Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Spring 2015

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In

Art

First Advisor

Sue Hettmansperger

Abstract

This dissertation accompanies my MFA thesis exhibition, a series of paintings and drawings. As is the case with any artist, what I create is so shaped by life experience and unconscious desire, that the paintings will speak more truthfully than I can. It is my hope that someone with a shared sensibility will stumble upon my thesis at the right time and be able to relate to it. David Hume made a remark in Of the Standard of Taste about this type of kinship forming between author and reader. “We choose our favourite author as we do our friend, from a conformity of humour and disposition. Mirth or passion, sentiment or reflection; which ever of these most predominates in our temper, it gives us a peculiar sympathy with the writer that resembles us.” 1 Through art, I am sometimes able to step outside of my own situation long enough to disentangle myself from the ego. In these moments, whatever is preoccupying my mind—fantasies, anxieties, joys, sorrows—emerges unconsciously. Sometimes frightening aspects of my personality arise in the work—a tendency toward self-loathing, detachment from others, neuroses about sex. It is precisely because I am a self-conscious person that I resist analyzing or censoring what disturbs me about my work. As a person who has dealt with trauma, I experience emotions acutely. Though empathetic to others, I find it difficult to connect intimately even with the people I love. Painting from observation provides a way to establish a safe and intimate bond with a person and gain a greater understanding of my relationship with others. Through painting portraiture, I hope to capture the feeling and memory of being in another person’s presence. In my self-portraits, I address the longest standing and perhaps the most difficult relationship I ( or any of us) will encounter—the relationship to the self. Hume, David, Selected Essays. (Oxford University Press, 1998), 150.

Public Abstract

This dissertation accompanies my MFA thesis exhibition, a series of paintings and drawings. As is the case with any artist, what I create is so shaped by life experience and unconscious desire, that the paintings will speak more truthfully than I can. It is my hope that someone with a shared sensibility will stumble upon my thesis at the right time and be able to relate to it. David Hume made a remark in Of the Standard of Taste about this type of kinship forming between author and reader. “We choose our favourite author as we do our friend, from a conformity of humour and disposition. Mirth or passion, sentiment or reflection; which ever of these most predominates in our temper, it gives us a peculiar sympathy with the writer that resembles us.” 1

Through art, I am sometimes able to step outside of my own situation long enough to disentangle myself from the ego. In these moments, whatever is preoccupying my mind—fantasies, anxieties, joys, sorrows—emerges unconsciously. Sometimes frightening aspects of my personality arise in the work—a tendency toward self-loathing, detachment from others, neuroses about sex. It is precisely because I am a self-conscious person that I resist analyzing or censoring what disturbs me about my work. As a person who has dealt with trauma, I experience emotions acutely. Though empathetic to others, I find it difficult to connect intimately even with the people I love. Painting from observation provides a way to establish a safe and intimate bond with a person and gain a greater understanding of my relationship with others. Through painting portraiture, I hope to capture the feeling and memory of being in another person’s presence. In my self-portraits, I address the longest standing and perhaps the most difficult relationship I ( or any of us) will encounter—the relationship to the self. Hume, David, Selected Essays. (Oxford University Press, 1998), 150.

Keywords

publicabstract

Pages

vii, 22 pages

Comments

This thesis has been optimized for improved web viewing. If you require the original version, contact the University Archives at the University of Iowa: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc/contact/.

Copyright

Copyright 2015 Elizabeth Marion Schule

Included in

Art Practice Commons

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