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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. 


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



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




1. Fanny – Christmas eve, 2. Cactus blossoms, 3. Kate Spade window, 4. Sunrise over Pasadena, 5. Girls in Paper dresses




1) Sunset over Eagle Rock, 2 ) Sunset over Pacific Ocean with George, 3 ) York Blvd. at 2:30 PM, 4 ) Sidewalk, 5) Palms – Santa Monica, 6 ) Harvest moon




Recently I rediscovered Beth Katz, a photo editor I had worked several years ago at Fit Pregnancy Magazine, when she popped up as I was searching for folks to follow on Instagram. Beth has a beautiful, refined sensibility, that is both elegant and calming.

I began following Beth, only to discover that she had begun making the most beautiful ceramics. Every time I saw her feed, I kept thinking, why hasn’t she been doing this forever, these are gorgeous?

But that’s not how things work, we do things how and when we do them. So now Beth has launched Mt Washington Pottery, and I made a visit to her home in Mount Washington, California to do a studio visit to get a closer look.

Beth’s work is almost all white, like her home, which is tucked up into a hillside, surrounded by trees. Thus, this COLOR STUDY, is devoted to her and her work. Enjoy!

Mount Washington Pottery 2013

Mount Washington Pottery 2013Mount Washington Pottery 2013Mount Washington Pottery 2013
Mount Washington Pottery 2013

Mount Washington Pottery 2013Mount Washington Pottery 2013 Mount Washington Pottery 2013Mount Washington Pottery 2013

Mount Washington Pottery 2013





Bromeliad, New York City, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2013 Many Eloises, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2013

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Cherry tree copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2012

Jenny's trash, copyright Diana Koenigsberg 2013


1) Rae’s apartment, Nolita, 2) Eloise Dolls, Plaza Hotel, New York, 3) Vivienne at the California Adventure, 4) Pink macaroon from Euro Pane, 5) Franki at home, 6 ) Jenny’s trash



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Alice's Tea - DIANA KOENIGSBERG Copyright 2013


Doritos - DIANA KOENIGSBERG Copyright 2013

1) Camaro , 2) Custom Van, 3 ) Still life with Begonia, Wandering Jew and Aonium, 4) Tea at Alice’s, 5) Sarah’s dining room, 6 ) Dorito Truck

Vivienne looking out over the Sierras upon our arrival in Clio California for my cousin’s gorgeous wedding.

bouquet, Jeorgea and Aaron's Wedding 2013

My bouquet of rose buds and acorns.

Rehersal - Jeorgea and Aaron's Wedding 2013

Jeorgea and Aaron at their rehearsal on Sardine Lake.

Vivienne - Jeorgea and Aaron's Wedding 2013

A dashing couple at the reception. Just beyond them, more mountains and trees.

Sardine Lake - Jeorgea and Aaron's Wedding 2013

Reception - Jeorgea and Aaron's Wedding 2013