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Hence no fresh articles since last year.

The combination is almost completely impossible to work with. At first hand, the results may seem very direct, yet the pre-work demands most of the attention and time. As described in an earlier article, the developing process has been completely uphill, full of restrictions. The vinyls, manufactured by leading brands such as 3M, Avery and Oracal, are absolutely unforgiving in their application: make one mistake, and whatever piece is being worked on becomes an immediate reject, even in its final stage. 

I have often had to put a reject out on the street at night, only to find that it would be gone the following morning. Once, by utter chance, I discovered one of them through the window of a hairdressing parlour just down the road. The finder, a woman who runs the place, really liked it in spite of its condition. So be it. The use of the vinyls is not exactly intended for the purpose of producing fine art. They are commonly reserved for architectural graphics, car wrapping and yacht pimping, to name a few of the myriad examples, all meant to endure. And that is what they do.

Because of their excellent adhesive qualities, there are no margins for making last minute adjustments in my application without ruining the material. Characteristics of the hightech glue that bonds the vinyls to their supports are absolute invisibility, no odours, and split second effect. The secret of the glue is that the longer the various layers gel and interact, the more permanent the adhesion. They are resistant to most extreme outdoor conditions anywhere across the globe.  

When painting with oils, one orders new canvases ready for instant use. With the vinyls it is not the case. Every next step for each piece has to be worked out in advance, starting from scratch. With oil paints, there are endless possibilities to achieve an end result: with the vinyls, only one. So a lot of sketching and forethought is involved to get the essentials straight before executing the final image. This is where the challenges kick in. In the development of an image, a fully worked-out design is taken apart in positive and negative segments, and reassembled with corresponding vinyl cut-outs on a plexiglass support. Excess details are largely omitted for practical reasons. The choice of colours remains intuitive for each new piece. Some of them have fitting names such as Air Force Blue, Champagne Mist, Leaf Green, Tan and Spicy Red.  

In spite of any flaws, I get along with the results. Lately, I have managed to find my way back to a more figurative and females-only imagery, more of a follow-up of the ‘Undressed’ series as opposed to my initial trials based on the ‘Art Pool' series. I still have a sufficient stock of materials to get me through the year. Loads of fun!

For visuals, see GALLERY of this website and scroll down to Vinyls.

Image: Donna V, vinyl on plexiglass, 60 x 70 cm, 2016, private collection, the Netherlands

Please like, share, forward and / or respond by leaving a comment below.

Jon Eiselin.



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