Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Workshop: Richard Diebenkorn Painting Advice

Richard Diebenkorn
Notes to myself on beginning a painting

1.   Attempt what is not certain. Certainty may not come later. It may be 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 just destructive potential.
7.   Mistakes can't be arranged, but they move you from your present position.
8.   Keep thinking about Pollyanna.
9.   Tolerate chaos.
10. Be careful only in a perverse way.


  1. Think I'll print this brilliant list to hang in my studio. I've always admired RD's ability to ride the line twixt landscape and abstraction. Seeing him sitting there in front of his easel, with that piece of creation on it, gives me the chills. Wonder what he thought of it. Did it thrill him, too?

  2. I flipped when I saw those shots of him in the studio...had to put them in there.

    Those words will be close by for me too.

    I think the work of his on the easel (left) is one of the best American landscape paintings. I wonder to what he felt. I would think he was pleased at a minimum.