Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Original Vs. Print: What's the Difference?

As I have listened to people talk about art over the years, I have realized that there is much confusion surrounding the differences between originals, prints, reproductions, giclees and hand-embellished reproductions. This article is intended to be a quick and dirty description of each to help clear up a few of the common misconceptions surrounding two-dimensional art.

An original work of art is the easy one; it is the original painting, drawing, watercolor, computer-generated image etc. that was first produced by the artist. It is created from the mind and brought into being at the hands of the artist.

A print is created during the printmaking process where an artist creates an original image on a stone, plate, screen, or block and then hand pulls or supervises the hand pulling of a print from this surface. It too, is derived at the hands of the artist or artist assistant. Editions i.e. more prints can be pulled from these blocks, but at some point the surface will deteriorate (or be destroyed) and the image will no longer be able to be printed. This is what makes a true print more valuable than a reproduction. Each print has some element of change and possible imperfection in each subsequent image, making them each one of a kind.

A reproduction of art is an exact replication of an original image. An artist creates an original image through various media i.e. paint, ink, watercolor, pastel etc. A photograph or scan records this image in digital form and then it is printed out onto a surface in the form of a paper, canvas print and various other types of surfaces. The type of printer, ink and paper is at the full discretion of the person/company creating these reproductions.

A giclee (pronounced soft zhee klay or gee klay) is a reproduction, but is known for being a higher quality reproduction created by an inkjet printer with high quality ink on high quality paper or canvas. Giclee is the term used to describe the shooting of color ink into the surface to create a high quality reproduction of an original art image.

Something else you may have seen is what is called a hand embellished reproduction. That means that the original image has been photographed, reproduced on a surface, and then hand embellished with something to give the piece texture or an element of something that makes it look hand made or more original. This is most often seen in department and home decor stores. A real artist probably created the first image, but what we buy from the chain store is not the original and cannot be called a painting. It is a reproduction.

You might ask yourself, “How do I know the difference when I am looking at art?” The best way is to look very closely. One very simple indication is if you can see the hand of the artist in the piece. This means you can see a brush stroke, or a directional line drawn with graphite. If you look closely, you can see the medium applied to the surface. The price is another indicator. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Original art takes time to create and it is one of a kind, so the price should reflect that in most circumstances. Reproductions are a wonderful way to be able to appreciate an original work of art while staying within a budget. The important thing is to know the difference when you are spending your money. When all else fails, ask the person selling the art!

As far as my art goes, I wait until a painting sells before I make a reproduction of it. Right now, the only reproductions I sell are greeting cards that I have printed up by Vista Print and then I pay my kids to package them nicely to be sold during the art fairs. One day, I would like to have reproductions on my web site. I am also interested in getting high quality prints made in the future, but in truth, I would rather spend my time creating original paintings! 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Handy Dandy Checklist Before Going Out to Buy New Art

There are many places to find wonderful original art to buy these days. Art Fairs are a great resource for finding many quality artists in one place. Another options is to visit Art Galleries in your area and you can, of course always buy directly from an artist online. Many artists offer their unique creations through their web sites and offer very reasonable shipping.

No matter what avenue you decide to pursue, there are a few things to make sure you remember in order to make your search for the perfect piece of art productive and successful.

1. Visit Art Fair/Gallery/Artist Web Site
This is a great opportunity to shop with your feet up! Look through the art fair or gallery web site  and then peruse the artists' web sites to get a feeling for what they have to offer. This gives you a chance to preview the art before you see it in person and it gives you a chance to weed out the art you are not interested in. If you are worried the perfect piece might be scooped up before you get there, buy it off the web site directly!

2. Take a Photo of Your Space
Grab your smart phone and snap a few shots of your spaces you are feeling like need a little artistic TLC. Make sure to include the surrounding areas, so you can remember scale while you are out shopping. 

3. Jot Down Measurements
Grab your tape measure and measure the space you are intending to fill. Check out my last blogpost for learning how to tape off a space for measurements HERE. It's the worst to get to an art fair, see the perfect piece, but not know if it will fit. You decide to come back the next day only to find it has sold!

