Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Art & Art History
The most important part of art for me is the narrative. I'm a painter and I paint stories. Some may see the stillness of a painting as a narrative shortcoming. see stillness as its greatest strength. A painting can't speak for itself so the viewer has to.
When I meet a new person and I'm trying to break the ice I will ask them to tell me their best story. For example, if the person is an accountant I will ask them "what is your best accounting story"? Everyone has a story and hearing how one tells a story can help me understand the person better. A great storyteller can turn their trip to the grocery store into an enthralling story by providing details that a bad storyteller often overlooks. The most captivating stories one tells are often about events that deviate from one's normal day-to-day life. For some people, this means finding a dollar on the street; while others it could be seeing Bigfoot. Even though we live in a world where cameras capture the majority of our life, so many of our experiences happen so quickly that they aren't documented.
For my thesis show, I created three paintings of events I witnessed that were so strange that the images are ingrained in my memory. While each painting provides clues of my experiences it is my goal for the paintings to remain mysterious to the viewer. All I need the viewer to know is my paintings are reenactments of mysterious moments I witnessed in my life. It is my belief the viewer doesn't need to understand the narratives in my paintings to enjoy them. My paintings capture one moment to represent the story. These moments show the climax of each of these stories and set the mood and essence of the experience. It is my hope the viewer is willing to suspend disbelief for a moment. I want the viewer to contemplate the mysterious stories I have presented to them and to recognize the moments in our lives that break the monotony of living - the moments that captivate our imaginations and remind us of the magical nature of being alive.
Campbell, Terry, "Recollections of the Mysterious" (2016). Art Practices MFA Theses. 75.