Frequently Asked Questions

About Space Art

What is Space Art?

Art and science: Complete opposites? Not here! Space art has reunited these two disciplines as they once were during the Renaissance. Space art is an exciting hybrid whose artisans produce skilled and precise work that still evokes the emotional and visual impact of traditional fine art.

Space artists portray believable scenes of places they have never been and will never see. Calculators, planetary maps, and a working knowlege of many branches of science are as necessary as a pallette and brush to these artists. Good space art makes the viewer want to “go there”.

These scenes recall the majestic landscapes popularized a century ago by artists of the Hudson River school of art. Frederick Church, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran and others combed Earth’s last frontiers in search of exotic landscapes to paint. These artists were largely responsible for the creation of our National Park System. As we near the 21st Century, our frontiers are the planets, stars, and the endless wonders of Nature’s Universe.

Art throughout history has reflected our hunger for the untamed frontier. Movies, TV shows, books, magazines and games devoted to space themes show our obsession with the Universe. It is not boredom of Earth; rather it is the recognition of our place in the Universe, and the significance of our rare and fragile planet.

Colorful and thought-provoking, space art will rivet the attention of your guests, provide interesting conversation, and flatter the colors in your decor.

Novaspace Galleries is the first and most complete source for this exciting new work. Our works are by the finest artists in the field. Your order is taken, filled, framed, packed and shipped from our Tucson gallery. Your satisfaction is guaranteed.

Who are these artists?

Space artists are a modern Hudson River school. Most of them know each other, and have participated in several workshops in exotic locales which are planetary analogues to the subjects they paint. Many are sons or daughters of scientists, engineers, or are scientists or engineers themselves. They have a professional guild to which most of them belong, the IAAA (International Association for Astronomical Arts)

What techniques & media do they use?

The artists use a variety of techniques, but most of them use acrylic paints. A few use oils exclusively, and some use one or the other or both. Most of the artists use an airbrush, at least for a portion of the work. Some use it liberally, some sparingly. It depends on the piece. All the art uses traditional brushes to some extent, usually for detail.

What about computer graphics?

Although many of the artists are becoming adept at using the computer, NONE of our limited editions or budget prints at Novaspace are computer graphics. A few artists use the computer for compositional sketching, or color studies, and even some 3D work, but all our works (currently) are old-fashioned hand-painted compositions.

About Our Products

What exactly are limited edition prints?

Our limited edition prints are produced by laser lithography. First, we of course start with the original painting, hand-painted by the artist. Next, a large-format color transparency, or chrome is made from the original. The chrome is then scanned by tuned laser on a drum scanner at high resolution and digitally broken down into four component colors: cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

This digital information is then used to etch four negatives exactly the same size as the print is to be. These negatives are used in turn to make printing plates of each color, which are then mounted to a modern printing press.

The finest available art paper (stock) is used for the printing. It is acid-free to prevent yellowing and deterioration, and we use the heaviest thickness available. The entire process is approved by an artist along several key points. Making a print from start to finish often takes a month or more.

The artist must decide the how many to print (the edition) beforehand. They are then inspected, signed and consecutively numbered by the artist.

What is a Giclee?

A giclee (zhee-CLAY), is an individually produced, high-resolution, high-fidelity, high tech reproduction done on a special large format printer. Giclees are produced from digital scans of existing artwork. Also, since many artists now paint only digitally, there was no “original” that can be hung on a wall. Giclees solve that problem, while creating a whole new vibrant medium for art.

Are original paintings one-of-a-kind?

Absolutely. Even though some artists often paint variations on a popular theme or composition, no artist is so skilled as to reproduce exactly the same painting again. Typically, even if an artist sets out to copy a painting, their creativity forces them to embellish, experiment, add or subtract from the original theme.

What is an Artist Proof?

Artist’s proofs are a special subset of the regular limited edition. They usually sell for 10-30% more than the regular edition. Artist’s proofs began back when limited editions were all hand-pulled from a one-man litho press. The artist’s proofs were the first prints pulled off a fresh “stone” (the plate which was drawn or etched by the artist to create the prints). The stone wore down as the number of prints was increased, so that the APs were the sharpest and most colorful of the lot. Thus, they sold for more, being a better product.

These days, in the world of modern offset lithography, all the prints in an edition are nearly identical. Artist’s proofs maintain their collectability and value because A) They are a small subset of the edition, and B) they usually come directly from the artist. In these days of mass marketing, getting something directly or even indirectly from the artist is rare. Publishers usually turn over the artists proofs to the artist for his or her own use, and retain all the other prints in the edition.

How rare? it varies. Traditionally, artist’s proofs number 10% or less of the total edition, so if there is an edition of 500, usually there will be only 50 artist’s proofs. In other countries, it may be more or less. In Russia, for example, the artists’ proofs may run 30% of the edition.

Artist’s proofs are signed “A/P” or “Artist’s Proof” and may or may not be numbered with the serial number of that portion of the edition.

