A few years ago I came across some paintings on instagram of landscapes by artist Matt Murphy, that I loved. The California in Matt’s paintings was immediately familiar to me, and the color palettes and the energy drew me in right away.

Im always drawn to artists who have a point of view and are fearless when it comes to expressing their work with color, because it’s the language I speak in my own work.

Matt Murphy makes deeply saturated and layered paintings that in my opinion express his love of California, and more specifically the desert. His paintings remind me of the insides of stone fruit you’d find in the summer, pluots, peaches, apricots but mixed with bright blue play dough and fluorescent high lighters. His first show was really focused on the far away vistas, mountains, hills, sun sets.

Recently he had a show in Venice called Freak of Nature, that he speaks about below.

Artist Matt Murphy, copyright Diana Koenigsberg

I had a studio visit with Matt this fall that we had talked about doing for the past couple of years, and finally got around to doing post vaccinations. To see more of Matt’s work check out his instagram and website.

Portrait of Artist Matt Murphy in his studio, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021

For my recent show, Freak of Nature, I continued my fascination and exploration of the California high desert.

From the rich hues and fluid shapes, to the endless variety of alien cacti – the desert is such a profound backdrop to explore. 
Even though I’ve been making art my whole life, and studied graphic design at RISD, the practice of painting is still very new to me. For the past three years, I’ve pushed myself to explore the world around me in full color – versus just black and white drawings.

The more I played with color, the more I realized how much of a missing ingredient it was for me, and how it fueled my path forward. 

Studio of Artist Matt Murphy, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021
Painting surface in Matt’s Studio, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021

For me, art is all about methodology and routine – you have to make art part of a daily practice. So that’s exactly what I did. Over time, and many many experiments, I started to create my own process for how the desert would come to life. Rather than using one single paint brush – I began connecting them together – creating what I now call, super brushes. With some as large as 60″, these super brushes became the first step to each painting that I make.

Matt’s Super brushes in his studio

Artistically, I’m influenced by so many both past and present. From Van Gogh’s sketchbooks in Arles to Calder’s ‘Circus’, I’m constantly feeding off of how people SEE the world – and then re-present back with new understanding, or texture, or whimsy. 
In terms of straight up artists who I deeply love and admire – Ed Ruscha and Ken Price are very high on my list.

I’m inspired by how their body of work expands over time – across all kinds of mediums and subject matters. 

Studio of Artist Matt Murphy, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021
Portrait of Artist Matt Murphy in his studio, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021

At this moment in my practice, making art is both about finding my voice and honing the presentation of my craft – all the while making sure there’s a ‘give back’ quality. I’m constantly auctioning off my paintings or using my work to raise money for needed causes in the world. As I look to nature as a source of beauty – doing all I can to help protect and give back to it is key.

Ash Cornejo in front of the goat shed at Flamingo Estate, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021

Ash Cornejo is the herbalist at Flamingo Estate in Eagle Rock, CA and the owner of Painted Cave Apathecary.

We met up recently on a cloudy morning in July in the medicine garden at Flamingo Estate to chat and to do this portrait session. I’ve been loving Ash’s herbal creations this past year, she has made a gorgeous hand soap and body wash for Flamingo estate using Sage, Ylang Ylang, Tulsi, Desert Yarrow and Blue Chamomile. Using both of these products especially the body wash was one of my greatest luxuries over the past year which was pretty grim during many months of lockdown.

Now that things are opening up a bit and Ash is about to move up north to finish her degree in Berkeley, I wanted to meet her and hear more about her work. She invited me to the medicine garden and Goat Shed where she and horticulturalist Jeff Hutchinson collaborate on new products. Ash showed me where she and Jeff sit outside the goat shed and dream up their next projects while overlooking the valley that Jeff has planted with California natives, fruit trees and about 150 other botanical species that grow on the property’s seven-acre hillside landscape surrounding Flamingo Estate’s Founder Richard Christiansen’s home and the name sake for the brand.

Ash Cornejo , copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021

When I got home from the shoot I sent Ash some questions so she could share her story in her own words.

