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…
After a delightfully busy week of studio work and paneling an art festival, I’m continuing the process of re-documenting my collection.
It’s not the biggest or the smallest piece in this series. It doesn’t hold the most humor or even seem as conspicuous as some other pieces in this series. But this piece holds a lot of information for portraying so little. It’s the sometimes less is more analogy. There’s also a lot of hidden secrets in this piece. Painted on quilted black walnut, even its fairly small dimensions are a sneaky deception. Absolute: Radiance weighs as much as a piece 3 times its size due to its thick cross section. The security code usually stamped on the back is hidden on the side wall of the wood. Even the materials it is made of has a literal and figurative duality.
This painting depicts a bent nail resting on a vein of halo’d metallic gold paint. This effervescent vein follows the grain pattern of the wood and changes sheen based on where the viewer stands. As you have read, there’s some interesting aspects of this piece’s process that makes for some cool behind the scenes information.
The real nail used as subject matter is still IN the piece… after it was liquified and used to dye the frame.
One of the best parts about technology is that it’s always improving. This continual advancement also allows for artists to improve the quality of their images regularly. Recently I’ve gotten “Absolute’s Complement” back from its travels and I have taken the opportunity to re-shoot the painting. Read on for more.
What’s your sacred place? Where do you go to contemplate?
If you’re at all familiar with my blog, you’ve no doubt gotten to know me a little. I’m the type of person who likes to venture out on little day-trips to get into the right mental spot. Building a little bit of happiness ‘to go’ into my workday is crucial for my creative process. Especially during the warmer seasons.The pursuit of the right materials and thinking spaces for the latest two “Absolute” paintings has taken me on a journey that has spanned through woods, over miles of railroad tracks, into an apparently abandoned man-made prairie, and even atop of a 2,000 year old Adena Native American burial mound. Read onward to see the whole process.