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

vitruvian man birthday
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

Artist Spotlight: Kim Curinga

Tweet Meet our newest Artist, Kim Curinga.  Kim is a digital photographer and photo illustrator who studied at Art Institute of Pittsburgh, The Maine Photographic Workshops, and The International Film and Television Workshops. Her photomontages are the result of her need … Read More

Meet our newest Artist, Kim Curinga.  Kim is a digital photographer and photo illustrator who studied at Art Institute of Pittsburgh, The Maine Photographic Workshops, and The International Film and Television Workshops. Her photomontages are the result of her need to create personal landscapes from images she feels compelled to photograph, things she needs to document. The subject matter varies with what she is seeing around her and what is meaningful to her. Her work is featured in an Associated Press article, Trend Blast, an online trend site, and numerous corporate and private collections, including the Greater Latrobe Art Conservation Trust, regarded as one of the finest collections of 20th century.  Browse her works: http://www.gallerydirect.com/art/artists/kim-curinga  

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.
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[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!

Fall Art Trends: Black and White

Tweet   Fall fashion trends are hitting my favorite boutiques and I can’t stay away!  Through my shopping adventures, I noticed a trend in my shopping bag, that matches my walls.  Black and white! Here’s a shot of a display at … Read More

 
black and white trends

Fall fashion trends are hitting my favorite boutiques and I can't stay away!  Through my shopping adventures, I noticed a trend in my shopping bag, that matches my walls.  Black and white! Here's a shot of a display at my favorite boutique in San Francisco, Ambiance. They paired the classic colors with a splash of blue. That black and white dress is absolutely stunning and puts a new modern twist on a contemporary look.  This boutique has consistently been voted San Francisco's top woman's boutique for several years, and it's obvious why. Black and white are playing a huge role this Fall and are adoring runways across the globe. No longer reserved for basics, it’s time to embrace the freshness of the bold contrasts. Art works the same way. Artwork follows the fall trends of the runways, just in a more subtle way.  Like your clothes, with art you can pair your current or older décor with new décor, making a huge impact in your space.  This bold black and white abstract makes a huge impact in this room.  Changing the artwork from florals to abstract makes it look like a complete makeover.

My pinterest board has my wish list of black and white artwork and outfits, my two favorite things ......and these are anything but ordinary. From the runways to your walls, there is nothing boring about black and white. What are you wearing this Fall?  

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet You may recall my October 2012 blog when I bragged about my front parlor with its Aalto furnishings and pièce de résistance, “the spectacular Odegard rug that I convinced Clay to splurge on,” right?! http://blog.gallerydirect.com/2012/10/14/hello-cool-design-meet-hot-art-3/ Well, pride cometh before … Read More

You may recall my October 2012 blog when I bragged about my front parlor with its Aalto furnishings and pièce de résistance, “the spectacular Odegard rug that I convinced Clay to splurge on,” right?! http://blog.gallerydirect.com/2012/10/14/hello-cool-design-meet-hot-art-3/ Well, pride cometh before a fall. Indeed it does. In mid-June, my 18-year old son Henry received a useful birthday present from his grandparents, a fully loaded tool box, which is exactly what he asked for. I arrived home one evening to see all the bells and whistles pulled out and placed lovingly before it. I took little note – it was a bunch of tools for god’s sake! – and went on my merry way. No one was home which meant Chardonnay and HBO. I was awakened abruptly around 1 a.m. when my peeps returned and chaos ensued. Did I mention we have a one-year-old puppy? Mabel is a very busy little lab. And she appears to like Gorilla Glue, which is marketed as 100% waterproof, “bonds wood, stone, metal, fiberglass and more.” Apparently, it bonded to Mabel’s insides; emergency vet care removed a baseball-sized glob from her stomach the next day. (Don't worry – she's fine and needless to say has since spent weeks at obedience school!) Clearly it bonded to the Odegard rug – right smack in the middle. No amount of cleaning – amateur or professional – would rid us of that residue. We debated what to do – this was our prized possession you know! Do we send it to Odegard and have it cut down? Do we trust someone locally? We could certainly use runners – I had my eye on a round rug for that space anyway! Well, practicality won out and we ultimately succumbed to purchasing a Saarinen dining table we’ve been watching for some time. And guess what a Saarinen dining table features – a pedestal base of course! So the RED furniture is out – Annie is already thanking me as you might imagine – and I’m now perusing Gallery Direct for new art to go with our new non-RED look. Meanwhile, I’ve temporarily replaced Benjamin Arnot’s Speed of Light I with his The Challenger – You recognize Yule Brenner don’t you?! Even though he’s Chinese RED, a color I’m obviously attracted to, I think he looks great in there. And if you haven’t paid attention to Benjamin Arnot’s work, you should. It’s fabulous. I’m also eyeing works from Takhiro Kimura, a Japanese artist featured on our new fine art site –  www.49editions.com – just launched last week.  Check out President, T2 and World, all of which highlight RED as a primary color. I can’t help it?! I think I’m going with T2 for a clean look – or I could go with Blue’s – love that Goon Squad look – and lo and behold – it’s not RED! What do you think about President facing the commode in our Powder Bath – or is that weird? Help me decide!