4. Jot Down Your Colors and Theme
This may seem like a no brainer, but the idea is to take a moment to look around your space and try to see it with new eyes. You may see potential accent colors you have never thought of tying into a piece of art. You may notice colors from a wall in another room that would be nice to coordinate with. Maybe a motif will stand out to you that you didn't realize you were leaning towards lately. The most important thing to keep in mind is to choose what you love. You can't mess up when choosing things that you love.

5. Set Your Budget, But Don't Haggle
Everyone should set a spending limit. It doesn't matter if it is $50, $5000 or $50,000. There is something for everyone out there at every price point. Some people think haggling is alright with artists, but it really isn't. We get desperate and do it sometimes, but in truth, most of us hate it. It is insulting, stressful and makes us feel like the haggler thinks our heartfelt, handmade items are worth the same as a garage sale find. The bottom line is, we want you to stick to your limit, but we want you to choose something that is priced right for you. 

6. Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Choosing art for your home should be fun, not stressful. Make sure you know the hours of the fair, or gallery and give yourself plenty of time to shop around, and think about your options. When you are rushed, you may end up regretting your choice and that's not any fun at all! 

If you have made it to the end of this blog entry, I just want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for caring about original art enough to consider spending your hard earned money on your next acquisition. You are well on your way to helping make the world a better place, in my opinion!

Art = Love = Making the World a Better Place

Monday, February 29, 2016

9 Steps to Tape Off Your Wall for the Perfect Piece of Art

Have you ever thought about using tape to help decide if a certain piece of art will fit in the space you have in mind? It's super easy! Just grab some masking tape and a tape measure and follow these simple steps.

1. Place masking tape on the wall in a plus sign taking up as much space as you can. (you can measure for the center spot if you want to, or you can eyeball it.)


2. Now, look at this plus sign and imagine borders.
3. Start taping the top, right, bottom and left. Don't worry if it is perfect.

4. Step back and decide, do you like the way this tape fills your space?

5. If not, pull up the outer tapes and move them in gradually until you see the tape in a space that feels right to you.

6. Once it looks like it makes visual sense, grab your tape measure and measure the width, and height and WRITE IT DOWN. I promise, you will forget. If you have extra space in either direction write down the range that a piece could fit into.

7. Take a picture of the space and surrounding area.
8. Remove the tape within 24 hours, otherwise it may stick and mark your walls.
9. Now you have your measurements for next time you fall in love with the perfect piece of art!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New Inspiration

New Inspiration 16"x24" 
This is the painting that reminded me that I do not need to fear losing inspiration. It is always there when I need it. I just have to remember to relax and and let it in. The fear is what chases it away! I am really looking forward to exhibiting this new work. It has been so nice finishing a couple paintings a week instead of waiting until a whole bunch are finished before I share them.

Head in the Clouds 16"x24"
I like to keep my feet on the ground and my "Head in the Clouds". It's a great way to navigate this world. I can't wait until spring and summer when I can be outside enjoying both on a regular basis.

Many 8"x8" boards under construction!

Ben has been busy making my boards for me and this is a stack of future paintings that are calling my name!!!

Working on eight new 8"x8" paintings this week in my sunny kitchen instead of my chilly studio.

And they're done! I still have to varnish etc. and take good photos, but it feels great to get a few of these finished. Next week I will be working on a bigger painting inspired by our trip to Shaw Nature Reserve.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Finding Inspiration in Nature

This week is Spring Break for our kids, so I have not been painting, but it doesn't stop me from being inspired. One of our favorite things to do as a family is to explore new parks in our area. I love being in nature whenever possible. It provides me with a fresh eye and a sense of renewal. Luckily, in Missouri we don't have to travel far to be with nature.

If you know me, you know how much I love trees. You can bet this will be a painting in the future!

They were burning off the land at Shaw Nature Reserve and this was the coolest image to me. It was so awesome how the right side of the road was burnt and the left side of the road was still tall and lush with tall grass.

This was texture that I am guessing that bugs created in the wood of a look out structure they had. It reminds me of my squiggly texture I use, only much more interesting.

