This is a working, looking ahead space, for my patrons and collectors. As I paint, I will post what I am working on, what they can expect to see, "Coming Up," in the Gallery. Commissions will not be posted on this page unless by permission.
ISLAND OF OURSELVES
- Painting: oil on canvas
- Size: approx. 44Hx43Wx2 inches
In Buddhist tradition the self and its realization of the present compels us to command the universe in which we find ourselves in the constant battle between conformity and self-annihilation - two harried and constantly imposed alternatives. But this is not existence. We are the birth, decay, and consequential manifestations of every element in the entire universe, everyone of us. We are selfless, we are but an amalgamation of everything in the universe, and nothing of our "selves.". In one cell of our body resides the entire universe.
The prophet of the self, Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that "Solitude doesn't mean being by ourselves or away from civilization." Every one of us is the civilization in its entirety. We are never alone. We are in solitude. "We're not carried away by the crowd... We do not lose our stability and peace.... We enjoy our time with others, but we don't get lost in our interactions." In his words we create an "island of ourselves." We create an universe of which we are a composite part. Emerson said it aphoristically, and it still grinds against our culture, the western culture that seems to be sweeping the very zeitgeist of the world and very possibly creating an even greater distance from the understanding of ourselves. “The great man," Emerson said, "is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” One's self is sweet, its perspective is wide, open, and dynamic. It repudiates competing with the other, and simply lives. The pejorative construction comes from Shakespeare's Richard the Second, in stating, "Nor I, nor any man that but man is, with nothing shall be pleased, 'til he be eased with being nothing" (v.v.49). Except the concept of being "nothing," escapes the pejorative. It is the accomplishment of elimination, the infinite regress eliminating all the elements of the universe that comprise us to come up nothing left but a dissolved universe. the dissolution of the innumerable social prescriptions by which "man" is forced to live. "Man is by nature a social animal," Aristotle said - yet another historical formula of the well-laden concept. He realized the foundation of the self and the creation of unique individuality whose explanation seems to have eluded us and failed to come down in translation. But it has not eluded Hanh and Emerson - or Shakespeare. "Breathe," says Hanh. Unimpressively, grandly, its that simple.
- Painting: oil on canvas
- Size: undecided
A reevaluation of the assumption of "truth," bypassing the work of the falliblists and once again relying of the clarity of the ancient Greeks. I'll elaborate later. The assumption of truth ignores the five tropes of outlining the epistemological deconstruction of certainty - hence the "quintulemma" (my construction). They are the following.
- Dissent – the uncertainty of the rules of common life, and of the opinions of philosophers
- Progress ad infinitum – All proof requires some further proof (because the present always changes - if only through atrophy), and so on to infinity.
- Relation – All things are changed as their relations become changed, or, as we look upon them from different points of view.
- Assumption – The truth asserted is merely a hypothesis.
- Infinite regress - (also known as the diallelus (Latin < Greek, di allelon "through or by means of one another")). According to this argument, any proposition requires a justification. This justification however is but another proposition that requires justification, and so on, ad infinitum - every proposition requires endless (infinite) questioning - in search of justification.
A Blind Play of Representations
- Painting: oil on canvas
- Size: approx. 48Hx32Wx2 inches
I am baffled by my abstractions repeatedly being identified as objects. So... to think on this: in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason’s Table of Categories (B 78) he develops the statement, subsequent to the notion that the imagination can never retain more than three objects in thought at any one time or space by saying, “Synthesis in general, as we shall hereafter see, is the mere result of the power of imagination, a blind but indispensable function of the soul, without which we should have no knowledge whatsoever, but of which we are scarcely ever conscious.” He goes on to say in Schematism that, “Indeed, it is a schemata, not images of objects, which underlie our pure sensible concepts” (A 148). We have a formula of things, not things. He makes clear that even those three imaginable things or objects that we can retain in our consciousness, are not objects at all but the a priori and/or synthetic constructions of what we imagine the objects to be; “all that I can do is to represent to myself the spontaneity of my thought” (B 158) - spontaneity being merely a synthetic construction of a rule formation enabling the application of schemata.
Consequently, what is representationalism? And, where do the lines of abstraction occur. Are we in fact able to decide determinately which is which? Or should we do what life has given us the freedom to do? What color is an orchid in the seed? “Well, schematically…” or we’d say “genetically.” But isn’t either a schematic, and maybe far from a necessary one? Nelson Goodman, following the precepts of empirical “certainty” decided every emerald before it is unearthed is neither green nor blue, but “grue.” Is anything, anything different? Goethe said, "All that happens is symbol, and as it represents itself perfectly, it points to the rest" (letter to Schubarth in April 1818).