Monotype and Oil on Hardboard 24″ x 12″
The last in my series with Glass Olive; one of the larger sizes. I took a break from painting to build websites. This one stared at me from my wall for a couple of months. I would stand in front of it and feel like I was taking a journey, reminiscent of the Japanese tradition of unrolling a scroll with a walk in the woods painted on it, something to take the mind out of its context.
I called this one Quiddity from the sea in Clive Barker’s Great and Secret Show. The literal meaning is Latin (quidditas), another term for the essence of an object, its “whatness,” or “what it is.” The term derives from the Latin word “quidditas,” which was used by the medieval scholastics as a literal translation of the equivalent term in Aristotle’s Greek. It describes properties that a particular substance (e.g. a person) shares with others of its kind. The question “what (quid) is it?” asks for a general description by way of commonality. This is quiddity or “whatness” (i.e., its “what it is”). Quiddity was often contrasted by the scholastic philosophers with the haecceity or “thisness” of an item, which was supposed to be a positive characteristic of an individual that caused them to be this individual and no other.