Lillian Masters

My first language is “Painting.” I use its lexicon of color, line, and texture, to communicate what I see and think. In the late forties through the early fifties, I was awarded a scholarship to study at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This encouraged my mode of expression and increased my vocabulary in the language for which words at times are inadequate. It was then that I recognized my art as my primary means of interpreting the world.

Being a child of the depression, however, I followed a course that led to a more pragmatic use of my talents. In the early fifties I attended Fashion Institute of Technology for apparel design. A brief but unsatisfying career in costume design and illustration followed.

Many years later, with children grown, my thoughts turned to my second language, words. I completed a Doctorate in Education in Language, Literacy, and Learning at Fordham University. I could see the parallels that language held for my thoughts in painting.

I am inspired by the bare “bones” of trees in winter, roots, rocks, and the natural world. I paint in watercolor almost exclusively, because I love the challenges it presents. Its transparency cannot cover the original lines or colors beneath. Most times, I work with my mistakes and incorporate these into the images I wish to communicate. I liken this to my philosophy in life as well as for my painting… “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: nor all your Piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it.” (From the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam)

Lillian Wilhelm Masters, PhD