These collages were inspired by Joan Mitchell.
Not the Monet-inspired Joan Mitchell that I normally think of, but by her very early work, done in the first years after getting her MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1950.
Her painting at that time seemed to be influenced more by Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase” and the colors of the cubists: dark, brooding, earthy.
The connection to physical resemblance unraveled as Mitchell embraced abstraction.
A lot of these paintings resemble the work of de Kooning and the other abstract expressionists of the New York School. But she found her own way, eventually moving to France.
She was a great admirer of Van Gogh and also Matisse, which I can easily see in her later beautiful use of color, and those paintings also remind me a lot of Monet’s water lilies. I featured Joan Mitchell in my sketchbook project “Art I Like” and hope to do more abstractions based on her later work.