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Notes from Richard Diebenkorn

I came across these notes on a book of Richard Diebenkorn‘s paintings, and thought that they have a certain transference to writing, especially poetry. Happy new year!

Notes to myself on beginning a painting

1. Attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable 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. But in order to find other than what is searched for.

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 Polyanna.

9. Tolerate chaos.

10. Be careful only in a perverse way.

Mon, January 3 2011 » Poetry

2 Responses

  1. Andrea January 3 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    I don’t understand this concept of publishing on the web an extensive quote without citing its source, especially by a writer. These words of the artist appear courtesy of Phyllis Diebenkorn in John Elderfield’s essay in “The Art of Richard Diebenkorn,” authored by Jane Livingston for the Whitney Museum’s catalogue of their 1997-98 Diebenkorn retrospective. That’s a lot of credits. But it’s good practice to give credit where credit is due.

  2. Alan January 3 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    Superb! Duly noted!

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