Joan Mitchell


Little Trixie (detail) oil on canvas  48 x 48 inches

I wrote in Arriving with Baggage about painting this painting and how I was having difficulty with the title, which is very unusual for me.  Usually the names come to me almost immediately.  I was never quite satisfied with Arrival with Baggage.  then a few days ago, a friend sent me a youtube link to a great little snippit of an interview with abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell, in which she talks about Big Joan Little Joan.  It really struck a chord with me and I felt like I knew exactly what she was talking about. It was inspiring to hear such a famous painter grappling with the same issues as myself!  That’s when it came to me, to call this painting: Little Trixie!

When asked by her biographer why she painted, Mitchell replied to , “…it’s wonderful. I’ve always said it’s like riding a bike with no hands.” 

Here is a link to a beautiful collection of her work, divided into early, middle and late career periods - The Joan Mitchell Foundation

From Amazon or iTunes Store you can also rent a documentary in which Joan Mitchell is interviewed and talks a lot about her paintings: Joan Mitchell: Portrait of an Abstract Painter.  Wow!

© Trixie Pitts 2009