I don't know what kind of flowers these were, but I love them all dried up and swaying in the wind.

I took all of these photos and more at the Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit, MO. I really hope we can make it back with the flowers start to bloom. It is an amazing place to spend time. I am so grateful for the inspiration nature provides.

Monday, March 17, 2014

The Year of Joy

The Year of Joy 32"x24"

You may remember I shared small details of my newest paintings in my post last week. This one is called "The Year of Joy". I chose this title because it expresses my intention of spreading joy with my art this year. It has these small mica flakes at the tops of the textured lines that remind me of small champagne bubbles popping up in celebration of this amazing year ahead of us. I'm so excited!

"Harmonious Bliss" 16"x24"
This is my second painting of the year called "Harmonious Bliss". The turquoise blue makes me feel calm, but the deep red and other warm colors makes me feel such intense joy. I love how they work harmoniously together. 

Adding the finishing touches!
Each week, I am in a state of beginning, working on and finishing new work and I love this process. It gives me a great sense of accomplishment. It also helps keep things fresh. If I am not feeling a painting, I can always start a new one. If I don't know where to begin a new painting, I can always varnish and paint frames black. It is how I keep things moving all the time without feeling trapped by the process. 

Detail of the painting I finished last week.

Small detail of another finished painting from last week.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

First Paintings This Year!

I am so excited to say I have two brand new paintings signed varnished and frames painted black. I am back to painting daily now and I am so happy. I have been trying to balance office time with paint time and so far I am doing alright if I limit my distractions. The goal is to have plenty of paintings to bring joy into people's homes when art fair season starts for me.
Detail of Painting #1 of 2014 (Title TBD)
Detail of Painting #2 of 2014 (Title TBD)

On Monday, I started eight new 8x8 paintings. As you may have seen on my FB page, my goal is to fill this old letter sorter with finished paintings. That would really help be towards getting stocked up. These 8"x8" paintings are so nice because they are versatile and people love to mix and match them for their homes.
My drying rack for 8x8 paintings.

Lynn from Grafica Fine Art in Webster Groves, MO came to pick this painting up this week after I took a little of the blue out of the top portion of the painting. Fingers crossed the client is happy!

"Luscious Blankets" all packed up!

Friday, February 28, 2014

My New Web Site

I am SO excited to share my new web site with you. I have spent the first two months of 2014 not in the studio, but at the computer doing lots of not so fun stuff. I really enjoyed building my new web site using Weebly.com though. They make it really easy. So please go visit it and tell me what you think? I would LOVE to hear from you! Here is the link: http://www.heatherhaymart.com/

Screen shot of my new web site.

Also this week I am thrilled to say that I am back in the studio. I prepped lots of boards and have begun working on four new paintings. I am re-inspired and so excited to create a new group of work to share this year.

Prepping new boards.

Digging in to some creative fun!

I hope you are easing into 2014 and getting re-inspired too!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Joy Infusion - Commissioned Piece Finished!

Joy Infusion 30"x60"
Commissioned Painting - Corporate Collection
This week I have been working feverishly on my commissioned painting. I got the job from Arch Framing who was hired to find art for a health care client. This is my second job I have done for them and I hope to be doing more. It makes me feel like a grown-up to create and invoice! Just kidding, I feel honored that my art is going to fill a room where sick children need all the joy they can get. It makes me feel that in some small way, maybe I can give someone a moment of peace when they look over at my painting during what could be the most difficult time of their lives.

Detail of Joy Infusion
This whole experience makes me feel very fortunate that my kids are healthy and I am being paid to do what I love. Life is good.

We Have a Winner!

Actually, we have two winners! Today I am happy to share that Mary Nasser has shared the winner of her amazing map stencils on the Stencil Girl Blog Hop. Congratulations to Vicki Wright! Remember, if you didn't win, you can always buy Mary Nasser's beautiful stencils here! I am also happy to share that Anne O is the lucky winner of my little painting I made for the blog hop. I will be contacting you privately to get your address Anne O!
Getting ready to pack them up!

Ready to send to Anne!