Saturday, October 20, 2012

Do I do prints?

Dawn on the Grand Canyon by J. Binford-Bell

Once again the question has come up of do I do prints of my art work. Yes, if it is a photograph. And you can have it the size you want and on paper or canvas.

But no I do not do them of my paintings. I figure this is about fairness in business practices. A person buying a photograph knows they are buying a print. Photographs are prints. All prints. But paintings come in originals and now because of Giclee (just ink jet) prints. They are not even limited edition or signed prints. And the ones on just paper strike me as just being posters in a more pricey form. I own a couple prints by artists I admire and who only do limited editions. One was used as a poster for Music of Angel Fire. I have have never even taken them out of the tubes.

I researched the whole print or not to print subject for years while doing fairs with my originals beside other artists selling prints of their work in every size and shape and quantity. I quite honestly think that is very unfair to the customer that buys the original. Collectors of original art do not want to see the image everywhere. Even on coffee mugs. And why pay for an original if you can get a print for far less money? So the artist never sells the original.

And even if I print one of my original works of art on canvas like it is painted it is different. The metallic does not translate in sprayed ink.  Nor does the texture of the oil sticks I use over the watercolor. The only print I could even consider would be on canvas with the addition of metallic inks and oil to make it look like the original. But my work is still very cheap. I have not entered the $9000.00 Santa Fe gallery atmosphere where I recently saw a print with a $1500 price tag. My most expensive painting is $1200 and most fall in the $600 to $900 range.

As I discovered when recently printing a photograph on 20 x 30 inch canvas that makes not a huge gap between the print and the original. The above photograph is $300.00. And at a recent exhibition I say a photograph on canvas go for $900.00. Giclee is not that cheap because of the cost of inks.

I may revisit this subject when my originals are going for $10,000.00 or my heirs might. But for now the answer to "Do you sell prints of your work?" is no if we are talking paintings and Yes if we are talking photographs.

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