Commercial or Residental Consultations
July 14, 2012
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General Art Questions

1. What is the difference between traditional, transitional, and contemporary artwork?

Traditional – Overtly representational. A literal representation of the subject of the piece.

Transitional – Term used to classify an artistic style that is thought to be in the process of evolution from one established style to another. In this case, a wide array art that embraces both contemporary and traditional styles.

Contemporary – Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. This work usually embodies non-objective abstract styled work.

2. What is an original?
One normally thinks of original as referring to a unique work that the artist made – a pastel, watercolor, oil painting. But the term also refers to multiples pulled in edition from a matrix – a stone or plate or woodblock – as in the case of etchings and lithographs in which the artist himself drew or painted on the plates. So there are two kinds of original art -one-of-a-kind original works of art or multiple originals. The term original refers only to the extent of the artist’s involvement.

3. What is a reproduction?
“Reproduction” simply means a copy. Typically, the work of art was made in one form, usually a painting or watercolor, and then copied either by hand or using photographic techniques in another form, often prints, poster, silk-screens. Remember though, an artist who copies a unique painting by making another unique painting is also technically making a reproduction. It’s just a one-of-a kind reproduction as opposed to a multiple reproduction.

4. What is the difference between a fine art reproduction and a poster?
A poster is a fine art reproduction, but usually has an added commemorative title of the work and/or the artist.

5. What is a print?
A “Print” is a work of art that in which the image is not directly painted on a support – paper or canvas – but is put on a matrix which is then transferred from that matrix to a sheet of paper. A print or multiple can be original – in which the artist himself put the image on the stone or plate, or a reproduction in which the image is photographically put on the stone or plate and the artist’s hand is not involved. So the term “Print” or “Multiple” refers to both the original lithograph or etching that the artist made himself, and the photo mechanical reproduction such as a poster.

6. What are limited editions?
The dictionary definition states “production of a limited number of copies”.
In the world of art, limited edition is generally a number in the hundreds and often smaller, giving the buyer a feeling that they are purchasing a work worth owning in the knowledge that it is only one of a limited number. A “Limited Edition Print”, which can include a lithograph, serigraph, or giclee print, simply means that the print was made in an edition that is limited to a certain number, and that no more will be produced from a matrix. It refers both to original prints and to reproductions. Posters are, for the most part, printed in unlimited editions.

7. What is a lithograph?
Lithography is a direct printing method which utilizes the antipathy of water and grease. A drawing is made directly on thick limestone, or a zinc or paper plate with a greasy pencil, crayon or ink (tusche). The tusche may be diluted with solvents and brushed on in washes to produce tones from light to very dark. When the drawing is completed, the stone is processed with gum Arabic and acids, making the open areas hydrophilic (water loving) and the image more grease receptive and water repellent. In stone lithography, the stone on the press and is kept damp while ink is rolled evenly onto the image with a napped leather roller, the moist open areas repelling the ink. Paper is placed on the stone or plate and covered with a smooth lubricated tympan. A scraper bar applies pressure of about 500 pounds per square inch as the plate is moved through the press, forcing ink into the fibers of the paper. As with all printmaking techniques, the image must be inked for each impression.

8. What is a serigraph?
In a serigraph or silk screen print, finely woven, sheer fabric is stretched over a frame to form a screen. Non-image areas are blocked out or clogged, and ink is forced through the open areas of the screen with a squeegee to the paper which is directly positioned beneath the open mesh of the screen. This basic process is varied by the artist depending on the effect the artist wants to achieve.

9. What is an artist proof?
is a proof of an artwork of the original work of art that the artist himself created. It is called “Artist Proof” because unlike subsequent replications, this proof was seen by the artist and signed off by the artist him/herself as one that meets his/her very specific and stringent requirements. Often these hand-signed AP’s are considered valuable in and of themselves and are priced accordingly.

10. What is a mono-print?
A mono-print begins with a repeatable matrix of the image. Although the matrix could allow an edition of like impressions, a mono-print is made singular through subsequent hand coloring or doctoring, resulting in a uniquely different or a one-of-a kind print. A series of mono-prints–all derived from the same plate, but then individually hand manipulated–is often called a unique edition and is signed and numbered accordingly.

11. What is a Giclée print?
Giclée (pronounced “zhee-clay”) is a French word meaning “a spraying of ink”. With the advent of giclée, the art of reproducing fine art has become even more precise. Giclée’s have the highest apparent resolution available today — as high as 1,800 DPI. In addition, since no screens are used, the prints have a higher apparent resolution than lithographs and a color range that exceeds that of serigraphy. Displaying a full color spectrum, giclée prints capture every nuance of an original and have gained wide acceptance from artists and galleries throughout the world.