Repository 124: Bon Mots | Joan Mitchell | Less Think, More Feel

Joan Mitchell painting, 1953, courtesy of the Walker Art Center, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation

Joan Mitchell painting, 1953, courtesy of the Walker Art Center, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation

“As soon as you start with all the blah blah blah you ruin a painting”. – Joan Mitchell, from the film ‘Joan Mitchell: Portrait of an Abstract Painter”.

Her abstraction reigns supreme in my imagination and myth of painting. Her painting methods were used as explorations as well as a form of burying.

Respecting her allergic reaction to any serious dissection of her paintings, I will make this post short to simply say how very grateful I am for Joan Mitchell – her work is marvelous, and that’s all I’ll say.

Happy birthday Joan Mitchell!!

In her words:

‘My paintings aren’t about art issues. They’re about a feeling that comes to me from the outside, from landscape. … Paintings aren’t about the person who makes them, either. My paintings have to do with feelings’. – Joan Mitchell, 1974

– When I came back (from Paris) and heard you play with Charles Mingus, and when you and Cecil Taylor opened up the ‘Five Spot’ in the fall of 1956, I felt better about being in New York. All the musicians who create from the gut as well as their intellect can change things. People will never understand what we are doing if they can’t feel. All art is abstract. All music is abstract. But it’s all real… …we were all trying to bring that spirit, that spontaneous energy, into our work. – Joan Mitchell, ‘Introduction’, David Anram, in ”The Stamp of Impulse, Abstract expressionist prints”, David Acton, p. 21.

“My paintings are titled after they are finished. I paint from remembered landscapes that I carry with me – and remembered feelings of them, which of course become transformed. I could certainly never mirror nature. I would more like to paint what it leaves with me.”

Joan Mitchell (February 12, 1925-1992)

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2 responses to “Repository 124: Bon Mots | Joan Mitchell | Less Think, More Feel

    • Glad the post resonated with you, she is quite a force. And yes feeling in music and visual art are very similar, only different vehicles. Thanks for the comment!

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