Options, Options - What’s it all mean?
"Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you."
~ John C. Maxwell
As I prepare for this year's spring festivals, I've been getting a collection of prints ready. The lower price point for prints is often appealing to visitors wandering art fairs and festivals so I always try to have a good offering for them. While my forte is the creation of original oil paintings, you may have noticed a few other options available and wondered what the differences are and why I offer them. Here’s a bit more information to help you understand the different print options available.
Original oil paintings
This is my primary offering. Each piece is unique, and nothing beats the beauty of a custom original painting for personality and richness. The rich hues and subtle shifts of color will always be most true and engaging in an original. In addition, while I tend to paint in a smooth style, the brushwork will always be most apparent on an original, giving it that one-of-kind appeal. Because there will always be only one original and an original takes the most time to design and create, this will always be the most valuable option.
Knowing that there are limits to how many original pieces I can create, and that sometimes you might want something special but can’t afford an original for yourself or as a gift, I have chosen to extend my offerings to include some limited-edition reproductions of some of my artwork. Not all pieces are well suited to reproductions, so I only offer the extra options for pieces best suited for it. The options I offer vary in size and type from piece to piece. All my reproductions are limited editions - they all deserve to remain special, so I do not produce unlimited copies of any of my works. Finally, all my reproductions are created in partnership with a high-end local print specialist in "giclée" printing. Giclée (pronounced Gee’clay) is a French term meaning to spray or squirt, which is how an inkjet printer works. However, a fine art giclée is done, not on a standard desktop inkjet printer, but a professional grade printer which is much larger. My reproductions are produced with specialty inks which are selected for being true to color, lightfast and archival, to minimize changes in color or fading over time. If treated properly, these prints will last a lifetime. (Note: All materials, on originals and prints, can be subject to the ravages of time if subjected to too much direct sunlight. See my Caring for Your Artwork Guide to learn more about how to protect your investment.)
Here are the types of reproductions I offer and the pros and cons of each.
The closest thing to an original, this option is a giclée print on canvas that has been enhanced with the application of fresh paint on top of some or all of the printed image. Sometimes referred to as hand embellishment, this process enhances the color in the print and adds back some of the texture of surface layer brushwork. While this will strongly resemble the original artwork, my hand application of paint shows in unique color and brushwork so no two are ever exactly alike. These prints are sealed with a layer of varnish that provides exceptional UV protection.
This is a professional grade giclée print using the truest color matching and most lightfast pigments. Because the print is done on a canvas surface, it simulates the feel of a painting done on canvas making it seem a bit closer to an original. It is a flat reproduction and when viewed at an angle you will not see any of the texture or brushwork effects that you would get on an original piece of art or enhanced giclée print. I often offer these with the canvas mounted onto a cradled wood panel (as shown above), but they can also be done with canvas wrapped around the sides of a wooden bracket (no frame required). Each is sealed with a UV protective coating.
The most economical option, a giclée print on paper still uses professional grade color matching and lightfast pigments. While you may be able to see the canvas and brushwork texture in the image, this is a flat reproduction akin to getting a poster of the original. Each is hand signed by the artist and sealed with a UV protection coating. Still beautiful, these reproductions are best framed under glass as shown in the photo at the top of this post.
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