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 Beauty of Acrylic Printing

Tweet Not to brag or anything, but we print on some pretty neat materials over at Gallery Direct. Not only do we print on paper and canvas, but we also print images onto birchwood, mirror, aluminum and acrylic. Of all … Read More

Not to brag or anything, but we print on some pretty neat materials over at Gallery Direct. Not only do we print on paper and canvas, but we also print images onto birchwood, mirror, aluminum and acrylic. Of all the things we print on, we think acrylic might be the coolest. However, not everybody is aware of its qualities or that it is even an option. Actually, acrylic printing is quickly becoming one of today’s most popular methods to display images. Art printed on acrylic is very unique and has the ability to actually enhance an image. If you’re looking for art that elicits a “wow!” and a dropped jaw or two, acrylic is definitely the way to go. Those who see an acrylic print for the first time, fall in love with its vibrancy and clarity. It interacts beautifully with light and actually gives your photos and artwork a dazzling multi-dimensional look. Images printed on an acrylic surface add a stylish, contemporary touch to your home while having the benefit of being a long-lasting and durable method to display photographs and artwork. Gallery Direct has the best technology in the industry for acrylic printing. We use Optix-DA – digital acrylic formulated for printing and specifically designed to provide optimal adhesion of UV curing inks without adhesion promoters. This results in crystal clear acrylic with the highest degree of color fidelity available today. The sleek acrylic glass is supported by simple, brushed aluminum standoffs and invisible hanging mounts, giving the piece a mesmerizing weightless appearance. If you’re in the market for art that is elegant yet durable and will gorgeously complement a modern, minimalist interior design, acrylic printing is a great option. And you’re in luck because Gallery Direct just happens to do it best! Shop our extensive collection of artwork or even upload your own images for exquisite acrylic prints you’re sure to love.  

Decorate with Instagram

Tweet Do you continually delay eating your meal just to snap a quick photo? Do you spend an unseemly amount of time deciding which filter to use? Do you catch your friends sighing exasperatedly because you just absolutely had to … Read More

Do you continually delay eating your meal just to snap a quick photo? Do you spend an unseemly amount of time deciding which filter to use? Do you catch your friends sighing exasperatedly because you just absolutely had to stop to take another “selfie”? You just might have an Instagram addiction. Don’t be ashamed. We’re not here to judge. In fact, we would like to be your enabler. Chances are, your phone is chock-full of photos that you would love to show off. Consider having them printed! Those who are decorating their homes are constantly on the hunt for the perfect wall art that not only aligns with their style preferences but also speaks to them on an emotional level. Well, guess what! You’re already your own curator and you didn’t even know it! There is a tiny art gallery inside your mobile phone and you’re the photographer. Using your instagram photos to decorate your home is a great  and easy way to infuse a little of your personality into your living space. So don’t hold back! Snap those artfully angled pictures of your cat and that shot of your feet in the sand at the beach. Slap some filters on those babies! They make for art that is fun and uniquely yours. Plus, how great would it be to get compliments on your wall art and be able to say with a smirk, “yeah, I took that photo”. Upload your photos to GalleryDirect.com and check out the cool materials we print on and start decorating!  

Radiant Orchid is the Color of 2014

Tweet Radiant Orchid is the new IT color. Pantone has announced the hottest color of them all for 2014, factoring in trends and influences from all over the world. The red carpet will certainly be a bold spectacle this spring. … Read More

[caption id="attachment_4368" align="aligncenter" width="770"] Pantone's Radiant Orchid[/caption] Radiant Orchid is the new IT color. Pantone has announced the hottest color of them all for 2014, factoring in trends and influences from all over the world. The red carpet will certainly be a bold spectacle this spring. “Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “An invitation to innovation, [it] encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.” Pantone further describes the color as "an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones." It has already splashed the runways of 2014 Spring Fashion shows. Collections from Prada, Chanel, and Dior included various pinks and purples. [caption id="attachment_4369" align="aligncenter" width="433"] AP Photo, Karly Domb Sadof[/caption] In the interior design world, Radiant Orchid is set to be the go-to accent color for paint and accessories. It can be a unifying element for an eclectic space. Pantone recommends brightening up a neutral palette with a stroke of purple vibrancy. For the more adventurous, pair it with another bold color, like deep hunter green, turquoise, or a light yellow. From makeup to handbags to pillows, Pantone's pick is sure to blossom in abundance come 2014. For more color and decor inspiration, check out our Pinterest board "Radiant Orchid Revolution".

