Fine Arts Prints by Vivianne Nantel

Yoga Blossom 48x36 mixed media, tempera and oil on canvasQuestions and answers about Vivianne’s Museum Quality Giclee Prints.

What is a Giclee? (either for paper or canvas)

The word Giclee (pronounced Zhee-clay) itself is a French word, meaning “to spray or to squirt”. And in the case of a reproduction, it means, “spraying of ink.” Giclee print has come to mean, in its best sense, a fine digital art reproduction printed on archival paper or canvas, using archival pigmented inks. Giclee has the highest apparent resolution available today. Our printmaker uses  Epson Stylus Pro printers utilizing Epson Ultra-Chrome pigmented inks. It prints using 7 colors of ink at resolution of up to 2280dpi (normally 1440 DPI is used). This printer uses variable droplet sizes as small as 2 Picoliters (size of a hair). So, you can see how fine these prints are. These are Epson’s second-generation pigmented inks, and offer higher gamut (more brilliant and vibrant colors), and lower metamerism (colors looking different under different lighting), than their earlier pigmented inks. Hundreds of ink jets, more than a million droplets per seconds are sprayed on the archival paper in order to reproduce an image. One completed print could have between10 to 20 billion droplets of ink, (or even more) perfectly printed. A giclee print is simply the closest duplicate of an original work, which is mechanically; technically and humanly possible to reproduce with today’s printing technology.

This innovation is quickly becoming the new standard in the art world. Many museums (such as The  Louvre Museum, Paris, the Metropolitan Museum Of New York, San Francisco Museum of Art, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, etc.), art galleries, art dealers, publishers and artists are embracing the “Giclee” for its high quality of reproduction, details, and for its vibrant and full nuances of colors. The Williamsburg Historical Center of New York has exhibited Vivianne Nantel’s giglee print, United As One, for their high profile show, entitled World Peace in September 2001. Our printmaker is a specialized boutique printer, rather then a big company. Thus, they take great pride in their final work. The image of each edition is carefully prepared for the printing process with the collaboration of Vivianne Nantel. She personally approves the final color matches and nuances for that edition. Then, Vivianne approved, numbered and signed each print.

What does it mean archival or acid free?

Paper, canvas or art material, which are treated to neutralize its natural acidity, in order to protect the fine artwork, print and photographic print from discoloration and deterioration over a long period of time.

What kind of paper and ink do you use?

Somerset Velvet-100% cotton rag acid free –255 gms (that is grams per square meter)
Epson Ultra Chrome pigmented inks (which are archival).

What is the displayed life span of a print?

It depends on different factors, such as uv exposure, moisture, humidity, framing condition, ink pigments and paper quality etc. Various laboratories in the world test the longevity of digital prints. The recognized leader in testing these new digital printing technologies is, Wilhelm Research. Their ratings are based on “years of display before noticeable fading.” The tested archival life (years of display life before noticeable fading) for this ink set on Somerset Velvet paper is dependant upon UV protection. If the print is framed under UV glass, then the life is rated over 125 years (non-UV glass rating is 62 years). Just to give us a perspective; a traditional water color painting on acid free paper framed under glass is rated at less than 25 years. Thus, our prints can have a display life span of well over 100 years, depending how you display them.

What is a Certificate of Authenticity?

A certificate of authenticity is an important piece of paper, certifying by the printer and the artist, that indeed all details regarding the limited edition and the prints are authentic. The artist, as well as the printer or publishing company always signs this document. This certificate becomes very valuable, when one wants to resell the print in the secondary art market for a higher value to prove its authenticity.

What does “museum quality” mean?

It basically means the print is a top-notch archival quality fine art print. One, which has a long life span, fit to be shown in a museum.

What is an open edition?

A reproduction of an original artwork (of identical prints), which is sometimes signed by the artist. However, the edition is open ended to reproduce any amount of prints without restrictions. An open edition usually does not come with certificate of authenticity and are less valuable then limited editions.

What is a limited edition?

A limited edition is a series of identical prints (reproduction of an original artwork), which is individually signed, approved and numbered by the artist. The total number of prints is limited and fixed, which is decided in advance by the artist and/or the publisher. Each print in a limited edition always comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, in order to certify all the details of the edition.

Why are limited edition prints more expensive?

Because they are limited, numbered and signed by the artist. The premium price of a limited edition is a function of supply & demand. These prints are also of exceptionally high museum quality (archival). A certificate of authenticity is provided to you, in order to certify all the information is accurate and authentic.

What is an artist proof (signed A/P) on a print?

A few prints set aside for the artist or printer’s use. They are actually some of the first prints pulled in a limited edition, which are normally approved by the artist. The artist marks them A/P, in order to indicate their status.

What does S/N mean?

S/N is a symbol sometimes used to indicate a limited edition has been signed and numbered by the artist. The artist signature is usually on the right corner, and accompanied by a number on the other corner, which looks like a fraction (the top number indicates the print number, and the bottom indicates the size of the edition).

How do I care for a Fine art print?

First of all, handle the print with great care since they are vulnerable until they are professionally framed. You may want to use some thin gloves when you handle them, in order to avoid getting fingerprints on them. Make sure the print is professionally framed with acid free matt, using only archival material of high quality.  Each print should also be framed with Plexiglas or glass in order to protect it. The glass should also have an UV filter. This element will add to the longevity of the print. Never place artwork or a print in a humid area, or in direct sunlight or a very strong light bulb. A complimentary guideline for care will be given to you with your order.

About the Original Artwork

How do you create your artwork?

That is a complex question. It all depends on which technique was used.
First step is to let the Divine creative process guide me. The rest takes place naturally.

What kind of material do you use?

I always use the best-proven art supplies and material from well-known and reliable manufacturers. All paper, canvas and substances are archival, in order to insure the longevity of the work. I also choose oil pigments that are permanent.

What is the Mische technique?

The section entitled, Blossoming” is marking a new period with my work.
I recently started using an ancient process with dry pigments of oil and tempera, which some of the Northern Renaissance Masters used during the Fifteenth Century, such as Durer, Van Eych, Bruegel and Bosch. I learned this well-kept secret technique while in Austria in 2002. This technique allows more depth in the work. Now, I have started to incorporate it with mixed media, which also gives a very rich texture to my artwork. This combination involves over twelve different stages in the creative process.

How long does it take you to create a work of Art?

Some of the artwork takes a few weeks to accomplish, and others several months– depending also on the details, the size and the technique used. These elements explain why there is a wide range with the prices.

Why is the original artwork much more expensive than fine art prints?

Original works of art are unique. There is only one of each in the entire universe! Again, it also depends on the size, technique application, and details and more.

Do original artwork and fine art prints increase in value over time?

They certainly can increase in time. It all depends on several factors, such as the demand and supply of the work, and the artist’s professional progression. One of the ideal times to acquire art is while a promising artist is emerging. Then, you get the best prices before the artist becomes too famous.

Should I buy it as an investment?

Art should be acquired first because you have a deep connection and because it stirs your soul and spirit. It is always a wonderful benefit if the work and/or print increase in value over time, such in the case of my work. If desired, a piece could always be resold in the secondary art market to another collector or dealer.

How long can original artwork last?

Hundreds of years–it really all depends on how you take care of the work and preserve it. A complimentary guideline for care will be given to you when you acquire an original piece or print.

Who owns the copyright?

All copyrights are intellectual property owned by the artist, and all rights are reserved worldwide. Artwork represented herein may not be reproduced or used in any form or by any means without the written permission of the artist.