Jeff Hazelton Exhibits 3D Art on Canvas

For more than a decade, graphic designers have experimented with advances in lenticular imaging to produce large-format advertising graphics that look three-dimensional. Now, LexJet customer Jeff Hazelton is part of new class of artists, photographers, and designers who are at the forefront of bringing 3D imaging into the world of art.  

Using Autodesk Maya and Photoshop CS4 software and LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas on an Epson Stylus Pro 11880 printer, he has converted some of his digital art into large-format canvas art prints that appear three-dimensional when viewed through specialized 3D glasses.

The art is part of an Avatar to Art exhibition that has been on display at the G.WIZ Science Museum in Sarasota, FL since July 2. The show features 14 large-scale, 3D images with the largest measuring 8 x 25 ft.  The exhibit was originally scheduled to close Aug. 1, but due to its popularity, has been extended through Sept. 19. 

It is difficult to appreciate the full effect of Jeff’s art shown here. But just try to imagine feeling immersed in this surreal landscape with the abstract forms seeming to float around you. The compositions also combine microscopic anatomy and “automatic drawings” from sketches Jeff drew while sailing to New Zealand and other islands in the South Pacific.  

A spokesperson for the gallery observed that the 3D environments in Jeff’s art seemed to extend the walls of the exhibit space and create a viewing experience that was totally unique.

Jeff Hazelton is a painter who turned commercial artist in the 1990’s. His company, BioLucid, produces medical animations for physician education and marketing at pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Jeff has been studying computer graphics and digital art since the mid-1990s and acquired formal training in 3D animation in Gnomon School of Visual Effects in Hollywood, CA in 2000-2001.

According to Jeff, the texture of the LexJet Sunset canvas didn’t affect the 3D effects of the prints. He notes that, “As a painter, I prefer the look and feel of canvas when producing fine art, and I like to gallery wrap my work.” He stretched the prints himself using custom-stretchers he built himself and used LexJet Sunset Gloss Coating to protect and enhance each print.

To ensure that the final prints would have the look he was going for, he made smaller prints first.  Each of the 14 works required an average of two to four smaller prints to test for 3D parallax and color.

With the art displayed at the G. WIZ museum, Jeff explains, “I wanted viewers to feel like they are part of the artwork, like they have been transported to a new place or are sharing a room with strange objects that are purely a product of their brain’s amazing comprehension of space.”

Overall, he says, “Feedback has been positive. People don’t mind wearing the glasses, and most observers say they have never seen anything like what I have produced.”

He is continuing to produce new works and is preparing for his next solo show in November in San Diego.

For more information about Jeff’s work, visit Or you can search for Some Guy’s Studio on Facebook.

Dan Berg Offers Hands-On Instruction in Finishing Canvas Prints

If you want to learn how to convert images printed on canvas into ready-to-hang prints, contact Dan Berg to schedule a full-day of one-on-one, hands-on instruction. Whether you simply want to convert a few of your own images into wall art or create high-quality canvas prints for sale to others, Dan can show you how to:

  • Process the image specifically for printing on canvas;
  • Select the right canvas for the specific image you want to print;
  • Choose the correct print settings on a 24-in. Epson Stylus Pro7900 and 44-in Epson Stylus Pro 9900 inkjet printer;
  • Use a roller or spray gun to evenly apply a coating that protects the canvas from UV light and moisture;
  • Cut and assemble stretcher frames for panoramic or custom-size prints;
  • Gallery wrap canvas by hand or machine;
  • Mount canvas to Gatorboard; and
  • Make the print look more like a painting or achieve special artistic effects by brushing on clear acrylics.

Use Coupons in LexJet’s Digital Printing Catalog for Pro Photographers and Artists

LexJet has released its 2010 Digital Printing Catalog for the Professional Photographer and the Fine-Art Printmaker. The 32-page publication lists just some of the hundreds of products LexJet sells for photographic and fine-art printing, including photo papers, fine-art papers, fiber-based papers, canvas and coatings, stretcher bars, banner materials, specialty films, and adhesive-backed materials for photo murals, promotional signs, and other creative applications.

The catalog also shows some of the creative ways LexJet customers are using the materials and includes an article explaining why Eric Wordal of Masterpiece Portraits decided to take a fresh look at in-house printing and how he’s reaping the benefits.

On p. 25 of the catalog, you’ll find coupons that can save you hundreds of dollars on orders that you place by calling at LexJet account representative at 800-453-9538.

For example, if you buy a 24-in. (or bigger) roll of Sunset Select Matte Canvas or Instant-Dry Satin Canvas, you can get a free Sunset Stretcher Kit, with everything you need to convert one of your canvas prints into a sturdy, professional-quality 16 x 20 in. gallery wrap.  Other coupons offer discounts on Sunset Photo Metallic paper, I-Banner display stands, and any two boxes or rolls of LexJet-branded media.

