Joan Mitchell had her demons but she made beautiful paintings and worked hard in spite of them. I discovered her in an art magazine when I knew nothing about art except that I liked to draw and wanted to learn how to paint. I’ve looked closely at her work for a long time now so her marks and colors are deep in my head and hand at this point. Even though I’m still trying to figure Agnes Martin out, I believe she tapped into a spiritual realm that painting rarely goes. She seemed to know the visible and the invisible.
As for Jane Goodall and Patti Smith, there are a lot of reasons they are on my studio wall, but mainly I put them there because they are both still working hard and passionately, just as I hope to be doing in twenty or thirty years. About a year ago I pinned this little grouping up to see every day because I need role models.