Art, Art History and Design, School of


Date of this Version



Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska

In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Fine Arts

Major: Art

Under the Supervision of Professor Karen Kunc


We face experiences in life that we cannot ignore; we approach them with uncertainty and understand them with what rational thought that we have to offer. But what about the elements of an event that we never fully understand, yet carry with us to pick apart and revisit time and time again? It is the tastes that linger in our mouths, thread through our thoughts and formulate our personalities. These are the memories that evolve us into the future and keep us searching for answers. We saturate ourselves with these uncertainties, waiting for a bit of light, a chance to dry out and the opportunity to look back at the encounter as nothing but a stain. In my work I am addressing these leftover elements of my personal experiences, the histories that saturate me with lingering sensations. Continually evolving these ideas in my art, I am addressing situations of my self, family, genetics, habits and hardships. These are the thoughts that I carry with me each day, constantly trying to process that which is unresolved. These are the trials that make me human, and through visual investigation, weave me into the fabric of the universal. The process of staining and printing are in direct conversation with the experience of living. I bruise and fold paper, saturate fibers with liquid, monitor the absorption process, and provoke the resistance of materials with opposite chemical make ups. Similarly, we are built from these same elements; through the process of saturation, absorption and resistance we become the residue of what was there, the proof of existence, leaving each stain within us different from the last. I use abstract and decorative marks as the subject of my residual history. Such marks become symbols that act as the basis of my memories. They represent loved ones, childhood, snow, rain, freckles, fertility, age and fluid . When combining printed marks and saturated washes, a memory evolves for me. Temperature, perspective, layers and movement bring my work to a sense of place. The exposed fibers and scale allow me to bathe in the rich colors, follow the patterns and have a sense of vulnerability. Here is where my stains, my histories, can be understood. Through the act of creating, I look toward myself in an effort to understand the human condition. The saturations from our lives leave us lingering for answers. We all look toward our stains for identity and find that this imprinting process is never ending. We are continually accumulating new marks, dodging new obstacles and adapting to new situations. Our depths of memory become our badges of experience and wisdom, our key to future choices and our reference for empowerment. These are the stains J keep; these are the stains that penetrate.