Art Envy Wednesday- Richard Diebenkorn

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I first saw Richard Diebenkorn’s work in the mid 1990’s when I went on a college trip to San Francisco. Sadly I don’t really remember a lot from the trip (I don’t think I was even 20 at the time and I lost all the photos from the trip), BUT the visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art introduced my enduring love for the work of Richard Diebenkorn.

Richard Diebenkorn, Cityscape I,(Landscape No. 1), 1963

There was something about the work that sang to me and although I couldn’t articulate it at the time I was very drawn to his work. Interestingly enough I never sought to emulate his work though. Something in me has always hesitated in not expressing my own style and although it is always evolving, I have never wanted my art to be overtly influenced by another artist. I am perfectly happy with it showing up but I don’t want to start a painting thinking “how would so-and-so do this?”

The work that I remember the most from the exhibition was from his “Ocean Park” series. This work was directly influenced by Matisse’s paintings that were  created in 1914. 


Matisse, View of Notre-Dame (1914). 

 Matisse, French Window at Collioure, 1914


Richard Diebenkorn Ocean Park #79, 1975 Oil on canvas 93 x 81 in.

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park No. 54, 1972

This series of painting produced over 100 paintings that took there subject matter from ariel landscapes and, perhaps, even views from his own studio and is named after the area where he lived and created his work in San Francisco.

I am currently loving the paintings based on everyday scenes such as these.


 Richard Diebenkorn, Interior with Book, 1959
 Richard Diebenkorn, Bottles, 1960

  Richard Diebenkorn, Corner of Studio Sink, 1963
Richard Diebenkorn, Knife and Glass, 1963

I am drawn to the quality of brush strokes and how he handled both the paint and the forms. I enjoy the elevation of the everyday and being influenced by your surroundings and expressing that through colour and form.

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