The Story Behind The Original “Absolute” Painting & Updated Images
by Daric Gill
We all love when a great idea travels along a bolt of lightning and blazes right into our skulls. But there’s also something really satisfying about a slow rolling brainstorm that overtime builds into something great. These kinds of ideas seem as if they need time to simmer down to a distilled form; extracting, refining, and aging to something far more potent. The latter of the two was the case for the origins of the Absolute paintings.
It so happens that the first in the Absolute series is also the last piece in a deconstructed triptych. The previous triptych actually starts as a portrait painting and ends in a still life. Originally titled Orchid’s Empty, this painting sat as an unknown transition piece for a few years.
In fact, I stopped making still lives altogether after undergraduate school. The brutal truth is that trompe l’oeil paintings (a painting style used to deceive the eye) is often a study about the ‘objectness’ of the still life rather than the pursuit of a complex concept. I realized I didn’t have any place for that limitation and I stuck to sculpture and portrait paintings until I had something more meaty to hold onto. Graduate school came and went as with my stint as a teacher, and I still felt a little disenchanted.
For a while, I almost gave up painting altogether…
Today I debut my latest painting, Absolute: Centered. Two concentric circles, aged and worn looking, hide behind a piece of masking tape and locust tree leaves. The frame, like most all my frames, is handmade. Quarter sawn oak has a unique figure that I felt matched the aesthetic undulations in the work itself.
Nail holes, gouged scarring, and rough mill marks add character to the background wood. The cool blue base color offers a rare opportunity to use orange paint (which tends to blend in if the natural wood color is present).
I can already tell that this piece is an exciting transitional piece. Enthusiasm builds as I anticipate what direction this will take me.
Today I finished documenting the latest painting in my Absolute series. Layers of translucent crimson were painted on birdseye maple. This made a simple yet dynamic backdrop from which to build the rest of the piece.
It portrays a plump cherry dangling above a vertical white stripe. A series of overlapping translucent shapes help frame, focus, and add to an already rich collection of symbols.
Today I re-documented one of the most unique pieces in the Absolute collection. This artwork is quite a departure from the rest of the line. While most pieces in this series are oil paintings on wood, this piece is a painting/drawing hybrid on paper. The under-painting consists of a mixture of gouache (similar to an opaque watercolor) and acrylic paint. Above that is a few layers of graphite pencil to add depth.
The drawing displays paper specimens much in the way an entomologist would display real insects for cataloguing purposes.
Absolutus: a priori, translates from latin as Absolute: from former. This phrase is taken straight from a branch of philosophy that deals with the acquisition of knowledge.