AVONDALE — Artist Ronit Mitchell celebrated her 10-year anniversary with her partner Downtown over the Fourth of July weekend. Looking out at the vibrant trees and sky in Grant Park, she snapped a quick photo.
Mitchell came back to that image when she was picking natural landscapes to paint. Using acrylic paint on a 3-by-3-inch canvas, she created an impressionistic image of the park.
That piece — Blackstone view over Grant Park — is one of about 18 paintings Mitchell will display in a pop-up gallery 2-6 p.m. Saturday at 2898 N. Milwaukee Ave. The event is free to attend.
The exhibition, “Floating World,” is Mitchell’s first in about 20 years. It contains a series of miniature landscapes inspired by scenery Mitchell has seen around the globe.
Among the “magical” scenes she painted: City Park in New Orleans; Pando trees, a kind of aspen that are all connected underground in Utah; and rocks towering by the ocean in England.
To Mitchell, those outdoor scenes feel peaceful and energy-giving, she said.
“Being in a natural space just enlightens your mood and just your existence at that time,” Mitchell said. “I just really wanted to focus on that.”
Once Mitchell painted some of the landscapes, she tried to frame them conventionally but found they were too small, she said. Instead, Mitchell stretched the canvases over small blocks of wood, so the paintings seem to flow onto the sides of the blocks. Then, she suspended each piece of wood inside a larger frame — hence the exhibit name, “Floating World.”
“I love the idea of having these, like a collection of these, on the wall,” she said.
Having worked on murals for years, Mitchell said her work used to be less abstract. But working with impressionism allowed her to create dappled patterns of light and dark, mirroring nature.
Mitchell said she hopes to keep exploring that style going forward, perhaps painting imagery of the sky on bigger canvases.
“Really, my mission is to enrich the human spirit by creating art,” Mitchell said.
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