Who are your creative influencers?

I’ve always admired American painter Richard Diebenkorn (1922 – 1993) and today I was struck to recognize his influence on some artwork I created years ago in a totally different medium.

Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series series has long fascinated me for reasons I don’t fully understand. But one of our first purchases as a young couple was a framed Diebenkorn poster featuring his 1970 painting, Ocean Park #29. We’d just moved into our first apartment in a small college town and though money was tight, we splurged on some art for our walls.

Fortunately, the Diebenkorn poster survived many moves and currently hangs in my ‘studio.’ So it was very convenient to use as a reference for my first watercolor pencil exploration.

I hoped that by recreating #29 in a very small size and a different medium, I could quickly practice drawing, try out the pencils and understand more about why this particular painting charms me so. Why was Diebenkorn using this color next to that? What was his purpose using the diagonal while line? How does he blend his colors and lines?

Though Diebenkorn worked in oils for his OP series, I was also eager to see whether I could hold a firm edge between various watercolors while still making something painterly.

In my homage to Mr. Diebenkorn, below, my jewel tones evoke transparency and light.


I based another sketch, below, on his Ocean Park #79 (1975).

Reinterpreting the Diebenkorns does not make my qiuck sketches original art. But studying them in this way has simply helped me learn more about his work and how I might apply what I’ve learned in the future.


However, this morning, as I was dusting off and browsing through some old design sketchbooks from my jewelry making days, I could see his influence in my series of cloisonne enameled pins/brooches and pendants. These three pieces relate to his work, but I never realized that until today.


Perhaps our influencers affect us differently at various times in our lives.

Whose influence fuels your creativity?


5 thoughts on “Who are your creative influencers?

  1. Hi Peggy,
    I really enjoyed this piece about your thinking and looking and working with Richard Diebenkorn’s work. Do you know there’s a show on at the moment in Baltimore about Matisse and Diebenkorn. RD was very influenced by Matisse … After the exhibition has finished at The Baltimore Museum of Art it’s going on to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, perhaps you could visit it. (I’m not sure where you are …) here’s a link: https://artbma.org/exhibitions/matisse-diebenkorn



  2. Luynn, thank you for this! San Francisco is just two hours south of Seattle, where I live, by air, so I will plan to go see the exhibit when it makes its way to the West Coast. Also seeing a strong connection between Diebenkorn and Edward Hopper’s later works and am writing a post about both artist’s impact on my thinking. Great to hear from you! Peg


  3. Oh, my gosh Peg, these are wonderful. I shouldn’t have expected anything less. Oh my goodness. I loved seeing your work and seeing your jewelry from long ago and how your influence crosses over from one medium to another. I love seeing it.
    Thanks for your note. Yes, talk SOON. I am so impressed with you, as always. Always exploring something new, and this is soulful. Thank you!


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