Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Lynn E. Trank


My objectives in writing this paper were to research selected watercolorists whose work I admire and whose work bears a relationship to my own, and to make a comparative analysis. In the process of research, I found that not all of the work of the artists I had chosen related totally to my own, but there was at least one of the basic elements that did apply. I wanted to learn from looking at their work and reading about their philosophies. That I did; and it has stimulated in me many thoughts and plans, wishes to try some of their methods, ideas of my very own, and ways in which I may develop them. The "stars" of the artists I researched apparently rose during the late 1940's and peaked during the 1950's. These years coincided with the activity and prominence of the American Watercolor Society.

Each of the artists I have chosen to research and write on will be reviewed in the following aspects: 1. inspiration, motivation or subject matter in relation to his work in general, to a particular painting, or to both; 2. his emotional or intellectual response, if stated, to his work in general or to a specified painting; 3. his technical approach, either as stated or as I analyze it; 4. my response to his work in general and a particular painting, as I compare and analyze it in relation to my own work, based on common aspects.

The watercolor artists I have selected for my comparative analyses are: Ralph Avery, Lars Hoftrup, John McCoy, Ogden Pleissner, Frank Wagner, and Frederic Whitaker. The amount of research material on each of them varied considerably and in varying degrees the conclusions I have drawn are my own.