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Six Joan Mitchell Sketchbooks Digitized

Covers of 6 sketchbooks of various sizes from above

Joan Mitchell was born in Chicago, Illinois on February 12, 1925. To celebrate her birthday, we've added six digitized Joan Mitchell sketchbooks to our website in their entirety, allowing you to click through each page spread to see Mitchell's creative process unfold.

Alongside her painting practice, Mitchell worked in sketchbooks throughout her career, from her student days in the 1940s until her death in 1992. She used a variety of mediums in her sketchbooks, including graphite, wax crayon, colored pencil, pen and ink, and watercolor.

Select page spreads are included from each of the six sketchbooks below, and all sketchbooks can be viewed in the Artwork directory.


Page spread in a sketchbook kept by artist Joan Mitchell circa 1947, with drawings on both pages
Spread from Joan Mitchell sketchbook, circa 1947. Graphite pencil, pen and black ink, black wax crayon and colored wax crayon on paper, 176 pages (blank spreads not pictured), 10 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 1/2 inches (26 x 20 x 1.3 cm). © Estate of Joan Mitchell. See full sketchbook here.
Page spread in a sketchbook kept by artist Joan Mitchell circa 1967, with abstract drawing on right page
Spread from Joan Mitchell sketchbook, circa 1967. Water-soluble wax crayon, wash, and fiber-tipped pen (marker) on paper, 90 pages (blank spreads not pictured), 7 1/8 x 5 x 1/2 inches (18.1 x 12.8 x 1.3 cm). © Estate of Joan Mitchell. See full sketchbook here.
Page spread in a sketchbook kept by artist Joan Mitchell circa 1986, with abstract drawing on right page.
Page spread from Joan Mitchell sketchbook, circa 1986. Water-soluble wax crayon, watercolor, wash, and wax crayon on paper, 100 pages (blank spreads not pictured), 9 1/2 x 7 x 5/8 inches (24 x 17.8 x 1.6 cm). © Estate of Joan Mitchell. See full sketchbook here.
Abstract drawing in a sketchbook kept by artist Joan Mitchell circa 1989.
Page from Joan Mitchell sketchbook, circa 1989. Water-soluble wax crayon, fiber-tipped pen (or marker), watercolor, wax crayon, and wash on paper, 32 pages (blank spreads not pictured), 8 5/8 x 7 1/8 x 1 1/8 inches (22 x 18 x 2.8 cm). © Estate of Joan Mitchell. See full sketchbook here.
Abstract drawing in a spiral-bound sketchbook kept by artist Joan Mitchell circa 1990.
Page from Joan Mitchell sketchbook, circa 1990. Water-soluble wax crayon, wax crayon, and wash on paper, 42 pages (blank spreads not pictured), 6 3/8 x 4 x 3/8 inches (16 x 10 x 1 cm). © Estate of Joan Mitchell. See full sketchbook here.
Abstract drawing in a spiral-bound sketchbook kept by artist Joan Mitchell circa 1990.
Page from Joan Mitchell sketchbook, circa 1990. Water-soluble wax crayon, colored pencil, fabricated pencil and watercolor pencil on paper (blank spreads not pictured), 6 3/8 x 4 x 3/8 inches (16.2 x 10 x 0.8 cm). © Estate of Joan Mitchell. See full sketchbook here.

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