Diebenkorn’s Notes to Himself on Beginning a Painting

I find these notes Diebenkorn made to himself when beginning a painting to be very helpful in my own process. I grew up in California and remember the first time I saw a Diebenkorn painting, and I experienced California light in his work. So I have some respect for what he says here.

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.

 

 

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