First Advisor

Susan Harlan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)




Anthony Bernert, Monotype (Engraving), Botany in art



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, 15 p.)


The botanical theme in my art developed from years of photographing the native flora of Oregon with a macro-lens and studying botany and natural history. The appreciation which I developed for the evolution of flora and fauna and for the balances and complexities of the environments that sustain them is reflected in the work that I completed during my two years in the Master of Fine Arts program. The composition of the abstract paintings in acrylic medium which I completed my first year in the program were based on the cycles and seasons of nature. Repetition and variation of pictorial elements were symbolic of the recurring and changing conditions of seasons and the life cycles of plants. As I became interested in developing the textures and transparencies of these paintings, I turned to the work of several Abstract Expressionist painters. To create fluid veils of color, the acrylic medium was thinned by the addition of much water, and this change in the viscosity of the medium lent itself to a more calligraphic handling of the lines and shapes which make up the visual and symbolic structure of these paintings. After my first year in the graduate program, I was introduced to the techniques of monotype. The layering process of monotype seemed appropriate for the subject of floral forms, since in both the anatomy of the print and the morphology of flowers, forms are made up of layers and possess intricate overlapping structures. The images in these monotypes are based on generalized floral forms which serve as springboards for imagination to develop.


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