The Giclees of the paintings of Susan Mabie are of the highest quality. The printer gained his experience in the production and sale of renowned works of art from his own family. The printer has upgraded to the most modern and technologically advanced equipment and processes. A brief summary of the experience and process follows:
WHO ARE WE?
The Capen family members involved in the art business are my father, Phil Capen, an artist; myself Dave Capen; and my brother Jim Capen. Phil Capen is well known throughout Florida for his watercolors of Florida landscapes and Bahamas Out Islands. My wife, Linda, and I for seven years owned Capen Gallery in Miami, Florida which holds one-man shows for Phil, does custom framing, and handles retail sales of prints and originals. Jim handles publishing and distribution of prints through Capen Art, Inc. in Gainesville, Florida. Since 1979 we have published over 70 limited edition offset lithographs and several Iris Giclées of Phil’s work. Of these 70 images, in editions of 1000, about half are completely sold out. Since 1998, when we first began publishing Giclées we have released over 30 new images as Giclées. Lighthouse Giclees is now printing over five hundred different images by about fifty artists.
WHY DID WE GO DIGITAL?
As you can imagine, the capital expense, storage, and logistical problems of keeping this many prints available is enormous. We had been looking at digital technology for about three years, hoping eventually to create our own prints on demand and thus reduce capital investment and required storage space. We also wanted to publish more of Dad's work than the two or three prints a year that we had been doing and offer images in more than one size.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DID WE CHOOSE?
We evaluated Iris printers, plotters of every type, thermal wax printers and various types of inks. We first considered an Iris printer. Their image quality is excellent but we have reservations about durability because the ink used is a dye instead of a pigment. We also discovered the hard way that a drop of water (condensation, glass cleaner, sweat, leaky roof, you name it we did it) will ruin an Iris print quicker than you can tear up a hundred dollar bill. Until recently the plotter type printers using pigmented inks could neither produce high enough quality nor handle the heavier paper and canvas required in fine art printing. Advancing technology finally delivered the product we need to print our limited editions - - a Roland Hi-Fi Jet. This printer uses six pigmented inks, CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), plus orange and green. It easily prints on papers up to 500 grams/m² (roughly 300#). We are printing our smaller size prints on 300 gsm paper (roughly 140#) and our larger prints on 365gsm paper or on canvas if reproducing an oil or acrylic. We have tested the prints in direct sunlight and find their durability exceeds that of fade resistant offset lithographs. We tested samples from all types of printers in our highly scientific DOTV (dashboard of the van) test. Prints with dye inks (Iris and desktop inkjet) showed fading in 4 to 6 weeks. Our best lithographs would last about 6 months. The pigmented inks from several different printers (Hewlett Packard, Roland, Encad etc.) showed no fading even after 12 months. These results were duplicated in the independent BWOTT (back window of the Toyota) test. We have also discovered that prints on Arches paper will not be damaged by water unlike those from an Iris printer. Canvas prints are also waterproof but are spray coated with an acrylic lacquer based protective coating to prevent stain type damage from accidents.