Friday, November 2, 2012

External Hard Drive Recommendations

Do your friends and family think you are hard to buy gifts for?  Are you tired of getting art supply gifts you don't use?  If you have a growing portfolio of art and don't have a place to store your digital files, you might want to throw around some hints that you need an external hard drive... or at least a gift card to Best Buy or so you can get one yourself.

If you are currently storing your digital files on your computers hard drive or on CD's, you really should consider an external hard drive to store files.  An external hard drive allows you to store your data in a compact, portable enclosure that connects to your computer through a USB cable, freeing up space on your computer needed for memory and other uses. There is usually no need to install software, you just buy it, plug it in, connect the USB cable, and most computers will see it as an additional hard drive to save files to.

If you are frightened at this point, don't be!  Above are a few drives we found at different price levels.  A 500 gigabyte external drive should be sufficient for most people.  Drives this size are usually between $50 and $200.  The difference in price is usually related to how durable, how portable, and how fast the drive is.  If you plan to keep the drive connected to your computer at home, you can afford to spend a little less for a larger box. If you plan to take the drive with you to use it on other computers, it may be worth it to spend a little extra for something that is easy to carry and won't shatter if you drop it.

When shopping, as with most digital products these days, it is best to stay with brand names that are well known. LaCie, Seagate, Western Digital and Hitachi are good names.

Next you probably want to make sure the drive is compatible with both USB 2 and 3.  USB 3 cables transfer faster but only newer computers have USB 3 connections.  Most computers out there today still use USB 2.  Also make sure the drive is compatible with your PC or Mac depending on what you have.

The above drives were found on

Friday, October 26, 2012

GIFT CARDS for Creative People

We love to receive referrals from our artists. To us it is the ultimate praise to know that our clients want to share their positive  experience at Archival Arts with their colleagues. We are now offering you the opportunity to complement those referrals  with a gift card from us. And on the flip side, you can strongly suggest to your family and friends that a gift card from Archival Arts would be an ideal  present for you! You decide the amount you want to give. We offer them in any denomination - modest or grand! 
 Since this is something new we are trying we  are happy to report that recently a customer purchased a card to surprise her mother who had always wanted to have the family portrait professionally reproduced but never thought it possible. Thanks to her daughter's generosity she will be able to realize that ambition. On Thursday, a long-time customer got one for his highly admired art teacher. So we know we are on the right track by offering you this chance to give or receive a gift card from Archival Arts.

Some reasons you will want to purchase a gift card at Archival Arts

•introduce your friends to our services
•art students can gift classmates for the holidays or anytime
• terrific gift for your art teacher
•suggest to family and friends that its the perfect idea for your holiday gift.
•reproducing old family heirloom photos
•compact size allows for your gift to fit inside an envelope or holiday card

Use it for
•printing on watercolor or canvas media
•design time which includes services such as image preparation for shows; design layout for note cards, banners, brochures; or digital clean-up of your image

Friday, October 12, 2012

Professional Sports and the Artists Who Celebrate Them

Tis the season for professional sports in Maryland. Tonight the Orioles could beat the Yankees and possibly have a chance at the world series pennant. The Baltimore Ravens are 4 and 1 as of this date. It's an exciting time for sports fans and some of our artists, too. Several Archival Arts clients are honoring the teams by painting and drawing the players and themes. We'd like to share a sampling of their work with you.
"Forkball" giclée print by Vernon Russell.

"Ray Rice" giclée print by Darren Guest.

"Torrey Smith" giclée print by Joe Krastel.

"Masked Player" giclée print by Matthew Rice.
"Orioles" giclée print by Chris Davenport

Friday, September 28, 2012

Thumb Drives, A Better Way to Transfer Files

Every day the staff at Archival Arts remains tenacious in keeping pace with ever changing digital technology.  Many of the skills we utilize to ensure your scans and prints are the finest quality are of no direct concern to our customers. That is to say it is not necessary that you understand how we persist in providing you with the highest quality work. However, sometimes we simply must involve you and bring you with us.