Here’s our interview:

What’s your major at Berkeley and your plan after ( I think you mentioned that it’s ethnobotony but can’t remember), I recall you saying you want to work in healthcare and connect it to traditional folk medicine? 

My major is Medical Ethnobotany. I went back to school in my 30’s, so I am finishing up my bachelor’s degree now, and will graduate Spring 2022. I am currently applying to grad programs in medicine, and I hope to pursue an advanced degree that will allow me to work in healthcare, focusing on the importance of integrating traditional and folk medicine with modern healthcare systems. I’m working on research now on Latinx folk and alternative medicine usage during COVID-19.

Would you currently describe your work at Flamingo as an herbalist?

I would call myself the herbalist at Flamingo. Jeff and I do a lot of dreaming up ideas together, and then I usually find sound ways to implement them, focusing on chemistry, phytopharmacology, etc. I then create and bottle all the tinctures we make at Flamingo. 

Apothecary still life, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021
Jeff Hutchinson and Rani outside the music room at Flamingo Estate, 2018

Since you’re a vegan and I’m working my way that direction, can you share some of your favorite places to eat in LA?

Shojin LA for sushi. Cena Vegan for authentic Mexican food. The Ricans for delicious Puerto Rican food. Burgerlords for Inn-n-out style vegan burgers and fries and shakes. I love Crossroads for fancier nights out, Mama’s Tamales has pupusas, tamales, and Salvadoran vegan options, Dune in Atwater has great falafel, and Ramen Hood in DTLA has amazing vegan ramen.  

What’s your favorite thing about creating from plants and herbs?

I love being with the land, and connected with the land. Touching soil and leaves and roots is necessary to my being, and creating from the earth allows me to be fully present, and also symbiotic. I never take more from the land than would benefit it. Caring for the plants is the best part of working with plants. 

Ash Cornejo , copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021

Favorite creation.

I am really excited about our Aphrodisiac Elixir right now, because it is based on a formula I have been making for nearly a decade. It’s a special combination of precious plants designed to open the heart and mind. 

Designers you love to wear and why 

Ash wearing Christy Dawn, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2021

My current favorites are Heidi Merrick, Oddbird, Christy Dawn, and Ovate.

All of these brands are women owned, and smaller scale. Heidi Merrick, Oddbird, and Christy Dawn are all LA local, and Ovate is a single woman run business in Montreal. Ovate has beautiful, whimsical, fairy-tale style pieces. Christy Dawn is doing some really amazing work right now, with their regenerative farm to closet collection. In the past, they have used only deadstock fabric, helping to alleviate the waste left over from the industry. Now, with their farm to closet endeavor, they are growing cotton on land in India that was depleted by monocropping. They are working with a farmers collective to replenish the soil using traditional practices. These dresses actually draw carbon from the atmosphere into the soil, meaning these dresses directly combat climate change. Their first collection drew 66 tons of carbon from the atmosphere. I try to only wear brands that pay a living wage, don’t overproduce, and are small scale. Fashion is a very damaging industry to the environment, so I try to still enjoy fashion through sustainable and responsible brands. 


Abel Macias – Painter, Muralist, Sculpter.  Just before quarantine I went to Abel’s studio for a visit. We had a great time. I asked him about his inspirations as an artist20_2_abelmac12925 1Artist Abel Macias in his studio, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Dia

He loves pink because it reminds him of sunsets. David Hockney is one of his favorite painters. Abel lives in Echo Park with his dog and his boyfriend fellow artist Bradly Duncan and their dogs.

They are a creative powerhouse!

I found out about Abel’s work when he painted a beautiful mural on the Owl Bureau Book Store / also the West Coast outpost of Chandelier Creative.

Abel loves natureArtist Abel Macias in his studio, Los Angeles, CA, copyright DiaArtist Abel Macias in his studio, Los Angeles, CA, copyright DiaArtist Abel Macias  studio, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana KoeArtist Abel Macias  studio, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana Koe


  1. Green car in foliage, 2 ) Straw hat @ Burgerlords, 3 ) Dover Street Market 4) Beverly Hills Shrub Wall, 5 ) Beautiful ladies at wedding.

