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Between the lines




Howard, Mark Lawrence, author
Ellerby, David A., advisor
Kokoska, Mary-Ann, advisor
Lundberg, Thomas R., committee member
Boyd, James W., committee member

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In my exploration of line and structure of a picture's surface I have relied on analysis, as well as intuitive response to the work as it progresses, as a method of creating art. Attitude is an important element in influencing what inevitably is produced. A rigid mind produces rigid art and, conversely, a more fluid mind can create freer art, art which may therefor evoke an emotional response from an audience, rather than intellectual analysis of form or objects. In my use of materials I chose encaustic for the majority of the works, which requires heat in its application. While researching the history of prehistoric art I serendipitously discovered that heat and fire are commonly associated with shamans in tribal cultures, and since the axis mundi is an integral shamanic motif in this series, it seems appropriate that another shamanic element is included. The material of beeswax is another connection to the shamanic aspect of my work in that it is a natural substance, and thus reinforces the theme of nature in this body of work. It is the shamans' respect and communion with nature, and their art created from this perspective, which has motivated my own artistic investigation as well as inspiring historical research into primitive cultures. The nonobjective forms I have employed serve to function artistically as language or symbols rather that representation of objects. It is this symbolic nature of visual art that is the core of my thesis. This form of art, abstract or nonobjective, relates to music in its structure and transcendence of material reality, as well as explores a temporal dimension. What is communicated in this art is conceptual as well as observational, as much of my imagery is inspired by concepts of natural systems, formed by unseen forces, yet manifested in pattern and structure.


2005 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.

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Watercolor painting, American
Encaustic painting
Ut pictura poesis (Aesthetics)


Associated Publications