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  Partner: UNT Libraries
 Department: School of Visual Arts
 Degree Discipline: Drawing and Painting
 Collection: UNT Theses and Dissertations
Colorful Diary
Chapter I describes how my works are grounded in a Chinese point of view, based on sociological and anthropological approaches as defined in my work. The questions in my Statement of Problem deal with how I use "imbalance" in my works, yet still find a way to make acceptable compositions to better tell my stories. I relate how my work constitutes a positive act or event in an evolving world culture. Chapter II discusses the work I focused around the questions posed in Chapter I. Chapter III expresses my conclusion about my work and my goals for the future. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4475/
Enigmatic Realms
The use of copper in my work has opened up an entirely new conceptual and esthetic world. I have expanded my vocabulary of visual imagery based on the nature of how copper reacts with fire. The organic beauty harmonizes so gracefully with the manufactured material. This new material has certainly opened up a refreshing platform on which to further develop my ideas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4410/
The Essence of an Image: Image as Memory
Modernist painters such as Picasso, Ernst and Matisse were among others who incorporated what was then considered "primitive" art, mostly from Africa and Oceania, into their works. Prior to this, European artists had appropriated Greco-Roman themes and characters. These appropriated elements were consequently recreated without their cultural context and content, altered to reflect more current themes. In most cases, attention was directed toward the recreator, the author of the new work of art, not the creator of the artifact. In contrast, Post-Modern artists, including myself, have reproduced appropriated elements virtually unaltered as a way of denying authorship and emphasizing a more conceptual format. Appropriated imagery has been a tool for me in my work. Additionally, both figurative and abstract elements play significant roles since I consider juxtaposition of elements to be a strength. The challenge of fitting these elements together has enabled me to develop a style of painting that seems uniquely mine. The formal issues of style and content figure heavily in my endeavor to capture a moment in time; something lost forever except for its persistence in memory. These reflections are often imbued with personal icons, arcane text and symbolic drawing that weave in and out of the landscape. Endemic to my work are the following: (1) abrasion/erosion of surface areas of the canvas; (2) partial imagery broken or skewed; (3) appropriation of historic subject matter or archaic brand images; (4) symbolic drawing; ie. hats as containers or landscapes, ravens that infer vigilance; and (5) a palette of complex colors resulting from overpainting with other colors to the point of becoming almost undecipherable. Subject matter is based on my own personal history and life experiences as well as my reaction to current happenings. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5835/
Little Deviants
Most of my childhood was spent in either the expansive suburbs of north Texas or on a farm in southern Oklahoma. The experience of growing up in these two regions has done much to shape my sense of aesthetic. From these early experiences, I have developed two completely divergent ideas of beauty which I've tried to reconcile in my artwork. The first influence is that of sparseness, simplicity and the commonplace. This influence comes from the emptiness of the suburban landscape, the sameness of its architecture and the need to find beauty in mundane things as a simple cure for boredom. The second major idea is centered around peculiarity, chaotic complexity and irrationality. This interest originally stems from early memories of my grandfather, whose experiences in Oklahoma during the Great Depression gave him the obsessive habit of never discarding anything for fear that he might need it some day. The complexity in meaning that comes from unfamiliar combinations has allowed the ideas in my work a kind of ambiguity that frees it from any singular reading. I think the content of my work could best be described as constructions of memories, experiences and influences. I never speak about any one thing in particular, I try to simply suggest a number of juxtaposed ideas and let their interaction be the content of my work. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5843/
Nopalita: A Mythology of Cultural Self-Representation
The first segment introduces the background information on the use of paños as art by prisoners and how I appropriate the same materials to create and record my own cultural mythology. The Statement of Problem and Questions are about how and what cultural information is chosen in creating a visual mythology. The second segment explains the invention of the mythology by describing why certain experiences were chosen, specifically those of the graduate school experience. Also the development of self-representation through self-portraits is described. The third segment explains the symbolism used in the imagery, such as the cacti as cultural indicator and palimpsest. The fourth segment is a conclusion involving the realization that feeling caught within a hybrid culture is an important part of my identity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4586/
Organic Revelations
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Recently my creative process has led to a new area of investigation and exploration. I have discovered that I enjoy the unexpected occurrences that happen while painting. I have an appreciation for the parts of my works that do not follow the preliminary sketch and are produced more subconsciously. While usually this aspect has been restricted by the adherence to a preliminary sketch and narrative, the new works explore these occurrences more fully. In the new works, I worked in a more spontaneous manner to create work that does not focus strictly on narrative but reveals itself more as a journey or exploration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4153/
Round
