Curtis Wilson Cost Gallery FAQ

What is a giclee?

Giclée (pronounced "zhee-clay")

The evolution of computer technologies has created a benefit for fine art printing. A fine art Giclee is created from the artist's original artwork. An extremely high resolution digital image of the artwork is made, then loaded into specially enhanced printers that output the digital image onto fine art paper or canvas.

Since the digital image includes every subtlety and nuance of the original - including the smallest details of light and shadow such as the textures of the paint and canvas or paper - the fine art giclee is often indistinguishable from the original work of art.

At the Curtis Wilson Cost Gallery, the artist personally inspects and hand signs the giclee only when it has met his approval.

What are Artistís Proofs?

Artist Proofs (AP's) are a special subset of the regular limited edition and began back when limited editions were all hand-pulled from a one-man lithographic press. The artist's proofs were the first prints pulled off a fresh "stone" (the plate which was drawn or etched by the artist to create the prints). The stone wore down as the number of prints was increased, so that the APs were the sharpest and most colorful of the lot. Thus they sold for more.

These days in the world of modern technology, all the prints in an edition are identical. Artist's proofs maintain their exclusivity and collect-ability because they are a small subset of the edition. They are generally considered a status symbol in the world of art collecting. Traditionally, artist's proofs number 10% or less of the total edition. In Mr Cost's work, we typically do an edition of 444, and only 44 artist's proofs. Artist's proofs are signed "A/P" or "Artist's Proof" and are numbered with the subset number of the edition. For instance, 1/44 A/P is the first artist proof out of a total of 44.

What is a Remarque or hand embellishment?

Originally, remarques were written remarks made by an artist directly on a print. These artist notations were done at various stages of the printing process. They became desirable to collectors as it added a personal touch directly from the artist's hand.

Today, a remarque is a small personalization that an artist adds to a print as a "value-added" option for print collectors - meaning: You can have an artist's remarque added to your graphic edition. Curtis Wilson Cost has a tradition of concealing collector's first names somewhere within an image. They're hand painted to be visible but subtle. Another option is to have the artist add a small hand painted element to the image, as per the artist's prerogative. Call the gallery for details.

What is special about your frames?

Our frames are expensive. We like that. They should be. They are individually hand-polished select-grade koa unmatched in quality by any business in the state. The koa is difficult to obtain. We have been buying the best for so long that this quality of koa is known as "Curtis Sticks." If customers want average koa, we can give them references to businesses that sell it. We use only top-of-the-line hand selected koa wood, as per our mission statement.

What are Keyed Stretcher Bars?

Stretcher keyed corners for tightening the canvas of a paintingUnlike most prints and originals from other galleries which come with a fixed miter, stapled in the corners, all Curtis Wilson Cost giclees and original paintings have stretcher bars that have been custom ordered in specific sizes with "stretcher keyed corners" to allow the owner to tighten the canvas at any time the canvas may need tightening.

These stretcher bars are costly in both materials and time. We do this to provide our customers with the same quality put into the original paintings. In fact, they are exactly the same stretcher bars used on the original paintings.

How do I tighten the canvas if it starts to sag?

To properly stretch a canvas, keyed stretcher bars should be used. Changes in temperature and humidity can result in sagging and wrinkled giclees. The keys (triangular wedges) located in the back corners of the stretcher bars can be tapped to re-tighten the canvas.

What should I look for in a framer?

When shopping around for a framer you'll know it's the right framer when you ask, "Do you stretch giclees on keyed stretcher bars" and they answer, "Yes".


Please make sure you have taken your giclee to an experienced framer who uses keyed stretcher bars and museum quality framing. We cannot be responsible for any damage done to your giclee by your framer, including but not limited to sagging and wrinkled canvases, dry mounting, etc.

What is special about your crating?

Our "crash-tested-crating" is not a puncturable styrofoam filled card-board box. Our crates are built in-house to protect the artwork in either shipping or long term storage, surrounding the art with heavy wood construction, secured with screws and washers. The contents are completely encased in a bubble-wrap envelope for both cushion and moisture protection. The quality of our crating is consistent with our mission statement.

What are your Shipping Procedures?

We ship either via U.P.S. or U.S.P.S. Our shipping department staff always contact clients prior to sending their purchases. At that time we inform the client regarding the method of shipping.

All merchandise is sent insured. If damage occurs in transit, please contact Karen Thompson at 1-800-508-2278. It is important to keep all packaging in order to make a claim.

How do I best care for the Koa wood frame?

To rejunenate a Koa wood frame, get plain Watco oil, 4000 grit wet/dry sandpaper. Wet the sandpaper in the oil and sand until you have a brown oily slush, wipe it of with a rag gently. Leave a slight skim of it on the wood. This fills in the pores in the grain. Let it dry and repeat about two or three more times. On the last coat, wipe off all the slush to leave no trace of it. The wood should feel smooth and shiny. Let it dry a few more days then wax it with Watco wood wax or a good paste wax. This finish will bring out the holographic three dimensional look to the grain. That's what Koa is all about.

What do you recommend for cleaning a giclee canvas?

To remove dust from a giclee, use a light feather duster or a lint-free cloth. Never use a wet or moist cloth. If it is heavily soiled, take it to a professional for cleaning.

Can I store my new giclee in the shipping tube?

We do not recommend storing your image in the shipping tube for longer than 3 months. We cannot be responsible for the condition of the giclee after it leaves our hands.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to call us toll free at 1-800-508-2278 or use our Contact Form. We'll be happy to assist.