Here’s the last installment of our 3 part series. You can take a look back at Part 1 and Part 2 to find out more about Vintage and your own photo uploads. We’re ending with Gallery Direct’s Exclusive Artists. I think it’s the most exciting part and it’s the reason why we are... who we are. We Love Art. Every single piece of Art first comes through our Imaging Department. Not one thing goes untouched and it goes through quite the process before it actually becomes available for you to purchase. Here’s the rundown on how it all works: The Artist
  • All of our Artist’s are unique. They are all signed to work exclusively with Gallery Direct. So, your art isn’t being sold anywhere else. You can ONLY get it here. There is a wide variety for you to choose from and it is a far cry from ‘boring’. Every art is exciting and new and you can sometimes be the FIRST person to ever buy an Artist’s piece. That’s pretty darn exciting if you ask me.
The Scan
  • We take the Artist’s painting and scan it using a high technology scanner called the Cruse Scanner. This scanner is among the best. It is the ultimate instrument for digital capture and is also used by the Vatican’s Secret Archives, Vatican City and the Czechoslovakian National Library, Prague.
The Color
  • Once it is scanned… we are ready to make it polish and shine. The scan is good when first looking at it. But, we want to make sure it’s perfect. We adjust the color to make sure it looks as close to the original as possible. Adjusting anything we see that can make it better. The texture that the Scanner creates makes it feel... and look... like the real thing.
artwork by Darvin Jones and a new artist, Stella Alesi

We love it back here… It’s like Christmas every day with all the new art.

Here’s a video on how the entire Imaging Department works:

Brittney Melton
Here at Gallery Direct we want to make sure that your image looks great. We offer a wide variety of imagery so that you can definitely find something that fits your taste. We have exclusive artists that share their wonderful artwork with us, just for you! In fact, I have many hanging in my own house. We also have Vintage prints that have grown to be very popular. And, you can even upload your own photo and create your very own piece of art. We’ll be doing a three part series on what we, at Gallery Direct, specifically offer. Our PrePress and Imaging department ensures that each image is looked at and retouched to perfection. You are getting the very best there is to offer with Gallery Direct. Gallery Direct offers: Exclusive Artwork: This is Judy Paul’s Lucky in Love – which has been perfected to look closely to the original, in color and in texture. One of my absolute favorites.         Vintage Artwork: Maybe you order a Vintage image. Each Vintage Image you order has been retouched to look like new. Just take a look at this example: Marines Recruiting Photo Uploads: Many customers upload their very own image and are able to create their own art or photograph. There are lots of wedding photos and family photos… photos from trips or even a birthday party. We see a lot back here in the PrePress and Imaging department. We’re going to jump right on into Photo Uploads first. It’s a popular choice. When you upload a photo onto Gallery Direct, you are able to pick the size you want. You are also able to pick a type. Do you want a Gallery Wrap? Or maybe have your image Framed? We also offer printing on Metal, Acrylic, Mirror and even Wood! There are lots of options. Once the image makes it to our PrePress Department is when the magic starts. Let’s look at the below example. The flash from their camera has caused the woman to have “Red eye” – our PrePress Department can take that out: Let’s say you want your photo to be turned into a B&W or Sepia tone: Maybe your photo has a certain Hue to it that doesn’t look neutralized. In this case, this photo is too blue. We can make sure your image turns out great: Join us next time to learn more about our Vintage Imagery. Cassie in our PrePress team works wonders! Go take some photos! Brittney

New Era Artist Feature: Volume 1

Tweet Working in Prepress at New Era I have the privilege to work with and look at original artwork from our New Era artists every day! I received degrees in Architecture and in Art emphasizing in Graphic Design, so needless … Read More

Working in Prepress at New Era I have the privilege to work with and look at original artwork from our New Era artists every day! I received degrees in Architecture and in Art emphasizing in Graphic Design, so needless to say I love Architecture and Art... and art of architecture is even better! This is why one of my favorite New Era artists is Tatara. I was able to conduct an e-interview with Tatara, below are the questions and answers.

Q: Your watercolors show dynamic culture, landscapes, architecture & cityscapes – what inspires you to paint these subjects?

