I first heard about a giclee (pronounced gshe-clay). French; means to spray. Refers to the printing process) in 2004 when I was competing at the International Trompe-l'oeil Festival in Lodi, Italy. I was mesmerized by the whole concept and couldn't even imagine the ramifications and potential that lay ahead for me (and all artists for that matter) with this printing process.
A giclee is a super finely detailed print onto either museum quality paper or fine art canvas. They are intended to be so exact in detail and quality that it is difficult to discern between original and print. Furthermore, there is the additional enhancement of a clear gel called: Impasto that the artist can apply after the print is created and properly sealed. Impasto gel goes on milky white and dries crystal clear. It is usually manipulated with an artists brush so that when dry it resembles brush stroke marks. It is a very clever device. Impasto also acts as a protective sealant but a clear lacquer spray is the best and final step to protect the art from UV and moisture damage.
A little more background about giclee's before I get into this blog post. While a Lithograph is black and white and a Serigraph is a color print...Giclee's are created one at a time and can be additionally enhanced with more color or the artist's additional direction or inspiration....or gold leaf, etc., Giclee's can be the final result...or the creative springboard from which to take an idea even further. They can be printed onto ceramic tile and used as back splashes in kitchens...or as bath tiles. One painting can be replicated into many different avenues and directions and the art can also be converted to black and white or photo-shopped in the initial printing process... Given enough creative thought about giclees - art can be twisted into all sorts of possibilities.
That said; I created a 4x5' oil painting of a map of the world painted in 2006. I have this long time love affair with maps and ships. The original map I used as reference was on bright white paper and the colors were almost modern looking. So I created an older parchment paper background. added the details of twin ships and the border. It is interlaced within a tan French book cover design from the 1500's. The art that weaves throughout revealing the story of good and evil. Left side is good port, good weather, bountiful discovery and the right side is perils at sea, monsters, storms and a dragon next to a tree bearing a single tempting apple.
I had the art scanned for giclee and sold one print immediately. (http://www.coggart.com/gallery1a.html) Since then I have sold several and donated one in a size that pushed the limit on the printing process. The prints are so large that they have to be created in sections and pieced together. These are intended for ceilings and large walls.
These larger prints are treated VERY SPECIAL in my Studio and enhanced with additional art, color and always gilded in either copper or 24k gold leafing. They have to be pieced together on site either by my installation team or a highly trained wallpaper specialist. These prints are very expensive, extremely unique and should be considered nothing less than fine art.