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I'm going to paint a second version in black...


 WED 24 JAN 11.50

We could be there. The framework was in place but today the marks were more physical, more emotional, more certain. In the final moves, the left side was simplified - more white, more snow - a contrasting dark brushstoke bottom-right, a string of white dots along the top and finally a slash/cut angled mark, bringing directness, purpose and difference. Among the soft colours and meandering curves, that last mark is danger, risk...truth.


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Life's journeys, physical journeys, relationships, artistic journeys all intertwined in music, lyrics and paint. In this piece, superficial marks, ideas, experiments are replaced over time by marks with meaning and feeling and belonging, the visual and the emotional finally coming together. The painting has to be called 'Hejira', no hiding...


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 ‘The people that get the most out of my music see themselves in it’  JONI MITCHELL

“The most important thing is to write in your blood’’  JONI MITCHELL




With Joni Mitchell, of course, it's both the lyrics and the music that project emotion, that flexible soprano, with startling notes and chords. I chose to make drawings from 'Hejira' with my eyes closed, my pencil tracing journeys across the page, responding to both lyrics and music. The first visual idea that emerged was from the lyric  'Now here's a man and a woman stting on a rock, They're either going to thaw out or freeze'  - the critical point in all relationships - represented by the parallel lines in 1 & 2, which I then changed to the shapes of California and Maine, almost touching, which dominated the early stages of the painting.


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 WED 24 JAN 10am

A new blue sweeps in right to left,  a large white mark above and a heavier teal in the top-left - 'In this moody sky today' - bringing added heft and movement,

Is there a simpler painting? Bring in some black? Does the journey ever end?


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Too much girly-pink and Joni is not a girly-pink kind of girl...(5)



More pinks, a new blue top-right, the 'journey-line' snakes from LA to Maine. Perhaps the painting needs an area of stability, maybe purer shapes of black and white. The painting has the motion but not the emotion...


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More flow, the centre-section now under snow, but will return, smaller...the 'journey-line' - California to Maine - dances across the canvas...



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THURS 19 JAN 2024

Working my way through a tribute to Joni Mitchell's wintry masterpiece 'Hejira', a constant in my life. It's been a long day. More snow tomorrow, advancing to the left-edge. Whiteout...


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