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When I was in high school, more years ago than I like to admit, I escaped to New York City to The Museum of Modern Art as often as possible.  I grew up on Long Island, and “The City”, as we called Manhattan, was magnetic, always drawing me in.

A group of us would take the train in, and spend hours looking at the art at MOMA. We would then sit in the sculpture courtyard talking about what we saw, lingering forever over one cup of coffee or a cold drink, feeling very grown up, modern and inspired.

Matisse at MOMA. Photo by me

Matisse at MOMA. Photo by me

On my last visit to MOMA this past summer, so much seemed the same even after the huge remodeling of this important museum several years ago. The groups of young adults lingering in the museum seemed the same, although the cafe on the edge of the sculpture garden has gone. Instead these art lovers gather on benches near the lobby under the great paintings and soaring architecture.


MOMA’s admissions lobby. Photo by me

More often than not, however, they seem not to be talking, but rather texting. Every museum I visit around the world, there always seems to be this texting thing. Huddled in small groups, they hold these small objects, fingers moving furiously over the surface.  Are they still “talking” about art?  Do they feel grown up and modern with the new technology?


Underneath a stunning Joan Mitchell (Wood, Wind, No Tuba, 1980) at MOMA, everyone was lined up on the benches, tired from walking through the galleries…texting or tweeting. I must admit, I love the new technology, but do we still share experiences with those we are with, or are we always looking out to the “net” beyond?


A group of young adults relaxing after their day at the museum. Sketch by me

Image 2

Fleshing out color. Photo by me

Image 3

Joan Mitchell’s painting dominates the color palette and the scene. Does anyone notice?. Painting by me.


The process of adding detail, and balancing the figures with the art.

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Finished! “MOMA and Joan”.  Painting by me.


The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Photo by me

I just hope this new generation of museum goers finds as much joy in their memories as I have. I think they will find their own way to remember the moment.

By the way, Joan Mitchell often painted diptychs as we see here.

Joan Mitchell's Wood, Wind, No Tuba. 2 panels 9'2 1/4" x 13 1 1/8".  Brilliant!

Joan Mitchell’s Wood, Wind, No Tuba. 2 panels 9′ 2 1/4″ x 13 1 1/8″. Brilliant!

I love that…how the two canvases would actually work as separate pieces but worked as a whole together.  Hockney was another one who use this structure of multiple canvas, and at times I have been known to use this method.