Abstract Expressionism

A painting movement in which artists typically applied paint rapidly, and with force to their huge canvases in an effort to show feelings and emotions, painting gesturally, non-geometrically, sometimes applying paint with large brushes, sometimes dripping or even throwing it onto canvas. Their work is characterized by a strong dependence on what appears to be accident and chance, but which is actually highly planned. Some Abstract Expressionist artists were concerned with adopting a peaceful and mystical approach to a purely abstract image. Usually there was no effort to represent subject matter. Not all work was abstract, nor was all work expressive, but it was generally believed that the spontaneity of the artists' approach to their work would draw from and release the creativity of their unconscious minds. The expressive method of painting was often considered as important as the painting itself.

Artists who painted in this style include Norman Lewis (American, 1909-1979), Charles Alston (Charles Alston, 1907-1977), (Ed Clark, American b 1926), Mark Rothko (American, 1903-1970), Willem De Kooning (Dutch-American, 1904-1997), Franz Kline Jackson Pollock (American, 1912-1956) and others. Abstract Expressionism originated in the 1940s, and became popular in the 1950s.


Acrylic Paints

Synthetic paints, with pigments dispersed in a synthetic vehicle made from polymerized acrylic acid esters. First used by artists in the late 1940s, their use has come to rival that of oil paints because of their versatility. They can be used on nearly any surface, in transparent washes or heavy impasto, with matte, semi-gloss, or glossy finishes. Acrylic paints dry quickly, are easily removed and can clean up with soap and water.


Artists Proof

An Artist's Proof is one outside the regular edition, but printed at the same time or after the regular edition from the same plates without changes. By custom, the artist retains the A/Ps for his personal use or sale. Typically, 10% of the edition total is designated as A/P, or in the case of a small edition, five graphics are usually so designated.



A print produced by the same technique as an etching, except that the areas between the etched lines are covered with a powdered resin that protects the surface from the biting process of the acid bath. The granular appearance that results in the print aims at approximating the effects and gray tonalities of a watercolor drawing.



An alloy of copper and tin, sometimes containing small proportions of other elements such as zinc or phosphorus. It is stronger, harder, and more durable than brass, and has been used most extensively since antiquity for cast sculpture. Bronze alloys vary in color from a silvery hue to a rich, coppery red. U.S. standard bronze is composed of 90% copper, 7% tin, and 3% zinc.



Fabrics that are prepared for painting. Available in panels, stretched on frames, or obtained by the yard


Charcoal and Conte Crayon

In stick form, both give you a very strong, dark line. A disadvantage to these crayons is that they break easily and tend to smudge. Can be found is stick form as well.


Color Field Paintings

Paintings with solid areas of color covering the entire canvas, as exemplified in the work of Mark Rothko (American, 1903-1970), Kenneth Noland (American, 1924-), and Jules Olitski (American, 1922-). A type of Abstract Expressionism, these artists were interested in the lyrical or atmospheric effects of vast expanses of color, filling the canvas, and by suggestion, beyond it to infinity. Most color-field paintings are large -- meant to be seen up close so that the viewer is immersed in a color environment.



Collage is from the French meaning "paste up". The combination of pieces of cloth, magazines and other found objects to create artwork



The arrangement of lines, colors and form.



A group of identical prints that can be numbered and signed by the artist.

Open Edition: An unlimited number of prints

Limited Edition: Prints that have a known number of impressions, and are usually signed and numbered by the artist.



This ancient art uses colored wax for painting. This technique involves painting images onto walls with pigments that are blended with wax. When used with heat, such as an iron, the permanent color is burned into the wall, for good.



The technique of reproducing a design by coating a metal plate with wax and drawing with a sharp instrument called a stylus through the wax down to the metal. The plate is put in an acid bath, which eats away the incised lines; it is then heated to dissolve the wax and finally inked and printed on paper. The resulting print is called the etching.

Hors Commerce (H.C.)

Hors Commerce (Not for Trade) traditionally were the graphics pulled with the regular edition, but were marked by the artist for business use only. These graphics were used for entering exhibitions and competitions, but today, these graphics generally are allowed into distribution through regular channels.



A quality of inner experience, the emotions of the artist (expressive qualities) communicated through emphasis and distortion, which can be found in artworks of any period.



French for "sprayed ink." A sophisticated printmaking process, today typically produced on an IRIS ink-jet printer, capable of producing millions of colors using continuous-tone technology. Also a print resulting from this process, also called an Iris print. Giclées are often made from photographic images of paintings in order to produce high quality, permanent reproductions of them. The extra-fine image resolution possible in this printing process permits retention of a high degree of fine detail from the original image, rendering deeply saturated colors having a broad range of tonal values. A giclée should be printed either on a fine fabric or archival quality white paper using bio-degradable water-soluble inks. After the process of printing it, a giclee specialist should examine the painting with special materials to make any necessary corrections, and apply a final, thin, transparent coating for maximum permanence. (pronounced gee-clay')




Opaque watercolors and the technique of painting with such colors using white to make tints.


