First Advisor

Susan Harlan

Term of Graduation

Spring 1997

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Painting






Abstract painting



Physical Description

1 online resource (27 pages)


This thesis project consists of five large scale, abstract paintings executed on Masonite panels. A major component of these paintings is the heavily built-up surface texture. In order to achieve this heavy, sculptural surface, plaster and acrylic media have been applied in an aggressive, spontaneous manner using variously-sized masonry knives. The paintings are largely action-oriented. They are non-neutral, and they bespeak a great deal of intensity on the part of the artist.

The five paintings contain emotional content based upon personal experiences and family history. In some cases, I began a painting with the subject matter clearly in mind. In other cases, the subject matter began to make itself known during the process of painting, or afterward, when I spent more time with the work, studying its gestures, surface and energy, and reflecting on the events surrounding its creation. The titles are important, and they always come after the work is complete. They offer possible entries into the meaning of the work. Of course, if the viewer perceives any meaning at all, it is a result of his or her own mental processes. I have no control over that. What I have tried to do in these paintings is imbue them with enough strength that they might confront the viewer and evoke an exchange of experience.


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