What is it about abstract art that can be so intimidating? For many it starts with the definition of Abstract art – paintings that do not depict a person, place or thing of the natural world and is followed by comments like, “I don’t get this.”  Or “My 3 year old could paint this.”  Or “I like paintings I can understand.” Abstract art by definition, “does not attempt to represent external reality, but instead, attempts to achieve its effect using colors, shapes and textures”. We enter unfamiliar territory and feel a bit uncomfortable when asked our opinions on a particular piece that does not portray its subject in a literal manner. This is the best part of abstract art! We’re given the opportunity to interpret a piece of art in whatever way we see fit. [caption id="attachment_4496" align="aligncenter" width="410"] Dancing by Jenny Gray[/caption] Because of advertising, television and internet, we are so used to being inundated with images that are specifically created to convey a message, that we expect precise, clear-cut information from our visual images. However, art doesn’t always have to be that way and it can quite often be better and more enjoyable when the subject matter and meaning aren’t hand-fed to its audience. The artist asks of his or her audience to participate in their piece. How awesome is that? Part of the appeal of abstract art is how intimate and personal it can be for the artist and the viewer as well. The audience is able tap into their feelings and take whatever they want from a piece of abstract art. Interpreting art is a visual, mental and emotional undertaking and can leave a viewer overwhelmed by all the feelings a piece of art gave them while another viewer may only see a mess of paint splatter. [caption id="attachment_4497" align="aligncenter" width="400"] When Will be Able to Relax by Bob Hunt[/caption] Which brings up an important matter. Just because you come across a piece of abstract art for sale or in an art gallery, it does not mean you have to like it. This article is to encourage interaction with abstract art, not to persuade you all to feel as if you must like or have an opinion about all abstract artwork. Many people will find themselves viewing abstract art and forcing themselves to see something in its colors or shapes. You don’t have to do that! It is quite all right not to like or feel a certain way about an abstract art piece. It does not mean you’re uncultured, I promise. Another misconception about abstract artwork is that it will look out of place anywhere other than an a contemporary space. Wrong! Abstract art can blend well with almost any design scheme and will spruce up your walls in a daring, unexpected way. [caption id="attachment_4499" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Silo by Jenny Gray[/caption]So, go forth and get up close and personal with some abstract art! Interpret, contemplate, FEEL! Hopefully, you now realize that you don’t have to be the owner of a swanky art gallery to appreciate or own abstract art. However, If you do want to dress up in trendy, expensive clothes and sip fancy wine like an art gallery owner while gazing at your new abstract art, by all means, go right on ahead!

The Original “Put a Bird On It”

Tweet Greetings, Gallery Direct! Having returned to the States after my fabulous summer of learning and exploring in Italy, I am back to the grindstone. I am currently applying to PhD programs in art history and museum studies, and had … Read More

Greetings, Gallery Direct! Having returned to the States after my fabulous summer of learning and exploring in Italy, I am back to the grindstone. I am currently applying to PhD programs in art history and museum studies, and had the occasion to visit Yale University in New Haven, CT, this past weekend for a fantastic conference on one of my favorite artists of all time, Edouard Manet. The conference was excellent, but I also got to fulfill one of my lifelong dreams: visiting the Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscript Library at Yale.
beinecke library yale
[caption id="attachment_4223" align="aligncenter" width="528"] The Beinecke Rare Books and Manuscripts Library[/caption] Not only is it the largest building in the world that is dedicated solely to the preservation, conversation, and dissemination of rare books, it is also open to both Yale students and the public at large. For a book geek like me, it's always wonderful to know that even with such precious materials at hand, people are dedicated to sharing them for the greater good. Among their collections that are out for public display (including a Gutenberg Bible) was a first edition run of John James Audubon's Birds of America. At the age of 35, John James Audubon embarked upon a mission to paint every bird in North America. In 1838, that project saw completion. Working with British engravers, Audubon transformed his watercolor and pastel works into what is now known as Birds of America. A total of 87 sets of five prints - making a total of 435 plates - were released between 1827 and 1838. [caption id="attachment_4224" align="aligncenter" width="528"] Original printing of Audubon's Birds of America[/caption] Having personally worked with all of the plates of this astonishing during my time at Gallery Direct, it was so incredibly cool to see the original works in person. Check out some of the great prints we have available over at Gallery Direct from the Audubon collection. Two of my favorites are the Great Horned Owls and the Zenaida Doves.   [caption id="attachment_4225" align="aligncenter" width="242"] Audubon's Great Horned Owls[/caption] [caption id="attachment_4226" align="aligncenter" width="240"] Audubon's Zenaida Doves[/caption] So, go ahead and "put a bird on it" with your favorite Audubon print from Gallery Direct!
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!
Designers from all over the world work with Gallery Direct to transform homes and offices. We followed interior designer, Sarah Scott, as she helped a work from home mom choose the right art for her space, her style and her budget.   The challenge was to find harmony with Kiera's and her husband's conflicting styles. Watch this video to see how Sarah navigates these challenges and pulls the space together perfectly.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GCJOSWezFBs Have you faced a design challenge like this?  Let us know your design tips and tricks!

