This week's Work of the Week is Cats by Janet Mitchell, which is a purr-fect artwork for today because it's International Cat Day!
About the Artist: Janet Mitchell (1912-1998)
“The paintbrush works overtime, but so far the results are tame and too controlled,” wrote Medicine Hat-born impressionist landscape painter Janet Mitchell. Reflecting on the sensitivity of her art in the precision of her prose, she described a tableau she was attempting to render in pigments: “At night, when the moon is out, the hills and the island provide a dark border for its brilliant reflected light.”
Mitchell’s passion for art began in her mid-twenties, following her achievement of a scholarship to the Banff School of Fine Arts and a seminar at the University of Saskatchewan. Nevertheless, Mitchell’s skill arose largely out of her own personal determination to master acrylics, oils, and watercolours.
Mitchell staged numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Broithaupt Gallery in Toronto, the John Robertson Gallery in Ottawa, the Artlenders Gallery in Montreal, and the Fleet Gallery in Winnipeg. She also participated in group shows at the Jacox Gallery in Edmonton, and the Canadian exhibition of paintings in Ottawa for the visit of the Queen Mother. Readers Digest Canada and the Montreal Rotary Club commissioned Mitchell to paint a picture of the John F. Kennedy rose for the Rose Festival at Expo ’67 in Montreal.
Mitchell’s works abide in numerous corporate and public collections across Canada, including those of the Shell Oil Canada, the University of Calgary, the Glenbow Museum, the St. John’s Memorial Gallery, the London Public Library and Art Museum, and the National Gallery of Canada.
Mitchell was a member of the Calgary Region Art Foundation, the Alberta Society of Artists, the Canadian Society of Watercolour Artists, and the Royal Canadian Academy. She died in Calgary in 1998.