A limited edition fine art print is not a reproduction of a painting, it is an artwork made to be a print, which offers the opportunity of multiples. It can be an etching, a woodcut, a linoblock, a serigraph, a stencil or a lithograph. Lithographs can be very painterly and all processes can have layers registered to different colours with several blocks or stones.
But what happens is that the print becomes an original artwork produced in direct collaboration with the artist (Basbanes, Nicholas A. On Paper: The Everything of its Two-Thousand-Year History. New York: Alfred A. Knoft, 2013, p.327).
"Harry Wohlfarth willed a sizeable number of his works to The Banff Centre Music Department in order to support their Artist's Fund. We are pleased to represent Harry's work, on behalf of The Banff Centre, knowing that a portion of sales from some of these works will realize this generous artist's wish.
"Easy it is, at many a jog - or with none of which we are aware - to forget the urgent moment and hear again, as in a happy return, that proclamation of entry into these regions of many enchantments...(Colour in the Canadian Rockies by Walter J. Phillips and Frederick Niven. Toronto: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., 1937).
Birds figure prominently in D. Helen Mackie's block prints: she has printed them boldly full on as well as subtly placed within larger designs. Here is a lovely selection from early in her career to works produced as an established master printmaker.
Early photographs are the basis of Ross Bradley's more recent series utilizing the process of polaroid transfer.
The artist becomes proficient with the materials needed to get his point across then lets nature take its course.
Snow’s work of landscape, figures, florals and still lifes has been described as moody and rich-hued, varied and venturesome. It often evokes the prairie experience by way of his unique artistic vocabulary. John’s style is unmistakable and distinctive.
Printing can be divided into four basic types: relief, intaglio, planographic, and stencil.
Planographic printing is more commonly known as lithography. The printing image is neither raised in relief nor cut into the surface of the plate but is a treated area of the surface. It works on the principle that water and grease will not mix but will resist each other. The design is drawn or painted on the surface of a finely ground block of limestone – many commercial printers today use especially prepared metal plates – with a black greasy baryon or black greasy paint. The stone is then treated with gum Arabic and nitric acid and dampened with water. When a large ink-charged roller is passed over the stone, the ink sticks to the greasy parts and is repelled by the wet areas. It is then put into a special press and printed.
Intaglio (pronounced in-tal-yo) printing has been around for quite a while….The image to be printed is scratched with a needle or eaten with an acid below the surface of the printing plate. Ink is rubbed on the surface and worked into the fine etched or scratched line. The surface of the plate is then wiped clean, note that it is almost impossible to wipe the ink of those fine lines. The plate is then placed under a damp piece of paper and pressed very hard in a special etching press. Because of the pressure of the rollers and the softness of the damp paper, the paper is actually pressed right down into the troughs where it sucks up the ink, producing the print. One way to tell an intaglio print is to run your finger over the paper just a little outside the image area. You will find a slight ridge where the damp paper has been forced down over the outside edge of the printing plate.
Relief and stencil printing are the oldest forms of printing. The images in relief printing stands out on the surface of the printing block. This raise surface is then coated with ink and pressed on paper or fabric, and the image is printed. Newspapers, many magazines, linoleum block prints, and woodcuts are printed by means of relief printing.
Tools similar to metal engraving are used on polished blocks of end-grain wood (usually boxwood), but instead of producing lines that will print, they are used to produce non-printing lines. It is the uncut surface that will take the ink and print in a wood engraving.
Stencil printing is as old as relief printing. The image is actually cut out of a thin material called a stencil, and printing ink is forced through the holes onto the surface to be printed. The screen-process stencil is an impervious material supported on a woven mesh (silk, linen, organdy, cotton, nylon, copper, bronze, brass and stainless-steel fibers) tightly stretched on a rectangular frame. The secret of the process is that the stretched material both supports the stencil and prevents the semifluid paints or dye pastes from flowing easily through the stencil holes, yet when pressure is applied by means of a rubber squeegee pulled back and forth over the stencil, the paint or dye is forced through the woven mesh to produce the printed image.
Nicholas A. Basbanes, On Paper: The Everything of its Two-Thousand-Year History. New York: Alfred A. Knoft, 2013.
Mathilda V. Schwalbach and James A. Schwalbach, Silk-Screen Printing for Artists and Craftsmen. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1970.