It's Wednesday already, and a new month too. Happy May everyone. As those of you who have seen my Facebook Page know, I'm having a Spring Event until the middle of the month, offering two originals and a few 8 x 10 prints at a very pleasant price. These are not E-bay prices because I won't devalue my original paintings, but the price is still very attractive. And so are the prints and paintings - all with a Spring theme.
But . . . print . . . original . . . What's the difference anyway? Why spend more money on an original when you can get a print for much less? Well, what we refer to as a Print, is really a Reproduction Print. A true Print is a piece of art that was made as a 'plate' or tile, etc. and meant to be run off on a press as a certain amount of Prints. I don 't do these. Are we confused yet? :D
What we see in the mall galleries and on people's websites, including my own, is actually a Reproduction, or a photo/scan of a painted or photographed image that is then run through a laser or ink jet printer on various qualities of paper. These are commonly, but mistakenly called PRINTS now, and I do it to, even though I know better. Despite the rather astonishing prices asked for some Reproduction Prints, they are essentially a large photo of a painting, and in time, if not kept out of the direct light, they will fade away to a shadow. This happened to me when I bought a small print of a famous artist's work. Some of these "prints" are limited edition, meaning there is only a set number run off, possibly a run of just 100, or maybe a "limited" run of many thousands. And others are designated "Open Editions" meaning they can be reproduced forever. For all these reasons, I keep my "prints" small and inexpensive.
So why buy a print? Maybe you just enjoy the image and don't feel you can justify the cost of the original. Buy the print and you have something nice to look at that resonates with you. Maybe you want a small gift and know the image will please someone you know. Reproduction Prints are a great way to enjoy a piece of art that makes you happy, or to have a collection of an artist's work or work on a theme.
If you decide to spend the money on the Original painting, you have a one of a kind, painted using the best paint and paper, from the Artist's mind, heart and hand to you, and if properly cared for, you will have a treasure that can be handed down to your grandchildren's grandchildren and so on. It costs the artist a great deal of time, a lot of emotion, and quite a bit of money (hey, art supplies are EXPENSIVE!) This is the artist's voice, the summation of her/his skills learned over years of hard work, the sharing of something important to the artist, and it has the immediacy of the artist's hand in every brushfull of paint or line of graphite/ink, etc. Naturally an Original painting costs more than a print.
The choice is yours to make and enjoy, just be aware of what it is you are buying.