Joni Mitchell

“Oh I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I’m frightened by the devil
And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid

Joni Mitchell’s lyrics A Case of You have been with me since my mid-teens… I always wondered what it would feel like to live in a box of paints… and now I know. I think that what she meant by those words was the fact that when I am painting, I forget everything but the act of painting… which is quite rare in my case. Rarely when I do anything that I forget time and space… except when gardening, playing music and painting. A psychologist by the name of Michael Csikszentmihalyi studied this phenomenon and named it the Flow, an optimal experience.

Les paroles de Joni Mitchell m’ont toujours touchées, ça depuis l’adolescence. Quand elle dit qu’elle vit dans une boîte de peintures, je crois comprendre ce qu’elle veut dire. Quand je peins, je vis totalement dans le moment, sans savoir l’heure et l’espace que j’occupe… je suis empreinte dans le sujet. Quand je joue de la musique, peindre, jardiner c’est dans ces moments que cet état survient… Michael Csikszentmihalyi a étudié ce phénomène pendant toute sa vie. 

Paper: Moleskine Sketchbook
Colours: S. Cerulean Blue, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson, Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Yellow
Fountain Pen: Pilot FlexiGrip EF
Ink: Noodlers Lexington Grey



About Jane Hannah

Canadian graphic artist, painter, sketcher, typographer, calligrapher and teacher at Cégep John Abbott College in Québec, Canada. Jane Hannah also has a website for her students at and a main blog at She is also part of the Montreal Urban Sketchers.
This entry was posted in Sketches / Drawings / Paintings and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Joni Mitchell

  1. Judy Brannon says:

    Wonderful painting!


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