Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Yatra, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches, © 2010 Diane McGregor

"Only dead paintings are executed. Living ones come into being. They are a record of decisions; the sum of actions taken and reactions to them, of judgements made and of the reconsiderations and revisions that those initial judgements prompt. Painting is a process; painting is doubt; painting is the suspension of disbelief and the physical affirmation of formal and material intuitions for which there is no prior justification. Painting is what painters do while others argue about painting." -- Robert Storr, in Cage: Six Paintings by Gerhard Richter, p 59.

As I paint, I notice that it is always a process of creation and obliteration -- it's a constant give and take, choosing which marks and passages to keep, and which ones need to be removed, scraped back, or covered over. I must embrace the totality of the painting as a whole. Only then will I be willing to sacrifice a beautiful passage in order to achieve the absolute vision I have of the harmony and balance that each composition contains.

"...As with a field seasonally put to the torch and ploughed in preparation for new crops, a painting from which every vital sign appears to have been removed may be precisely that in which painting's mutable but ineradicable fecundity most startlingly shows itself." (ibid., p 60)


About Connie Goldman said...

I enjoyed this, Diane!

Question: Were the quotes from p.p. 59 and 60 by Richter or by Storr?

Diane McGregor said...

Hi Connie, both quotes are by Storr. It's a fantastic book -- shows paintings by Richter as they developed over a period of weeks; great photography and detail shots of the paintings.

Suzanne Dunn said...

Hi Diane,
Just discovered your blog. Really enjoyed it!
Suzanne Dunn

Kelly M. said...

creation and obliteration -- great!

Diane McGregor said...

Thanks, Kelly.

Dara Mark said...

Great, great quote. The painting"s good, too. Thanks for both.