marouflage anyway?

Tweet 3000 years ago, during the Iron Age, an artist thought it would be safer to paint a grand work on canvas and adhere it to a wall after its completion.  The technique is called “marouflage.” Artist #1: “The King … Read More

3000 years ago, during the Iron Age, an artist thought it would be safer to paint a grand work on canvas and adhere it to a wall after its completion.  The technique is called “marouflage.” Artist #1: “The King gave me carte blanche to paint a mural in his new dining hall, whatever I want!” Artist #2: “Carte blanche from the King is a one way ticket to digging your own grave, should he not approve of your grand opus.” Artist #1: “Good point! What if I produced a work in the studio first, presented it to him for approval, and then affixed it to the wall?” Artist #2: “Sounds like you just saved your neck and should keep the King’s favor.” This is how we imagine marouflage was invented and we think, 3000 years later, it’s time to adorn your castle with it. BUT examining the history of marouflage, the techniques to adhere the canvas were sometimes quite toxic.  We’ve remedied this. Coming very soon, you will have the ability to order our entire collection as a mural, [we’d like to use the word marouflage, but think it might be too freaky for folks].  The results from the pre-release trials are amazing, like this new image [above]  from our artist Sara Abbott, now hanging in the communications center.  Aside from the awesomeness of our entire line available on mural, the product will be green.  Our eco-friendly latex inks and PVC-free wall covering will meet the GREENGUARD indoor air quality certification requirements, and it’s easy to install and removes without damaging your walls. Nice. We’ll let you know when the new mural [or marouflage] capability hits the market.

Messages from the past-WPA Poster Collection 1936-1943

Tweet Gallery Direct recently acquired the By the People, For the People: Posters from the Works Progress Administration Poster Collection [WPA], 1936-1943.  The artwork produced from this era was the most ambitious U.S. Government sponsored artistic program to date, born … Read More

Gallery Direct recently acquired the By the People, For the People: Posters from the Works Progress Administration Poster Collection [WPA], 1936-1943.  The artwork produced from this era was the most ambitious U.S. Government sponsored artistic program to date, born of FDR’s New Deal, which was our government’s attempt to overcome the factors of the Great Depression. New Deal programs championed reform through a stronger centralized government and [unemployment] relief through sponsored public works. The sanctioned Federal Art Program [FAP], the administrative channel for the creative endeavor of the WPA, employed over 5000 artists over several poster divisions.  The subject matter during this period ranged from the hyper-local and regional such as art exhibitions, theatrical and musical performances, travel, tourism and community activities; paralleled with the national: wartime propaganda, health, safety and educational programs.  Aside from the rich image history, the collection remains one of the finest snapshots of popular marketing typography from the period.  Having said that, it’s not like our Library of Congress [Americana / WPA] collection arrived picture perfect. Cleaning up the files has been a labor intensive endeavor. Pictured above [on the left] is the file as we acquired it. Notice the stains, cracks and creases. The image on the right is the polished [300 dpi] version, which is now ready to be reproduced as wall art.  The irony is not lost on us: the WPA is still employing our graphic artists decades after it ceased to be. Thank you, FDR! NOTE: These images are a historical account, representing the prevailing sentiments and principles of time.  Some viewers may be offended by the expressions and depictions, but then again some of the images are hilarious, too.