If you haven’t yet received your copy the 2010 Digital Printing Catalog for the Professional Photographer and the Fine Art Printmaker by mail (or if you’ve misplaced it), you always download the catalog from LexJet’s website.

Prints from Keepsake Canvas Are Hand-Crafted, Not Mass-Produced

In the race to grow the market for photo canvas prints, some companies have pursued a high volume/low-price strategy. As a result, some photo canvases look and feel as if they have been manufactured on an assembly line—without much regard to the specific characteristics and nuances of the photograph itself. Some companies cut corners on canvas prints by using lower-quality print materials, stretcher bars, and finishing products.

LexJet customer Pat Walsh of Keepsake Canvas in New Brighton, MN is taking a different approach. As a photographer himself, he understands that one reason people are attracted to photos on canvas is that they want something that looks and feels like heirloom art. That’s why he pays close attention to the color accuracy and consistency of each image and small details in every phase of the production, finishing, stretching, and shipping process.

Like most producers of canvas prints, Keepsake Canvas uses inkjet printers with pigment inks that will last more than 100 years when the prints are properly finished and displayed. He also uses high-quality printing materials from LexJet, including LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas.

Sam Gray’s Portraits Endure the Test of Time

At LexJet, we enjoy learning about the many creative ways experienced portrait photographers are continuing to distinguish themselves from others. 

For example, families who want heirloom-quality fine-art portraits and paintings that will withstand the test of time should check out the artistry of Sam Gray. Working from his home/studio on a six-acre heavily wooded site in Raleigh, NC, he specializes in producing wall-size portraits that will blend with any décor. Although he does incorporate fun and trendy images in his shoots, his primary goal is to produce timeless, classic portraits that families can proudly display for generations.

Clients can buy either a hand-painted or photographic portrait, a digitally painted photograph, or a mixed-media portrait in which the surface of the print is embellished with brush strokes, chalks, or pastels. As a painter and photographer, Gray sells his work at a range of price points. As he points out: “You never know what each client will want. Everyone has different tastes and budgets.”

Portrait ©Sam Gray

Because his work is so distinctive, Gray has built a loyal base of customers that includes upscale clients from all over the Carolinas and beyond. Sam Gray Portraits have appeared in numerous magazines ranging from Veranda, Victoria, Southern Accents, Southern Living and North Carolina Design to the North Carolina Medical Journal. Exhibitions of his work have been displayed in several malls and the Raleigh-Durham International Airport. His website gets hits from 101 countries.

He has devoted four decades of his life to photography, successfully transitioning from film to digital photography in the late ‘90s. As more and more of his upscale clients started buying the same type of digital cameras that he uses, he realized he needed to take the aesthetic qualities of his work to new heights.   

The creative and artistic side of the profession had always appealed to him, so he decided to pursue his passion for art: “I visited art galleries and museums, collected art books, and attended art seminars and workshops.” Some seminars were taught by digital artists such as Helen Yancey, Janet Conner-Ziser, and Jeremy Sutton; others were taught by traditional painters.

He was inspired by studying the works of Monet, Manet, Renoir, Sargent, Pissaro, Seurat, Sisley, van Gogh, Degas, Cassatt, Pino, and Royo. He examined the brushwork, style, and mood of their masterpieces to find elements he could apply to his own artistic endeavors. Now, when he’s not capturing portraits, he’s creating a collection of original paintings that he sells through galleries in addition to the one in his studio.

Timeless Reflections. Painting ©Sam Gray

Like many of LexJet’s customers, Sam Gray understands the quality-control advantages of being able to print his images himself. To produce prints that will last for generations, his uses a 17-in. Epson Stylus Pro 4800 printer and 44-in. Epson 9800 printer with UltraChrome K3 inks.

Gray prints most of his wall portraits on LexJet Sunset Select Canvas. But for some projects, he uses Sunset Cold Press Textured fine-art paper, as well as papers from Epson, Innova, and Hahnemuhle.

Self Portrait. Painting ©Sam Gray

“I’ve learned so much more by printing my portraits myself. Working with colors has also made me a better artist,” Gray says.

Another way Gray distinguishes himself is by winning high marks in print competitions. After he took an 11-year hiatus and focused on acquired new art skills, he was awarded the PPA Photographer of the Year, Diamond level in 2008 and 2009. This year, three of the four prints he entered into competition were accepted into the PPA’s prestigious Loan Collection, which earned him the Photographer of the Year, Platinum level. In 2009, Sam Gray became a Fellow in the American Society of Photographers (ASP).

In his application thesis, he recounted the many challenges he has overcome during his 40 years in the business. Because of the wonderful places he visits and people he meets, Gray says he is as excited about photography today as he was 40 years ago: “I cannot imagine a more rewarding pursuit.”

To see more of his exceptionally beautiful work go to   

Sam Gray was also featured in the Artist Spotlight section of LexJet’s In Focus newsletter.

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.”