Artist and Studio
A young Joan Mitchell reading. Joan Mitchell Foundation.

A young Joan Mitchell reading. Joan Mitchell Foundation.

Joan Mitchell  -  Archives of American Art

Joan Mitchell  -  Archives of American Art

Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell and Barney Rosset (circa 1952) in the documentary “Obscene.” NYT

Joan Mitchell and Barney Rosset (circa 1952) in the documentary “Obscene.” NYT

Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell

Joan Mitchell by Barney Rosset
The “photographs [were] taken in their hometown of Chicago, and in the apartment they shared at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in the 1940s. It was in this apartment that Barney took the classical and hauntingly beautiful nude photographs of Joan.” (src)

Joan Mitchell by Barney Rosset

The “photographs [were] taken in their hometown of Chicago, and in the apartment they shared at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge in the 1940s. It was in this apartment that Barney took the classical and hauntingly beautiful nude photographs of Joan.” (src)

Joan Mitchell to Barney Rosset Paris, July 9,1948

Dear Schmuckie 
    Christ how I’m missing you - really - at times life at 1 Fulton St seems like a dream - Gluten (our cat - B.R.) - you & the bridge - it doesn’t seem real - like it happened - and anyway you make up your impression of a place starting with the person you lov and building around it.   (full letter here)

Joan Mitchell to Barney Rosset
Paris, July 9,1948

Dear Schmuckie 

    Christ how I’m missing you - really - at times life at 1 Fulton St seems like a dream - Gluten (our cat - B.R.) - you & the bridge - it doesn’t seem real - like it happened - and anyway you make up your impression of a place starting with the person you lov and building around it.   (full letter here)

Joan Mitchell by Barney Rosset, Brooklyn 1947.
Barney’s “photographs of Joan - especially the nudes - penetrate to the very depths of her being, capturing somehow her passion, her sensuality, and her lust for life.”  (src)

Joan Mitchell by Barney Rosset, Brooklyn 1947.

Barney’s “photographs of Joan - especially the nudes - penetrate to the very depths of her being, capturing somehow her passion, her sensuality, and her lust for life.”  (src)

Joan Mitchell’s love letter to Michael Goldberg(1951)
Hey beautiful,
   Just got your letter … — God you mean a lot to me — it’s never been like this before in my life. I cleaned the studio — made the bed … — I’m using the paint off your palette — I feel so close to you … — I’m drinking the beer you left on the windowsill — & I’m kissing you — this I do all the time …
When Mitchell wrote this letter to her fellow abstract painter, he was spending six months in Rockland State Hospital, Orangeburg, N.Y., in lieu of serving prison time for writing bad checks on her husband’s account.   
(source)  photo & letter Smithsonian

Joan Mitchell’s love letter to Michael Goldberg(1951)

Hey beautiful,

   Just got your letter … — God you mean a lot to me — it’s never been like this before in my life. I cleaned the studio — made the bed … — I’m using the paint off your palette — I feel so close to you … — I’m drinking the beer you left on the windowsill — & I’m kissing you — this I do all the time …

When Mitchell wrote this letter to her fellow abstract painter, he was spending six months in Rockland State Hospital, Orangeburg, N.Y., in lieu of serving prison time for writing bad checks on her husband’s account.   

(source)  photo & letter Smithsonian

electrichoney:

“Mitchell worked primarily at night and rarely if ever painted from life. In order to prepare herself for painting, she might read poetry or listen to music. She worked in solitude, except for the company of her dogs. Her paintings were built slowly and carefully; she would stand back and look at a blank canvas or painting in progress for long periods of time, decide where each mark should go, then approach the work to place paint quickly and confidently. The arc of her arm can be seen in the brushstrokes in many of her paintings, especially at the top where she was extending her reach. Indeed, her approach to painting was both physically and mentally rigorous. An accomplished athlete throughout her childhood, Mitchell had a great deal of experience with discipline, practice, balance, and a relaxed and fluid faculty of control. These principles of physical action, combined with careful, precise visual observation of her environment, underscore her life-long approach to painting.
…Mitchell’s process is informed by a range of emotional states, points in time, and positions in landscape, and her work is an affirmation that poeple experience landscapes, emotions and memories in a complex, interconnected way. This is evident in the tension and balance between figure and ground, between paint and surface, and between one or more colors. She said, “What excites me when I’m painting is what one color does to another and what they do to each other in terms of space and interaction.” Often a single bit of a color found nowhere else in a painting seems to anchor and create equilibrium in the whole composition. Her work synthesizes a multitude of contrasting concepts and forms: light and dark, warm and cool, space and density, growth and decay, gravity and lightness. When asked why she painted, Mitchell replied to biographer Marion Cajori, “…because I don’t exist anymore—it’s wonderful. I’ve always said it’s like riding a bike with no hands.”” 
—the Joan Mitchell Foundation (emphasis mine)

electrichoney:

“Mitchell worked primarily at night and rarely if ever painted from life. In order to prepare herself for painting, she might read poetry or listen to music. She worked in solitude, except for the company of her dogs. Her paintings were built slowly and carefully; she would stand back and look at a blank canvas or painting in progress for long periods of time, decide where each mark should go, then approach the work to place paint quickly and confidently. The arc of her arm can be seen in the brushstrokes in many of her paintings, especially at the top where she was extending her reach. Indeed, her approach to painting was both physically and mentally rigorous. An accomplished athlete throughout her childhood, Mitchell had a great deal of experience with discipline, practice, balance, and a relaxed and fluid faculty of control. These principles of physical action, combined with careful, precise visual observation of her environment, underscore her life-long approach to painting.

Mitchell’s process is informed by a range of emotional states, points in time, and positions in landscape, and her work is an affirmation that poeple experience landscapes, emotions and memories in a complex, interconnected way. This is evident in the tension and balance between figure and ground, between paint and surface, and between one or more colors. She said, “What excites me when I’m painting is what one color does to another and what they do to each other in terms of space and interaction.” Often a single bit of a color found nowhere else in a painting seems to anchor and create equilibrium in the whole composition. Her work synthesizes a multitude of contrasting concepts and forms: light and dark, warm and cool, space and density, growth and decay, gravity and lightness. When asked why she painted, Mitchell replied to biographer Marion Cajori, “…because I don’t exist anymore—it’s wonderful. I’ve always said it’s like riding a bike with no hands.”” 

—the Joan Mitchell Foundation (emphasis mine)

(Source: sigh-twombly)

Joan Mitchell and Kenneth Tyler in Tyler’s studio in 1992

Joan Mitchell and Kenneth Tyler in Tyler’s studio in 1992

Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan, c. 1960

Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Grace Hartigan, c. 1960