Archive for the ‘art prints’ Category

My favorite of the shell prints (well, next to the abalone), the spiky conch, sold today, hooray!

Spiky conch shell print from Shellybee\'s art studio

People must be thinking of summer.

It was paired with the spiral shell print. Nice combo.

If you don’t see these art prints at Shellybee’s shop, just send me a note or leave me a comment. Chances are, they are available.


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This woke me up: I had been neglecting my little art studio because my day job was going through a particularly intense few months. Then I received a request for custom sizes of seashell prints that were not even available in my online shop.Shellybee\'s art - custom size order

I didn’t think the ink drawings would look good as large as she wanted them — 14 X 11 inches, 100% + bigger than the originals — but I tried it and she was on to something. They looked fantastic. You could see every little detail, including traces of pencil and indented paper where there had once been lead and I erased. The finished art print was more tangible and real than I expected. I hope she loves them.

Something else dawned on me: because each print is made to order, they are ALL custom. So whether someone chooses from my shop or requests something personal, it’s all the same to me. I want the buyer to be thrilled, so I now encourage custom size requests in my shop.

Also, each print has at least a couple printer’s proofs to get the color and quality just right. It takes me almost as long to fulfill an order as it did to create the original drawing. Ok, so that might be a slight exaggeration, but to give you an idea of what I’m driving at, the prints you see here took me four hours to get just right, wrap up safely, purchase extra large packaging, and ship.

Which means, at the prices I had originally scoped, I was losing money with each order. Sigh. So Shellybee’s has refreshed its inventory and is raising the prices of its prints. But not by much. It’s a break-even relationship now.

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He placed an order at my shop, Shellybee’s, and added a special request to frame the prints. Sure, I told him, because he was someone very special to me and no special request was too big from him. But as I created the art prints he selected (you should know that Hahnemuhle museum etching paper and the Epson R2400 do not mix well — the paper is too thick; paper jam every time) and found the right frames and mat board and started the work of assembling, I realized it was not something I wanted to offer everyone who visited my shop. And I’ve been suggesting that I’m open.

So I’m not as open as I thought. I mean, I’m an artist, not a framer. When I was sitting at my art table with backing board spewing dust on the glass no matter how many times I wiped up before closing the frame, I thought, dang it. This is taking just about as long as the art did.

Not really. The art took hours and hours and days of thought and refinement. And this framing project was just one afternoon. But the big different is, I love to create the art. I’m sucked in and the hours fly by and I resent the dryer for reminding me to fold my clothes. So I may be making pennies an hour selling art when you break it down from a business perspective — it’s really enjoyable to me, and I love the idea of sharing with strangers out in the world. Strangers who must have something in common with me, because they are drawn to my art (pun, yes).

In any case, when I had the prints all matted and framed and leaning against a bench, I understood his choices a little better. They did go well together. And for him, it was worth it.

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Orange Seabird and Sea KelpOrange is a difficult color, apparently, for my Mac and Epson R2400 to agree upon. I had an order for three seascape art prints from my etsy shop that all have a lot of orange in them. On screen, they look fabulous — three shades of natural orangey brown rust. Printed, they are three shades of glaring unnatural red.

I had to modify the hue in Photoshop to remove so much red, they looked mustard on screen to even get close to what I wanted on paper.

Several “printer’s proofs” later, I finally got the result I was looking for.

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I wish I could develop a touchy-feelly “pat the bunny” screen so you could rub your fingers over my art prints before you buy.

A woman from Nashville who recently bought the second edition art print of “Sipping Sunshine” left this comment for me:

“I love this print! The paper is very nice, not what I expected for a print. Thank you for the quick delivery! I am very pleased with my first Etsy purchase!”

The paper and the pigments really make the difference. It’s not like a poster print at all. It’s almost difficult to tell it’s a print — it looks more like saturated paint hand-drawn on thick, textured watercolor paper. I’ll try to describe it better next time. But you might just need to touch it for yourself.

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Battered and Blue Seashell Fine Art PrintAs an engagement present, I wanted to give my friend one of my art prints from my shop.

(I have to say, I hesitated, because what if she didn’t like my style and then felt obligated … in the end, I decided she could hang it in the closet if she really wanted to).

I couldn’t decide which drawing or painting was right for her , so I asked her to choose, and gave her the option of swapping colors or sizes. She chose the blue of the Caribbean Shell paired with the Battered Hermit Shell. Battered and Blue. I like it.

If you have a special occasion and would like something customized just for you, let me know! Prices remain the same as a similarly sized piece.

Image copyright (c) Shelly Bowen. Artist retains rights to all images, at all times.

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Shellybee’s Seashells of the DeepJust when I say size matters, I receive an order for three art prints, two of which are the smaller size — the third is my signature print and most popular. I printed them on large paper, though, to give them generous margins and allow for framing without a mat. When I started to wrap up the package, I was really struck by her choices.

My latest art appreciator chose three seashell ink drawings on deep blues. Together, they have a very different impact than I had imagined, and I wonder what drew her to these in particular, and what the combination might say about my subconscious thoughts.

Showcasing different drawings or paintings from the same series did occur to me — and I think I might still have suggested pairings live at Shellybee’s. But her collection is really unique and somehow mysterious and ominous, and I wanted to share it with you.

Oh! I should mention that I experimented with a new, smoother paper for “Starfish Nightmares” (the lighter blue one above) and it really turned out rich and deep and fabulous. I used Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Satin and the pigments look like paint — like you’d see with a fine screen-print or dyed fine leather.

All images copyright (c) 2007 Shelly Bowen. All rights reserved. Thanks!

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