Gallery Direct Featured on BUILT

Tweet Gallery Direct is proud to sponsor BUILT the Style Network’s new home improvement show.  Based in New York City, BUILT is the authority on stylish living.  The 10 episode series followers one of New York’s top design teams as … Read More

[caption id="attachment_3486" align="alignleft" width="329"] Radio City Music Hall by Michael Joseph printed on Aluminum[/caption] Gallery Direct is proud to sponsor BUILT the Style Network's new home improvement show.  Based in New York City, BUILT is the authority on stylish living.  The 10 episode series followers one of New York's top design teams as they transform the homes of New York's most exclusive clients. What's the hook? This construction crew is made up of the male models that have graced the fashion runways and magazines. Each episode features a demanding client who has hired the design team to do a high end room remodel in their fabulous home, turning what was once a bland space into a dream location that the viewers will aspire to. Among them is an engineer, an art installation specialist, a foreman, and hundreds of hours of hands-­‐on handy work. [caption id="attachment_3487" align="alignright" width="300"] Merrymaking Series by M. Drake printed on Acrylic[/caption] We are thrilled that Gallery Direct's artwork was chosen by the interior designers for the remodels.  The shows interior designers picks out and customizes the artwork that completes the room decor.  See anything you like?   See more of the BUILT images on our Facebook Page.    

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
Talk about positive energy!!   You can feel Alex's energy exploding from his paintings.  Alex is all about having fun and learning from life's journey.  Many of his abstract painting ideas come from his dreams. He is inspired from observing people and changing their features and colors to reflect their expressions and feelings.  Claiming there is no logic to his paintings, but a constant flow of energy that guides him to into portraying inner feelings, both his and other people's. "People and their expressions have always fascinated me, to see how different yet similar we all are. Bold colors reflect the intensity with which I live and view life. For my black lines, I choose to use liquid acrylic in a bottle and as each squirt of paint falls on the canvas, I capture the irregularity that defines us as humans. It also bestows a particular energy that mirrors my energetic personality.  Welcome to the world according to me." -Alex Benitez View his limited edition Gallery Direct collection HERE.  

Shirley Williams Art Prints

Tweet Have you checked out the art we’ve launched on Gallery Direct by Shirley Williams? I love getting to know our artists, and was able to meet Shirley face to face. She’s very sweet and I love her art! She, … Read More

Have you checked out the art we've launched on Gallery Direct by Shirley Williams? I love getting to know our artists, and was able to meet Shirley face to face. She's very sweet and I love her art! She, like us here at the Gallery Direct Blog, loves to blog about her work and what she's doing at her studio. Start following her on Shirley Williams Art Blog. Her abstract paintings show so much movement. The colors are so clean and vibrant. Her art would brighten up any space! Some of my favorite pieces by her are: Transforming Current II Horizon IV   Core Brick Which is your favorite? Stay tuned into the Gallery Direct Blog, I will be sharing about another new artist we recently launched!    

Memory lane: The Yellow Dress

Tweet I remember the morning like it was yesterday.  We were all gathered around the tree and of course I had the most gifts!  Yes it’s true I was the spoiled one.  I wasn’t the “spoiled brat” but I was … Read More

I remember the morning like it was yesterday.  We were all gathered around the tree and of course I had the most gifts!  Yes it's true I was the spoiled one.  I wasn't the "spoiled brat" but I was the "spoiled princess".   I had waited all day for Santa to come and it was finally here.  So it was my turn to open my gifts and I won't ever forget this moment. With so much excitement I opened a medium sized box.  It was heavy and wrapped in the prettiest gold paper I had ever seen with a beautiful red bow. Santa must of had his best elf wrap my gift.  I heard music and when I pulled my gift out it was a water globe.  Inside the globe was a beautiful woman with a pretty yellow and pink dress.  She had similarities of Bell from Beauty and the Beast.  The globe played the song "I hope you dance" by Lee Ann Womack. I loved it! It's been several years since I got that gift, but one day as I was working in the prepress room. Peggy Weiss brought in one of her newest pieces, Twirling.  It's of a pretty woman twirling in her yellow and pink dress.  All I could think of was my childhood memory of my water globe.  I was so deeply in love with this piece that Peggy Weiss had created that I had to get one for myself. It hangs in the bedroom of my new sweet little girl, Eliana.  I hope that this picture brings her joy like it brought me. It amazes me how these pieces that different artists bring in can remind me of memories that I will cherish forever.  Did you ever run across an art piece of ours that reminded you of something when you where a child?  If I were you I would look at ALL of our art pieces and you will be amazed of how one of them can bring back a memory.  So try it, and why don’t you tell us about it.  We would love to hear. -Elise