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My approach to the art making process is a kind of poetic reverie on forms and spaces. Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary defines reverie as “a state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a daydream, a fantastic, visionary or unpractical idea.” It is a romantic notion that has less to do with the big questions of existence than it does the incidental parts of daily existence. Reverie is a state of mind that comes from being receptive and finding simple pleasure in the affects of imagination. My paintings, drawings and sculpture evolve out of the freedom to imagine shapes and spaces that describe different kinds of interactions. They come from recollection, awareness, and observation of the diverse sensual phenomena that surrounds me. The variety of interactions between forms such as contrast, imbalance, balance or synchronicity, have the potential to evoke various aspects of being: vulnerability, uncertainty, confidence, and determination. Possible interactions between shapes and spaces are what intrigue me most. Recently, I expanded the investigation of form to include objects and consideration of space. As the scale of my paintings and drawings grew, I became interested in the effects of three-dimensional objects in a space, such as a gallery. My inquiry began with a group of two-dimensional works on which I attached sheet metal, contact paper, and found objects. I realized that I had overlooked what was central and most evocative in earlier work: how I use space. I wanted to translate my sense of poetic space and reverie from the drawings into objects or arrangements that are placed in a space (the gallery). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5818/
Sequence without Uniformity
The inspiration for my undergraduate body of work is derived from my fascination with Henri Matisse, Jacob Lawrence, and the Impressionists. I suddenly became captivated with the Impressionist movement and the independence of abstraction. I set into motion a series of paintings and drawings featuring random African-Americans and African society representatives in vibrant color and abstracting forms, and was specifically concerned with altering the form outside of the realistic area. While in graduate school, I began to think about how the transformation from realism to abstraction combined with the conception of mortal to the immortal. I worked through ideas to see exactly where these views began, and where they would take me as an artist. Almost immediately I experimented with random figures found specifically in the N'debele culture in South Africa. In addition, I incorporated abstraction and expressive marks within the figure and slowly introduced cut paper, flat imagery and abstraction with the realistic figure. This became very challenging but I was determined to unite these ideas successfully. More recently, my work has concentrated on the essential elements that have influenced my work as an artist, which recedes to childhood. The main elements most prevalent within the work is rhythm and space. I learned to use the musical rhythm as an instinctive reference point, as well as exploring issues of space and solid areas of flat color, thus I strived to unite all areas together to create an integrated composition. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3193/
Sheep Tipping (It's All About Love)
I believe that our individual religious experiences are just that, individual. Each of us has a different reaction to every narration, sermon, situation, and experience. Further, I believe these experiences are understood and maintained in or through abstract thought. In the parable of Jonah and the whale, what do you picture while reading the story? Most of what took place lacks any physical evidence of existence. The voice of the Spirit, the face of God, the sound of prayer in multitude, even the person begin swallowed by the fish, are all abstract in character. My paintings are visual investigations into the idea that most of our religious experiences and concepts are abstract in nature, thought, and experience. Continuing my exploration of how my specific Christian experiences can be expressed through abstract painting, I investigated how the placement of the ellipse or ellipses as a dividing line affects the field and how surface development, layering and the expressiveness of high intensity colors affected the specific experience or Biblical narrative chosen. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5831/
The Transformation of Materials and Representation of the Idea of the Baby Doll
I want to find a balance within the juxtaposition of representational imagery, patterned fabric, stain and found objects, which effectively communicates the ideas of my work, yet still provides a visually interesting object/painting. How do my materials relate to the content and/or meaning of the work? How will focusing on a single subject affect the development and visual content of my painting? How will I choose representational images to use in relation to the aims of my subject? I was struck by the connections between the baby doll and the real baby. The baby doll became a representation of an idealized body. My interest in baby doll source materials evolved through several different stages, beginning with drawings of baby dolls, then actual doll parts, and finally to imagery of babies with genetic defects. Formally, the work was able to progress as the idea or content progressed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4284/
Transplants
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The body of work originating from this Problem in Lieu of Thesis consists of paintings on canvas that incorporate representations of plant material. The impetus for the paintings was black and white photocopies created from mounds of plant material placed on a copy machine. The resulting copies contained forms that were organic in appearance, but unrecognizable as known objects. Parts of the most interesting and ambiguous copies were used to develop the imagery of the paintings. The new forms served the purpose of creating visual interest from unexpected images. Combined with traditional painting techniques, the selected forms produced paintings of mysterious and playful worlds similar to those parts of the environment not readily accessed, such as galactic space, microscopic organisms, and ocean depths. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc4658/
Viewers' Choice
This paper documents the execution and exhibition of a group of oil paintings exploring themes of spectacle and the construction of reality in contemporary American society. The paintings are composed of figures and fragments of text originating in stills taken from television news and reality TV. This paper describes and assesses the paintings according to a set of questions developed by the artist at the inception of the project. Various strategies employed in the execution of the work are analyzed and compared. The contribution of this project to the field of contemporary visual art is evaluated via comparison with other art, past and present, expressing similar concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3154/