CARE AND FRAMING OF YOUR ORIGINAL WATERCOLOR or GICLEE PRINT
As an artist, my work provides you with a window into my soul – my inner response to how I see the world around me. Thank you so much for resonating with me, and for your appreciation and purchase of my work.
An original watercolor is a highly-organic work of art, made from paint (finely ground pigments mixed with a water-soluble binder such as gum Arabic), water, and paper. All of my watercolors are painted on the finest 100% acid free, cotton watercolor paper, with the best quality professional paints available. Please see the suggestions below about caring for your original watercolor.
Your original artwork should be displayed in a cool, dry environment, protected against UV rays, dust, humidity and heat. Have you ever wondered why museums are often colder in the winter and summer than other public buildings? It is because the best environment for art is filtered air below 70 degrees at a relative humidity between 50-65%. Our homes will not be as carefully regulated, but there are certain measures we can take to insure that our artwork is preserved for our enjoyment for many years to come.
LIGHT: In my careful study of pigments, I have chosen the most light-fast paints available, but there are none that are completely safe from the damaging effects of UV light rays. It is important to protect your artwork from direct sunlight and fluorescent light sources, and to use conservation-quality glass in its framing. Incandescent and halogen bulbs are preferred, as they transmit only 4% damaging UV rays.
HUMIDITY and HEAT: Avoid hanging artwork over a direct heat source, or in an area that will be high in humidity (such as a bathroom).
FRAMING & MATTING: If you are purchasing your artwork unframed, you will be making the final decision on how the painting will display. The mat and frame become an important part of the piece, and this decision deserves thought and care. Please feel free to contact me if you would like my suggestions. The bottom line is to let the painting be the star. The mat and frame need to complement the painting. Since watercolor is a light, rather spontaneous medium, I believe simplicity works well. It is considered standard for the mat around a watercolor to be a light neutral (white or beige). A secondary inner mat (forming a narrow band of color) can also be pleasing. Most of the originals have a torn edge which looks beautiful "floated" on top of an inner mat.
Here is a good article on choosing a mat and frame for your watercolor: http://www.artistsnetwork.com/articles/business-of-art/wcframing
Conservation framing is an important form of insurance for your artwork, keeping it as lovely in years to come as it is today. Only acid-free materials should be allowed to come in contact with your watercolor original. Allow 1/8-inch space between the artwork and glass to protect from any humidity and moisture. Do not laminate, spray or dry-mount. Use UV light-blocking glass:
Museum Glass: This is the best glass. It effectively blocks 98% of harmful UV rays, and transmits 96% of the light to reach the artwork (in order for the art to be seen well). It reflects only 1% light back (this is the glare factor).
Conservation Clear: Effectively blocks 98% of UV rays, and transmits 89% of the light to reach the artwork. It reflects 8% of the light.
Conservation Reflection Control: Effectively blocks 98% of UV rays, transmits 90%, and reflects 8% of light.
FINE ART GICLEE PRINTS:
What is “Giclee?” (pronounced gee-clay') Gilee is an inkjet digital printing process. If you have purchased a giclee print, all of the same care recommendations apply as for an original watercolor. Your Giclee print has been produced on the finest quality 100% rag paper, using light-fast archival pigments. “In giclee printing, no screen or other mechanical devices are used and therefore there is no visible dot screen pattern. The image has all the tonalities and hues of the original painting. Giclee (pronounced Gee’clay) is a French term meaning to spray or squirt, which is how an inkjet printer works. However, it is not the same as a standard desktop inkjet printer, and is much larger. Giclee printers are a little over a metre wide and are often affectionately referred to as a “knitting machine” as they look very similar.” (http://painting.about.com/cs/printing/a/gilceeprints_2.htm)
Can I expect my fine art giclee print to be signed and numbered? While I am living overseas it is difficult for me to sign the prints that you order, as they are made in the United States. We can make special arrangements for me to sign them for you though. Also, you may be asking about numbered prints, as for a long time that has been the standard for quality printmaking. Your print will be one of a small number of prints, which I will determine. These prints will not be numbered for several reasons. Numbered prints were made, usually hundreds or even thousands at a time, on an offset printer, and the paper quality was not as close to the original rag quality of watercolor paper as the modern giclee print. In the past, the numbering of prints was a necessary insurance of quality, because the plates made in traditional printmaking would wear out and change the quality of the image in large-batch printings. Modern digital prints are the same every time, depending on the standards of the printmaker, no matter how many there are. Numbering therefore is often an attempt to inflate the value and affects the retail price more than the true value of the print.