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


I am interested in subtleties and the understated, the trace of impact and the slight of presence. As the ability to accurately recall past experiences lessens with time, we are left with an outline, a shadow, a hint of sensation that may have, at once, been thorough and exhaustive. How experience is lost and then reinvented, how subtle but specific changes in tone, expression and movement linger and reinvent themselves in memory, are motivating elements in my work. The paradox between an encounter and the recollection or reinvention of that encounter is at the core of my investigation, both in the process of making as well as in the finished work. As my work develops, my sketchbook becomes a collection of "encounters;" it is the source in which information is accumulated, where people are converted into forms. words into lines and sensations into color. My final prints put forward the simplistic qualities that are fundamental to human experience: interaction, awareness and interpretation. These three elements allow us to decode and continually reinvent a reality for ourselves, one that changes with time and circumstances, and which justifies our decisions and sustains our human experience. The process of distillation contributes to the reductive characteristic of my work, and is important in the conversion ofan initial encounter into memory. The information used in the prints is extracted and chosen based on its ability to reflect qualities that seem barren, isolated, ambiguous, - impersonal and distant. These qualities are important, allowing me to create work that is inspired but avoids sentimentality. work that is reduced but provides the basic elements suggestive of, and critical to, experience. The reductive quality of my prints alludes to obsessive restrictions, not unlike the ascetic inclination toward extreme self-denial, with a considered impulse that tends toward a sparse but disciplined vocabulary. My interests in sensation, in subtlety, in contradiction and communication are found within the condition described by the title of my show, Oil & Waler, which has served as a springboard for the ideas that I have explored in my thesis work. In the most basic scenario, oil and water act as two similar liquids that resist one another as a result of their chemical characteristics. In the work, it is the presence of two or more forms that are at once related, in their fluidity and saturation, but at the same time opposing due to their inability to merge and absorb one another. These ideas are explored with crisp etched lines set against rich, solid backgrounds; with lines that create boundaries and define space or divide relationships; with a formed, translucent shape that almost disappears within the backdrop; with a cluster of blurry drypoint forms that hover or move across the paper. For me, these formal relationships parallel the concept of the actual and the recalled, what is real and what is imagined, the internal conversation with oneself that happens surrounding physical experiences and encounters. Oil & Water refers to what is clear versus what is implied, words verses interpretation, what is given and what is received, and the ability of these things to coexist, but remain separate.