Food for Thought

Tweet As my time in Italy comes to a close (I really cannot believe the summer is almost over – I feel like I just got here!), I’ve been spending my days and nights absorbing as much as I possibly … Read More

As my time in Italy comes to a close (I really cannot believe the summer is almost over - I feel like I just got here!), I've been spending my days and nights absorbing as much as I possibly can of two things - the friends I've made here in Amelia, who come from all over the world, and Italian cuisine. Here in Italy, eating is an experience. Not only is the food amazing (never have I eaten so much fresh pasta in all of my life), but sitting down to a meal with someone is really seen as a moment to come together and connect. I went to dinner at a friend's the other night with a small group of people, and we spent a total of eight hours just sitting, sipping Italian wine, and eating a delicious meal together. Eating is obviously a necessity in life, but it is also something that is to be enjoyed and savored. All of this time spent eating and thinking about how people come together at meal-times got me thinking further about how our natural inclination toward the importance o a meal manifests itself throughout art. Food has always been a big part of still life painting, as well as many other types of art. At Gallery Direct, we have an entire Cuisine section for those who are looking for a touch of culinary decor. Some of my favorite Gallery Direct prints have to do with food. Sylvia Angeli's pears are always a tasty treat, and Olivia Maxweller's Manzanillas is even hanging in my kitchen! [caption id="attachment_4145" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Olivia Maxweller's Manzanillas[/caption] I also really her love scenes of people sharing a meal, like her Ladies of Leisure series. Cecile Broz's Sushi is also a great example of how an artist can capture the beauty of people sitting down and enjoying some delicious delicacies together. So, do you salivate at the sight of food-themed art? I know I do!

Frolicking in Florence

Tweet As I mentioned in last week’s post, I was lucky enough to visit two of Italy’s most beloved and beautiful cities over a short break from classes that I was able to enjoy a couple of weeks ago: Venice … Read More

As I mentioned in last week's post, I was lucky enough to visit two of Italy's most beloved and beautiful cities over a short break from classes that I was able to enjoy a couple of weeks ago: Venice and Florence. Now, I loved Venice. It was a dream to visit. The canals and winding streets were so utterly romantic in all the right ways. I was afraid that I would be slightly disappointed in it (a few people have warned me against that very thing), but it did not fail to take my breath away every moment I was there. But I have to say, Florence is my kind of town. While Venice is practically governed by the attraction and satisfaction of tourists, Florence is a real city. Obviously, there are still tons of tourists there, especially this time of year, but for every tourist hustling across the Ponte Vecchio, there is a Florentine on his or her way to work. It was such an enriching experience to spend some quality time there, and take in not only the touristic attractions, but also the more hidden, subtle qualities of life in Firenze. But that's not to say that I wasn't completely blown away by the amount of fantastic historical and cultural monuments and sites.
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[caption id="attachment_4135" align="aligncenter" width="370"] In front of the Palazzo Vecchio on Piazza della Signoria[/caption] As you may have already guessed, one of my favorite things about visiting Florence was spending a blissful four hours wandering the halls of the Uffizi Gallery, one of Italy's greatest museums. It was so amazing to finally see in real life so many paintings that I have known about and studied for years. [caption id="attachment_4136" align="aligncenter" width="370"] The courtyard at the Uffizi Gallery[/caption] Of course, one of the greatest moments for me was seeing Botticelli's Birth of Venus and Primavera. What struck me most about them was just how huge they both are - truly larger than life. It's one thing to see images of them and read their respective dimensions, but it is quite another to stand in front of the beautiful paintings by one of the Renaissance's greatest artists, completely in awe of the amount of detail in the colossal pieces. [caption id="attachment_4137" align="aligncenter" width="236"] Detail of Botticelli's Birth of Venus[/caption] Florence was definitely good to me, and I have a feeling I'll be back. There's just too much to see to do it in only a few days. What's your favorite city to visit? Do you find yourself finding something new to love about it every time you return?