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Diebenkorn's Notes to Himself

Richard Diebenkorn, via Rebecca Solnit.

Notes to myself on beginning a painting

  • attempt what is not certain. Certainty may or may not come later. It may then be a valuable delusion.
  • The pretty, initial position which falls short of completeness is not to be valued — except as a stimulus for further moves.
  • Do search. But in order to find other than what is searched for.
  • Use and respond to the initial fresh qualities but consider them absolutely expendable.
  • Dont “discover” a subject — of any kind.
  • Somehow don’t be bored — but if you must, use it in action. Use its destructive potential.
  • Mistakes can’t be erased but they move you from your present position.
  • Keep thinking about Polyanna.
  • Tolerate chaos.
  • Be careful only in a perverse way.