Examine Joan Mitchell’s “Sides of a River II,” an artwork from the Museum's Collection. Then, follow along with the prompts below to explore, learn more, and create an artwork of your own!
- What colors did the artist use?
- How are colorful lines used to create forms?
- What indications of a river do you see?
- The artist who made this piece, Joan Mitchell, was a leading Abstract Expressionist painter/printmaker who worked in an inventive gestural style.
- This artwork is part of the Bedford series which are reflective of her external environment, and non-representational.
- Joan Mitchell once said: “Music, poems, landscape, and dogs make me want to paint... And painting is what allows me to survive.”
- Why do you think the artist chose to represent her surroundings with abstract lines?
- What do you think influenced the artist that impacted her work?
- What do you see that makes you think of a river?
- Make your own artwork! You'll need plain heavy paper (watercolor paper or white cardstock would be best), and crayons or oil pastels in varied colors.
- You may want to use hand wipes or paper towels to clean up your area and hands.
- Use the crayons or oil pastels to draw gestural lines on the paper. Think about a landscape and the natural environment you are trying to convey.
- Choose a title for your artwork and share it with a friend or family member.