I have a head

I have been quite fuzzy headed the last few weeks & I’m having trouble focusing or remembering things. The strangest thing is that despite my struggles to function with anything even resembling my normal capacity, when my mind does wander it wanders to thoughts of analytic philosophy (mostly about the relationship between linguistic meaning, logic, and reality- think Wittgenstein & Ayers) with a heavy dose visual imagery from the conceptual artists of the 1960s who used the ideas as fodder for their work.

For instance, Bruce Nauman’s “A rose has no teeth” cast a phrase from Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations in lead and nailed to a tree in a garden. Wittgenstein uses this phrase as an example of an obviously true statement whose meaning is nonetheless obscure. Joseph Kosuth produced a series of enlargements of philosophically meaningful definitions (e.g. Art as Idea as Idea.) Kosuth, in particular, intimately connects conceptual art and analytic philosophy by arguing that conceptual artworks are analytic propositions. They express and challenge definitions of art. They are in effect and actuality tautological – they are statements of propositional logic that hold for all the truth values of their atomic propositions – they are what they are and what they say they are.

What I find interesting in the assumption of the written word and philosophical underpinnings of this particular strain of conceptual art is that both Nauman and Kosuth have in affect translated one visual medium (writing) to another visual medium (lead, photograph, etc…) I am still at a loss as to whether changing the context, from the container of philosophy to art, they are still expressing the same idea on a smaller scale? What I mean by this is that the philosophical writings of Ayers and Wittgenstein examine how we, humans, interact with “reality” writ large, whereas Nauman and Kosuth seem to be examining the idea of “art”, a potentially smaller fragment of “reality”. Or, are they expressing the same ideas in a different context, but since that context is part of the whole, they are still dealing with our relationship to reality at large? Are they using tautological works to show how art creates what the definition of art is? Or are they using art as a language to show how language creates and informs reality?

Eric in a Word: abstersive
Book of the Day:Gargantua and Pantagruel - Francois Rabelais
Song of the Day: Those Damn Blue Collar Tweekers- Primus
Religious Figure of the Day: Saint Eric of Sweden
Sketch medium: garphite on paper


Revisiting an old flame

I revisited an old love of mine this weekend and without realizing it rekindled a flame from what I thought was only smoldering ash. I partook of the beautiful weather here on Sunday by setting up my easel and exhuming my oil paints from a decade’s long slumber.

The last time I had set eyes on my arsenal of petroleum based medium was almost ten years ago. Our long standing affair had just dissolved in repeated bouts of coughing up blood and the other hallmarks of intense exposure to turpentine fumes (apparently my studio at school was not ventilated enough for the amount of fumes that semester). So, with no better space to paint and a doctor’s suggestion I take 10-12 months away from my love, I bid adieu for what I thought would be a short hiatus in which I could explore different media.

As often happens with extended absences, someone changes and you drift apart. I went on to pursue other interests not directly related to painting living in spaces not conducive to working at the large scale I was used to and allow my relationship to wither on the vine. Or, so I thought. Yesterday, with space to paint, ventilation to spare, and a new passion for small scale work, I rediscovered my oils. And as in all requited love, it has flared up with a passion. I have spent the time since yesterday constantly thinking about painting again. Reminiscing about the good times; thinking about new projects; reveling in the feel, smell, and joy I rediscovered yesterday afternoon. And, unless I once again come to resemble a brush toting Doc Holliday, I aim to keep this relationship alive.

Eric in a Word: tenebrific
Book of the Day: A World Lit Only by Fire - William Manchester
Song of the Day: Careful what you wish for - Raine Maida
Religious Figure of the Day: Ĺšakra
Sketch medium: graphite on bristol board

A week in a day

Monday Tuesday

Wednesday Thursday


As I am limping through the last day of this week, exhausted and burnt, I realized I hadn't posted my daily sketches at all. So in a burst of energy, I decided to share all five today. Enjoy if you will.

Eric in a Word: resistentialism

Book of the Day: Mayflower- Nathaniel Philbrick
Song of the Day: The Four Beauties - Chinese Yueju Opera

Religious Figure of the Day: Lan Caihe
Sketch medium: Monday- graphite on greentea soaked paper
Tuesday- drawn on photoshop
Wednesday- graphite on greentea stained paper
Thursday- graphite on paper
Friday - charcoal pencil on coffee stained paper