Holiday Gift Ideas for 2013

Tweet Buying art for your friends and family can be a delicate art in itself. To help, we’ve put together a shopping guide to get those holiday gift ideas flowing. The parents or grandparents will have no idea you’re trying … Read More

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Buying art for your friends and family can be a delicate art in itself. To help, we've put together a shopping guide to get those holiday gift ideas flowing. The parents or grandparents will have no idea you're trying to bring them into this millennium with contemporary art on birchwood. The retro references will have them fooled! Try Maureen Brouillette's "It'll Do Dancing" series. A kid's play space doesn't have to be an eyesore. Make it a space fun for adults, too, with framed art on canvas. Try Joel Ganucheau's "Whimsical" series. Show your niece how cool you think she is with a framed floral print. Time for the big girl art! Try Sia Aryai's "Garbela Fusha" or find more inspiration in our Botanical subject. Bring a little bling into your friend or sibling's bathroom with an elegant print on aluminum. They'll think of you every time they flush. Try Sara Abbott's "Waiting for the Sun" series. What do you buy for the stylish friend with specific tastes? Can't go wrong with a unique, vintage image on framed mirror. Try our Vintage subject for inspiration. Still not sure what kind of art to give your loved one? No worries. That's why we have eGift Cards. Instant delivery means you can wait till the last minute, and your gift will arrive on time.

Happy Holiday Shopping!

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

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Just in time for the holidays…

The word is out. Top designers are all saying that seasonal décor this year is not just about tree trimming and table top. It’s all about the walls.

Patti Hinners, designer of Austin’s finest homes, says,

“It may have started as a trend, but now my clients are pulling out art from holiday storage year after year – same as they would the garlands and wreathes and their other little treasures.”

Seriously – Picture this: It’s late Saturday afternoon and it’s cold outside – too cold to go out. You’re lounging in your comfiest chaise in front of a roaring fire with a yummy cashmere throw and an even yummier mug of mulled wine. Perhaps you’re still wearing your pajamas. You’ve forgotten the book on your lap because you’re transfixed by a fresh fir tree sparkling with tiny white lights. But how does last summer’s sunflower or beach print fit in? Indeed, it’s jarring. The tableau is simply not complete without seasonal art.

Gallery Direct makes it possible for you to decorate in style this winter with festive imagery from your favorite artists – Sia – Paul – Saris – Abbott – Gjevukaj – Graham – plus our colorful photography.  From trees to stars to lights to nature’s curiosities, and even a sweet little deer, this imagery is available on numerous media to select from, including traditional framed paper for a classic touch, light weight canvas that’s easy-to-hang, sophisticated aluminum or acrylic for a modern spin and unique birchwood for a rustic feel. Plus all the red you need to turn your space into a warm and cozy holiday home.

Hinners advises canvas precisely because it’s lightweight, durable, and easy to hang and move around.

“It’s perfect for seasonal décor for all those reasons, but it also has the feel of an original, especially framed canvas.” 

As this year’s designers will tell you and savvy home makers get it: It’s not just about the tree or the table this year, it’s about the holistic experience. And there’s no better way to create that than to surround yourself with cheery wall décor!

And don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is right around the corner!

The Austin Art Scene is the Heart of Texas

Tweet Austin is renowned for its live music and awesome festivals. But when it comes to the art scene, Austin’s East Side hipsters could give Brooklyn’s hipsters a run for their Hush Puppies. In the heart of one of the … Read More

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Austin is renowned for its live music and awesome festivals. But when it comes to the art scene, Austin's East Side hipsters could give Brooklyn's hipsters a run for their Hush Puppies. In the heart of one of the largest conservative states is a liberal oasis where retro style meets contemporary sensibility. Whether a current resident or a visitor, there's plenty to explore. Austin has its selection of art museums, like Blanton Museum of Art. But it's Texas, rugged country. Get off the beaten path. Try the graffiti park at Castle Hill in Clarksville. With the ever-changing artwork, think of it as a free outdoor exhibit you can rediscover on a monthly basis. Looking for original art to buy from new artists? Head on over to Austin Art Garage. You might see some familiar work by Joel Ganucheau and Judy Paul, two of Gallery Direct's artists. For more of the visual feast Austin has to offer, check out our Pinterest board, "ATX Art Scene". On it, you'll find links to galleries and events and hidden gems around the city.

