Richard Diebenkorn

Contemporary Painting

“Notes to myself on beginning a painting

  1. Attempt what is not certain. Certainly may or may not come later. It may then be a value delusion.

  2. The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued – except as a stimulus for further moves.

  3. DO search.

  4. Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider them absolutely expendable.

  5. Don’t “discover” a subject – of any kind.

  6. Somehow don’t be bored but if you must, use it in action. Use its destructive potential.

  7. Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position.

  8. Keep thinking about Pollyanna.

  9. Tolerate chaos.

  10. Be careful only in a perverse way.

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