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ID photo: Henry Diltz: California Dreaming: Jonim1971
"I'm a painter first, and a musician second..." September 8, 1998
"I have always thought of myself as a painter derailed by circumstance." June 2000
Back in 1998, musical icon Joni Mitchell famously quipped that “I’m a painter first, and a musician second.” For those not accustomed to Michell’s other life as a skilled painter, this statement might seem a tad strange. But then you discover that painting was always her first love, from her early days as a young woman in Canada sketching the vast cornfields and dreaming of art school. In the 60s, Mitchell made colorful portraits of the artists and musicians surrounding her in Laurel Canyon, including David Crosby and Graham Nash and painted gorgeous self-portraits like “Ladies of the Canyon” (1969), a figurative work in which Mitchell has painted fields and trees in the folds of her skirt. (http://illusion.scene360.com/art/49848/musicians-turned-artists/)
Joni Mitchell paintings enrich the majority of her album covers. So they are the most-seen and easily the most widely-owned artworks by any rock musician/painter.
Joni Mitchell paintings have probably been seen by more people than the artwork of the other leading rock musician/artists – Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart), Miles Davis and John Lennon – combined.
And while some of her peers might be described as hobby painters, Joni Mitchell takes her art very seriously indeed...
The album covers of the first 3 Joni Mitchell releases all feature impressive paintings, heralding a fresh young talent, visually as well as musically....
Clouds (1969) has an accomplished self-portrait – it’s probably the most familiar of all Joni Mitchell paintings, as well as one of the most exquisite. (complete article at http://rockarteditions.com/joni-mitchell-paintings-1-album-covers-the-studio-albums/)