I LOVE this painting! It immediately caught my eye when walking into the French Expressionist exhibit, just because it was so different from the many landscapes surrounding it. What I love about this painting is that while being an expressionist painting, it is so different from what many people think of when they think of Expressionism. Something I love about Expressionist paintings is that looking at them far away and looking at them up close create two completely different feelings and compositions. Up close, every brushstroke is placed methodically, with every stroke a different color and texture, so far away they create shadows and highlights when all viewed together. This concept has always fascinated me about expressionist art, I would absolutely love to learn this technique. Cassat creates an incredible composition in this piece as well. The main focus of the painting is on the little girl in the largest blue armchair, set slightly to the right of the painting, but Cassat draws the eye around the picture plane by creating darker shapes in the background and balancing the larger chair by a somewhat smaller chair beside it, set slightly more to the left and farther back. This chair also has a cute dog on it, which draws the eye there. (This probably doesn't sound eloquent and super artsy, but lets be real if there is a cute dog in a painting you are going to want to look there) By utilizing this composition, Cassat creates an intriguing painting with something new to notice every time. I absolutely LOVE it!
To be completely honest, I have never quite understood all non-objective work, but this piece by Joan Mitchell is truly amazing. The texture of this piece is truly incredible, and what makes it even more spectacular is that the texture can be observed even from far away. I really love the color combination in this piece, how there are so many different colors represented, but each is a slightly darker color than the original hue, tying the piece together. This piece really got me thinking about my upcoming non-objective work, the use of texture and thick layers of paint in this piece create such an interesting texture, and I would love to experiment with that in my own piece! I also love the composition of this piece, even though it looks random, the composition is equally balanced with mostly equal areas of negative space in each corner and surrounding the painting. Thicker, fuller brushstrokes can also be seen at the bottom as compared to thinner, more opaque brushstrokes at the top, which I think creates an interesting effect, but still emphasizes balance within the painting. I cannot wait to experiment with my own non-objective work soon!