What Exactly Is a Giclee?

Growing up in a family of artists, I have been exposed to all mediums of art. As a child, large oil paintings, small watercolors, carvings, bronzes, and etchings covered my walls and decorated my rooms. My father was always creating in all mediums of artwork so my knowledge of the subject grew through my years. I remember as a child being confused at why others didn't decorate their walls like we did. Didn't everyone have pieces of artwork on every wall?

At a rough old age of 28, I decided to go into business with my father, Al Sprague. We formed Sprague Editions, a company dedicated to the reproduction and distribution of my father's artwork. Through this business venture, I expanded my knowledge even further on the different means of art reproduction, the reproduction process, and the value of the artwork to the customer. Throughout my tenure as Owner/Art Representative, I have educated many on the various categories of art reproduction and the different mediums of fine art. Although, a large population of customers have a love for what they hang on their walls, many simply do not understand what is in their collections.

One of the most common questions I receive is, "What is a giclee?" A giclee is a high resolution reproduction of an original piece of artwork or photograph. Large printers have the capabilities to print on paper or canvas at a high DPI (dots per inch). Because of this high resolution, the reproduction takes on the closest to an original than any other form of art reproduction. In addition, many artists add to a giclee to emphasize brush strokes, lighting, etc. Although these embellishments are added, a giclee is not to be mistaken as an original. It is a printed reproduction of an original regardless of any added effects.

Many artists have chosen to move into giclee printing instead of the traditional offset reproduction process which produces limited and open edition prints. These decisions have been made simply because there is no need to keep an inventory of giclee reproductions on hand whereas limited and open edition prints take up a large amount of space to store. Giclees are printed on demand rather than in bulk. In addition, giclees can be printed in any size. This provides an ease to both the collector and the artist. It becomes a customized print-to-order transaction versus a supply and demand transaction of the past.

Giclees have become the answer to high end decorating. If a client or business would like to decorate with original artwork but the purchase of an original piece is not in the budget, giclees are the answer. Do they hold the same value as an original painting, absolutely not - they are still a copy of the original artwork - but they do have the feel and look of a painting.

Experience the Beauty of Panama through Al Sprague Giclees.

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