Joan Mitchell was a major figure of the abstract expressionist movement and one of its few women practitioners to gain wide recognition. Reflecting a preoccupation with light, color, rhythm, and space, her images were inspired by the natural world, but meant to chart emotional, not physical, terrains. Toward the end of her life, Mitchell worked increasingly with pastel. In this typical drawing, produced shortly before her death, she combined the delicate softness of pastel with the dramatic, bold gestural style of her paintings. It is a beautiful demonstration of Mitchell's vigorous line and lush surfaces.