The Mind of a Designer: Knitting a Diebenkorn

April 19, 2017

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27 Comments
  • I saw the show in San Francisco, and it is stunning.

  • Diebenkorn lived in our current house (in SF) as a child! It is in the Ingleside neighborhood – another of his series of paintings. Looking forward to seeing the show soon.

  • Thank you for this. Like the museum curators, Julia makes me feel smarter and more aware of what I’m seeing.

    • I agree. I’ve been thinking about Mondrian while knitting the Brambling shawl. This has opened up a world of possibilities. From now on I will be thinking, “Can I knit that?”

  • I have seen the show twice at SFMOMA. I’m looking forward to seeing for a 3rd time. It’s a must see.

  • It was a wonderful exhibit and I am so intrigued by your response. It demonstrates the difference between an appreciator of art and an artist like yourself. That red line is very special!

  • Brilliant!

  • I love your swatch. Thank you for introducing me to an artist I wasn’t familiar with.

  • i saw the show at the sfmoma and i loved it! color, light, subject – all gorgeous.

  • I would buy a full-size-shawl pattern of Ocean Park 79 in a hot minute. I love the translation of the painting into knitting.

  • I am a painter by profession. A few years ago, I realized I was having more fun with the crafting projects than with my oils on canvas. So I took a year off to pursue a painting process that mimicked what I loved about the crafting process. The result was a big change in my work and a lot more satisfaction.

    I love this piece, thank you, Julia. And to hear that Brooke is inspired by Diebenkorn makes total sense when I think of her gorgeous watery hues. Makes me even more determined to get myself some of her yarn soon.

    Fun bit of trivia: Supposedly, Diebenkorn’s Ocean Park series was inspired by how the broken glass in his studio windows fractured and divided up his view. Who knows for sure, but I think of that every time I see one of the pieces.

  • Oh PLEASE oh PLEASE make this into a pattern! I have had a long admiration for both of these artists and just had a beloved friend and her daughter come to San Francisco for the exhibition. We were all smitten and inspired. How perfect would it be for me to knit them our experience for Christmas? You are a blessing!

  • I used to live in Ocean Park one block from Diebenkorn’s old studio. He loved the light in So Cal. Hence the Ocean Park series. Love your interpretation.

  • A nice article and I’m looking forward to seeing this show in SF which is close to my home. I would also be interested in seeing the pattern you create from this show!

  • Very interesting shawl idea! I would like to see it knitted in a sock or sport weight in graduated colors so that the depth of the painting shows up but without the definition of color. Obviously the small sample reads as being done with a bulkier than bulky yarn . I think the full size shawl will be lovely — go for it!

  • I love this post and I love the exhibit I was fortunate to see here in San Francisco. I think I’ll go back. I’m so eager to try a version of my own painting to knit/crochet that it hurts.

  • I love the swatch but I also want to take your friend’s tour of Baltimore! I’ve been here a few years and feel like I barely know anything about it, it sounds lovely!

  • On my way to SF TOMORROW (!!!!!!!) specifically to see this show! Cannot wait!

  • Love it all!

  • I also saw the exhibit at the BMA. I’ve been to a lot of museums all over the world, and this was one of the best exhibits I’ve ever seen. It was a pleasure.

    Lemon, drive around Roland Park and then drink at WC Harlan.

  • Love this and I’m thinking how beautiful it would be in lace weight for a summer shawl/wrap.

  • I was blown away by the exhibit in Baltimore. My husband came along just because and he wound up talking about it the entire 90 minute drive home. Lovely work you are doing there. Can’t wait to see how it progresses!

  • I was so inspired by this show at SFMOMA. The way this exhibit was curated taught me so much about color, form and how one artist can influence and inspire another. Often I allow my creativity to get stuck for fear of copying another’s work – this show and your post invites all of us to let go of our fear and to allow inspiration to flow from one creative person to another and to trust that our work will be our work. So grateful for your article and for your knitting swatch and scarf!

  • I just saw this show in San Francisco on Thursday. It’s fabulous. I am so inspired by his use of color and the proportion of colors.

  • Susan Saari of Sisu Designs in Ely MN used to have us do a similar exercise with Georgia O’Keefe paintings at knitting retreats held at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. Thanks for the wonderful post to refresh those memories and reinspire my color knitting!

  • I love this! It reminds me of another knitting designer inspired by art: Virginia Catherall. Most of her designs are inspired by nature, but a painting inspired the striping pattern of her Jasmine Sidewinder Stole (available on Ravelry). I do love the cross-fertilization of inspiration from different sources!

  • I saw the show here in Baltimore and loved it. I am a weaver as well as a knitter and I kept seeing tapestries with all those huge canvases in the Ocean Park series. This post reminded me to look up my notes from my visit, and Ocean Park #79 was a favorite. I am inspired to weave a small tapestry response to it–but I do love your knit design. At the very least the paintings inspire us to play more with color. The show was very inspirational. Anyone near San Francisco should check it out.