A:  I rarely ask myself what I’m looking for when choosing this or that subject.  But once I am working I find that a sense of ideology reveals itself again and again, one that brushes over and blends all the many different details of a fractured world.  My images are in fact based on the reality of this world because I use photography as a tool.  The way a certain image is taken through the painting process, however, tends to bring out “the environment” of a setting.  And it is this part of a landscape that interests me. Q: Do you paint your subjects in person, from memory or refer to a photograph? A:  I began painting outdoors and on streets. This was exciting to be on location, having to stay focused amid the circulating distractions.  Now as I find myself spending more and more time on each piece, I take photographs and piece them together to recreate what it was like to be standing in that spot, all while painting inside my studio. Q: How long have you been painting? How many pieces have you painted? Do you use other mediums besides watercolor? A:  Though I have always enjoyed drawing with pencil, since my childhood even, I only began painting like I do now 15 years ago.  Watercolor seemed like an extension of drawing.  And now I am painting with oil, which for me has been the biggest step toward painting. [caption id="attachment_662" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Troubled Guest TA173A, wall mural hung in our office gallery by my coworker, Brittney and myself"][/caption] . Q: Which piece that you painted is your favorite and why? A:  Well, because I don’t really think of my work as individual, virtuoso-like creations, and rather as threads in a big fabric, I find this question difficult.  But if we look at “troubled guest” I see a good representation of all that interests me.  It is a house, a very generic house, that has been taken over by streamers of toilet paper.  It is a setting that has cultural undertones, but once removed, it has a serenity reminiscent of the Indian sub-continent or of warm-hearted laughter.  Altogether, the environment surrounding the object reaches from paper edge to paper edge. [caption id="attachment_665" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Original on the left, digital print file on the right inversed in Prepress."][/caption] Q: Your latest works have included painting in inverse colors, how did you come up with this idea and is it difficult to paint in this mode? A: I stumbled upon this technique by looking at snapshot negatives as an alternative figure/ground composition.  I found what I needed in the negative, which then served as the subject of a painting.  Once the painting was completed I recorded it in my inventory like I do all my work.  But I had a simple curiosity which was to observe the painting reversed back to its original color composition.  It seemed full of possibilities because of the newness of layering watercolor upon an ink-black substrate, becoming lighter and lighter, instead of the convention of increased darkness. Is it difficult?  Only when you think about what you’re doing. Hope you enjoyed getting to know one of our artists, stayed tuned for New Era Artists: volume 2!    
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

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!

The fine line between high tech and fine art

Tweet This week our team examined a month’s worth of customer comments. Although there was feedback regarding our recent site improvements, the vast majority of customer comments were rave reviews about the artwork itself, i.e. the images hanging in their … Read More

