New Ready-to-Frame Prints

These 8x10 archival, ultra-high quality giclée prints are on smooth watercolor paper printed with pigment inks said to last 200 years. All imaging for print preparation, as well as printing is done by me. I insist that the my print editions stand apart from the original artworks and have a life of there own.

Clover - 8x10 botanical print

Clover - 8x10 botanical print

Life Forms No. 3 - 8 x 10 botanical print

Life Forms No. 3 - 8 x 10 botanical print

Summer Weeds - 8 x 10 botanical print

Summer Weeds - 8 x 10 botanical print

Giclée Prints Part 1: A Great Giclée

Most buyers and artists have an idea of what a giclée print is but most don't realize there are significant differences between an acceptable giclée and a great giclée. This post will be the first in a series of posts on the details of making, selling, and buying giclee prints.

There are four basic things to consider when making or buying a giclée print. I will go into more detail in future posts.

Printer/Ink: Giclée is a high-quality archival inkjet print. Printers vary in dot size and inks vary in longevity. Be careful, because even the best printer can be run at a more economical setting, resulting in a soft and dull print. The key is to ask a lot of questions if you're buying prints, and provide a lot of information if you're selling prints. In a later post, I will list questions to ask your printer.

Paper: The best option is 100% rag paper without optical brightener agents (OBA). Optical brighteners make paper look bright white but can react with atmospheric pollutants and yellow over time. The paper must also be compatible with the printer and ink for optimal longevity.

Image: This is the part hardest to get right. Great photography of artwork for reproduction can really only be done by a professional. Getting a high-resolution, color-correct digital file will ensure your print has depth, saturation, detail and sharpness. Many professional photographers who specialize in fine art reproduction are using digital scanning backs that create files many hundreds of megabits or even gigabits. 

Matting and/or Framing: giclée prints, like other works on paper, should be protected from UV light, moisture and atmospheric pollutants. Always use 100% acid-free materials. Avoid adhesives and use polyethylene bags to protect your print before it is framed.

In the end, you can have the best printer and paper, but what's the point if your digital file is just okay. And why put that great print in a frame that is going to ruin it in a couple years. In my next couple posts I will go into further detail in each of these categories and explain some of my experiences over the past ten years of making giclée prints.

Giclée Prints Part 2: Printer and Ink

Giclée Prints Part 3: Paper

Below are details of some of my paintings taken with a BetterLight scanning back.

Two Books to Inspire

First, I just finished "Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds", which I wrote about in an earlier post. I picked this book up because I wanted to read about birding but instead found myself much more interested in the life of Phoebe Snetsinger and her never ending energy, power and zest for life. Upon finishing, I was reminded of Lynne Cox and her book "Swimming to Antarctica: Tales of a Long Distance Swimmer". This is another almost unbelievable tale in which Lynne Cox archives what seems impossible. Both risked their life and much more for the passion of doing what they love and doing it well.

We can think of Lynne and Phoebe almost as superhuman but we all have a piece of them in us some where. Lynne and Phoebe both had goals that no one had ever achieved but they didn't archive them overnight. They reached their huge goals by taking small steps. 

Clear Existence: Sunshine - Linocut Prints

Clear Existence is a series of artwork inspired by silhouettes of trees. This series is about calmness and beauty in simplicity. As humans we consume ourselves with finding purpose in life. Trees, plants and most other life forms have that big question pretty well worked out and keep it simple.

The leaves on the silhouette on this print where those high above an open area. The tree stretched out its branches to reach the sunshine. Simply working calmly towards its goal.

Each print is made from a hand-carved linoleum block and printed by hand, one at a time, using two colors, warm yellow and gold, mixed on the block. The result is a unique print that looks hand painted.

 The prints are currently available on Etsy as cards printed on three different colored papers, grass green, sunshine yellow and papaya red. They are also available on Etsy framed.

Life List

I am reading Life List: A Woman's Quest for the World's Most Amazing Birds by Olivia Gentile and that's what got me started on the subject of lists. I've been interested in birds for awhile but this book has brought me into the whole world of birding and list keeping and now I am making a life list of birds I have seen.

I am including with each bird, the situation, day, thoughts, etc. Whatever it takes to remember that moment. It's not easy to catch a photograph of a bird and often while trying you while miss seeing the action all together. I've decided to stop trying to catch photos of anything in action and take in the moment the best I can by paying attention and as soon as I can writing it down. Most of our memories are made through telling a story.

So what is the purpose of the list? It's not so much about the end result, but rather to remind myself to keep looking. It's about all the things I will notice that I may have missed; things that might not even be on the list.

If you want to start a list, I recommend starting with a good notebook. My first bird list is in The Paper Apartment's Feathers Notebook. Then find a list for your area to follow. In Chicago visit the Chicago Ornithological Society and download their Chicago Area Birds Checklist on the homepage.  

Happy Birding!
 

Handmade One-of-a-Kind Wedding Invitations

Rhonda and Nick pretty much (re)built their home from scratch, with help from family and friends. They are truly the do-it-yourself types. They live and will be married by the a river, trees and lots of nature. The inspiration for this card came directly from them.

Using block printing, I handmade each individual invitation to ensure a unique quality in each one. Mixing two colors of ink directly on the block, no two prints are exactly the same.

There is so much to do when preparing for a wedding, so I put together the entire wedding invitation suite including addressing and stamping the RSVP cards. This this the final result in a vellum petal envelope. The outside envelope is the same textured cream as the scallop card and all the other enclosed cards.

Each invitation is marked with "made by kim" just as my handmade cards are.

Most of the paper I used came from the Paper Source. Although there are cheaper places to find paper, the quality and convenience is well worth it. I bought the velvet ribbon online at Paper Mart. The ribbon is a good price but the shipping is overpriced. The vellum petal cards came from Paper and More online. This is also a good source for paper and card stock. You can order samples on most items. All of my block printing supplies came from the Blick Store and/or JoAnn Fabric, just because of convenience. I am sure there are better resources for these materials so I am not linking to these widely known shops.

Dreamy Skies after the Storm

We just had a big storm. I should say another big storm. Very high winds, tornadoes, hail, flooding, all of it. But after the storm moved on, there were rainbows and strange greenish-yellow skies. Not just the sky was green though, everything was green. As the sun set, everything began to turn orange and pink. Although it was close to dark, my flowers were the most vibrant colors I had ever seen them. I took a few shoots as the sky changed.

 It's still raining a little in these above shots. The greenish-yellow light was so unique.

That's our backyard and our favorite place! The light was so soft and warm tonight. Perfect for taking pictures.