Fine Art Printer


I’ve been ruminating for about five months on how to get high quality prints of my artwork at reasonable prices.  After researching local printers, they all want $20-$40 to make an 8 x 10″ print, and they want a week or so to do it.  This does not fit in with my business plan to provide high quality prints with a fast turnaround at a reasonable cost while not carrying an inventory.

I’ve been talking to artists selling prints at craft shows.  Now there’s a marketing idea I’m really not interested in.  After talking to these friendly folks for 10 minutes or so, I got to go home; they were there all day.  Ugh.  Anyway, they all seem to have printing companies such as I had researched do the printing for them, and when I asked about costs they said, yes, they try to order multiple copies to keep down the cost, and they have to give plenty of lead time.

I don’t want to do that.  I figure, why try to guess which of my paintings will resonate with people?  I can offer the broadest range of my work, experiment with new ideas, and eliminate inventory costs if I can just print on demand.  Since printing companies seem unable to do this, I began thinking about buying a pro-level printer.


Serendipitously, I was just about to research them when my husband heard that his friend’s friend wanted to sell one, a Canon PIXMA Pro9000 Mark II Inkjet Photo Printer.  I looked it up online and while photographers rave about its photo prints, I was only able to find a few people talking about fine art reproductions.  The friend’s friend kindly let me try it out before buying, especially nice of him since I hadn’t realized it was unopened – the printer went from “new in box” to “one day of heavy use” on my watch.  This heavy item was even delivered – what kind friends my husband has!

I worked on prints of these two paintings today, one a watercolor, the other a pastel, both of which I’ve had trouble printing in the past.  I wasn’t really prepared for the printer and didn’t have the correct paper on hand.  What I did learn is that I was unable to get an acceptable print on any of the papers I usually do my work on, various watercolor and pastel papers; the reds in particular looked ghastly, all blotchy.  I was able to get some very acceptable prints on a few sheets of photo paper I had lying around (looked just like color copy paper); they looked great, but I can’t use thin shiny paper like that for my art prints.

But people say it works on Canon’s fine art paper, which isn’t available locally, so I decided to trust them (and not return a used printer to a friend).  I ordered a pack of Canon’s Museum Etching paper online and paid for the printer.  I’ll let you know what happens.

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