Until now, with each scan we have provided you with a CD containing your digital files. This has worked well in the past but we are finding that most of the CDs we provide are lost or given away.
On your next visit we encourage you to update the way you store your important scans. CDs have a limited shelf life and over time can corrupt. Hard drives offer a more stable and adaptable storage alternative so we are asking our customers to consider using a thumb drive to transfer files from Archival Arts to your computer at home.

So now you are thinking, "thumb drive! where do I get a thumb drive?" Archival Arts has them for sale at a cost of $12. They hold up to 4 Gigabytes so this means we can save approximately 15 scans on the thumb drive so you can transfer the files to your system when you get home. This will speed your wait time here when picking up and also give you a method to transfer files to other computers easily.

For our customers who have a great volume of work we want to strongly suggest you use an external USB hard drive for storage as well. As a rule, we cannot guarantee that your files will always be available at Archival Arts. Accidents happen. So at the risk of repeating ourselves please store your files safely at your home or studio. We are happy to help our customers take this next step.

If you do decide to purchase an external USB drive for your files at home, feel free to make an appointment and bring your drive to Archival Arts. We would be happy to transfer everything we have of yours on our server onto your drive.  This will save you the task of transferring all of your cd's to the hard drive.  Please do keep your cd's if you have them..they are still a second backup!  Once everything is transferred, you can use your new thumb drive to transfer new scans from Archival Arts to your computer.

Monday, September 3, 2012

New Website and Gallery

It's been a few weeks since a blog has been posted but it's only because we have been very busy bees making Archival Arts a better business.  As of today, (Labor Day) our website has been updated.  A nicer look, easier to navigate and a brand new gallery!

If you are not currently in the gallery, don't feel bad!  If you have had scans done at Archival Arts, just subscribe to the gallery and you will soon be able to upload jpeg files of your images.

The gallery is now a SEARCHABLE database that allows users to type in a keyword and see all the art in our database that pertains to that keyword.  It is currently using titles of the art to search the database but that is where YOU come in!

This gallery now allows our artists to modify, delete and upload images once you register and are accepted into the gallery.  It is free to be in the gallery however we have only posted galleries for artists who have had 10 or more pieces scanned at Archival Arts.  Once you are registered you will find tools that will allow you to add keywords to your images.  Please try to do this on your own, we do not have the person-power to handle phone calls for tech support for this FREE service.  Adding keywords to your art will enhance your particular gallery and make your images show up on searches more easily.

Please be aware that this gallery is ONLY for images that have been scanned at Archival Arts with our BetterLight scanner.  Any other images uploaded to the site will be deleted by the administrator. You will only be able to change images in your gallery space.  If you find any art in your gallery that is not yours, please feel free to delete it.

Finally, this gallery is not currently set up to sell art.  If someone is interested in an image, they will call Archival Arts to inquire, we will call the artist to discuss the job and pricing and the buyer will be contacted by Archival Arts to complete the job.  A check or credit will be given to the artist for the amount they asked for, minus the cost of the printing.  Buyers will pay shipping and artists will not be charged a commission.

If for any reason you find any problems with the new website and gallery, please send us an email or mention it the next time we talk.  I would like to avoid a rush of phone calls if at all possible!
I really hope you all enjoy the new gallery.  This has been my dream for a long time and we finally have it up and running!

P.S.  Please refer your friends to this blog if you think it would be useful to them!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


"At the Beach" giclée print by Craig L Haupt
Maryland artist Craig L. Haupt has an upcoming exhibition of recent work at Antreasian Gallery located on "The Avenue" in Baltimore's Hampden neighborhood. While the artist works primarily in pen and ink,  recently we have been scanning many of his paintings, too at Archival Arts. Haupt's work has a menacing  playfulness with clever titles such as "Bet Two Clams" where blue crabs are in a poker game playing for seafood. The show will include several of these humorous pieces which will be on display  and for sale only until July 29, 2012.
The exhibition at Antreasian Gallery, 1111 W. 36th Street,  opens Friday, July 27 at 6 p.m. We hope to see you there!

