What's a Giclee? | Meiners and Lee Studios | The Art of Leslie Lee and Dennis Meiners

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What’s a Giclee?

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Category: Leslie's Doings

First of all the word giclee is pronounced zhee-klay. Who knew?

The French word “giclée” is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb “gicler” meaning “to squirt”.   If you find that amusing, I do too.

Leslie with giclee print of " The Dilemma"

Leslie with giclee print of ” The Dilemma”

The “squirt” refers to the ink-jet process which is a gigantic elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and once the original art is digitally archived prints can be produced one at a time as needed.  Giclee prints are sometimes referred to as Iris prints, which are 4-Color ink-jet prints from a printer pioneered in the late 1970s by Iris Graphics.

True giclees are printed with archival quality inks like the Ultrachrome Pigmented Inks used by my perfectionist publisher Renee at Harmonic Design (in Talent, Oregon- harmonicdesigns@gmail.com- no website- she’s into color on paper) . Where archival dye-based ink sets exhibit excellent color range, pigment inks excel in permanence. Pigment particles tend to be large enough to embed into the receiving surfaces like canvas and sustainable, silky papers like the Hahnemuhle Bamboo Fine Art Paper my publisher uses. This helps make them water-resistant ensuring  their archival superiority and making them less susceptible to destructive environmental elements.

The giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction which is really important to me as a painter. Digital images can also be reproduced to almost any size, giving me the ability to customize prints  specifically for you.  If I don’t have the size you want in stock I can get it printed and sent to you in short order. I know it says 2-3 weeks on the site, but unless Renee is super busy it shouldn’t take that long.

I offer three different sizes of each print on this website, but I hope you will contact me if some other size would work better for you.  You can guesstimate the cost from those listed, but I’ll get you the exact number if you call or email me. The size has to be proportional to the original however, so decide if the height or the width is most important and I’ll figure the other dimension for you.

And while we are talking about sizes, please know that my print editions include all the sizes printed.  If an edition is 250 my publisher keeps track of all the prints made and chucks the digital file when the edition hits 250.  Most people don’t care about that sort of thing, but others care a lot so each print is sent with a Certificate of Authenticity and the number of the print within the edition.  Giclees  can have considerable value and can be found in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chelsea Galleries. Recent auctions of giclee prints have fetched $10,800 for Annie Leibovitz, $9,600 for Chuck Close, and $22,800 for Wolfgang Tillmans. *  So hang onto those Leslie Lee giclees;  you never know…

Another great thing about archived digital files is they will not deteriorate in quality as negatives and film inherently do.  That means when I terminate my time on this earth, or get too daffy to run my business,  my daughter and/or grandson can continue to sell my prints until each edition is sold out.  Kind of a neat legacy don’t you think?


*thanks to  http://www.gicleeprint.net/abtGclee.shtm for the technical info in this post.

One Response to “What’s a Giclee?”

    June 24, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    These actually look like “real” hand paintings. Is that the purpose of this process? I do not like prints, per se, but I love how these look an artist just finished them.

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