Art & Art History ETDs

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The work has been mainly in two media, oil and watercolour. Initially, there was difficulty finding an approach that would treat vegetative themes similarly in either medium. The watercolour paintings had several strong qualities that were not present in the oils. These strengths were the watercolour's great luminosity and dense design of transparent brush strokes, whose rhythmic structure was separate from the pictorial image. Therefore a series of experiments was made in the oil medium, to try and solve the problems of luminosity, transparency and brush stroke pattern which had arisen in the transferring of an idea from watercolour to oil. The methods were as follows.

1. Thick paint strokes--these created a surface pattern but were too opaque;

2. Transparent watercolour and oil washes--this method was difficult to follow and posed great problems with preservation;

3. Oil glazes applied in small formal areas--a successful result, this method led directly to a new painting style.

The success of this painting dealing with small, formal transparent areas led to a decision to change to a concern dealing with large forms. This new approach necessitated a different subject matter that would provide such large shapes. Landscapes proved the obvious solution. Surface tension, which could no longer be created by the pattern of dabbled strokes against the representational elements, was achieved through the play of the flat, abstracted foreground shapes against the vast, deep background perspective. Paint was applied in varying degrees of thinness, in smooth or brushy areas, providing texture. The last part of the paper deals with influences on the entire work, such as: the contribution of the French Impressionists, Post-Impressionists and North American realists. The French tradition was an influence in its similar treatment of the surface, and its love of garden subject matter. The two contemporary schools, Photo-Realism and High Realism, are forces in their opening up a new approach to objective painting: the Photo-Realists in their love of representational detail, and the High Realists in their tempering of observation by mood.



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UNM Department of Art and Art History

First Committee Member (Chair)

Robert M. Ellis

Second Committee Member

Sonia Gechtoff

Third Committee Member

Howard David Rodee

Fourth Committee Member

Ralph Wayne Lewis