"Bet Two Clams" giclée print by Craig L Haupt.

"But the Map Says" giclée print by Craig L Haupt.

"Spare Button" giclée print by Craig L Haupt.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Carla Attenborough to Exhibit Landscape Paintings In Ellicott City Gallery

"On the Way to Cheryl's" oil painting by Carla Attenborough to be on display during the show.

 Oella, Maryland artist and Archival Arts client Carla Attenborough will be exhibiting her paintings at the Perspectives Art Gallery in a show titled "Maryland My Maryland." Located on Main Street in Ellicott City, MD  the show opens Friday, July 6 at 5 p.m.

With a background in graphic design, the former resident of Atlanta, Georgia  has a current body of work which  focuses on  two-dimensional pieces that specifically emphasize Maryland landscapes. Concentrating on paintings of farmland scenery located near Catonsville, MD, Carla's media of choice are acrylics, watercolors and oil pastels. You can see more of her artwork on the Catonsville Art Guild website.  Hope to see you all at the show!

July 6 - September 30, 2012
8191 Main Street
Ellicott City, MD 21043

"Windy's Field" painting by Carla Attenborough

Friday, May 18, 2012

Schuler School's 53rd Annual Exhibition

It's almost June therefore it's almost time for the Schuler School's Annual Exhibition of Fine Arts. Please join the staff and students, some of whom are our clients, on the weekend of June 2 to see their stunning display of painting, drawing and sculpture.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Art Exhibition at Schuler School of Fine Arts

Tomorrow, Saturday, March 24 is the opening for the annual spring art exhibition at the Schuler School in Baltimore, MD. Several of our artists are featured in the show, titled "Furs to Feathers II," which runs until April 1. If you can't make it tomorrow there are hours on Sunday from 2- 5:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Clara Nilles Showcases Her Colorful Animal Art at Ranazul

"Mardi Gras Octopus" giclée print on canvas by Clara Nilles

One of our best customers, artist Clara Nilles, has an art opening this Sunday, March 11 at 5 p.m. at Ranazul Restaurant in Maple Lawn, MD.  This is a great opportunity to see her fabulous, bold animal paintings and giclée prints in person.  You just have to smile at the vibrant depictions of her selection of wild creatures from the land and sea. We are hoping to join her, too, so perhaps we'll see you there.

"Wasabi Walruses on Walnut" giclée print on canvas by Clara Nilles.

8171 Maple Lawn Boulevard
Fulton, MD 20759

Saturday, February 18, 2012





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Monday, February 13, 2012

Pixels and Prints

From time to time we peruse the internet to see what curious information about digital files and media might be in circulation. When we can, we like supporting artists at risk so occasionally we respond to a plea for help. Just last week we attempted to assist a woman via her entry on an artists' forum. Let's call this woman Penelope. She wanted to know about making a print from a digital file of her painting. She took a picture with an entry level digital SLR camera of her original art (size 12" x 14"). She saw that the raw image size was 60" x 40" once she downloaded the file to her computer. Based on this observation she wanted to know if she could reproduce small artwork as much larger prints. We went to work setting her straight about pixels and print size.

Our response went something like this:

