Thursday, October 1, 2009

Art 101 at Walmart

Okay, I've been going on and on about giclees being terrible. Yesterday I was on updating my list of things I want to do and I happened upon a post about buying original art. There are people out there that truly want to support young, aspiring unknowns. They're willing to give them a chance and wanting that really interesting piece, yet they did not know where to start. So, how do we find young, up-and-coming artists? How can we buy original art? The first step is to educate yourself. This means learning the difference between an original and a giclee (pronounced JEE-clay). So, go to Walmart, Target, Costco, Pictures Plus... Frames 'R Us... your neighborhood frame store where they sell framed art. Pass by the obvious prints on paper and walk towards the paintings. They will look like oil paintings because oil paint was indeed used to print them. They will be on canvas, true canvas, same type that artists paint on. Now, look closer. There will be no brush strokes, it will seem almost too perfect. It will look "thin" because it is just a thin layer printed on. This giclee that you are staring at only costs maybe a few dollars to make. For an artist to have a giclee printed, let's say, just one giclee, may have cost maybe $20. Now look at the price tag... and faint... no, turn away in disgust. But, wait, this is supposed to be educational. Okay, now go visit your local art museum. Look at the paintings hanging on the walls. Note the texture, the depth of color (particularly in the darker areas), notice the sensitivity of the brush strokes or the boldness (depending on what you're looking at). Enjoy a nice leisurely day really looking at just one piece. It's not a waste of your day. Note the expression, the life. Now go back to Frames 'R Us. Look at the giclee again. See the difference now?

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