Oil (Paint) & Matches
by Daric Gill
Yesterday I completed “Absolute: Ignition”, my latest oil painting. It portrays a paper matchstick on a single wild daisy leaf, set amongst a iridescent greenish-blue birdseye maple background. This new hue of the background is a departure from the natural wood color and felt fresh; reminiscent of malachite maybe? Check out the gallery to see the process.
*** Image Gallery After Article***
My old friend, the match, makes its way into another “Absolute”. Red tipped and vibrant, the match shows a tale of caution. What do you think this piece symbolizes? Is it a green-leafed flame or a reminder of natural elements? Is this a calming piece or somewhat darker in nature? Leave your thoughts in the comments if you’d like.
The biggest challenge in this piece was creating the right color for the background. The real paint applied had to be far bluer than anticipated. Yellow wood + royal blue = emerald green. It took quite a few layers to get that hue to be the right greenish-blue. I am glad that I stuck with it though, as the many translucent layers gives more depth than a single layer would have.
Another interesting challenge was simply acquiring a wild white daisy. The original intent was to use the white petals in this piece. This is particularly strange as only a few days earlier I found whole fields of them while hiking across Ohio. On a beautifully rainy Tuesday, I set off into my usual woods to find the white daisies I had remembered from only days before.
Or had I just dreamt it?…
I found hundreds of black-eyed-susans, thousands of purple coneflowers, and plenty of lovely narrow leaved Plains Fleabane (almost like a mini daisy). But that white-petalled wild daisy seemed all but allusive. The white flowers seemed to disappear as the rain fell on my head. Or course, the less fun way would have been to cultivate some from the flowerbeds in neighboring homes near me. But I’d never do that. The art hikes are part of the piece to me.
After spending two hours trekking in the heavy rain, searching for a public woods that had both trees and wildflower patches, I finally gave up and enjoyed the hike for what it was — A lovely day out of the studio. I ran across wet rocks, climbed muddy hills, and saw rivers of water pour down hills that only moments ago were waterless. The next day I’d find many daisies. And you know what… after all of that work, I decided on using the green leaves instead. C’est la vie.
A good lesson about being flexible with your work: Know when to accept new ideas when they are better than the old.