Dear Penelope,

Digital cameras can be a little deceiving when dealing with print quality. Although the size says 60"x40," that is only giving you a very small part of the information you need. What is more important than the size is the DPI or pixel count. Almost all digital cameras create a file that is 72dpi. You say your file is 40x60, so your file is 2880x4320 pixels. If you print this file using 72 pixels for every inch of the print you will get a 40x60 print. Unfortunately 72 pixels for each inch is not good print quality to put it mildly. You actually need about 300 pixels for each inch to make the image look good.
If you open your file in Gimp or Photoshop or another image editing software and go under file/resize or file/image size, you will find all of your pixel, dpi and size information. If you uncheck "resample" in this window you will be able to change your DPI setting without changing the number of pixels in your file. This is very important because your prints are only as good as the pixels that the camera originally made. We did this in Photoshop and changed our dpi setting to 300. This gives you a good print size of 9.6" x 14.4" Since your 12x14 size is not the same proportion as your camera, you probably have to crop a bit which is going to decrease your pixels a bit also. So if you crop to 12x14, that gives you a resolution of 240dpi, which is still reasonable for printing.  All in all, you can print up to about 14" wide with good quality from your camera.
Photographing art is much different than photographing reality because art has much more fine detail so there really isn't much flexibility to print larger. If you plan to sell prints, I would strongly suggest finding an art reproduction studio with a Betterlight scanner. These scanners give much more resolution in terms of file size and make for a much higher quality print.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Application Zapplication

The majority of our artists/clients have a limited, working knowledge of  Adobe Photoshop. However, it is essential now that artists who are entering competitions join the digital age. 35mm slides have become 20th century artifacts. We have written several entries on this blog about creating files for juried shows. There are specific stipulations for preparing your images for services such as Zapplication or Juried Art Services

Today we write to share with you that CaFE™  is now offering a service to resize your images for free on their site. We think this is all well and good. But artists should not become complacent about their digital images simply because they don't have to be concerned about negotiating the software. Making the entry process easier for uploading is a step in the right direction but this also increases the number of applicants. More than ever having excellent image quality will increase your chances of being invited to the show. So don't compromise on color correction. We can make sure your images are the best they can be if you need help. We are just a phone call away. 410-247-7111

Friday, February 3, 2012

Marina Borovok's on display at Ranazul

One of our newer customers Marina Borovok is busily preparing for her one woman show at Ranazul Restaurant in Maple Lawn, MD. Today she arrived to approve proofs for some of her paintings  and prints  featured in the show. The work covers subject matter such as country landscapes, moody beach scenes and colorful still life paintings. Here are a few images of her work that we have scanned. The show opens Sunday, February 12 at 4 p.m. Marina hopes everyone will join her then.

"Red Barn" oil on canvas by Marina Borovok
"Still Life" by Marina Borovok

Storm is Coming" by Marina Brovok

Friday, January 13, 2012

Artistic Freedom Discovered in Pennsylvania

Frank Morgan's house with outdoor gallery in Wrightsville, PA.
Archival Arts client Frank Morgan has found freedom of expression in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. He utilizes an unusual method of presenting his artwork to the public 24-hours-a-day. The exterior of his house is his gallery. In the three years that Morgan has been residing in Wrightsville, PA (located between York and Lancaster) the artist has been painstakingly creating his outdoor gallery by adorning his home with giclée prints of his paintings. “You can see them at night from across the river,” says the artist of his ever growing display.
 The large piece hung near the top of the house, called “Madonna and Child,” is illuminated by a brilliant light at night and offers dramatic scenery for the 10,000-15,000 cars that pass by each day. Morgan’s idea to create this informal, friendly space was born of the relaxed zoning guidelines in his neighborhood. “This outdoor space offers a place for all to enjoy my artwork without enduring the occasional precious atmosphere of the traditional gallery scene,” says Morgan. This is not to say that he does not deal with galleries as required. Rather this is an additional way to gain exposure for his art.
"Madonna and Child" is the title of the painting hung at the top of the house.
Archival Arts’ role here is performed early in the process via our scanning and printing of his paintings. Once we print and varnish the images on canvas, Morgan takes his work to Print-O-Stat and has it mounted and re-varnished for outdoor exposure. Following this, he uses an assortment of wood, cement and screws to place the pieces in his carefully planned outdoor exhibition. He gets very enthusiastic when  receiving feedback from visitors and passers-by. “I saw your work” is a phrase he often hears from people whom he meets for the first time.
You can see this unusual, non-traditional gallery anytime at:

222 Hellam Street
Wrightsville, PA 17368

Stop by the gallery to see the ongoing exhibition complete with text which describes some of the art.