I’ll go into more details at another point, breaking this post down a bit, but for now, I wanted to think through what it was about the artwork that I am offering.
A unique way of collecting original, affordable art.
In the great stately homes hang the oil paintings of history. In our museums and galleries, from this century to hundreds of years ago, art gathers in collections viewed by thousands.
And sometimes, behind closed doors, the super-rich build around them a fortress to protect the art that they have gathered over the years.
These are beyond the price of most pockets.
I noticed something a little while back when it comes to collecting art. The rise of the giclee print. Now there is nothing wrong with this, but people don’t realise the difference between a collectable art print, and a collectable reproduction print, whether it has a number on it or not (1/100 for example, and ‘signed by the artist’)
Giclee prints are reproductions, not original prints
A giclee print is classed as a reproduction because it is a scan or a photograph of an original work of art – painting, drawing for example – and then it is printed by a computer with an inkjet printer onto quality paper. It will last over 100 years. It’s good quality, and for many people this is what affordable art collecting has been about, often setting the enthusiast back by hundreds of pounds.
What I am introducing is another way of collecting affordable art, create your own gallery to enjoy behind closed doors or to display and show to others. But these are classed as original works by the art world because of their production method, and not reproductions. You may have heard of, or at school even tried, lino-cutting and lino printing. My work is related to this, but not the same.
Woodcut relief printing techniques
I have gone back further in time and chosen a far less travelled path, that of using wood. Albrecht Durer in the 15th and 16th century springs to mind as I work but the Japanese and Chinese were working with it long before that. I spend many hours carving my visions into wood creating a 2-dimensional sculpture in effect, aiming for design, decoration, detail and storytelling, and then use that to print impressions using colour to paper. Each is classed at originals. And there will never be any more than 100, often less, of each print made before the block is destroyed. Starting at just £35 for an A4 sized print, this brings them into the affordable/collectable market space at a size where it is inexpensive to have them framed. As you go along, month after month or whatever period suits, or maybe one every now and again from the shop page, you can build your collection of original art. You can even swap the pictures in and out of that frame you bought.
Pricing my artwork
Pricing…why is what I am offering so cheap?
It is a deliberate move that I have made to keep the costs low. I plan on making much larger images and they will be priced in the £200 and over price bracket, but I intend to keep the smaller originals at a low price, even though on a number of occasions I have had people tell me to raise my prices. Seriously… What I hope though is that as the number of print designs increase, and the larger images come on the market, that they will come into demand and the earliest images will actually increase in value.
About me as an artist.
As a child and still as an adult I am fascinated by stories, myths, legends and tales. There’s something about them. When I used to go to sleep at night as when I was still in short trousers I would stare at picture books full of details until I fell asleep. I think the mixture of stories and details have had a huge influence on me, my style and my interests. I love to illustrate a story and to include fine details where I can. I have mentioned Durer, but in style and love, Rackham holds my key interest. This is what has led me to illustrate books and be published and shown and sold all over the world. Wood affords me the greatest opportunity to do that in a print media as it holds detail better than lino, and I love the feeling and sound of the cut. Not that it isn’t without its difficulties and I am constantly searching to solve and work with its limitations. Sometimes the best way of describing my relationship with the wood print is that it fights back such that sometimes we come to a compromise.
But, just occasionally, I win.