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Monthly Archives: June 2012

  • A Philly Fourth

    If you've never celebrated Independence Day in Philadelphia, you might want to consider putting it on your life list. After all, it's the home of The Liberty Bell and Freedom Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was written.

    Plus, The City of Brotherly Love puts on a heck of a celebration.

    We here at Green Box, being lovers of all things art, appreciate the fact that the massive fireworks show takes place above the majestic Philadelphia Museum of Art.

    If you go, stake out your spot early so you'll have a good view, but not so early that you'll miss all the other terrific events. Events like a free concert that's billed as America's Largest, this year featuring The Roots, Common, Joe Jonas and Queen Latifah, among others. On the steps of Independence Hall from 10-11 AM there will be a reading from the Declaration, along with speeches and music. Right after that, at 11, the Annual Independence Day Parade kicks off, with more than 5,000 participants.

    While you're there, take a minute to think about our Founding Fathers: what would they think if they saw such a huge celebration in the very city where they convened their history-changing meetings?

    We think they'd be very, very proud.

  • Angelo Franco

    Angelo Franco’s paintings will stop you in your tracks—their colors and composition are immediately appealing. But once you spend a little more time looking at his canvas wall art, you’ll see something else. It’s not just a gorgeous vase of flowers, it’s a grouping of dots and circles. Sometimes, the opposite happens—you suddenly realize that all those dots and circles define a forest, or a vase, or a human face. We recently sat down with this Ecuador-born artist and discovered we’ve got a lot to talk about!

    GreenBox: What is your process? How do you even know where to begin to create your subject?

    Angelo Franco: Usually I don’t have a predetermined image. I just put color [oils] on the canvas and let it dry and turn it around 90 degrees every once in awhile and then 90 degrees again every once in awhile—I don’t even know if it’s a portrait or still life. It takes 24 hours to dry each layer of the oil, so I can keep working on them until I am satisfied.


    GB: Can you tell us about the technique you use to make the circles and dots?

    AF: To make the smaller circles I put on gloves and make a circle. The thumb is obviously the biggest finger so I just use that and then use the pinky in middle. I also use sheets of Styrofoam cut into rough circles. I use it as a stamp and let it dry and then use my finger for a different color in the middle.


    GB: How did you come up with this technique? Was it a long process?

    AF: The technique has come over time. I am 62 years old and went to art school in the late 70s and early 80s [at the Art Students League in New York]. A very traditional school that teaches you how to see the figure or object and draw it as accurately as you can. I attached myself to the idea of doing that with portraitures and still lifes, all the things that require observation. But if that is not your call in life (after awhile) it becomes a little annoying. I decided to break it up.


    GB: That’s when you turned to pointillism [a style of painting in which dots of color blend to create an image when viewed from a distance]?

    AF: Yes, but that has been done, 70 years ago. So I have made them [the dots] bigger!


    GB: Do you remember how you felt when you sold your first painting?

    AF: A very good question! I cannot say that I remember because my art has always been rewarded with some amount of money even when I was a kid, like for ice cream. So I can’t remember the first time. But maybe that was the incentive! As you learn art, there is always someone to buy your first paintings. Maybe family, or friends when they hear you are an artist and they feel sorry for you. Later you realize, of course, they were very cheap, so it was a learning experience.


    GB: How did you first start selling your paintings through GreenBox?

    AF: I had an affiliation with a gallery in Atlanta and someone there told the people at GreenBox that they should check my work out. I had been approached by other companies before but there was always something, and I had never done it yet and still do not sell through anyone else. At GreenBox, they told me they will not crop my art. That was very important to me.

    But originally, as an artist, you don’t think of the ramifications of the marketplace. My plan was to just keep producing and showing in galleries. The reality is that’s hard and a lot of very good galleries are going out of business. It’s sad. So you have to diversify a bit, just like any other person who is earning income. If there are good people handling your work then I feel comfortable with it.


    GB: And so you are an artist full time?

    AF: Yes, full time. I have a home in Ashland Virginia with a studio in the back of the house, the garage. I like to work from home. Other people have a problem with that because of the isolation, but I don’t. When my children were little, I stayed home with them while my wife worked outside the home. I’d carry them into the studio with me. Now, when I get lonely I will go to the Y or something.


    GB: How does it feel knowing so many people have your fine art canvasses hanging on their walls?

    AF: The way that I see it, there is wonderful art all over the place. That’s one of the ways we humans express ourselves the best. I have met people who followed my art for years before ever approaching me or bought anything. They follow the trajectory of my work and then they approach me and I think they’ve just discovered me and they say, “No, I have been following your work for twenty years!” That’s a nice feeling.


    GB: One more question, just for fun: If you couldn’t be you, what animal would you want to be and why?

