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Is it a photograph, or is is a painting, and why it does not matter. Graph artists produce images using a variety of tools and techniques: brushes, pens, knives, paints, water colors, inks, dyes, paper, fabric, plastics, scissors, chalk, pastels, tiles, minerals and, lenses, light-sensitive objects and electronic computers. These are tools and techniques. They may be used to produce artifacts. In the hands of an artist, they can produce art.
...The tools and medium influence the art. They do not create it, or even define it. As tools and media evolve and change, so does the craft and art. Thomas Eakins began merging painting and photography more than 100 years ago. If he were alive and working today, I am sure his tool kit would include pencils and brushes, camera and computer. He'd probably be showing us all a thing or two.
The art of modern printmaking

The art of photography. The relatively recent word photography comes from ancient Greek roots: photo = light, graphos = drawing or writing, hence "light drawing." We write words on paper to record great poetry, and we write words on paper to inventory a warehouse. One is clearly art, the other clearly not. In between are many shades of gray.
...Photography isn't just Xeroxing nature. Anyone who has studied or even casually looked at the work of the masters knows this. Part of the creative process is capturing an image. Part is preparing that image for viewing. An lot could (and still can) be done in the photochemical darkroom. Today, even more can be done in the electronic darkroom.

How I make prints. I use a wide format digital printer, specifically the Epson 7800 and the ColorBurst RIP. This uses eight different colored inks (Ultrachrome Inks) to produce the highest quality color and black and white images available today. These archival quality inks are applied to the acid-free archival papers or coated canvases.
...My choice of paper type is based on the aesthetics of print to be made. The ink and paper manufacturers assure me this combination should produce images that will remain true for at least 200 years. But none of us will be around to find out if this is true.
...All this produces prints with continuous tone, grain-free images that exceed the quality and consistency I could get from traditional photochemical printing paper.

"The endless discussions of creativity appear to me to be pointless intellectual carousels...Only the print contains the artists meaning and message." - Ansel Adams

This allows more control over the process and the end product than any other printmaking process available today.
...Thus I can focus more on aesthetics and less on mechanical processes. Mastering the craft of this style of printmaking is a difficult and ongoing process, but not an impeding barrier to artistic expression. It is ultimately liberating.