This week our team examined a month’s worth of customer comments. Although there was feedback regarding our recent site improvements, the vast majority of customer comments were rave reviews about the artwork itself, i.e. the images hanging in their homes. We were touched by the positive connections our customers have with their new artwork. Over ten years in the art business has taught Gallery Direct many things. A decade ago, we participated in national art shows (called trade shows). These are exhibits where art companies show their stuff, are forced to socialize with their competitors, and pretend to like them. We quickly learned everything we needed to know. First, the mien of the industry players was something we found off-putting. A lot of snobbery and tony fronts abound in the art world. Second, not one of the players is what we would call business-minded. These were two traits we didn’t feel like emulating, so we bounced from the trade show commitment. Any business person knows: you have to work for your supper. It wasn’t hard to figure out the other established fine art publishers were not doing so. Instead, they were in the business of selling a positive illusion to the end consumer, and the price of the illusion was steep. Traditionally speaking, an art publisher signs artists, releases and markets the artists’ work. But who’s printing it? Who’s framing it? Not the publisher. Outside vendors are handling the manufacturing. With every layer, channel or hand in the pot the cost of the artwork goes up and up. So, having fine art limited editions on the wall was cost prohibitive to most Americans. This didn’t sit well with us. We quickly moved to be a vertically integrated solution for art lovers, handling artist and art acquisition, scanning, printing, framing, and marketing. Since this became our business model, we took it one step further. Why not offer customization of each image and on the fly? Moreover, vertical integration means we were also able to react to the changes in home fashion faster than any fine art publisher in the world. - Reacting to the market on a macro-level, finding artwork and directing artists to meet the needs of the ever-changing trends in color and home fashion. - Interacting with the end user, the customer, on a micro-level, via our website with all its customization features. There is no one offering what we offer, anywhere in the world. We are thankful our customers love their new artwork, but the price is the reason it hangs on their walls. Before Gallery Direct moved to vertical integration, our artwork was selling for 6 to 9 times more than it is today. Sad, but true story. The artwork of Gallery Direct is 100% created by artists and photographers and 100% recreated by our staff using technology that is off the hook. To this very day, when I walk through the facility, I say to myself, “DAYUM! That’s a lot of high-tech equipment.” The folks running the technology, recreating the art, framing each image, and sending it out our back door work in a series of independent cells. It looks reminiscent of the Paper Street House in the movie Fight Club. We invested millions in this technology to produce world class fine art, not junk, not posters. We make real art at an affordable price, eons away from the ersatz snobbery of the past. While we’re all used to the “Designed in California” “Assembled in China” messaging of Apple, which is an attempt to make you feel better about a foreign made product. Nice try. Understand this: our artwork is designed all over the globe, customized by you and assembled in Austin, Texas. You can feel awesome about that. We do. Thanks again to everyone loving their new artwork and passing the positive feedback our way. We are nothing without our customers.
Sometimes, it can be very painful listening to feedback and the egos of our developers get a little bruised. But having the best selection of fully customizable artwork online doesn't amount to much if usability is an issue. So we solicited feedback from you and worked with a couple of third party quality assurance (QA) folks. We listened, rolled up our sleeves, and improved our site for you. Here's the list of site modifications, added to improve usability and your overall experience. Advanced Filters by Subject At a high-level, browse through various art subjects/themes quickly. Nice. Advanced Filters by Artist Quickly search through all the artists. Just like that. Check out the search by color function. Find exactly what you need. Easily match artwork to your wall color, furnishings and home accents. Accessorize away! We also added a Help section, outlining our satisfaction guarantee, shipping policy, return guidelines, and site FAQ. How cool is that? Other improvements include: We re-designed the header and left bar navigation menus to be more intuitive. Navigate faster than ever. The art product pages now display larger images and more descriptive keyword phrases to help you narrow down the search. Check out the new "Others also Bought" section on category and product pages to help provide more art ideas. We added a product carousel on the home page. This helps you see our most popular bestsellers. Don't you love it when companies actually do what you say? We're really listening to your comments. Please keep them coming.
Back in the day, people gave flowers for any occasion. Particularly, the Victorians were known for giving flowers as a significant definition of their historical period. They used flowers as a means of expressing emotions in their famously -- and emotionally -- repressed culture. Over the years, giving flowers faded with fashion, went the way of the personal letter delivered by courier. This is sad, because it's a nice gesture. Understandably, technological advances such as the telephone and its successors destroyed courier-delivered love notes. Why did flower delivery, en masse, go out of fashion? One theory, as the world became more modern, people began to express their emotions better. The need to give flowers lost its significance. The only vital adherence of emotion to flower giving is when expressing loss or condolences. Grief sharing is very difficult and awkward to express verbally. Flowers assist communicating sorrow. Their use is ascetically and aesthetically appropriate, giving something dead to honor the memory of one once lived. Today, we live in a culture, which easily expresses emotions. In fact, we live for it. Think Reality Television, once more with feeling! Ironically, as we have become more emotional, we have become more practical, and generally folks don't like stuff that dies. We also live in a bang-for-your-buck consumerist society. Consumers want to spend their income on things that last. People also like a sure bet. This is why gift cards, as a present, are so popular. Romantic, "No." Sensible, "Yes." But as giving flowers has lost significance, adorning walls with floral images is as popular as ever. At Gallery Direct, we're always amazed at how many "florals" people buy from us. The lasting appeal of colorful floral art prints and botanical artwork is the onlooker can enjoy these over and over. You don't have to be a Victorian to appreciate that.
Metal art has a historic / symbolic quality. The media is the message, almost as much as the artwork that's created from it. Metal connotes progress, historical periods (e.g. Bronze Age), and adornment (e.g. jewelry). It's unique among fine art media. Metal as it fashioned household items coincided with its usefulness as a medium to display ancient man's aesthetics. In fact, art on metal allows modern man a glimpse at ancient man's life and culture. Who may have conquered the culture, which deities the culture worshipped, and even what their diets consisted of. Metal also tells us the not-so-ancient man's story, particularly the stuff he was purchasing. An antique-collector friend recently gushed to me about a pristine cache of old advertisements on metal he acquired. I asked, "Would those be as meaningful, if they were paper signs?" He laughed. To this end, we'll take our crack at being part of history. We offer our entire line on metal, and we sell a fair bit of it. All of our images -- particularly colorful abstract -- look brilliant on metal. Artwork on aluminum has an enhanced luminescence. It's shiny; it's sleek, très moderne! Ironically, our top seller is vintage art on metal, mainly the artwork of Cappiello. Folks are trying to recreate an old time look with a more modern feel, and based on the prices my friend charges for his antique metal signs, I think you'd be better off going Gallery Direct!