Follow me on instagram @dianakoenigsberg

Six years ago when my daughter Vivienne was about 7, she decided to sell some of her drawings to make some extra money. She knew about instagram, so she taped several small drawings up on the living room wall and began pricing each one, usually around $1.00 each. She asked me to post each one on to Instagram so my friends could buy them.

I was pretty reluctant, but I did as I was told. The first picture sold to a complete stranger named Mara who seemed nice, and agreed to come over the following day and pick up her artwork. She said she was going to bring an artist friend along who was visiting from New York. Jason Polan came with Mara that day.ACS_1506.JPGThey went through a big pile of Vivienne’s artwork with her to see more because there weren’t many on the wall. Jason was super excited and bought 2 pieces ( one was a drawing of a hot dog and the othr was a Ketchup bottle with a face on it ). As they looked through the pile of drawings Vivienne said, ” I don’t like these at all”, to almost all the drawings. Jason responded to her as though he was speaking to one of his peers, ” I know it’s really hard to look at old work”.  Which was hilarious to me IMG_0CE3F1D43DC3-1.jpeg

We didn’t know anything about Jason at the time, just that he was an artist and lived in New York, and that he was really nice. Im so sad because this week I learned that Jason is no longer with us. I came to love his work and followed it closely. Jason loved drawing, he loved New York and he loved making people happy with his artwork.

ACS_1509Along with taking on the impressive goal of drawing every person in New York, Jason also started The Taco Bell Drawing Club a weekly gathering for him and friends to draw at whichever Taco Bell he happened to be near. This week there are Taco Bell Drawing Clubs happening all over the country in Jason’s honor. His friends, and fans are gathering in his honor to celebrate his life, eat tacos and draw. I went to a Taco Bell Drawing Club in Glendale today and met a bunch of incredible artists, writers, and friends of Jason. Here are some photographs.

Taco bell drawing club, copyright Diana Koenigsberg holding a drawing he made of Jason Polan.

Taco bell drawing club, copyright Diana Koenigsberg

Ken Garduno and JW & Melissa Buchanan drawing at Taco Bell in Glendale.

Taco bell drawing club, copyright Diana KoenigsbergArtist Dave Kloc

Taco bell drawing club, copyright Diana Koenigsberg

Brandon Bird at the Taco Bell Drawing Club memorial with his custom Orbach1



A couple of years ago my friends Christa and Eric and their two kids moved from LA up to the Central Coast where Christa grew up. Christa dreamed of moving back up to the Central coast with her family by the time she turned 40, and they did it!

Home of  Eric Pfleeger and Christa Renee  in Arroyo Grande, CA,
Christa washing herbs from the garden. Copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2020
Kitchen of  Eric Pfleeger and Christa Renee in Arroyo Grande, CA
Christa and Eric renovated their entire house after moving in.
They did the design work themselves using Pinterest for inspiration.

Oscar and Wesley shot by Christa Renee

Oscar and Wesley getting ready for school, copyright Christa Renee

They have two kids that they are home schooling, lots of guests coming and going, and tons of projects happening all the time.

Eric and Christa's sheep, copyright Christa Renee

Lonely Palm Ranch sheep, copyright Christa Renee

We’ve gone up to visit them a few times a year since they moved, and it’s been incredible to see all the work they’ve done since they moved. The ranch is an amazing place for their kids to grow up. Spending time in nature, learning responsibility doing ranch chores and incorporating their lives into their home school curriculum.

Wesley working on the ranch, copyright Christa Renee

Wesley working on the ranch, copyright Christa Renee

Home of  Eric Pfleeger and Christa Renee  in Arroyo Grande, CA,
Frittatas are a regular family meal, made from fresh organic eggs laid by the hens on the ranch. Copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2020

One of Christa's homemade Frittatas, Copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2020

One of Christa’s homemade Frittatas, Copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2020

Eric Pfleeger making coffee in his kitchen in Arroyo Grande, CABefore moving from LA, Eric and Christa opened Collage Coffee , with their partner Kevin. They sold their share in the business, but Eric is still pretty serious about coffee and makes a spectacular cappuccino for the guests who come by. He uses a sweet La Marzocco an industry standard for specialty coffee shops.

