There are prints and there are Prints
There’s so much discussion on Etsy lately about prints and printmaking. As technology keeps expanding phenomonally and materials and techniques change, the possibilities for reproductions are endless.
But, as someone whose art school emphasis was in printmaking, I know what a print is. The snob view from 35 years ago is that your plate must be such that you can make an edition — exact duplicates of the initial image. Before your plate is finished, anything you pull off it is a “proof,” not part of the edition.
Nude, Artist’s Proof >
intaglio and mezzotint
copyright 1973 by Janine Maves
I love the fact that things have eased up over the years and I love making monoprints and recoloring woodcuts, but I still know what a print is. And while I’ve grown to dislike most of the snob views instilled in me during my Old School Indoctrination, I know that a print is not one of the 100 copies of your painting ordered from Kinko’s. Even if it’s taken from your own original work, what you have in your hand is a copy. Your original is your original, and there is one original. If you’re hand pulling prints off a plate, those prints are part of your edition of original prints and should be numbered as such. If you’re in the darkroom pulling prints from a negative . . . well I have to confess I’m not educated in photography. But I am sure that developing your own prints produces art and requesting six copies of your photograph from One-Hour-Photo does not.
dry point and aquatint
copyright 1975 by Janine Maves
As to whether or not you’re producing an original of your digital art from a computer each and every time you hit “print” . . . I don’t think so. But I’m not educated in that field, either.
To read more about printmaking see Julie D’Arcy’s terrific article.