    AF: Hmm. Not a bug—I don’t want be squished or stepped on. I’d kind of like to be an iguana. Growing up we had a lot of iguanas. They are very tricky customers and they hold their ground. They’re beautiful and they like to bask in the sun and they can swim. Of course a wild boar can eat them, but what can you do about that?


    Take a moment to browse Angelo's beautiful canvas wall art.

  • Gifts for Graduates

    It's graduation time! Here's a roundup of gifts we think are great for just about any grad (kids, nieces, nephews, babysitters or what have you):

    These pirate coasters are just plain funny. Perfect response to the question grads hear ad nauseum, "What are you doing after graduation?" This'll show 'em!

    On a more serious note, this necklace by Kathy Bransfield offers a beautiful response to that very same question. Why not celebrate that optimistic "I'm going to change the world" mentality that so many grads have? (Having been one of those optimistic grads, we can tell you this necklace is a way better response than an eyeroll!)

    Serious of a different sort is this personalized laundry bag. Let's face it, there's only so much we can do to make sure our beloved grads do a little laundry now and then. Just give them this personalized bag and hope for the best.

    This Sky Planter isn't quite a graduation gift, per se, but we really do like it so we thought we'd include it. It's a fun way for first-time dorm dwellers or apartment-renters to get a little greenery without taking up any space. And it looks interesting and quirky, just like every first-year college students wants to be. So there you go.

    Finally, here's a beautiful, handmade graduation blanket. Seriously, why haven't we seen these before? It's a lovely idea for sending a loved one off to a new life. It's not flashy, not overtly sentimental, but it's a cozy, enveloping hug from home.

    And that's something from which we never graduate.

  • Greenbox Privacy Policy

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    We may share your personal information in the following ways:

    From time to time we may share our postal mailing list with selected providers of goods and services that may be of interest to you. If you prefer not to receive mailings from these providers, you can notify us at any time by contacting us by telephone, 619.262.1967, e-mail; or by writing us at Greenbox Art, Attn: Customer Service, 789 Gateway Center Way, San Diego, CA 92102-4547.

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    We use "pixel tags" (also called "web beacons" or "clear gifs"), which are tiny graphic images, on our Website, App and in our emails. Pixel tags help us analyze our customers' online behavior and measure the effectiveness of our marketing programs. We work with service providers that help us track, collect, and analyze this information.

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    Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

    California Online Privacy Protection Act Compliance

    Because we value your privacy we have taken the necessary precautions to be in compliance with the California Online Privacy Protection Act.

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    We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.

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    Changes to our Privacy Policy

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    This Privacy Policy Was Last Updated on February 13, 2013.

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  • Heck of a Hammock

    If we make it to the end of this post without falling asleep, it will be a miracle. Because look at this photo, would you? The classic hammock between 2 trees. Summertime bliss.

    But in our recent pre-occupation with hammocks, we’ve discovered a few surprises. Like, did you know that there are lots of people out there who go hammock camping? Maybe you’re one of them. Personally, we can’t get past the chrysalis look of it. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Talk about waking up refreshed!

    Then there are a few designer takes on the hammock, like a human birds’ nest or a square one with a connection at each corner. Why not, we ask?

    Then there’s one that makes us ask “Why?” It’s The Petiole Hammock, which can be yours for just $35,000 dollars. You read that right.

    We’ll take a couple of sturdy trees any day.


  • Modern Home Decor Starts at the Front Door

    When you walk in the front door, you need a place to take a deep breath, and exhale that sigh of relief to be home. Maybe a place to set your keys, kick off your shoes, and hang your hat. A home's entryway should be described as inviting. It's the first impression your guests have of your home, and the first step in your evening routine of transitioning from work life to home life.

    An entryway is meant to reflect your style, and represent the character of the rest of your home. New choices in modern home decor just keep coming, and it is amazing the plethora of options that can make your home the haven you crave.

    You may like it minimal: open, clean, and spacious. Put everything in a coat closet, out of sight, and place some bold, simplistic stretched canvas art on the wall. Try Andy Anh Ha, Joe Kievitt, or Jean-Francois Debongnie.

    Some may want to open the door to color and personality: choose a fun vintage catch-all like this old sewing table found on Kaboodle, or paint your own find from a flea market. Make your walls happy with colorful canvas art by Eli Halpin, Angelo Franco, or Caroline Wright.

    Sleek, but eclectic - why settle on one label? Open your door to an apothecary chest like this one found on Decorpad, a rustic storage console  or branch coat rack from West Elm, or a vibrant console table surrounded by colorful accents. Flora Bowley's aptly named Bliss Like This is a perfect fit in this room above a striking lime green table. Other entryway-esque stretched canvas art that doesn't quite fit the mold can be found in the collections of Melissa Matsuki Lillie, Amy Genser, and groupings by Rachel Austin.

    Don't be shy - show your personal style. Just like sometimes you can get a hint about a book from its cover, your foyer can offer a peek into the story of your home.

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