(Joni Mitchell Paintings Interview of Joni Mitchell by Rene Engel © KCSN-FM December 21, 1999)
There's a lot of humour, which you're not supposed to take yourself more seriously. I give funny names to a lot of the paintings, like Canadian Bacon, but that's because I'm not in the art game. I paint them, then I hang them in my house and I can say flippant things about them if I want to. I don't have to adapt or adopt any kind of mystical stance. I always think I don't have to play the poet like Leonard Cohen does. You have to watch everything you say. I like to be dumb and ordinary because that's where fun takes place. Leonard doesn't have a lot of fun; he's been studying all his life to try. I still like to and I have blessed friends who are capable of it. It's the spirit of child-play that Picasso was trying to get back. I admire him for his effort, but he said all children are genius painters and he spent his whole life trying to undo the precocious education his father gave him. I've been able to get to that impulsive, joyous place by not having to make a career out of painting. By just doing portraits of friends and animals. This show is curated, so it isn't the whole picture. But the work is very personal. I don't write for an audience. If there is an audience, it's just the divine keeping me honest.
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