What is a Giclee Print?

What is a Giclee Print?

Giclee (pronounced g-clay) reproductions are museum quality reproductions of art printed on either canvas, watercolor paper, metal, or poster paper. The ink used to print these works is a special UV resistant ink so the works are guaranteed not to fade for 100 years, provided they aren’t hung in direct sunlight, of course. As with any other fine art reproduction, they should be protected from exposure to direct sunlight.

I’ve had giclee reproductions made of many pieces of my own art and Don has trouble telling them apart from the originals. The technological advances in ink jet printers, ink, digital imaging, and software programs has given rise to this new type of reproduction.  Giclees printed on canvas should be sealed with a water resistant sealant so the inks aren’t damaged and the sealant also protects them from dust and other surface damage. Many printing companies seal giclees printed on other surface types as well. They are normally framed like you would an original; canvas can be framed without glass, gallery wrap canvases don’t need a frame provided the sides are finished; watercolor reproductions can be matted and framed as usual; poster prints can be framed like a poster.

Many artists, including myself, do limited editions of giclee reproductions and these are similar to what you’ve seen with lithographic reproductions. Each print in the limited edition run is numbered and may be signed by the artist and they may also come with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Many art galleries either specialize in giclee reproductions, since they can be sold at a lower cost than the original, or they have giclees mixed in with the originals. It can be difficult to tell a giclee from an original if the artist sealed the painting themselves and matched the brush strokes with the image.  I encourage buyers to view giclees and then view originals and train their eye to see the subtle differences. If in doubt, ask and open-ended question to the gallery representative. Like any reproduction, a giclee reproduction should be disclosed by the seller so that the purchaser knows exactly what they are getting.

The good news is that a high quality giclee is so good that it can be hard to tell the difference!

I hope this article has been helpful!

Lighting Tips for Showcasing Wall Hung Art

Since my work is normally hung on walls, either framed or not framed, this post addresses the many issues one should consider to properly light a piece of art. The information can apply to prints as well as original works.

Incandescent bulbs used in ceiling spot lights, especially the natural sunlight variety, are good but are a vanishing breed thanks to Uncle Sam. I’m not a fan of the fluorescent bulbs as they do strange things to colors. If fluorescent bulbs are all you can find when replacing a burned-out bulb in a fixture that has a regular sized socket, then look for a full spectrum bulb or natural sunlight type. Perhaps this might be a good time to switch out the light fixture and replace it with one that can use LED lights.

Please avoid halogen bulbs at all costs because they produce a lot of heat and UV rays and can actually damage many original works as well as prints.  Xenon bulbs are a good choice since they are cooler in temperature and provide a nice full spectrum light. The absolute best would be LED lighting as it is free of UV light that causes so much damage.  Both the LED and Xenon bulbs are cool and inexpensive to operate!

The Xenon bulbs and LED bulbs are much more expensive to purchase than the other choices, however, you’ll be better off in the long run knowing you haven’t damaged your art.

If you are installing something new you have the opportunity to get a good lighting source that you’ll be happy with for years.  There are some nice small ceiling mount fixtures now available that are very energy efficient as well as decorative exterior mount ceiling fixtures.  Just remember, placement of the fixture is also important.

When positioning your lighting in relation to the piece of artwork consider several variables. To help reduce glare, place the light at a 30-degree  angle from the piece. Add 5 degrees to the angle for a larger frame, which helps to avoid casting a shadow. Reduce 5 degrees from the position if you are trying to accent the texture of a painting  (see figure 1).Museums advise the lighting be 30 percent brighter than the ambient light in your room.  Hmmmmm what exactly does this mean?!?  Too much light is just as bad as too little light.  Have you ever sat somewhere and you ended up being “spotlighted”?  Nasty shadows, too bright reflections, and heat.  Your art will experience all of these so play around with different bulb wattages and think about using a dimmer switch.I hope this has been helpful!Happy Thanksgiving everyone and remember to tell someone you are thankful for them!

God bless,


How to Buy Art

You’ve made the decision that you want to start buying original art! Congratulations! This is an important decision and I hope you’ll enjoy your purchases for a lifetime.

There are many theories about what kind of art to buy. Many new collectors believe they must buy art from a well-known artist because they’ve read that they should. They are often afraid to buy from an unknown artist because they are interested in protecting their investment and are afraid of spending money on something that might not “hold its value”.

These are important questions to address, however, as an Art Collector and an artist, my personal opinion is that any Art Collector should buy what they like. In fact, I believe someone should LOVE the art they buy. Think about how long you’ll be looking at the art you purchase. If you don’t like it, does it matter if the artist is well-known? If you love the piece, does it matter that the artist is unknown?

To me, the questions one should ask when considering a purchase of art are: 1) Does this art move me in some way?; 2) Do I LOVE this piece of art?; and finally 3) Will I enjoy looking at this piece of art for the next 20-50 years? If you answer yes to all 3, what are you waiting for? Buy that piece!! If you answer yes to 2 of these, then by all means purchase that beautiful piece of fine art.  If you answer yes to only one, call that artist and buy that piece.  Original works of art are valuable because there is only one. If it moves you and you love it, then you can’t go wrong.

If the piece of art you are considering purchasing gets a YES to all 3 of these, then by all means buy the piece. The investment in something you love that moves you and that will bring you joy for years to come is what is most important. If you are looking for a financial return on an art investment, stick to the stock market. Art is meant for the soul!

Enjoy the journey to becoming an art collector and relish the process of surrounding yourself with beautiful art that moves you!