Write Around PAM: Helen Frankenthaler

As the days lengthen, we may find ourselves longing for a summer vacation. This piece by Helen Frankenthaler can offer just the mental break to tide you over. In this early work, we can see her interest in using blocks of solid colors to suggest the land and sea. Frankenthaler soon developed the influential Color Field method of painting in which she poured thinned paint over raw canvas; her abstract pieces often suggest a view of nature through the gestures, colors, and titles she chose. We invite you to use this piece as inspiration for this week’s writing exercise.

First, think about a place you hope to travel to on your next vacation. It could be down the street or across the world.

Then, write a letter to your future self that you could open as you prepare for that trip.

We have 2 prompts to help you get started. As always, you can use one, both, or write whatever else comes. Just set a timer for 10 minutes and keep your pen or pencil moving.

I’m looking forward to… / Before you go…

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the spring. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM

Helen Frankenthaler, Provincetown Bay, 1950, oil on canvas, The Clement Greenberg Collection; Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Tom and Gretchen Holce, © artist or other rights holder, 2001.1.43

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