Finding something you love to do is a priceless accomplishment. Some work diligently strictly for a paycheck, while other make pocket change doing what they feel they were born to do. That’s the way I feel about writing. The sheer tasks of scribbling my thoughts on a lined canvas brings a feeling of tranquility to my soul. No cash necessary. Joan Mitchell (1925-1992) had that same love for her painting. Although she got her fair share of fame from her work, it was never her intention to paint for profit.
The Chicago native began to perfect her craft at Smith College, Massachusetts and the Art Institute of Chicago. At the age of 22 she ventured to New York with high hopes of attending abstract expressionist painter Hans Hofmann’s school. She accomplished her goal, but the dream was short-lived. She only attended one class.
‘I couldn’t understand a word he said so I left, terrified.’
Joan pushed the pause button on her American career and took a trip to France, Spain, and Italy in 1978. By the early ’50s her hard work gained her recognition in the New York school. Although formally educated in her artform, Joan remained true to her first love.
Her abstract expressionism works are quite the sight to behold. Many of them are massive in size and cover two conjoined panels. Of course with abstract expressionism there are no distinctive shapes. This type of painting is more about texture, color, forms, and the creator’s imagination. Joan’s inspirations came from nature. She chose to paint on unprepared canvas with ‘gestural, violent’ brushstrokes. You can literally see her emotion in her art.
She died in 1992 near Giverny France.
Image Layout: Phaymiss
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