April Showers Bring ‘Absolute: Mend’ Painting

Blue Morpho & Mending

by Daric Gill

The Absolute series of paintings often pairs natural elements along side more man-made subject matter. As I explore my surroundings for content that matches with the overall vision of my next piece, I find that my work naturally has corresponding seasons with the world around me. This year’s spring has brought with it new inspirations and new adaptations. Now introducing Absolute: Mend, my latest oil painting. Continue reading to see more of this piece.

Absolute: Mend, Oil on reclaimed oak. 16″ x 31 1/4″. 5.4.15.

[Full Image Gallery Following Article]

A detail of the Morpho didius butterfly
A detail of the Morpho didius butterfly

A few years ago, I scored a pretty large stash of what appears to be barn shelving. Most of these larger planks are made with 2 or more pieces of wood that over time have cracked or separated apart. Absolute: Mend offers both a conceptual and literal interpretation to the viewer. The 2 halves had to be broken apart to prevent additional splitting. Then, the edges were honed flat and glued back together.

Atop a waterfall, thinking about a painting-to-be
Atop a waterfall, thinking about a painting-to-be

Most people don’t realize that research is mandatory  for all Absolute paintings. This is done both academically and in-field. I spend a considerable effort working out concepts that hit multiple tiers of content.  The general ‘wow factor’ is something that I hope always translates to anyone who sees the work. But far more importantly, there’s also a pretty hefty philosophy that backs this series. I spend the days before a painting taking small hikes into nature which can help ground the base-line esotericism to something more approachable. And vise versa; many times nature helps remind me just how complicated, meaningful, and intricate our lives are if one just looks closer.

Franklin Park Conservatory 2As it happens, I ironically had a massive head-cold brought on by allergies during the majority of this piece. The waterfall featured above was my only real attempt to hike during the preparations of this painting. Thankfully, I have a membership to the Franklin Park Conservatory, which serves as my outdoors when it’s too cold or rainy (or I’m too sick) to explore. Deciding to forgo the wet hike, I opted to see the “Blooms & Butterflies” exhibit at the conservatory. Armed with just my iPhone, I knew the final inspiration had come to fruition. Though I did not set out to take photographs of the butterflies, I am including a few shots just so you can see some of the splendor.

For this piece, I hand-sanded a stripe down the center, leaving a gradient that goes from fresher center wood to the naturally aged patination on either side. Over the last year or so, I’ve really started to play around with additive/subtractive treatment of the wood in addition to the painted subject matter. I used the same mentality to make a 2-toned frame from the same wood.

 [Click to enlarge images]

7 thoughts on “April Showers Bring ‘Absolute: Mend’ Painting

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