Proper way to sign copies of an original watercolor painting

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on 4 Nov 2009 4:16 PM

What is the proper way to sign copies of an original watercolor? I have seen the lower case "c" inside a circle and an additonal signature with  the "1/24" of a series of 24 copies. I have also seen initials or the printed signature with the number series what is the proper o0r desired method? 

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Kisu wrote
on 4 Nov 2009 6:24 PM

From my understanding, if a painting is reproduced then it doesn't get numbered or signed.  If one is using traditional printmaking methods where only a limited number of prints can be made from a particular method before the quality deteriorates, then it is a true limited series and they are signed and numbered.  For example, if I were to have giclees made of a watercolor painting then I wouldn't number them or sign them.  If I made lithographs or woodblock prints, I would sign them and number them.  This is just my understanding, as I realize other people may have a differing take on it.

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on 4 Nov 2009 7:59 PM

Hi Stephen, I found this article on the internet and thought that the article explained well how to sign and what type of reproductions or copies an artist should sign and number.  Hope this helps. http://www.fountainstudio.com/downloads/prints-vs-reproductions.pdf

Sharon

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Kisu wrote
on 4 Nov 2009 10:06 PM

I found the specific source that I was thinking of in my response above.  The following quote is from 'High Art Down Home,' by Stuart Plattner, 1996, p. 235: "The artist's signature is supposed to mean that the printer's duplicate, which is variable because it is handmade, meets the artist's standards for faithful reproduction.  The signature is meaningless on a machine-made reproduction, where the ten-thousandth image is identical to the first, unless the signer is so famous that it is the connection to their persona rather than the work itself that gives value. " 

Newer reproduction methods such as giclees have developed since this was written, so I suppose it is up to the individual how they would like to deal with the issue.  Some artists may feel it is still inappropriate to sign and number reproductions, while others may take a broader view.

 

 

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JeanE Frantz wrote
on 5 Nov 2009 6:40 AM

Thanks for posting this link!  Very informative.

 

Jean

Comments & Critiques ALWAYS welcome and appreciated!

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Margo5 wrote
on 5 Nov 2009 11:19 AM

Sharon, thanks for passing this information on to us.

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AngelaS38 wrote
on 5 Nov 2009 4:34 PM

I hand sign my giclees, as do most of the artists that I know.  I don't know about 'rules' - but I know it's what my customers want.

I don't number them, as I find this misleading.  Each and every one is exactly the same, be it the first or thousandth with newer technologies. There's also not any 'plate to break' after a particular number either - even if I decided to only make, say, 500 - with digital technologies there's no way to ensure that really and truly, forever and ever, a 501st doesn't get made.  So - to number them gives a false impressionand unethical to me.  Not stating this as any kind of 'protocol' - just the way I've thought it out for myself and what feels right to me.

That's not to say that artists that do number their prints are intending anything unethical - I think most are just doing it out of habit/tradition/the way it's been done.

You can also find me on Facebook or visit my blog to learn more about me and my work. Smile

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Kisu wrote
on 5 Nov 2009 5:57 PM

 

AngelaS:

I hand sign my giclees, as do most of the artists that I know.  I don't know about 'rules' - but I know it's what my customers want.

I don't number them, as I find this misleading.  Each and every one is exactly the same, be it the first or thousandth with newer technologies. There's also not any 'plate to break' after a particular number either - even if I decided to only make, say, 500 - with digital technologies there's no way to ensure that really and truly, forever and ever, a 501st doesn't get made.  So - to number them gives a false impressionand unethical to me.  Not stating this as any kind of 'protocol' - just the way I've thought it out for myself and what feels right to me.

That's not to say that artists that do number their prints are intending anything unethical - I think most are just doing it out of habit/tradition/the way it's been done.

 

It sounds like you take a sort of 'middle of the road' position in signing reproductions but forgoing the numbering.  Yes, one's particular market is definitely a consideration.   Like you, I don't think artists who number commercial, machine made reproductions are being unethical, either, not at all.  I just don't think they really understand the original purpose or intent of signing/numbering multiples of a given artwork.

 

 

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patrickart wrote
on 2 Jan 2010 4:14 PM

how do you pronounce giclee? and what is it?

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on 2 Jan 2010 4:35 PM

Patrick, a giclee is a reproductive process (print). The printers that make these mechanical reproductions spray millions of droplets of pigment onto either watercolor paper or canvas, and the result looks more like an original painting than a lithograph.

It's pronounced, "she-clay"... the G is soft... gi-clee.  It means "spray" in French. The technology is good and the inks last for 75 years without noticable fading. An artist can also have a few made at a time, and order more when they run out.

 

www.loriwords.com

 

 

 

 

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patrickart wrote
on 3 Jan 2010 4:20 AM

lori

thanks for the lesson. now i know..........

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avemaria wrote
on 6 Jan 2010 12:58 PM

About giclees...  I usually think that you must bring your original painting to an art reproduction center for them to photograph or scan in order to make the giclee.  But, I see there are websites that create giclees if you send a file to them.  Is it possible to take a high quality photo (via the method recently described in Watercolor Artist 12/09 Magazine) and send it to a reputable online site (any suggestions?) and get a giclee done that way?  They seem much more reasonable price-wise.

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