two interesting notes on painting and a personal comment

a short follow up on Les Bluets

these words on Mitchell

Philip Hartigan: Painting is its own justification.

Lydia Davis: I became willing to allow aspects of the painting to remain mysterious, and I became willing to allow aspects of other problems to remain unsolved as well, and it was this new tolerance for, and then satisfaction in, the unexplained and unsolved that marked a change in me.

made me think …

Seeing the world from a mindful perspective (as you know I try to do these days), it strikes me that the above quoted notes on Joan Mitchell’s paintings, demonstrates what could be called “mindful art attention”. The viewer is not trying to grasp the artwork in a set definition, instead he/she follows the rhythm of the work, accepting it as it is – non-jugmentally, as something un-reducable.

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”


In a world where even art critics are asked to value works in terms of stars on a set scale, this mindful, open attentiveness is not easy to defend – even if it obviously is the very best way to respond to art.

© Estate of Joan Mitchell


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