Hors Commerce (H.C.)

Hors Commerce (Not for Trade) traditionally were the graphics pulled with the regular edition, but were marked by the artist for business use only. These graphics were used for entering exhibitions and competitions, but today, these graphics generally are allowed into distribution through regular channels



Impressionism is referred to as the most important art movement of the 19th century. The term impressionism came from a painting by Claude Monet. His painting was titled Impression Sunrise. Impressionism is about capturing fast fleeting moments with color, light, and surface.



This is a printing process. A small stone, or metal plate is used. The printer, usually with the artist’s supervision covers the plate with a sheet of paper which are then run through the printer.


Limited Edition

An edition or set of prints of a known number of impressions, often fewer then 200, numbered and signed. ...\



In sculpture, a small model in wax or clay, made as a preliminary sketch, presented to a client for his approval of the proposed work, or entered in a competition for a prize or scholarship. The Italian equivalent of the term is bozzetto, meaning small sketch.


Modernism 0r Modern Art

An art movement characterized by the deliberate departure from tradition and the use of innovative forms of expression that distinguish many styles in the arts and literature of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Modernism refers to this period's interest in: new types of paints and other materials; expressing feelings, ideas, fantasies, and dreams instead of the visual world we otherwise see; creating abstractions, rather than representing what is real; a rejection of naturalistic color; a use of choppy, clearly visible brushstrokes; the acceptance of line, form, color, and process as valid subject matter by themselves; a requirement that the audience take a more active role as interpreter. Each viewer must observe carefully, and get information about the artist's intentions and environment, before forming judgments about the work.



A print that has the same underlying common image, but different design, color or texture.



A one of a kind print made by painting on smooth metal, creating a texture that is not possible to paint directly on paper.


Oil Paint

A definition by Winsor & Newton state: "Oils are one of the great classic media, and have dominated painting for five hundred years. They remain popular for many reasons: their great versatility, offering the possibility of transparency and opacity in the same painting; the lack of color change when the painting dries; and ease of manipulation."


Paper Maché

Papier maché is an ancient art consisting of paper and a binder, such as wallpaper paste or glue.


Postmodernism or Postmodernism

Art, architecture, or literature that reacts against earlier modernist principles, as by reintroducing traditional or classical elements of style or by carrying modernist styles or practices to extremes.




Serigraphy (also referred to as 'silkscreen' or 'screen print') is a color stencil printing process in which a special paint is forced through a fine screen onto the paper beneath. Areas which do not print are blocked with photo sensitive emulsion that has been exposed with high intensity arc lights. A squeegee is pulled from back to front, producing a direct transfer of the image from screen to paper. A separate stencil is required for each color and one hundred colors or more may be necessary to achieve the desired effect. A serigraph differs from other graphics in that its color is made up of paint films rather than printing ink stains. This technique is extremely versatile, and can create effects similar to oil color, transparent washes as well as gouache and pastel.


Terra cotta

Commonly used for ceramic sculpture, it is a brownish-orange earthenware clay.



Tempera is a word used to describe any type of binder such as oil, water or egg that makes a pigment workable as a paint form



Preliminary painting used as a base for textures or for subsequent painting or glazing.



A photograph printed within a few years of the negative being made



A highly fluid application of color.



A translucent, water-based paint that comes in cake or tube form.



A print made by cutting a design in side-grain of a block of wood, also called a woodblock print. The ink is transferred from the raised surfaces to paper


Digital C-Print

When you require crisp, rich and accurate reproductions of your digital photos or graphic designs, nothing tops the quality of a Digital C print.

They’re known as C” prints because they share the same developing philosophy used by traditional photo labs, called C-41.

 This type of print is also called a “Lambda”, due to the equipment that prints them.


Gelatin-silver process

The gelatin-silver process is the photographic process used with currently available black-and-white films and printing papers.

A suspension of silver salts in gelatin is coated onto acetate film or fiber-based or resin coated paper and allowed to dry (hence the term dry plate).

These materials remain stable for months and years unlike the 'wet plate' materials that preceded them.


Iris? Giclee? Are they the same thing?

Iris prints are also known as Giclee prints. In fact, Iris printing is a specific form of Giclee printing. Giclee is a term to describe fine art inkjet printing.

So there are other types of Giclee (fine art inkjet) prints out there made by other printers but when you say Iris prints, it specifically means prints that are made with an Iris printer.

The Iris printer is considered the highest quality printer for this form of fine art inkjet printing.











































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