Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2014

Degree Name

MFA (Master of Fine Arts)

Degree In


First Advisor

Laurel Farrin

First Committee Member

Susan White

Second Committee Member

John Dilg

Third Committee Member

Isabel Barbuzza


My paintings rely on discovery-- excavating into the surface to find the painting beneath. I work in an actual space that dimensionally inhabits the picture plane. The process begins with acrylic paint applied in thick layers, creating a sedimentation of color that is later unearthed. The painting emerges as I carve, gouge and dig away dry paint to reveal and investigate a world in paint alone.

The process allows for a journey through the depth of the paint, subtracting and adding to the supports until the painting is ultimately resolved. I see the layers of paint revealing their own history, some layers becoming more significant than others. Thousands of paint chips are made in the creation of each painting, which become remnants of the process. Embedding these discarded chips into my next painting allows for a sense of shared history.

Some of my process is predetermined, mapping out color layered substrates and other aspects of the painting arrive through an element of surprise, thought the process itself. I want the viewer to see the painting in multiple ways - in the way our memory allows us to experience the same place again in a slightly different way. The imagery comes from fragments of memories that I have collected throughout my life. Most of the memories are related to experiences that I have had in nature and with the people around me.

I grew up spending my summers at my family's cottage on the Alleghany River in Oil City, Pennsylvania. Everyday I would stare at the hills with my cousins and play across the river on various large rocks. We began to create a language about our landscape that we spent so much time discovering, naming our special places, growing up thinking hills were mountains.

The series of landscapes come from my desire to be in a space of awe. When I was studying abroad I took a trip to Crete Greece. Arriving in the night made me feel anxious about a place unknown to me. My hotel was disappointing and far from the downtown, I suddenly wanted nothing to do with where I was. Frustrated by my predicament, I went to bed. In the morning I stepped outside to find that I was on the beach with mountains in the distance. I was in shock; I had never felt such relief in a reaction to a place.


v, 24 pages


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Copyright 2014 Karin Waskiewicz

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