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All About Art

 

Art as an Investment
People generally buy art because they love the picture, however it is becoming more and more collectable with the growing reputations of artists such as Fabian Perez, Doug Hyde, Henderson Cisz, Malcolm Teasdale and of course Sherree Valentine Daines to name but a few. Limited editions are an affordable way into the art world and most are now highly sought after by avid art collectors worldwide. Some images change hands at ever increasing prices, making the collecting of art even more exciting.

However as a general rule please buy the piece because you love it and not its investment potential. It must also be said that not all art purchased from us will gain in value. We can advise and at Platinum we will always tell the truth and offer our personal honest opinion. Be very wary of galleries that insist everything you buy will make you money trust it most won't.

To guarantee your art, Limited Edition prints purchased from Platinum Galleries come with a certificate of Authenticity direct from the publisher.. Many collectors follow and acquire the works of a number of our artists. By joining our mailing list you will receive information of forthcoming releases by post or email.

Printing Methods
A number of different printing methods are employed in the reproduction of fine art. Below is a brief description of the main methods used to reproduce the limited edition prints in our collection.

Giclee is a relatively new method of producing high quality usually, limited edition prints and is often used for short print runs. The artist’s original is scanned and converted to a digital format, then printed on to fine art papers utilising specialist printers. The Giclée process is now used by many of the major publishers of fine art and prints using this process are exhibited in museums and art galleries throughout the world.

Giclée is a French term, roughly translated as ‘little squirt’ – ink is sprayed onto the substrate (fine art paper) in variable sized dots depending upon the amount of colour required using lightfast pigment-based inks.

Fine art papers (the substrates) used for Giclée are produced by paper mills that also produce similar acid-free papers for artists. Suppliers of these fine art papers include Hahnemüle of Germany and St Cuthbert’s Mill in the UK. The use of archival quality inks and papers ensures the long-term stability of the artwork produced by the Giclée process.

Lithographs – using a planographic process: prints are pulled on a special press from a flat stone or metal surface. The surface has been chemically sensitised so that ink sticks only to the design areas and is repelled by the non-image areas. Lithography was invented in Solnhofen, in Germany by Alois Senefelder in 1798. This method of reproduction was favoured by great French artists such as Daumier and Delacroix and later by Degas, Toulouse- Lautrec, Picasso Braque and Miro

Offset Lithographs – A Special photo-mechanical technique in which the image to be printed is transferred to the negative plates and printed onto paper. Offset lithography is very well adapted to colour printing. In the process of producing limited editions the finest reprographic techniques are used to split the colours. High quality mechanical printing then enables the translation of this image onto paper. The plates are destroyed in order that the authenticity and integrity of the limited edition print is maintained.

Silk-screens – this is one of the oldest methods of printing believed to have been developed in Japan from stencilling methods used by early cave dwellers. Nowadays the original is photographed and saved digitally on computer where the colours are separated in preparation for the silkscreen process. Screens are traditionally made using fine weave silk, although more frequently polyester is used over aluminium. One screen is required for each colour/shade. The process is lengthy as each colour is applied separately through the screen and must dry before the next is applied. The artist works closely with the printer and approves each stage, sometimes making changes to ensure the originality of the piece.

Hand - Embellished – these are limited edition prints that have been hand finished by the artist who may apply additional paint, silver or gold leaf and/other material to each piece making it unique. DeMontfort fine art are using this technique more and more as our demand for the finest quality reproduction artwork continues to increase.

Artist Proof – Occasionally you may come across an Artist’s Proof. Commonly up to 10% of an edition may be reserved and are intended for the Artist’s personal use. When an Artists Proof is available it will normally be numbered as such and will indicate the number of artist’s proofs for example AP 6/25 means the sixth print in a set of 25 authorised proofs. Washington Green also produce Printers Proof (PP) HC pieces and will also number editions with Roman Numerals this is in addition to export numbered pieces. Check first to ensure which edition size you are buying as it can have a detrimental effect on re-sale prices.

The prints are also signed by the artist and although sold in the same way as limited edition prints, they do often attract a slightly higher price. However at Platinum Galleries we make no distinction and all edition pieces are priced the same, Publishers RRP. We do get a lot of AP prints and these are sold on a first come first served basis.

Limited Edition Prints
High quality Limited Edition prints, such as those reproduced using lithography, silkscreen and Giclée printing methods have enabled an artist’s work to be enjoyed by more collectors. It is vital however, that all limited edition prints are signed and numbered by the artist as a guarantee of the authenticity of the edition and that the print has been made to their satisfaction.

Print Quality
The Fine Art Trade Guild Standard requires paper to be at least 250gsm thick, with an acidity level of between pH7 and pH10 to minimise discolouring. Colours should be relatively light-fast, scoring 6 or more on the Blue Wool Scale, the industry standard measurement in the UK, or its equivalent. Reproductions should normally be close facsimiles of the original work. Printing should be clear with a good depth of colour. An artist’s signature endorses the visible quality of the print quality.

(COA) Certificates of Authenticity
Whilst not essential, many publishers do now provide Certificates of Authenticity as further proof of the edition and quality of the print. Certificates may be signed by the Artist, Publisher or both and should show the title, artist, edition size, and year of printing. The Certificates will also show the print number.

Open Edition Prints
An open edition reproduction print can be produced in any quantity and the image may also be used in other ways such as on tableware. Open editions tend to cost less than limited editions and are much less likely to increase in value. At Platinum we stock and sell very few open editions as we believe they hold no future value. In addition many galleries mount and frame greeting and gift cards by well known artists and sell them for inflated sums of money. Most of these cards cost less than £1.50 and they are sold by galleries for around £20-40. At Platinum we do not do this as we believe it cheapens the artists images. We will mount and frame cards for customers at a fraction of the cost other galleries charge.

Boxed Canvas

Are canvas pieces that has been stretched over a deep wooden frame so that the image is around the edge of the frame. Box canvases do not normally have a frame added and can be hung straight onto the wall. Increasingly we are starting to float frame this type of work which makes the canvas look even more special.

Commissions

We are able to commission some artists to produce a specific piece of art just for you. Please ask for details but the most popular ones are, Duncan MacGregor, Jonathan Shaw, Malcolm Teasdale and Toni Goffe to name but a few. Within the art world we work to image size and all prices for originals are based around this. We do not charge more for this unique service but we will need time.

Secondary Market

Some galleries say they deal in the secondary market but ask them to get you a piece and it quickly becomes apparent they don't.

At Platinum we do!!! We have a vast network of contacts and tracking down a rare or older piece is more often than not very possible. If you are looking for an older or rare image please contact the gallery and we will make every effort to find it for you, sold out or not!! If one is available we will get it for you.

 

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