Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The other things artist do

Anne Belov

With thanksgiving, this week, I got to thinking about all the different activities and passions that we enjoy. The different ways we sustain our life styles of how we eat, play, work and nourish ourselves.

Most of the people I know are artists. This year has been difficult for many. The sales of artworks used to sustain artists financially and spiritually, but now some artists are finding themselves driven to other vocations to create revenue sources.

Anne Belov, a fabulous painter is exploring the cartoon/comic strip world of her creation, Bob the Panda and his adventures. It is amazing how a cute Panda and his friends have the funny struggles and adventures outside the zoo world. Anne is trying to get published.

Michael Dickter

Michael Dickter, another wonderful painter has been a part time graphics designer and architectural photographer and designer. He was the last freelancer to leave a large firm in Seattle. AS the real estate market is picking up perhaps so will his photography business. I am currently working on a project with Michael that has to do with waterworks gallery's upcoming 25th Anniversary. [More on that later].

Jaime Ellsworth

Jaime Ellsworth, another fabulous [yes I do repre sent a wonderful & fabulous group of artists] painter has recently completed a training course and has become a dog trainer of service dogs that work with people with disabilities. She is amazing with her generosity of spirit and love of animals. Jaime is the president of the San Juan Island Animal Shelter located here in Friday Harbor.

Sue Roberts

Sue Roberts, a fabulous sculptor is the creator of delicious chocolate caramels and turtles. For years, Sue created small batches of caramels and sold them to a small but loyal audience. This year she was able to rent a commercial kitchen and went into a small limited hand made production. The name of her company is Tickled Pink [sweet!] The gallery will have a limited supply of her fabulous chocolates for sale! How sweet!

We are all doing what we need to survive this year. Last night, I had dinner with Sue and we talked about this year. The year has elements that we support and other elements that have been difficult to digest. While we are both guardedly optimistic, we both felt the year has been about major shifts in our lives. Life style adjustments.

The ability to spend time and conversations with friends is tantamount to living in these times.

For Sue, she tried out being a chocolatier. Lots of hard work and a great product.

Does she want to continue on this path, decidedly not? She is a sculptor and will continue pushing out the edges of her works [metaphorically].

For me, the gift has been spending time getting to know them personally with Anne, with Michael, with Jaime and with Sue.

This is the time of year, to remember what where we were earlier in the year and to me be amazed that it is late November.

Winter solstice is a month away. With that in mind the days will start getting longer. The cycle renews itself.

We are grateful for the seasons and the changes they bring about.

I hope you share time with loved ones and good friends
I hope you share food and drink with loved ones and friends.
And most important now
I hope you share art with loved ones and friends.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Art and The word Giclee

Jim Meyer, Early Winter, reduction woodblock, edition 12

Regularly at my gallery, lots of the visitors are not folks who are experienced gallery goers. I find myself spending time chatting about favorite places to eat and what to do. Educating people about art is at times, the mainstay of the gallery. Explaining techniques, an artist’s vision. People are exploring the islands and all that we have to experiences.

I explain that waterworks gallery was founded by me in 1985 with the concept of showcasing artists based in the San Juan Islands and the Pacific Northwest including Washington, Oregon and British Columbia. The northwest experience is reflected in the work of the painters and sculptors represented by gallery. Artists and their visions are always evolving and changing reflecting the changing times we live in.

The question leads to the various media I show i.e. the traditional mediums including oils, watercolors, pastels, bronze, glass, ceramic and stone. Currently, a few artists create encaustic paintings in their particular style.

Stephen Mcmillian, Island View,Aquatint etching, edition: 250

I showcase printmakers whose works on paper are created using relief
(block printing), lithography or intaglio. These editions may range in size from 10 to 250 images. A few print makers embellish their wood cuts or lithograph with pastel or paint. These works are marked as E.V. (Edition Variety) All editioned works are called multiple originals; each one is unique in its hand work and might be slightly different.
The most important idea to remember when looking at works on paper is the intent of the artist. The artist chooses a medium to present their vision to the public. The artist creates the edition and the content. What is it the artist wants the work to look like?

In relief, lithography, intaglio and serigraphy techniques, all of these parameters are done by hand, as is the tradition of printmaking. Printmaking goes back to the first impressions created in the woodcuts of 14th century China & Japan. Rembrandt and Durer were both master intaglio printmakers.

Today there is a medium that artists are choosing to use called a Giclee. Simply put, a digital photograph is taken of a painting. The image is uploaded to a computer, tweaked, saved and then printed on a large inkjet printer.

The Definition
: Giclee (zhee-klay) - The French word "giclee" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt".

Most time the giclee is an exact reproduction of the painting. No manipulation of the image is done. The painting may even be reprinted on canvas to simulate the original painting. Here's where I am having the problem. The content is not original. This giclee is an exact reproduction of the painting and is NOT original, but a reproduction.

Is it the artist's intent to paint a painting and then sell of reproductions of the painting?
The reproduction looks as good as the original. The giclee may be reproduced in an unlimited edition, as it is an image stored in a computer.

There are a few artists who are actually printing giclee that have original content and are highly manipulated imagery, which can be astounding. These are being presented as pigment prints. Again here the intent is to use this computer enhancement technique to create something new and different. I would consider this art.

Anne Belov, Sentry, Etching, edition: 175

For the novice art collector, it is hard to tell the difference between the two. Some artists and galleries do not disclose the difference. Using a 10x magnifying glass is the only way to tell. To some individuals buying the giclee would be fine. To others it would not be okay. Full disclosure is the only way. Let truth be the light.

I find it is important to educate collectors about the value of art. How it was made, who made it, what kind of technique is employed. What emotion does the art evokes from you?

Gail Gwinn, Fleur de lis, Color intaglio, edition:10

The value of art is in the educated eye of the beholder.

Stop by and educate your eye!

Local resources on printmaking

Seattle Print Arts