Monday, October 06, 2008

so long as we’re on the subject of art…

In the days when I was looking at various photo printing options around town, I stumbled upon the studio (workshop? salon?) of Tom & Barbara Crozier. Fine Art Giclee Printing Services – their ad says.

Ed was intrigued. Don’t you want to find out what giclee printing is all about? He has a mechanically curious mind. I don’t. Besides, he was mispronouncing the word terribly, making it all sound very slippery and eelish.

But today, a day after my own “art show,” I am primed for something new. We call Tom and Barbara, the owners of Picture Salon, to see if we can pop in for a visit and learn more.

They are the friendliest people in the world. If I were to construct friend material, I’d say, let’s start with a base, modeled after these two.

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Though this is perhaps besides the point. I'm on a mission to find out what giclee printing is all about and how you pronounce the darn word anyway.

Here’s Tom and Barbara’s take on it: Giclee is a French term which means "to spray." It was actually coined by a U.S. company to distinguish the printing process (using a highly refined inkjet printer that sprays micro-droplets) from that of a standard offset printing process.
And it’s pronounced "jhee-clay.”

That’s the short of it. But for me, it is truly an eye opener on how one might (okay, I might) present photos: on beautiful, creamy, all cotton art paper, for example. Or on a canvas, stretched over a wooden frame.

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Such possibilities! And as you inch toward the model of a painting, you get inspired (I got inspired) to play with photos (on my computer) so that they become canvas-like in all ways. Like Tom’s own work, seen here:

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Someone asked me at the art show this week-end why I don’t paint. Well, really, it’s because I am awfully average. I mean, I can do a credible job of putting something down on canvas that looks like a rendition of what is out there, but my God, it’s nothing I would ever put anywhere, not even on my own bathroom wall.

Photo canvases are different. The paint brush is irrelevant, except as it appears on my laptop's little photoshop icon. The canvas is stroked by what the camera framed, delivered in a format that suits the image -- muted maybe, or dappled, or faded, or made bold. And then delivered on a canvas as if it were a painting.

Barbara and Tom walked us around their studio (workshop? salon?). Impressive stuff! I watched one of their workers stretch a canvas. In another room, I looked at a stack of quality prints, ready for shipment to the Art Institute of Chicago, a regular client.

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Do you guys want to handle small jobs? Like a print here and there? From insignificant me?

You see, here’s where their agreeable nature clicks in.
Sure. Of course! -- they tell me.

So watch for this new way presentation of cherry trees from Door County, or of the café at sunset in Avignon. As I said on Saturday: time for a new project!

Want a preview? Okay, here's my favorite so far. Send me an email if you like it. For example, on your office wall. At special, crashing economy prices! Dreams of constant travel recede, but art's a constant. This canvas-print wont fade. At least not in your lifetime.

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[For the loyal reader who keeps track of ongoing other projects: the writer’s shed will have heating. And walls, too, I’m told. One of these days. Months. Years. As for my book project? Always on my mind. Sometimes I even make progress.]