Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



Document Type



Noble, Elizabeth Lorena, B.A., University of Central Arkansas, 2005 Master of Fine Arts, Fall Commencement, 2008 Major: Studio Art Add, Subtract, and Multiply: Paintings Thesis directed by Professor Edward Smith Pages in thesis, 44. Words in abstract, 209. ABSTRACT This thesis chronicles the daily rituals involved in personal grooming, adornment, and cosmetic use. As a woman and a painter, I appropriate the female figure in my work and use the body to provoke thought and conversation about the concept of the body as a workable surface. I see the body surface similarly to how I see the painting surface. In my work, the figure becomes her own artist, owning her own body, and manipulating it however she pleases in a series of up-close, private moments within intimate spaces. The body, it seems, has always been viewed as a surface. There is a wealth of history surrounding the plastic manipulation of the physical body which informs my work as I trace grooming, adornment, and cosmetic usage across time and various Western cultures in this thesis. The image that contemporary mass media projects of the ideal female body and appearance sparks my interest to seek historical information that can explain the evolution of cultural aesthetics and ideologies that aids in understanding why we do what we do to our bodies. I then appropriate the “pressures” felt by women to alter their appearances by owning the idea of the body as a surface onto which one may add, subtract, or multiply.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Edward Smith



Included in

Fine Arts Commons