Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Legacy Department

Visual Studies

First Advisor

Thomas E. McPeak

Second Advisor

Farrell B. Brown


In my exploration of acrylic painting I have aimed toward the essentially sensual self-sufficiency found in many primitive art forms. I began with a simple watercolor technique to explore form and color based on the abstracted human figure. I soon became dissatisfied with the essentially illustrative quality of these early works. Exposure to some of the workds of Gerard Titus-Carmel influenced me to develop a kind of dualism between surface as object and as illusion. I treated the surface as a low-relief sculpture and colored it with stains of diluted acrylic. Illusionistic "shadows" were used to exaggerate the three-dimensionality of the sculptural forms. Further experiments and critical aid helped me view my technique as a series of separate but interrelated operations which could be independently studied and controlled. Emphasis was placed on the use of gesso-texture units as a design module. Also the image was completely enclosed the edges of the painting. Imagery related to icons, fetish objects, and heraldic symbols was used to imply self-contained power of experssion. Painting came to be presented as coplete objects contained within boundaries of edge, surface, and explicit illusory space. Forms were controlled by the textural qualities of the paint itself. A dualism developed between the real textured low-relief image and illusionistic exaggeration of image's three-dimensionality.