Frequently Asked Questions

that Ray has answered over the years and thought you might find them interesting too.

Barn Swallows

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Do I have an original painting or a print?

     Original paintings are works of art having been created with actual paint on canvas or on watercolor paper, sometimes other surfaces such as masonite, wood and glass etc. are employed. I work in watercolor paint on paper or oil on canvas. I use a high grade of linen canvas and a high grade of 100% rag paper - the paper is usually Whatman paper produced in England.

Original paintings usually remain one of a kind painted on commission. Original paintings may be photo lithographically copied in art print multiples and made available to the public and collectors at a greatly reduced price. These prints, if done with high printing standards, accurately duplicate the artists original work and if printed in limited editions can appreciate significantly in value. This has proven to be the case over the years and an active "collector" market now exists in Limited Edition prints, prints made from my original paintings. As a founding artist of the industry in 1962 I have certainly watched it blossom into fruition.


In that year I had initially intended to create a full collection of wildlife prints of my paintings in book form and consequently for two or three years individual prints were not signed or numbered. The demand from collectors for personally signed prints became an imperative, however, and subsequently prints were not only signed but were individually numbered as well. In order to use prints to raise funds for worthy causes some editions were partially numbered and signed and all others were signed only. This stimulated collectors to purchase signed and numbered prints to raise funds for worthy causes as well as having the print.


When I sign my name on an original painting I print my name, I do not put it in script as one would sign a signature. This printed name is, of course, duplicated when the painting is copied. A second name may appear on a Limited Edition print when I have personally placed my penciled signature in script below or near the name duplicated from the original painting. Signing my name in pencil below my printed name on each copy signifies my personally having handled the print and accordingly, approved of its quality. The copyright date and other information is also printed at this time on the lower portion of the print.

 

 What are artist proofs?

     Historically, as artist prints were being made by the printer, the initial trial, or work-up proofs were usually exploratory, less than exact and the artist was provided what was known as "progressive proofs" to check. The artist then noted whatever corrections or notations were to be made on the margins of the proofs for the printer to use in adding or subtracting color to improve the accuracy in reproducing the original painting as close as possible. Sometimes the artist might make small drawings on the margin of the progressive proof to be more specific, with his or her corrections. These were called "Remarque's". When these progressive proofs reached a point where it satisfied the artist enough to give the okay for the final printing, the printer provided the artist with samples of the finished print. Usually there are enough finished proofs to satisfy the artist that there was a quality of continuity for the press run. These then were what are called "Artist Proofs" which the artist might sometime give or sell to others or perhaps donate to a cause. Today artists and publishers have succumbed to the "profit motive" and charge for artist proofs at a premium level. As a matter of fact they now have even designated some prints to be called "Publishers Proof". Personally I believe that Artist Proofs sometimes seem to have more value to the collector than individually numbered prints since the proofs are less available than the regular edition and sold directly to the collector from the artist. At least in my case it's been that way. In other cases, some publishers market, sell and ship both Artist Proofs and Publisher Proofs.

 

What is the difference between a Plate No. and a Print No. on a Ray Harm print ?

When I started reproducing my paintings in 1962 they were each intended to be in a hard cover coffee table book of American Wildlife subjects with each species in the book assigned a plate number. As the work progressed my recognition as a wildlife artist accelerated so rapidly I decided to use my success to help other artists by also printing their paintings in high quality limited edition lithographs and the Frame House Publishing Company was formed. Many artists recognized this opportunity and readily accepted the invitation to submit their paintings for approval. The idea of a hard cover book for each artist was of course cost prohibitive and the Ray Harm book venture was abandoned, but not before a number of plate numbers had already been assigned to my wildlife images on the engravers' zinc plates. For other artists we decided to print and release editions in the fine art tradition by numbering each print plus the edition size so the plate numbers were phased out and individual print numbers were adopted. This insured collectors that the edition was indeed limited and I adopted the same method. This explains why some of my earlier prints were given plate numbers and not necessarily signed personally.

 

How can I sell my prints?

We do not take prints in on consignment or buy them back. The only suggestion we can offer is to advertise in a Kentucky or surrounding states newspapers or possibly contact a local gallery to see if they will take them in on consignment for you.

 

Can brown spots on my print be removed?

Brown spots suggest humidity exposure. Their removal is doubtful. We have no expertise in that condition. We do suggest calling a museum for art restoration.