Focal Points
Ever since Michael Godard burst into the art scene with his whimsical yet thought-provoking and detailed paintings, he's become one of the most sought after and prolific artists in the world.

Just like the artist himself, Godard's artwork doesn't wait to be noticed. His paintings jump out at you, with intense colors, rich black backgrounds and irreverent subjects that have intriguing story lines. While his work often depicts olives, dice and martinis, each unforgettable painting is carefully planned with an enormous attention to detail. In "The Case of the Bad Apple," a spotlight illuminates Exhibit A, an apple martini, in a courtroom drama featuring an olive judge and olive jury about to condemn the rotten apple core. "Painting is about discovery for me," he said. "If someone delves deeper into my paintings, there's a lot more to it than olives with arms and legs."

Godard's originals attract a large base of collectors from musicians to celebrities. "But the most important thing to me as an artist besides that original painting are the reproductions that reach so many and are a reflection of me," said Godard. "I'm very particular about how they are produced."

From Aqueous to Solvent Printing

The artist has entrusted the important task of reproducing his work to Marco Fine Arts, Inc. of El Segundo, CA, one of the largest fine art printing houses nationwide specializing in quality fine art reproduction. Godard's reproductions have never looked better, as they are now output with the Epson Stylus Pro GS6000 ink jet printer, a breakthrough in solvent-based printing for fine art reproduction. Once primarily geared for signage markets, solvent-based printing using Epson's breakthrough ink jet technology is expanding into the world of fine art reproduction as aqueous ink jet technology did in the world of photography at the turn of the 21st century.

"Until now, any time you mentioned solvent printing in the fine art world, you thought about compromising quality,"

Al Marco, President of Marco Fine Arts, had to see to the results of the Stylus Pro GS6000 to believe. "Until now, any time you mentioned solvent printing in the fine art world, you thought about compromising quality," he said, although the advantages of solvent printing are highly appealing to commercial shops that deal with high volume production runs, including lower production costs, faster production speeds and no laminating. He doubted that a solvent-based printer could measure up to his business's high standards for the fine art print quality provided by aqueous-based ink jet solutions.

Not Just a "Signage Machine"

When Marco first walked into Epson's office to look at the Stylus Pro GS6000, he expected the environmentally unfriendly smell of traditional solvent printing. "To my surprise, there wasn't any odor!" he said. But he still wasn't convinced that this "signage machine" would have the print quality he needed for his demanding fine art customers.

As the print started to come out of the Stylus Pro GS6000, he quickly changed his mind. "My jaw dropped," said Marco. "I couldn't believe the print quality from the GS6000 on the Epson GS Canvas Gloss, being able for the first time to get incredibly rich blacks and saturated colors, while maintaining the advantages of solvent-based printing With Epson UltraChrome GS ink, a unique solvent ink technology with eight colors, the Stylus Pro GS6000 is able to output prints with an incredibly high color gamut, rich blacks, and still maintain subtle details in an artist's original painting. The printer's Dual-Array MicroPiezo® AMC™ printhead produces a maximum resolution of 1440 x 1440 dpi with a droplet size as small as 3.7 picoliters.

The results are superb reproduced works of art with the look and feel of the original. The reproductions capture the vivid color and exceptional detail of Godard's originals like "Bubbly Bath," where a bright red strawberry happily lathers itself under a flowing champagne bottle, and "The Seven Deadly Zins," with grapes illustrating the Seven Deadly Sins about a beautifully illuminated bottle and glass of red wine.

"Combined with the Stylus Pro GS6000 and UltraChrome GS ink, the GS Canvas Gloss yields the highest image quality required by Michael even at high-volume production speeds."

One-step Process

"For the first time, creating a Godard print is a one-step process," said Marco. "The prints come out completely dry, ready to be stretched and shipped." Marco realized that from that day forward, his technicians would no longer have to go through the time-consuming, costly process of coating the canvas. "We can now skip putting a varnish or UV coating on top that could crack in the future,"

he said. "By eliminating this step, along with the increased speed of this technology, we save time and money without compromising quality." A workhorse printer, the Stylus Pro GS6000 was designed to meet the needs of high-volume production, whether a fine art house like Marco Fine Arts or a commercial business specializing in signage. "If I can get top print quality, save time and energy, with an ink cost that is a lot less, it's a win-win situation," said Marco.

Epson GS Canvas Gloss

Designed for solvent ink jet printers, the Epson GS Canvas Gloss's smooth glossy printing surface brings out the wide color gamut and deep rich blacks of Godard's paintings, with the traditional look and feel of the canvas used by artists. "Michael demands that we deliver the brilliant colors and deep blacks of his originals," said Marco. "Combined with the Stylus Pro GS6000 and UltraChrome GS ink, the GS Canvas Gloss yields the highest image quality required by Michael even at high-volume production speeds."

Macro Fine Arts also continues to use Epson printers like the wide-format Epson Stylus® Pro 11880 for other applications. "We only use Epson technology in our studio, and that comes from a lot of experience," said Marco. "The printers have become faster, more economical, and every ink set has given us a new edge. All this new Epson technology allows us to spend more time with artists like Michael and for us to concentrate on their vision versus worrying about any limitations of the printing process."

Meanwhile, Godard is doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing, working on yet another painting guaranteed to please his many fans. "When I see the reproductions produced with the latest Epson technology, it's very exciting for me as an artist," said Godard. "Sometimes the prints actually look better than my originals"