Love feels like a great misfortune, a monstrous parasite, a permanent state of emergency that ruins all small pleasures.
Low Water, 1969. Oil on canvas, 112 x 79 inches (284.48 x 200.66 cm). Carnegie Museum of Art
One of Joan's favorite haunts, the smoke-and stale beer-perfumed San Remo had black- and- white tiled floors, a pressed-tin ceiling, a dark-mirrored bar, and a clientele that included James Agee, Miles Davis, Judith Malina, Tennessee Williams, and young New York poets. There painter Jane Freilicher used to observe Joan and Mike across the room--she in jeans and the talismanic long leather coat- smoking, drinking, huddling conspiratorially over a little table, and looking "very French New Wave."
Untitled, 1961. Oil on canvas, 90 x 81 inches (228.6 x 205.7 cm). Collection of the Joan Mitchell Foundation, New York
Although there is no specific place, nature is more ‘really’ present than in most representational paintings. It is because of the ‘reality’ of the details. The details, shaped like brushstrokes, have committed shapes, and the colors have committed texture, hue, and substance. They are not muddy, which has nothing to do with the presence or absence of browns or grays, but with their being clearly what they are. Miss Mitchell has been attentive to outside nature and her inner experience, and she gives you something real.
Nothing prevents me from being a writer except laziness. A good writer.
Why is writing important? Mainly, out of egotism, I suppose. Because I want to be that persona, a writer, and not because there is something I must say. Yet why not that too? With a little ego-building — such as the fait accompli this journal provides — I shall win through to the confidence that I (I) have something to say, that should be said.
My “I” is puny, cautious, too sane. Good writers are roaring egotists, even to the point of fatuity. Sane men, critics, correct them — but their sanity is parasitic on the creative fatuity of genius.