Joni Mitchell or A Path to Painting
Works > 1977 - 1989


The corpus inspired by the art of Joni Mitchell spans over a bit less than fifteen years. The first part was developed between 1977 and 1982. The second as of 1983, when I had the privilege of meeting Joni Mitchell in Paris, in order to present this first part of research inspired by her work. This meeting motivated the extension and deepening of this primary corpus, until 1989.


Started in the mid-1970s during my course of study at the ESAG (Paris Art School Met de Penninghen & Jacques d'Andon), this research was therefore concluded in the twilight of the 1980s. The final stages of my exploration journey of Joni Mitchell's work (years 1988 and 1989), gave me access to Painting - in any case, the kind that has become mine. This, in terms of both the pictorial technique as of the relevance of editorial choices within the dynamics of reflection, in the context of a specific theme.

This work allowed me to experience a whole set of media and supports, helped in that task by my Art School's teaching of course, but also by exchanges with some of my student friends, sometimes expert with a panel of techniques which initially were not familiar to me. This learning resulted in a fruitful emulation, with the discovery of techniques other than that of gouache (which I was already familiar with before I entered ESAG, having used it for the entire series inspired by the music of Elton John as early as 1972). Eventually, thanks to my work inspired by Joni Mitchell, I was able to experience linocut engraving, oil, acrylics and the art of collage as well, and especially the vinylic painting on canvas which became my chosen medium over time.

In the perspective of the globality of my work, this is why the role of this apprenticeship inspired by Joni Mitchell’s work proves to be essential : it simply sealed my destiny as a painter. On a more personal level, Joni Mitchell remains in my heart and my mind one of the most fundamental and dazzling encounters of my existence, and this well beyond the exceptional nature of the context of our metings and exchanges on the subject of art in the Eighties.

Thus, following the example of Joni Mitchell who dedicated in 1967 her first album Song To A Seagull to her English teacher Mr. Katzmann, because he "taught her to love words", I can only pay tribute today to the one who made me love hers by showing me my way, as a result. Joni Mitchell and her outlook on life made me understand that the refusal of compromise and the deepening of meaning were the essential foundations of any artistic approach worthy of the name. The art and writings of this artist of exceptional and manifold talents -being a painter, an unparalleled pioneer musician, an author and poet whose legacy is everywhere celebrated in the world-, have truly nourished my young images then in the process of blooming. Like a benevolent plant stake, they have guided the shrub towards its flowering, and its final development into Painting.

Beyond the permanent and never-faded enchantment provided by listening to her music and her words, this is what I owe Joni Mitchell.











© Jacques Benoit. Design, œuvres, photographies et textes par Jacques Benoit et placés sous son copyright. Les contenus provenant d'autres sources sont crédités comme tel, ainsi que leur origine.
© Jacques Benoit. Design, works, photographies and texts by Jacques Benoit and under the author’s copyright. Except when derived from other sources and then mentioned as such.