Inside Gallery Direct: The Sanctuary

Tweet In the heart of Gallery Direct’s production warehouse is a small room with no windows, but it is the only space with pure, natural light. An entire wall is flooded with full spectrum daylight lamps for our team of … Read More

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In the heart of Gallery Direct's production warehouse is a small room with no windows, but it is the only space with pure, natural light. An entire wall is flooded with full spectrum daylight lamps for our team of imaging specialists to properly match the prints we manufacture to the original art. These specialists lovingly refer to this space as "The Sanctuary". Passing through the Sanctuary doors, the noise of printers and framers and the bustling production floor fades away. Once beyond those doors, an unspoken vow of silence is taken as the specialists sit down at their stations to worship at the altar of art. The images lined up along the sacred Sanctuary wall change almost daily. Besides color correcting every piece of art that is scanned into our database, our team of specialists also tweak and enhance each image to the Art Director's and artists' specifications. Ultimately, it is the job of the specialists to insure that every print looks like the real deal. They are Gallery Direct's first line of defense in quality control. Once the art is approved for printing, they become available on our site for orders. This week's Sanctuary image includes the works of Justin Garcia and Sylvia Angeli. To keep up to date with artwork being processed in The Sanctuary, visit our Facebook page weekly.  

Art as Your Focal Point

Tweet When designing a room it’s always helpful to have a starting point, such as a piece of artwork like the Art Deco Butterflies 60 featured above.  Artwork is a wonderful source of inspiration for an interior. The colors present … Read More

When designing a room it’s always helpful to have a starting point, such as a piece of artwork like the Art Deco Butterflies 60 featured above.  Artwork is a wonderful source of inspiration for an interior. The colors present in the artwork, the artistic style, and the overall mood of the piece can inform many of the decisions you’ll make for your interior. Aside from offering color and style direction for a room, the right artwork can serve as the focal point of your space. Consider the focal point to be the center of interest or activity in a room. Where do you want the eye to be drawn? The focal point may or may not be the actual center of the space, but it is always the most important part. Because a focal point engages users and draws attention to the space, it’s placement in a room must be thoughtful.  A stunning piece of art above a fireplace will call users to the living room to sit and gather; a bold piece of art placed at the end of a hallway entices users to progress through the space; and a unique piece can serve to anchor a seating grouping or activity zone. For a step by step guide to making artwork your focal point visit please visit our Design Help and Inspiration Section. This article was originally written by Interior Designer, Desi Creswell. You can find more of her great tips in the Gallery Direct Design Help and Inspiration section.

Houston Texas’s Best Artist

Tweet Gallery Direct Artist, Justin Garcia, was voted the Editors Choice Best Artist of 2013 by the Houston Press. Painter Justin Garcia calls himself an abstract expressionist. It’s a more accurate label than simple artist, he says. Garcia is currently … Read More

Gallery Direct Artist, Justin Garcia, was voted the Editors Choice Best Artist of 2013 by the Houston Press. Painter Justin Garcia calls himself an abstract expressionist. It's a more accurate label than simple artist, he says. Garcia is currently enjoying success with both collectors and critics. In today's fickle art world, that's rare. Rarer still is Garcia's drive to blend his artistic endeavors with good business sense. Putting good work on the canvas isn't enough. His self-imposed job description includes getting those canvases in front of an appreciative - and buying - public. "I believe that Houston is a great city filled with great artists.  I'm grateful to the Houston Press for their recognition of my work and honored to have been chosen to be a part of their Silver Anniversary edition. Congratulations on 25 wonderful years and your many contributions to the City of Houston."

                                                   Justin Garcia

Justin has been honored twice this year by the Houston Press.

View his works: http://www.gallerydirect.com/art/artists/justin-garcia