Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Author's Department


First Advisor

Al R. Moldroski


Is art an inborn source of power or do daily experiences create artistic drives? I am strongly convinced there are biological forces creating these urges in all of us. Many of us, however, are denied the free expression of artistic impulse because of our compulsion toward the social concept of normality; the creative impulses are ignored until, finally, the ability and urge completely diminish.

However, states Joyce Cary, "Those of us who obtain solitude in thought, create freedom of mind; each of us is compelled to form our own ideas of things." If we wish to convey these ideas or feelings, we express ourselves through artistic means.

The factor which makes an artist unique is his ability to materialize the instinctive life of the deepest level mind. He has the capacity to unite the individual egos into one, creating a life in which the world of fantasy has not become an unreal world. A.major conflict he must face is that of reason and imagination, the two which he must unite. He does this not through the production of practical objects nor through philosophical ideas, but through his creation of an artificial and self-consistent world composed of practical need combined with the fantasy world. Thus, he achieves the "true nature of art" in an ideal sense.

The twelve paintings described in my thesis are of two very different themes: one of human life and the other of plant life, the uniting force being the free manner in which paint is applied. Each of the works is concisely discussed with favorable and unfavorable points presented, and a description of the manner in which they were executed.

Chapter two deals strictly with oil painting and offers suggestions for a painting medium formula, painting support and ground. Methods for brushwork and techniques such as imprimatura, scumbling and alla prima are also presented through personal experience. The third chapter presents those techniques concerning watercolor which I, personally, have found to be successful. Watercolor must be handled very delicately, which the reader will discover through viewing my first, rather awkward watercolor to the fresh, sparkling final one. Suggestions are made in this chapter for techniques to employ and those to avoid.

All of my ideas and techniques were developed through much experimentation and encouragement from both family and friends. The main force behind my work has always been to paint as I wish to paint while achieving social acceptance at the same time. Most certainly my central Illinois upbringing has reinforced my realistic approach toward subject matter, and encouraged me to cling somewhat to social convention, an influence which has proven to be a most satisfactory one.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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