How Mark McMahon Maximizes His Art Exposure with Gicleé Reproductions

Mark McMahon makes his own giclee reproductions of his watercolor paintings.

Here’s  a great example of how an enterprising artist has built a thriving career for himself and is successfully using in-studio printing and materials from LexJet to make his own giclée reproductions.

The tension between the creative urge and the need to eat isn’t new. Michelangelo spent as much time lobbying the Pope and Medici families to fund his art projects as he did painting and sculpting. However, Lake Forest, IL-based artist Mark McMahon seems to have managed to balance the economic realities of this world with the demands of the creative muses. A veritable institution in the Chicago area, the entrepreneurially minded watercolor artist has embraced many different technologies to promote, replicate and sell his work. Like his father before him, McMahon isn’t shy about marketing matters. And when inkjet-based gicleé technology emerged, it was as if McMahon had been anticipating it for decades.

Mark is the son of Franklin McMahon, an internationally known artist/reporter who chronicled five decades of twentieth-century history in sketches and watercolors – particularly Civil Rights events, space race NASA and presidential campaigns. Among other famous events in the elder McMahon’s portfolio is the 1960 Nixon Kennedy debate and the 1955 Emmett Till murder trial. On the wall near Mark McMahon’s fireplace is a reproduction of one of his father’s paintings of the 1969 Chicago Seven conspiracy trial.

Artist Mark McMahon used an Epson Stylus Pro wide-format printer and Hahnemühle German Etching 310 Digital Fine Art Paper from LexJet to print a reproduction of one of his father’s watercolor paintings from the coutroom of Chicago 7 Conspiracy trial in 1969. It was the trial in which seven defendants were charged with conspirary related to riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. ©Franklin McMahon.

In some ways, this print represents the culmination of McMahon’s technological evolution over the years, as he explored methods that would allow him to increase his income while maintaining artistic integrity and pleasing his customers. Both he and his father have digitized thousands of their works and licensed them to Corbis.

Sunset Velvet Rag and Sunset Select Canvas Win ‘Hot One’ Awards

Two products in LexJet’s Sunset portfolio of materials for professional-quality fine-art and photographic printing have received 2010 Hot Awards from Professional Photographer Magazine.  The two products chosen as “Hot Ones” in the Inkjet Media category are Sunset Velvet Rag 315g and Sunset Select Matte Canvas.

LexJet’s award-winning products are among 57 Hot Ones chosen from the 260 entries submitted by 122 companies. The awards were selected by 52 independent, practicing professional photographers who were selected for their expertise and knowledge. They made their selections based on overall quality, innovation, design, performance, and value for the price.

“The winners of the 2010 Hot One Awards represent ‘the pro’s choice’ of new photographic products,” says Jeff Kent, Hot One Awards editor for Professional Photographer. “This isn’t some scientific analysis conducted by a bunch of clinicians in lab coats, but a poll of real pros working in the real world. The result is a list of worthy winners that help make professional photography easier, more creative and more efficient.”

Like all products in LexJet’s  Sunset product line, Sunset Velvet Rag and Sunset Select Matte Canvas were designed to deliver superb print quality, particularly with the wide-gamut pigment inksets used in today’s pro-model printers from Epson, Canon, and HP.

Sunset Velvet Rag 315g is a 100% cotton-rag, OBA-free, neutral-white paper with a slightly textured surface that resembles art papers used with traditional etching presses.

Sunset Select Matte Canvas is a water-resistant, poly-cotton blend canvas with an unsurpassed white point and a pH-neutral, acid-free inkjet coating that allows for greater consistency from print to print. An improved version of this popular canvas was introduced at the end of 2009, with a coating designed to deliver a greater Dmax and wider color gamut.

“This isn’t the first time Sunset products have received Hot One Awards,” noted product manager Alex Ried. “We are deeply honored every time a panel of professional photographers selects a Sunset product for this prestigious award.”