Some of his favorite roasters are 49th Parallel, Four Barrel, Little Wolf & Brutal. On a recent trip I brought up a bag of Devocion Wild Forest I had at Document in LA. We made some pour overs that were pretty perfect!devocion



The view from above the valley, Copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2020

Last year they renovated their house, and converted the tack room off the barn into a guest suite ( it’s super cozy ). Below is Christa last Winter in the new Tack room bathroom. They used the leftover tile Eric’s bought from his friend Faile for Collage to cover the shower interior..rad!!

christa_failAlso, they created a studio for Eric in the shed where he is hand silkscreening calendars and art for friends and clients. Last year they hosted 40 + people for Thanksgiving, planted lots of fruit trees and are now working on their vegetable & flower gardens… Oh I forgot the sheep and lots of other stuff… It’s a lot!!

Eric Pfleeger and Christa Renee at home in Arroyo Grande, CA, co

Eric and Christa with their favorite months from the Lonely Palm 2020 Calendar. Copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2020

Eric Pfleeger and Christa Renee at home in Arroyo Grande, CA, coYou can follow along on their journey on instagram where Christa documents her family and the ranch in a beautiful way that is honest and beautifully photographed. Check out Christa’s work here – she’s a lifestyle photographer and commercial director.                  See more of my work on my website & my instagram feed.

This time last year, native New Yorker Greg Garry & Michael Jorris relocated from Soho, New York to LA for work.

Moving from a small NYC apartment to a spacious Park Labrea 2 bedroom has meant that Greg and Mike can spread out a bit, add to their record collection, have a guest room and for the first time garden! Their place is a combination of vintage finds, artwork that Greg has collected over the years, and pieces that Mike has made like the cameos shown below.


Greg & Mike at home – artwork from Greg’s vintage collection, eye painting by Mark Gagnon


TV & entertainment essentials


The bar – Absolutely fabulous!


Mike in front of his newest hobby sewing. He also makes macrame, builds stuff & gardens.


When Greg & Mike moved to LA they had 1 crate of records…


A corner of the dining room – at left a portrait of Jennifer Saunders of Ab Fab – at right cameos of Greg, Lucifer and Mike made by Mike.

Michael Jorris and Greg Garry at home in LA

Mike and Greg in front of the cameos created by Mike.


Greg in a Mr. Turk dinner jacket.

Mike, Grey and Lucifer

Mike, Grey and Lucifer


This week I got to visit with artists Noel Hennessey and Thomas Renaud of LGS Studio in Glassel Park, CA.


Thomas Renaud at left and Noel Hennessey of LGS studio. Behind them are pieces from their Tephra, Studded, Ridge and Ritual collections.

Studio LGS ceramics, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana KoenigsberBefore starting LGS Studio, Noel and Thomas had been friends for many years and have always supported each other in their lives and creative endeavors. Their work is remarkably unique, and comes out of their own inspirations and musings ( The Flintstones, planet Mars, Greek Sparton Weaponry etc. ).

Thomas and Noel have 15 years of combined experience working in Photography, painting and advertising that has informed their work, and helped to create a clearly articulated brand. No doubt the there could also be a Brutalist inspiration happening here as well?Studio LGS ceramics, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana Koenigsber

Studio LGS ceramics, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana Koenigsber

Thomas at the wheel, LGS Studio, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2019

Studio LGS ceramics, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana Koenigsber

Studio LGS ceramics, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana Koenigsber

Noel glazing a Teffra piece Studio LGS ceramics, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2019

Studio LGS ceramics, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana KoenigsberStudio LGS ceramics, Los Angeles, CA, copyright Diana Koenigsber

I took my daughter and some friends to the  Climate Strike in Downtown LA earlier this month.

Organized by Swedish Climate activist Greta Thunberg , the Climate Strike is a national movement that’s taking place every Friday where youth activists stay home from school to protest the abhorrent Climate Denial of our President and the lack of action our local government is taking to combat the Climate Crisis.

Watch my video below to see some images from the march and to hear a clip of Greta Thunberg’s inspiring speech.