Sometimes buying art can be a little intimidating or confusing with weird terms like giclee and remarque and wild range of prices from a few dollars to priceless. Myths and incorrect assumptions abound and unless your in the business (and often even then), most of us don't feel comfortable with their art knowledge.
This part of my site will put you to the top of the class right away! Email me if you want to see something added!
How to buy an original painting
Buying a giclee from me
What is a gallery wrapped canvas?
Caring for your artwork
What is a giclée?
Whats the difference between originals, prints, gicleés, limited editions?...
What is a remarqué?
About color fastness and fading
Buying original art is easy, safe and guaranteed. I usually ship my art to continental North American destinations fully mounted and all ready to hang. Just email me the shipping details and I will handle the rest.
I take Visa and Master Card and your welcome to telephone me the numbers. Pacific Standard Time (Vancouver BC) from 9 am to 9 pm.
Guarantee - Original paintings always look more impressive in real life than off the internet. Your satisfaction is important to me. If you are not completely happy with your purchase, I will naturally refund 100% of your sale including shipping.
My original acrylic on canvas paintings are made with the best artist grade, light-fast pigments available and can be hung in brightly lit areas. The gallery wrapped painting covers and completely finishes the edges- framing is optional. My 30 x 40" originals weigh a mere 2 1/2lb (less than a cup of coffee) so hanging is simple and easy using conventional picture hooks.
Please note that as some of the image is on the edge, the face dimensions are reduced accordingly. 30x40” = 28x38” and 18x22” = 16x20”
My limited edition giclée prints are signed and titled under the print as well as on the double mat. They are supplied complete with double mats and foam core backing and are protected in a clear plastic sleeve. The standard size of 16 x 20" makes it very convenient and economical to frame.
For collectors, a small number of artists proofs are available at $150 USA, Edition run 1 - 25.
Your satisfaction is important to me. If you are not completely happy with your purchase, I will refund the sale.
Canvas is normally stretched onto a wooden frame and fastened by stapling the edges. The staples are hidden from view when the painting is framed.
Many high end art works are framed using a clean-edge (gallery wrap) technique. Here the canvas is attached to the back instead. The artist paints the clean, staple free edges as part of the piece. The painting can now simply be hung "as is", without having to invest a lot of money in an expensive frame. It gives a very nice contemporary look to the painting. Very artsy! If you prefer your paintings framed, they can still be done as easy as before. A great idea!
My standard canvases are 30"x40". As part of the image is on the edges, the frontal surface dimension becomes 28"x38"
Acrylics are easy! I use only the very best light-fast and archival quality paint and materials. The colors on these paintings will not fade even when hung in bright or sunny locations. Cleaning is also easy. Simply dust with a feather duster or hairy brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner. If something spots the surface, just wipe clean using a soft cloth and plain water. (Acrylics are 100% waterproof). If the spot is stubborn, try warm soapy dish water. Like most acrylics and plastics, do not use cleaning products with ammonia, such as Windex.
Pronounced gee-clay with a soft J sounding g as in gel or better yet a more drawn out French sounding JJJee-clay. A giclée refers to the newest advancement in printing technology. It began to be progressively used in the arts community about 2002. With a "normal" print, the image is printed as a series of tiny dots which are rolled onto the paper by a number of different processes. In a high quality print like a lithograph, the dots are nearly invisible unless magnified. With a low quality print like a newspaper, the dots are quite visible even with the naked eye.
With giclée's such as the ones I use, the inks are actually sprayed in place similar to an ink jet printer. Even under a magnifier there seems to be no dots! Giclée's also use specially made inks with true light fast pigments and archival papers and canvas. This ensures that the artwork you purchase will retain it's color. Independent laboratories have rated the inks I use to be fade resistant to 115 years. I hand paint all my giclee canvas prints with true artist grade acrylics which besides being waterproof, have additional uv stabilizers in them to extend the print even further. 350 years?
The giclée is basically the best available.
The following is a brief description of some common but mystifying terms artist use to describe an art piece.
Original Paintings: This is a one-of-a-kind art work that has been fully created and produced by the artists themselves. With original paintings, subtle nuances of color, paint application and surface texture can be seen when compared to even the best of reproductions. This is always the most valuable form of two dimensional work. Good points: best visual appeal, most prestigious, best color light fast ratings, best investment value. Poor points: most expensive
Original Prints: Determining if an art piece is an original or not is obvious if the painting was produced with a brush. It becomes much more difficult when originals are created through a hand done printing process. An artist may produce one or several near identical original prints using a number of printing techniques. The main criteria here is that each print is individually produced by the artist. Good points: excellent visual appeal, good investment value, valuable as an original, usually less expensive than hand painted work. Poor points: an original work often looks like a regular mechanical print to the untrained observer, tonal and texture range are often simplified and limited.
There are many methods for producing hand made prints. Most follow the concept of:
1 creating one or more three dimensional patterns,
2 applying colored ink to the pattern, and
3 pressing the colored pattern against a paper (like a giant stamp) to reproduce the image.
