An Exploration of Personal Process as Manifested in Painting

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Nina Greenwald


This thesis examines the processes of personal experience and expression which emerge in art. The author believes these processes to be multidimensional, encompassing different elements: significant childhood and later events, the shaping of perception, and the evolution of form and design. Perception is discussed in relation to these factors. The opening chapter provides an examination of pertinent literature in the field of creativity. The following chapters explore different elements of creative work in comparison to the perspective of prominent individuals who have made a contribution toward an understanding of the creative process. Their insights provide a scaffolding from which to understand how the creative process is represented in personal artistic experience and expression. Where applicable, ethnographic comparisons of perception are cited and discussed. The thesis also examines the development of one particular painting of the author. This examination begins with the original image seen. It continues to follow the image's evolution through stages of active work to the design and execution of the painting's final product. These examinations of thought and activity link the painting to the original experience and exemplify the activity of painting as visual thinking.


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