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

vitruvian man birthday
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.
I crave the feeling of new decor, I think I am actually addicted to it.  I love retail therapy for my home. Too often I find myself buying new pillows, pictures, dishes, vases, throw blankets, duvet covers, towels, and most recently a new scale.  That last purchase is when I knew I had a serious problem, I bought a scale because it looked cute in my bathroom, not because I intend to stand on it. I decided it was time to break this obsession with purchasing new items every several days and that I was going to love what I already have. I am on a "no home decor purchase" pact for the next 6 months!  I can still redecorate, but I have to get creative with what I already own.  Here's five tips to show you how I have been coping. Tip #1 Moving my artwork around!  This is my favorite tip, moving artwork from one room to another creates a whole new room and a fun decorating challenge.  First, I started in my bedroom.  I took these love birds by Judy Paul that were above my sofa in the living room and hung them above my bed.  I love how modern the bedroom looks! Tip #2 pile on your pillows.  I grabbed every pillow I had in my entire home and put them on my bed. I am so pleased with the results and it doesn't bother me that they are all a little different.  As I went through other parts of the house, I pulled pillows from the bed to decorate the other rooms and still have 8 left on the bed. Yes I even got carried away and threw a white boa left over from Halloween on the side of my bed to throw the symmetry off a bit. Next up was my living room. Tip #3 I rotated my floor rug by 90 degrees.  This was scary at first, but I stuck it out.  I moved the sofa away from the wall by 3 feet after reading that moving your furniture to the center of the room can make a room look bigger.  I am not sold on this idea yet, but it did give me plenty of wall space behide the sofa to place large pieces of artwork. Tip #4 I took several books piling up in my book shelf and made a side table! How brilliant is this? Tip #5 I took all the blankets I have and placed them on various pieces of furniture. The sofa, reading chairs, even the ottoman. Bonus Tip: #6 I had a small curtain with a black and white pattern laying around. It's actually part of my winter collection.  I placed it on the table in the breakfast nook making a table cloth!  I then filled a vase with some fresh fruit, mostly oranges for the splash of color and to give it a summer like feel. Have a revamp your home tip for us? Please share with me in the comment section below, as I still have 5 months of no spending to go!  Wish me luck.    

Hello Cool Design: Meet Hot Art

Tweet I’m not a designer but I love great design, and the art I see around our offices — on our walls – in our front gallery – our presentations and videos – on the scanner – coming off the … Read More

I'm not a designer but I love great design, and the art I see around our offices -- on our walls - in our front gallery - our presentations and videos - on the scanner - coming off the printers - and being framed -- inspires me every day. It makes me think of all the rooms I want to create. Here's one I've done in my own home since I joined in May. I'm now the proud owner of two Judy Paul prints - Get Out I and Get Out II - which I had printed in custom sizes (1 horizontal and 1 vertical) to fit my space. Notice the great pairing with my new tangerine Jonathan Adler x-Benches and the 15-year old Jean-Michel Frank-inspired chocolate mohair couch. The vintage bird pillows from dwellstudio.com were not pricey and came with inserts. The room was dark and blah before - Tell me you love it now! And oh-by-the-way, Artemide's spectacular Tolomeo Mega Floor Lamp is going on sale at dwr.com this week - that will brighten things up even more!!!  

The Effects of Color

Tweet Color is powerful. It can cause reactions, sway opinions, raise blood pressure, curb your appetite, and relax your mind, all in a split second.  Our response to color is subliminal, but very real. That’s why the colors you choose … Read More

Color is powerful. It can cause reactions, sway opinions, raise blood pressure, curb your appetite, and relax your mind, all in a split second.  Our response to color is subliminal, but very real. That’s why the colors you choose for your home are so important. Do you want your home to be calm and soothing, or bright and energetic? Or, do you want to combine several hues to create a more balanced feel? You might be thinking that a major color overhaul to your home is too expensive or too much of a commitment, but it doesn’t have to be. Changing out the art on your walls is an easy and affordable way to experiment with the color and mood of your home. There has been a lot of research on the psychology of color, and the following has been found to be true. Black Black is elegant and timeless. When combined with other colors, it adds contrast and helps ground the space. Artwork: Floret Purple III by Sia Aryai   White White symbolizes cleanliness and purity, and goes well with just about any color. It reflects light, so it can make a small room appear big and bright. Artwork: City Bird by Judy Paul   Red Red is a bold and powerful color that demands attention. It's a passionate color that represents love as well as anger. People often experience elevated heart rate and increased enthusiasm in red rooms. Used as an accent, red will immediately draw the eye to that particular element. Artwork: Grid Formation I by Christine Wilkinson Blue Blue is one of the most popular colors, and appeals equally to both men and women. It's often used in bedrooms because of its peaceful and calming properties. It is also said to increase productivity and creativity, making it an excellent color for an office environment. Blue is also known to suppress the appetite, since there are very few blue foods found in nature. Artwork: Equis I by St. John Green Green is the color of renewal, balance, and nature. Like blue, it's a calming color and makes time seem to go by faster. Television studios have “green rooms” to help guests relax before going on the air. Artwork: Zen Garden I by Sia Aryai Yellow Yellow is bright, perky, and cheerful, but it can also evoke anger. Used in abundance, yellow can be overpowering, as it is the most difficult color for the eye to process. Still, it's considered a happy color of optimism and hope. The addition of yellow in a room can add the feeling of sunshine, even if there isn’t any. Artwork: Harmonia IV by Sia Aryai Purple Purple is the color of royalty and mystery. It possesses the energy of red and the calming effects of blue. Used in a room, it can stimulate creativity. Darker versions of the color evoke moodiness and wealth. Artwork: Natural Expression I by Sara Abbott Brown Brown is typically a favorite of men as it is associated with earth, wood, and natural materials.  Shades of brown, including tans, make an excellent backdrop to allow other colors to pop. In a room brown can evoke warmth, dependability, honesty, and friendliness. Artwork: Hidden Meanings XIV by Caroline Ashton
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

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
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