How the original pattern is made usually determines what the print is called. Here are a few of many techniques:
Etching: A technique where the pattern is made by painting a resistive agent onto a metal plate, then washing the plate in a corrosive solution to remove the unpainted areas. This gives the metal plate a slight three dimensional property.
Block and Lino Print: Here a wooden block, piece of linoleum or other similar product is hand carved to produce the three dimensional relief.
Contact Print: Various three dimensional objects from Oak leaves and body parts to actual fish are rolled in ink and pressed against the paper.
Serigraph: The patterns in this process are not etched, cut or carved but painted onto a series of fine silk screens. When dry, paper is placed under the screen while colored ink is applied to the top surface. Ink is transferred onto the paper in the areas not originally painted.
Remarqué: is where an artist takes one of his prints and continues to paint on it. Because remarqués are partially hand painted, they are more valuable than a limited edition print but not as expensive as a full blown original. Typically an artist will add hand painted enhancements and new details which make every remarqué one-of-a-kind. That removes any conflict between any limited edition prints that may be in production.
Like my originals, remarqués have a face dimension of 28 x 38". Rather than a simple black or white edge like many artists, my giclees and remarques have a mirrored edge meaning the image is seamlessly reverse printed onto the visible surfaces. They can be hung "as is" or framed as desired.
Most but not all of my painting images can be used for remarqués. Please call or email me for specific images.
Art Prints: are reproductions of originals by various methods and generally done more electro-mechanically rather than the hands on methods above. Numerous methods for reproductions exist these days. The biggest differences between them are print quality and longevity. Prints are a great way for people to get some nice artwork at very low cost. Prints however do not go up in value as readily as originals or remarqués. Although some specialized prints like certain giclée's have excellent light fast ratings. Except for giclees, it is generally better not to hang prints in very brightly lit locations. Avoid hanging prints right next to a large sunny window for example. Here are a few common printing types and terms:
Art Print or Open Edition Print: This simply means that any number of copies can be made of the image - it is not limited.
Limited Edition Prints: This is a print where the total number of prints to be made has been predetermined or limited. Numbers from 250 to 1000 are the most common.
Lithographs are made by creating 4 large (and expensive) metal plates which are etched and used in a very large press to print the image. 3 colors (yellow, magenta and cyan) plus black are used to reproduce the print in 4 individual passes within the press. After the proper number of prints have been produced, the plates are destroyed guaranteeing no future prints can be made.
Lithograph technology used to be considered good (pre 2000). But their tendency to fade, especially with the reddish hues and the advent of far superior giclées have pretty much put them out of use.
Giclée Print: Covered previously, these are where it's at today! Giclees and remarques made from giclees are simply the best prints and are an excellent investment.
Laser Print, Color Copying: Color printing technologies are advancing extremely fast. Some professional printers can produce pretty good reproductions from one's artwork quickly and at very reasonable prices. But copying machines are made to produce short term color brochures which may need to last only a week or two. Cover one partially with black paper and tape it to a south facing window and you'll see. Fade resisting high-end pigment inks and papers which go into giclees are expensive so are not used in these type of environments.
Everyone has noticed colors fading on things - clothing, furniture, old Coca-Cola signs. But nowhere is it more important than in art work. Does all art work fade? Do watercolors fade more than oils or acrylics? How about prints? How can you tell if an art piece you own or are about to buy will last?
Paint manufacturers can't "make" the primary colors. When they need red, yellow and blue, they have to go out into nature and find things that are those colors. Everything from iron oxide (rust) and dirt to exotic plants and semi-precious gems are ground up to make artist paint. Depending on the pigment, some paints are naturally very color fast or "permanent," as it is called in the art world, and others are not, and are termed "fugitive". A red made from ground up rubies, for instance, will likely last forever. Yellow ochre and lamp black, which are simple, permanent pigments used by Neanderthal artists, have lasted thousands of years.
Pigments used by themselves would not stick well to anything, so a carrier, or "glue," must be added to the pigment to make it useful as a paint or drawing medium. When the carrier is oil it becomes oil paint; gum arabic creates watercolor paint; wax makes wax crayons, and acrylic polymers, acrylic paint. As it is the pigment characteristics which determine the light fastness, and not so much the carrier, all painting and drawing mediums have the same permanency for a given pigment.
Unfortunately, several non-permanent, fugitive colors are used in paint today, even "artists grade" paint. The trick is to know which ones to use. Some artist grade paint pigments will show noticeable fading or color change in just a few weeks!
When you purchase a painting from an artist, try to ensure each and every color they use is light fast and permanent. This is extremely important, especially if the work will be hung in a well lit environment. It is your right to know about your art investment. Light fast rating numbers of 1 or A and AA are used by manufacturers for their best paints. If an artist does not’t seem informed or concerned about such things, it is probably wise to leave the piece in spite of its present appeal.