“Who’s your inspiration?”: My Ballet Of Unlikely Answers
by Daric Gill
The first question an artist is asked upon introduction is, “What type of art do you make?”. This is quickly followed up by, “Who (or what) is your inspiration?”. These are reasonable questions. After all, almost everyone knows what an artist is, but aren’t really sure what an artist does. And certainly they don’t know where we get our ideas. Shoot… sometimes we don’t even know where they come from ourselves.
From experience I know that what I’m about to say is not the answer they are expecting:
My art and inspirations areinterdisciplinary. So, by definition it’s not as easy to define. What then?
There’s always a ballet of rhetoric that I have to employ to maintain brevity, but still answer with clarity. The following article offers both the brief explanation of my inspirations as well as a more in-depth description on how I get inspired. And if you’re one of those people who want to know more about your fellow artists, but aren’t sure how to start-up the conversation, hopefully this can help.
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.
Last week I shot a few more paintings as part of my portfolio update. This piece is called Absolute’s Complement: Asymmetry. The piece has many layers of translucent paint that creates the feel of undulating rust. This glazing process allows for a surface that is entirely flat with only the appearance of texture. Similarly, the hand-built frame has a wash over the surface to give it a more weathered look.
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.