Abstract Painting in Black, Pink and Grey
Kat Crosby, Children of the Sun.

Abstract is not a style. I simply want to make a surface work. This is just a use of space and form: it’s an ambivalence of forms and space.

Joan Mitchell

There is a lot to admire about the Abstract Expressionists. They shared a commitment to powerfully expressing personal convictions and profound human values. They championed bold, gestural abstraction in all mediums, particularly large-scale canvases. As part of the second-generation Abstract Expressionist movement, Joan Mitchell stood out by creating a visual vocabulary all her own.

Abstract Expressionist painting by Joan Mitchell
 Joan Mitchell.  Untitled 1961.

As a formally trained painter that is steeped in the tradition of the abstract expressionists, the work of Joan Mitchell has always been an inspiration for me. I frequently revisit her work for its intense brushwork, sophisticated compositions and a wonderful balance of color. I admire how she was able to break out in a movement dominated by men. And although Abstract Expressionism was eclipsed by other subsequent movements, Mitchell remained relevant through her commitment to the tenets of gestural abstraction. 

If like me, you admire the work of Joan Mitchell, and you are drawn to the bold, confident brushwork, and the strong contrasts of color, I highly recommend taking a look at the work of Kat Crosby. Kat is a painter based in Lafayette, Louisiana, and whose work is influenced by Joan Mitchell. 

Crosby’s work incorporates Mitchell’s freeness of the brushwork, the intentional gestures, the precise layering of elements, and a wonderful sense of color balance. I like how Crosby applies her brushwork, layering large, bold strokes against strokes that look more drawn, as well as combining structural brushstrokes with very immediate brush lines. Mostly, however, I’m attracted by her sense of color: her palette is soft but creates contrast with large strokes of black for balance. Her work is available at SaatchiArt.com. 

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