Sometimes posting unfinished work or work in progress online is daunting. Exposing ideas and work that aren’t complete or even work that isn’t quite sure where it’s going. It is perhaps part of the reason why I haven’t posted much lately. It’s cool though, I’m big and brave – here is some of that work.
Using actual signwriter’s vinyl instead of book covering contact makes a huge difference to the possibilities of the work. With contact, the vinyl paint doesn’t adhere very well and ends up peeling off – unwanted paint skins. It’s also a bit rubbish at adhering to walls and floors. It was good for testing ideas early on though. Now I have been able to stretch out in my studio, rolling out metres of vinyl, pouring great globs of paint and then brushing it around with a broom. Yes. A broom. I found one with lovely long bristles and I can push the paint around from a standing position with it’s long-enough handle. Painting onto the floor arose out of need, to avoid runs and drips in my brushstrokes. This way, the paint stays where I put it.
The paint is so deliciously glossy that it’s hard to tell when it’s dry. It also sticks fast to the surface of the vinyl. No peeling at all. I do prepare the surface with some methylated spirits to clean away any grease and plasticisers from the surface to help with this.
I have spent some rather pleasant afternoons cutting out these brushstrokes. It has given me a newly found appreciation for what a brush can do; the beautiful gestures of the bristles flicking back and forth, as I push them against their natural direction to manipulate that flick. Once dry, each tuft of bristles has left a traceable trail that has done as it was told and dragged paint into an appealing arch and revealed the materiality of the paint.
As the largest brushstrokes are so, well, large, I have been rolling them back onto the roll to protect them from the dangers of the studio (dust, getting trodden on or ripped). I even like the way they wrap up. The smaller ones I’ve pinned to the wall, which I enjoy as well.
I have some great moments of thinking out loud with my husband. He gives great feedback and notices some things that I don’t and vice versa. One such time inspired me to try painting onto coloured vinyl, instead of just white or clear. I am very happy with the result; hot pink on pale aqua. I have always felt like vinyl was its own kind of paint and I love how this brings it really close to paint and ‘the brushstroke’.