Wednesday, August 03, 2022

a catalyst


I treated myself to a very special book. Six, eight pounds? A big book for big art, to quote my son. You'll be lucky to find one in a library and if you come across it in a bookstore, don't be shocked at the cost. It's full of magic.

I have Lorraine Glessner to thank for a FB post about the Joan Mitchell exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art. With a slew of amazing pictures. 

Messy March, 1969. The last gasp of my time at the School of Visual Arts. I was just coasting at that point, knowing that I wouldn't be back in September. 

Cutting more classes than I sat through,  I spent a lot of time wandering aimlessly, tiptoeing around in galleries. One day, behind the plate glass of a closed gallery, one painting took up an entire wall. I could make out "Joan Mitchell" on a cardboard placard on the floor. All I remember was an explosion of energy in line and color.  It was both deafening and perfectly silent. What it did was clarify for me that I lacked the drive, the talent, and the chutzpah to set foot in the same world as this woman.  Joan Mitchell made leaving art school easy for me. I never looked back or regretted that decision. 

How could I have changed the ripples in the pond of my life to not bring me to today?

The first day (digital) of third grade for Charlie.

This year, I pretty much sat back and leafed through a fabulous book of "very messy paintings" in Charlie's opinion. 

But we both noticed that someone had chosen a screen wallpaper for the Art section that looked quite lifted from a Joan Mitchell painting. 


Liz A said...

couldn't help but think of your dyed cloth and threads as I browsed through Google search images of Joan Mitchell's work ...

Deb Lacativa said...

Although I hadn't given a thought to her work until now, there's a kinship there in what happens with the cloth, thread, and dye. One of my sons said the same thing.
But when it comes to using those materials, that's where staying with textiles has been a self-inflicted failure of vision. For all my rebellion against warp and weft, big blank canvases always left me weak and ambivalent.
I don't know how long someone takes to paint in this manner, but it all suggests FAST. Then think of the hours and hours we spent considering which stitch to put where. It's an entirely different mindset.