Joan Mitchell

About Artist: Joan Mitchell’s primary medium was oil paint on canvas. Mitchell’s professional period began around 1950 and can be loosely defined as the point when she moved into full abstraction. Throughout her life she never ceased to deepen and refine her relationship to and facility with the medium. Her oeuvre can be broken down into a multitude of periods; shifts in her work typically coincide with a shift in her surrounding landscape, personal relationships, or some major life event. “My paintings repeat a feeling about Lake Michigan, or water, or’s more like a poem...and that’s what I want to paint.” The myriad things that comprised and moved within Mitchell’s world - water, sky, trees, flowers, weather, dogs - created images and memories from which she worked. These things are often named in her titles, which were always attributed after a painting’s completion. She observed her landscape intensely, and her acute visual observations of form, space and color in life are part of the visual memories she drew upon while painting.

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