Amy Vena


The collection of artworks encapsulated in the series of paintings, Contemplative Reflections, was completed for the M.F.A. thesis in the Fine Arts Studio program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The artworks were influenced by similar concerns voiced by many of the romantic thinkers. Two essential components of this document are an investigation of theoretical consciousness, and the application of contemporary visual expression. Derived from romantic ideologies, the Hudson River school and the tonalist movement are often referred to in this document. Artists like Asher B. Durand, Thomas Cole and Ralph Albert Blakelock are acknowledged for their representation and admiration of nature. Impasto and applied variations of depth and texture enhance the romanticism and tonalist warmth of each image. Contemporary artists Hamilton Aguiar and Luisa Mesa are also referenced for their techniques, specifically layering and resin application. Each painting from the thesis collection was glazed with a variant layer of two-part epoxy resin, which heightened each painting's complexity. The resin's sheen magnified the visual reference to streambeds and water. The vague transition between abstract areas and representational imagery invites the viewer to consider the texture and multiple layers. It is my hope that when combined they would reveal a unified image. On the Thomas Merton Institute website, a Franciscan wrote, "Contemplative living: living in relationship with oneself, God, others and nature free of the illusion of separateness."

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Painting--Themes, motives; Painting--Technique; Nature in art; Consciousness in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Art (CIAS)


Sodervick, Zerbe

Advisor/Committee Member

Singer, Alan


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: ND237.V463 A4 2013


RIT – Main Campus

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