A Chair In The Sky

Joni's comments from the 1988 eclection art exhibition catalog and titled A Chair In The Sky: I painted this in a night and a day. Charlie was dying and he was frightened.

Joni's comments from the 1979 StarArt book:
I painted almost constantly for two days to do this portrait of Charles Mingus. I had his features down, so the likeness was there, but there was no real emotion coming off. I just kept pushing the paint around on the board, waiting for the right expression to appear; then suddenly it was there. The emotion is a very complex one in a way. I'm hesitant to say the emotions I think it embodies but if I were in his place I think I know what he would have been feeling at that time in his life and I think I've captured it.

Joni made 100 lithographs of this image and others from the album package, and gave them to friends as a holiday gift.

This particular photo is of a copy gifted by Mitchell to a friend from her management company. This example is number 15/100, and has been boldly titled and signed by Mitchell in black marker.

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Kit Autry on

I guess that two day's of commitment really paid off. All that work and, probably a carton of cigarettes. But a true artist knows when to stop. It works with music to. I know I've done it. Peace. KIT