“Notes to myself on beginning a painting” by Richard Diebenkorn
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.
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.
Richard Diebenkorn is in The Sackler Wing at the Royal Academy in London from March 14 to June 7, 2015.
1. The viewer is your friend, comrade, and brother.
2. Vary your intimate relations with the painting.
3. Before you begin to sketch on the canvas, sharpen your pencil properly.
4. Do not forget that there are also artists in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Chukotka, and other regions.
5. By placing the surname of the portrait subject beneath his portrait, you will increase the likeness approximately sevenfold.
6. Be sensible: get into your painting, but get out as soon your session ends.
7. You should not ponder the idea of your next work nor is it recommended that you think about it.
8. Make the viewer your accomplice; incline him to think that you are right.
9. Art requires sacrifices, sacrificiality, self-sacrifice, and ritual sacrifice
10. Skillfully using pattern, color, texture, color temperature, tone, varnish, and Chinese and Indian philosophy, tell the viewer everything, but do not give away any secrets.
— Vadim Ovchinnikov (1951–1996)
Originally published in English at The Russian Schizorevolution: An Exhibition That Might Have Been, March 1–May 31, 2009, Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht; subsequently published in Brushstroke: The New Artists and Necrorealists, 1982–1991, exhibition catalogue (Saint Petersburg: Palace Editions: 2010)
Thanks to Comrade EF for the heads-up.