Artist’s proofs are generally considered a status symbol in the world of art collecting. And their resale value is proportionally higher than the numbered editions.

What’s the difference between a poster and a print?

The printing process is very much the same, only posters are printed on glossy poster paper, and usually have some sort of graphic treatment (designs or lettering). Posters are typically unlimited in edition. They may or may not be signed.

What are budget prints?

Budget prints are a new process done from a computer file. Although the original is still painted by hand, we have archived many high-density digital scans of original paintings which have passed through the gallery. There are actually several new processes using new technology which are made for “short-run” color. These new processes enable us to bring you color prints at a fraction of the regular cost. We can make them up as we need them, adjust the color and size, and retouch if necessary. We don’t have to print (and pay) for a thousand prints at once. The catch? We can only currently print up to 11×17 inches, no larger.

What is the “secondary” market?

Also known as the “aftermarket”, this is the continued demand for a painting after it has already sold, or of a print whose edition has sold out. The secondary market is fueled exclusively by supply and demand. Owners can sell works to buyers at prices in excess of the original asking price. Novaspace Galleries can act as a broker to buyers and sellers, and we maintain a “buy-sell” database of customers for this purpose.

How do I care for and preserve my art?

In order to preserve the beauty of your new purchase, some care needs to be taken. Please carefully consider lighting. Ideally an overhead track light or lights totaling about 150 watts is best. Avoid hanging your print or photo across from a strong lighting source, such as a picture window, as this will cause glare and may prematurely fade the piece. If there is a window, try to make sure it is not reflected (north) light, as this light is bluer and contains more UV rays. Harsh fluorescent lighting is not recommended as it will cause fading.

If your item was framed by us, plexiglass is used. Being plastic, special care needs to be taken to assure no scratching or marring of the surface. The finest plexiglass has been used, which costs many times more than regular glass. It protects from fading UV light better than glass, is lighter and has almost no coloration, as with glass, and is of course safer and shatter-proof. To clean, use a soft cloth with a mild detergent solution. DO NOT USE AMMONIA BASED CLEANERS. Do not dust or clean with a dry paper cloth, as this will scour the surface. An anti-static fun or dryer cloth with eliminate the static.

Are miniatures really just framed cards?

Yes.

What does “Gallery Wrapped Canvas” mean?

Gallery wrapped canvas is art that needs no frame because the canvas is stretched behind, stapled in place on the back, and the sides are then painted black. A hanging wire is installed, and it’s ready to hang on your wall.

Ordering, Shipping and Customer Service

How do I order?

We feature secure transaction (credit card) ability online. You can also just call us at our toll-free orderline at 1-800-727-NOVA for credit card orders. You can also FAX a credit card order to us at (520) 292-9852

How long does it take?

We pride ourselves in quick fulfillment of your order. Typically orders average two days to leave our shop, and then however long the carrier (usually UPS) takes to get it to your part of the country. Prints, cards, and other small items usually go out the quickest. Framed items may be in the shop for a few days to complete the job professionally.

What about international or Canadian orders?

O Canada! You are some of our favorite customers. However, there are some restrictions you need to be aware of for us to give you the best service. Unframed prints and posters are sent in a heavy tube, and are not (usually) subject to customs fees. MATTED or FRAMED prints are sent in a flat package, and will be subject to customs and GST fees. Canadian customers need to call their local customs officials for a better idea of customs and GST fees.

To avoid delays, payment MUST be made in U.S. funds. Credit Cards are easiest, followed by money orders, available from your bank or post office. Canadian checks drawn on U.S. funds are cashed at the discretion of the American bank, and are often held up for no good reason. Be sure to add the shipping surcharge (as instructed on the order blank).

What if I don’t like it, or it’s damaged?

If you are not delighted with your purchase, return the merchandise within 30 days for refund, exchange, or credit. See our Guarantee

We have one of the lowest damage rates in the business. We fabricate custom boxes for each order, and even “armor” our shipping tubes to eliminate damage. However, if your order somehow arrives damaged, call us and we will replace the damaged items, and we’ll have the package returned to us at no cost to you.

APO & FPO orders?

APO & FPO (military) orders must be sent via the USPS, and cannot ship via UPS or Airborne express, and so will take a little extra time. Payment must be made in U.S. funds. Due to various size restrictions, larger FRAMED prints cannot be sent overseas via our regular methods. If you want a matted or framed print, call, write email or FAX us for shipping quote. These can be sent economically via Express. UNFRAMED prints can be sent in a heavy tube via regular post with no problems. Be sure to add the shipping surcharge (as instructed on the order blank).

What about other international orders?

Payment must be made in U.S. funds. Due to various size restrictions, larger FRAMED prints cannot be sent overseas via our regular methods. If you want a matted or framed print, call, write, FAX or email us for shipping quote. These can be sent economically via Express. UNFRAMED prints can be sent in a heavy tube via regular post with no problems. Be sure to add the shipping surcharge (as instructed on the catalog order blank).