Timothy McDowell

Timothy McDowell

Professor of Art

Joined Connecticut College: 1981

B.F.A., Midwestern State University
M.F.A., University of Arizona






Engraving and collograph

Cyanotype and photomechanical image making in relation to an experimental drawing course

Tim McDowell's most recent work explores images and systems within nature. This imagery portrays nature in an expansive, all-inclusive manner, incorporating the scientific as well as the idyllic associations with nature and our world. He attempts to portray the excess that is nature. Many of McDowell's works are created in encaustic, a medium in which ground earth pigments are suspended in heated beeswax, producing surfaces with heightened luminosity and texture.

Says Tim McDowell: "Within the art department and the art world in general it is harder and harder to be a specialist. Many artists today incorporate several mediums and techniques in making their art. A specialized role within the department and with our students is defined with many subtitles; it is the way that art has evolved and it is what our students require today to be capable artists. I teach all aspects of printmaking as well as two areas of drawing. This responsibility includes:

Engraving and collograph
Cyanotype and photomechanical image making in relation to an experimental drawing course."

The mediums he has chosen to work with in creating these images relate directly and were chosen specifically for referencing nature. The ingredients used in his paintings are beeswax, dry pigments, animal hide glue and wood. He makes the paint himself using encaustic formulas as old as 5000 years. Another medium of preference is intaglio etching on copper; chosen because the process allows the rendering of a wide range of patterns, textures and surfaces. While painting plays a considerable role in the exhibition of his art, it is a self-taught medium; his training and expertise is in the realm of printmaking.

McDowell's work has been in shows around the country and around the world. Recent shows include the Metaphor Gallery, Brooklyn, NY, 2008 and University of Maine Museum of Art in Feb., 2009.

His work is part of many public and corporate collections, including the international hotels in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, San Francisco and New York City; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Bank of America; Benziger Winery, CA; Tucson Museum of Art; Children's Memorial Medical Center in Chicago; J.P. Morgan; A.G. Rosen and Dow Jones in New York City; Connecticut Print Competition Collection, Old Lyme, CT; the Aetna Life Insurance Corporation and Connecticut Commission on the Arts in Hartford, CT.

View his work at his home page: timothymcdowell.4ormat.com.

View the art department website.

Timothy McDowell is an artist who makes paintings filled with elegiac feeling. His imagery, taken from nature, emblemata, and decorative traditions of other cultures attains equilibrium through the even-handed use of these objects as icons of survival; there is a longing, even a melancholy, in his art that yearns for completion in a contemporary world quickly diminishing in terms of its natural expressiveness. This loss of habitat, both real and imaginative, is what concerns McDowell, whose quiet paintings refer to realities that gain their compelling edge by being intensely spiritual in nature; his idiosyncratic world and its aura of deliberate beauty take a certain chance in an art culture given increasingly to high-tech interventions and the political sublime. In consequence, it may be said that the artist’s view despite (or perhaps because of) his eclecticism seems acutely aware of the burgeoning decay of the natural world, which the act of painting does not so much redeem as recover from forces that encompass and threaten its existence. In his painting McDowell seeks a path that is joined to historical and multicultural awareness, an avenue of communication that is, at the same time, an attempt to rebuild a language of beauty even though the idiom is found more and more difficult to perceive or even to find.

Jonathan Goodman, 2006 (Jonathan Goodman has written reviews and articles for such publications as Art in America, Sculpture, and Art Asia Pacific. He is currently teaching at Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design in New York City.)

Contact Timothy McDowell

Mailing Address

Timothy McDowell
Connecticut College
Box #5545
270 Mohegan Ave.
New London, CT 06320


302 Cummings Arts Center

Personal Website