Frequently Asked Questions

M Curry Arts LLC

If you have a question not addressed here, please email me! mcurry@mcurryarts.com

“What is the meaning behind your logo?"  The logo, was created by myself in vector, and is a play on my first name, Michelle (Shell), like a rebus. It references times in ancient painting history to times before palettes, or paint containers, when an artist would use seashells to put their bits of pigment colors in. The nautilus shell is a natural example of the “Golden Section," discovered by the Ancient Greeks as a repeating pattern in creation, and used by Artists and Musicians through time. I attempt to incorporate its principles in my art, as a formula for beauty that resonates deeply in the human spirit. The “Golden Section" is a pattern known as God’s fingerprint, as seen in nature, all over the world, and even in outer space. It can be spotted in the tiniest diotoms at the bottom of the ocean, to snowflakes, pine cones, flowers, storm cloud formation, to whirls in star constellations. The white portion in the very center references the prismatic quality of white light that refracts into all colors. White is the color of purity, and light. It is also the color of a blank canvas or paper, a symbol of new possibilities. The gold paint spot is a symbol for a high standard of excellence, that I try to achieve through my work. The paintbrush is a symbol for the Artist’s tool that I employ, and create my artworks.

“How do you price your artwork?" Pricing is based on size, per square inch. The dimensions of height x width are figured in. Original pieces up to 36" on one side are priced at $1.50 per square inch. Original artwork above 36" on a side are priced at $3.00 per square inch. The dynamics of creating a large artwork changes the costs, composition, and problem solving issues that ensue in creating that piece. Whether it is a commissioned piece or a work I have created, pricing is the same. For commissions, I require 1/2 of the total end cost before I begin the work. Archival, handsigned, numbered prints are priced at .25 cents per square inch. Any treatment such as matting, framing, embellishments, whatever that costs me, is added on to the end price, as well as MI State Sales Tax (.06%), and any shipping costs. I will accept layaway payments by agreement with a quarter (non-refundable) down payment. I am willing to trade valuable goods, or services for art, based on if I need or want that item, and by written contract and agreement. All sales are final, no refunds or exchanges.

“What about oil painting?"
Oil paint was invented in the early 1400’s. It is colored pigments suspended in some kind of oil, usually linseed, which comes from flax. Painting is done fat over lean, which means that the first layers are applied thinly, and lightly, and the subsequent layers are applied more thickly. This helps the paint not to crack as it dries and ages. When painted, it takes about a year to fully dry, after which, varnish can be applied, which takes another year to dry fully. The painting can be displayed in between these times, and is dry to the touch. The canvas should be open to the air (not covered by glass) to allow it to “breathe." This medium, with proper care can last over 600 years or longer.

“What about acrylic painting?"
Acrylic paint is a modern invention. It is essentially plastic, once it is dry, which is very rapid. Acrylic paint dries while you are using it, so you must work rather quickly. There are some products to slow it down a little. It can be used to get oil looking effects, or thinned down to look like watercolor. It is durable, and easy to work with, so it is very popular. It can be used on paper and put behind glass, or on canvas, and left open to the air.

“What about watercolor painting?"
Watercolor has been around literally from the beginning of human history, dating back to paleolithic cave paintings. Watercolor is available in tubes or pans, and it is the perfect medium for sketching on the run, wherever you are. If it is squeezed out on a palette, and allowed to dry, it can be reconstituted, and used. Watercolor is a transparent medium, and has to be carefully thought out lest the paint becomes muddy, or lower layers show through where you don’t want them to. Both with brushes, and the paint, you get what you pay for in quality. Watercolor should be painted on good watercolor paper (acid free), and matted and framed with archival acid free materials, behind glass. As with any painting, it must be kept out of direct sunlight. With proper care, watercolor is known to last hundreds of years or more.

“What about pastel painting?"
Did somebody say “painting?" Yes, pastel is considered painting. The pigments are just not suspended in a wet medium. Fine soft pastels are applied to acid free papers, that have a “tooth" which is a rough surface to hold the pastel pigments. These art works should be matted and framed with acid free materials, and placed behind glass. There are pastel paintings that are hundreds of years old.

“What about graphite?"
Graphite is a pencil, drawing medium. Drawings are made with different pencils, based on their mark-making qualities. The B pencils are very soft, and dark, ranging to the H pencils, which are hard, and light colored in value. Done on acid free drawing paper, and matted and framed behind glass.

“What about colored pencil?"
The colored pencils I use are Prismacolor, a fine quality artist’s colored pencil. They are an oil based (wax) medium. They are done on an acid-free Bristol vellum substrate, that has a rough tooth to receive the pigment.

“What about digital media?"
We live in a wonderful time, of new inventions. There is no greater time to be living as an artist! Just as oil paint was invented, or tube paint in the 1800’s, or photography, or acrylic paint, a new media for now is digital. I use a digital Painting program, and others, and a Wacom Bamboo tablet to paint pictures on my computer. Every single stroke is done by my hand, just as if I were using a brush or pencil to create images. If I use a photograph in reating a collage, or montage (I use my own, or buy it, or use it by permission, or royalty free), and then the image is changed to be a completely new entity. The image becomes a physical piece of artwork when it is printed. I offer these in different sizes as hand signed, archival prints using Epson pigmented ink and substrates, which with proper care last up to 200 years (Epson pigment testing literature) before a color shift begins to occur. They should be  matted, or framed using acid-free archival materials to display.

“What about Archival Fine Art Printing Technology?"
I currently use Epson Printing technology. Epson uses state of the art technology to create archival fine art and photography prints which, with proper care, have the longevity of up to 200 years without a color shift occurring (Epson pigment testing literature). The print heads create a giclee (which means “to spurt, or spray"), with an accuracy never seen before until recently, with amazing results. They use high quality, archival pigmented inks, and specially coated substrates to make prints. This is the standard way to make prints currently (for example, the Boston Museum of Fine Art uses this technology for their fine art printing and reproduction). I use Epson technology to make reproductions of some of my work, and use it also as the “expression" of digital mediums. Each print is created one at a time, slowly for quality, and allowed to develop for 24 hours, and then carefully monitored for value and color correctness as closely as possible to the original.