Featured Artist: Eana Agopian



Eana Agoean is an artist, printmaker based in Southwest Michigan. She studied art education and fine art photography at Western Michigan University’s Gwen Frostic School of Art, followed by a seven year stint organizing art, music and food related events in and around Kalamazoo, Michigan’s vibrant cultural scene. In May of 2016 she graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with an MFA in Printmaking. Her thesis exhibition, Occultation earned the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art’s Fresh Pick Award for 2016, and her work will be on exhibit there through August 6, 2017.




Eana says of her work:

The process of creating this artwork embraces the progressive nature of transformation.  Inspired by the transformational aspects of the creative process, this work draws upon themes of alchemy, psychology, and various modes of sensual perception to explore realms of the unknown, as well as magical and mysterious spaces.  Allowing the materials and processes to guide the creation, a great depth of insight into the unseen aspects of the mind can be revealed, as if creating a new philosophy; illustrating visually that which cannot be explained through written language or science.  Embracing the unknown from the initial stages, process and intuition to guide the work.  Building layer upon layer, each one is distinct, and a reaction to the previous stage.  Mysteries are not solved by the final work; in many ways the work asks the viewer to question similar notions in their own psyche.  To create this type of work is to embrace the natural power of metamorphosis, the distinct stages along the way, and the acceptance that outcomes are not always known.




Eana’s prints are available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/eanapple



Featured Artist: Michael Montgomery


Michael Montgomery is a photographic artist from Yuba City, California. His work is influenced by the Post-Impressionist Art he studied in college. Here’s how he describes the process he uses to create his compelling and ethereal landscapes and portraits:

I begin by taking numerous photographs and studying what I have captured. I look closely at the form and composition and begin to manipulate the work into a semblance of balance and slowly merge the photographs together. When I am satisfied, I then begin the brushwork and blend and form the photograph away from its beginnings and towards the art I bring to it. “Work at the same time on sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything going on an equal basis… Don’t be afraid of putting on color… Paint generously and unhesitatingly, for it is best not to lose the first impression. (Camille Pissarro (1830–1903))”

You can see more of Michael’s work at urbanunearthed.com









Featured Artist: Jessy Poole


Jessy Poole first learned of Grand River Giclee through our advertisement on artfairinsiders.com. She says, “After ordering prints from other companies to compare quality, I chose Grand River Giclee.  They had the best prices for the pigment based printing that I was searching for.”

Jessy turned to us to make several sets of her ABC bird series. It’s always an honor to be a creative partner with another artist, but it was particularly rewarding to be involved in the production of an entire series. I was reminded of the John James Audubon’s seminal work “Birds of America.”


Unlike Audubon, Jessy Poole’s examination of the natural world is portrayed in her paintings as a combination of abstraction and realism. Her paintings are layered, which allows her to achieve complex color schemes as well as include hidden imagery and texture. Her works are created using acrylic, watercolor, and alcohol based pigment.

You can connect with Jessy on Facebook and see more of her work on her website.C_jessypoole


Advanced Image Processing Service


Matt Thomas prudently ordered a reference print of his photograph of Elk in early morning light before ordering the large canvas he was interested in. Based on this first print, he asked us to make adjustments–particularly to lighten the shadowed area on the right side of the image. This required a bit more than the overall adjustments to color balance, contrast, and tonal range that is included in our basic image processing service–though that was our starting point.

Once we had made these overall adjustments to Matt’s image, we thought the shadowed area was still too dark. So we created an additional adjustment layer to lighten the shadows further and then used a gradient mask so that the adjustment would only impact the shadowed area.

Once these adjustments were made we realized that a blue smudge that had been hidden in the darker image was now quite prominent. This was probably a lens flare caused by the intense morning light. We selected that area and then used Photoshop’s content aware fill command to create a realistic patch over the flare. A bit of extra work with the healing brush finished the fix.

Here are the original image and the image after our adjustments revealed the smudge:

Matt Thomas's original image.
Matt Thomas’s original image.




The adjusted image with a blue smudge
The adjusted image with a blue smudge (above elk in river)

Polarized Lighting

Copy Studio
Copy Studio


One of the biggest challenges in photographing artwork is eliminating glare. This is less of a problem when photographing matte surfaced work like watercolor paintings, but can be a real problem with work that has an inherent sheen.

There are several strategies that can be used to eliminate glare. If you are using artificial light, you can adjust the positions of your lights and camera to reduce the likelihood of glare becoming a problem. Placing your lights further from the artwork, placing your lights at a shallow angle to the artwork, and moving your camera further from the artwork, all help eliminate glare.

Placing a polarizing filter on the lens of your camera may help. You probably remember from high school science class that light is a wave form of energy. In the light emitted from the sun or a light bulb, the waves are unaligned and the axis of vibration can be in any direction. Light reflecting off a surface on the other hand, tends to be vibrating in a narrow range of directions–it is partially aligned or polarized.

A polarizing filter similarly tends to let light waves pass through that are oriented in one direction while blocking light waves that are oriented at a ninety degree angle. When you rotate the polarizing filter on your lens, you can block the partially polarized light from you art work that is causing the glare. But since the light from the glare and the light passing through the filter are both only partially polarized, you still may not be able to eliminate the glare completely.

When these simple strategies fail, there is a fail safe method: cross polarization. With this strategy you place a polarizing gel over your light source and then use the polarizing filter on your lens to completely eliminate glare. You can see the impact in the samples below. Since both the polarizing gel and the polarizing filter eliminate a portion of the light passing through them, this strategy does  require longer exposures. Also, it is important to create custom color profiles from your setup since neither the gel nor the filter will be perfectly neutral in color balance.

glare apparent in unpolarized setup
glare apparent in un-polarized setup
Glare eliminated in cross-polarized setup
Glare eliminated in cross-polarized setup