Richard Diebenkorn

In memory and tribute to our friend
Corey Parker  (1976-2010)

Richard Diebenkorn 

Diebenkorn maintained his love of vivid color and structured composition in both his abstract and representational works. Born in Portland, Oregon in 1922, Diebenkorn moved with his family to San Francisco in 1924. After attending Stanford University from 1940 to 1942, he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, where he concentrated on art classes. In the winter of 1944, when he was stationed in Virginia, he frequently visited The Phillips Collection, where he was inspired by the paintings of Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne. He particularly admired Matisse’s technique of structuring space through planes of color, merging indoor and outdoor space. Returning to San Francisco in 1946, Diebenkorn enrolled at the California School of Fine Arts, where he studied with David Park, an expressionist artist from the Bay Area. Awarded a fellowship the same year, he moved East, living and working in Woodstock, New York, visiting New York City, and making many contacts. After returning to San Francisco, where he defined himself as a leading Bay Area artist, he was appointed to the faculty at the California School of Fine Arts in 1947, a position he held for two years; his fellow teachers included Elmer Bischoff, Edward Corbett, Hassel Smith, and Clyfford Still.

 Diebenkorn had his first one-person show in 1948 at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. After receiving a degree from Stanford University in 1949, he was awarded an M.F.A. from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque in 1951. He briefly taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana 1952-53, settling shortly thereafter in Berkeley, California. Diebenkorn often titled his works after places that provided him with inspiration, such as his Berkeley paintings. Throughout the 1940s and early 1950s, Diebenkorn followed a distinctive abstract vocabulary of forms, stylistically rooted in the New York School, placing him firmly within the ethos of American modernism. However, in 1955 he shifted from abstraction to a more representational mode, making reference to observed subjects. Until 1967, when he returned to abstraction, Diebenkorn executed still-lifes, landscapes and interior figure paintings that present his finely tuned sense of color and structure.

From 1955 to 1973 Diebenkorn taught at several California arts institutions, including a position at UCLA (1967) while he worked in a studio in the Ocean Park district of Santa Monica. There he created his last representational works, but returned to abstraction with his Ocean Park paintings. This series is characterized by broadly brushed surfaces of luminescent and atmospheric color, affirming the artist’s continuing concern with formal issues. These abstract brilliantly colored works—both paintings and drawings—elicited great acclaim, and The Phillips Collection owns three works from this series. Diebenkorn remained a prolific artist until his death in Berkeley, California, in 1993.

Diebenkorn c. 1980's

Diebenkorn ocean park studio c. 1968


Corey Parker

Corey was featured on "Illustration Mundo" in mid Dec 2010, about a week before he passed away.
His work is just amazing.

See more of corey's work:

Dorothy Dehner

graphic arts.

Dorothy Dehner


Dorothy Dehner was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1901. Dehner moved to Pasadena, California, in 1915 and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she studied modern dance. In 1922, after resolving to become an actress, she moved to New York to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Art. A trip to Europe in 1925 provided opportunities to see work by important modern artists such as Picasso and Matisse; this inspired her to pursue a career as an artist, with a strong interest in sculpture. Returning to New York, she enrolled at the Art Students League, but became disenchanted when exposed to the more traditional and formal styles espoused by her instructors. At this time, she turned to painting in a more modern style, reflecting her interest in the more progressive and abstract style of cubist art.

 Dehner c. 1950's

In 1940, Dehner married artist David Smith and moved to Bolton Landing, a farm outside of New York City. During these years, her art became secondary to her duties as a wife, but she was able to continue to paint some works, many in a relatively realist manner. Her paintings entitled “Life on the Farm” served as a diary of her time in Bolton Landing and became a psychological reflection of her life. In 1950 she had her first solo exhibition featuring her ink drawings at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. This show was a turning point in Dehner’s life. Soon after, Dehner divorced her husband and focused solely on her artistic career.

In 1952 Dehner once again began working with three-dimensional forms. During the 1950s and 1960s, she made sculpture in bronze as well as direct metal constructions. Eventually she began working with wood, experimenting with her forms and incorporating jagged elements, and finally, making block-like, towering structures. Dehner had more than 50 solo exhibitions of her work in various media within the United States and executed numerous public commissions for such organizations as the New York Medical College, Rockefeller Center, and the American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation. Dehner continued making sculpture until her death in 1994.

I saw many of her works during a recent Abstract Expressionist  exhibition  at the MOMA
I was blown away.  


Haddon Sundblom


Sundblom was born in MuskegonMichigan to a Swedish-speaking family. He studied at the American Academy of Art and The Art Institute of Chicago. He created the  famous Coco Cola Santa Claus. Sundblom was inspired by master John Singer Sargent and if you look closely at his loose fluid brush strokes his work shines with light much like Sargent's portraits. He began painting Santa for Coco Cola in 1931 which continued for the next 35 years. He worked for a wide range of clients as well including were Colgate, Maxwell House, Proctor and Gamble, also creating the Quaker Oats Man ( which is also a self portrait ) 

Sundblom himself having a coke and a smile.

From Clement Moore's (1822) poem "A Visit From St. Nicholas" described the toy maker as "chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf." Haddon Sundblom looked in the mirror and decided to use himself as the model, he didn't have a beard so he just painted one on. In the 1950's, he spent several of the winter months in Tucson, Arizona.  It was reported that he "had trouble painting with the natural light in Arizona" creating much "yellows" in his work.  One of his assistants reported that Sundblom used to drink heavily, never drank on the job, but when he finished a painting, "He would go on a two-day bender, then come into the studio in a wrinkled suit coat, wash up, and get to work".  He also reported that Sundblom painted very fast, and instructed his students to 'loosen up' with their paintings and to strive for the look of having been done fast, even though it might take many hours. Sundblom was elected into The Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame 87'.  

His iconic originals have since been exhibited 
at the Louvre, Paris in recent years 
(Not to shabby for an illustrator!)

 Sundblom's famous Quater Oats man.

 Santa styling hard in his Saarinen "Womb" Chair. hohoho 

Happy Holidays to all you Creatives out there! 
and a HAPPY+ HEALTHY 2012.  : eye-likey

dedicated to  
Donna and Jim, 
We will miss you guys so much!