Eleanor Dickinson

The Fires Within

Introducing Eleanor

with 24 comments

Eleanor DickinsonAn Introduction to the Artist

The Fires Within

“If drawing is of the Spirit and color of the Senses, you must draw first, to cultivate the Spirit and to be able to lead color into spiritual paths” – Henri Matisse, 1948,

“Life is not a spectacle or a feast; it is a predicament”- Santayana,

“There are three professional qualities that have stood out for me in the character of the artist Eleanor Dickinson over the thirty years that I have known her.

“Those are the fearlessness of her artistic curiosity, the dedication she displays to her chosen path as an artist, and her generosity of spirit as an inspirational teacher and mentor to others.

“You can take Eleanor out of the South, but you cannot take the South out of Eleanor. Her relaxed and gentle demeanor, emanating from her Tennessee roots, is often at odds with the uncompromising and challenging subject matter and expressionistic technique of her art. This is not a new or evolving tendency in her art but a continuation of a moral viewpoint that has informed her creativity since the set up of her first studio in San Francisco in 1954. The popularity or “beauty contest” qualities of the art world where artists pander to collectors, museums and dealers through premeditated strategies of subject matter or style mean nothing to her.

“For Dickinson, her art is about the power of drawing to express human emotion from ecstatic joy to profound pathos. Her art is always informed by her intellect but she does something so rare among artists today and that is to allow her heart to dictate and dominate.

“The art of Eleanor Dickinson is courageous and kind, outspoken and, at times, not afraid to exhibit outrage. As an artist, she is to be admired for her considerable skill. As a woman artist she should serve as a role model for displaying those characteristics of dexterity, diplomacy and determination over a long career in the service of her art and her community.”

Robert Flynn Johnson, Curator in Charge, Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Art, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2007

[i] Ian Crofton, ed. A Dictionary of Art Quotations. New York, Schirmer Books; 1988, 56.

[ii] W.H. Auden and Louis Kronenberger, ed. A Viking Book of Aphorisms. New York, Dorret Press; 1981, 9.

© Eleanor Dickinson 1970-2010

Written by Webmonarch

February 1, 2008 at 2:32 pm

24 Responses

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  1. Looks great. Happy Birthday.

    Love Pete

    pete dickinson

    February 7, 2008 at 8:21 pm

  2. Awesome website Grandma!
    Lynda, Daniel

    Lynda dickinson

    February 7, 2008 at 8:29 pm

  3. We visited your home when my husband was a student at the SF Art Institutem in the late sixties. I loved your representation of the music of Tennessee. I remember your “postmaster desk” and your lovely hospitality. I live in Texas now and found your website while looking for something else….such serendipity. Bravo for an incredible artist.

    Mary V. Dickerson

    February 15, 2008 at 8:32 am

  4. Hi Eleanor,

    This is great! I am glad you did it – your website. Your biographic interview was interesting. I not only have respect and admiration for your art but for your process.

    Look forward towards drawing with you soon,


    Gabriel Castillo

    February 24, 2008 at 12:49 pm

  5. Happy birthday and congratulations on your web site. You are a true original and a hella draftsperson!


    March 4, 2008 at 9:31 am

  6. I was perusing the WCA site and pleased to see you have one up!
    You are also on the COMMA Gallery site and considered a Virtual Artist (in spirit)…
    what ya been working on? send detail!
    All the best


    July 2, 2008 at 2:16 pm

  7. Hi Ms. Dickinson;
    Recently I purchased a painting in Austin TX. It was an oil/acrylic portrait of a young black man and the tag on it indicated it the artist was ‘Dickinson’ painted in the 1950’s, and I was wondering if you were the artist. I’d like to forward a picture I took of the painting for you to view to confirm. My email address is noted above; if you could contact me, I would appreciate it.

    Valerie Bardy

    November 25, 2008 at 7:53 am

  8. Congratulations! It’s a wonderful website.

    Arnitta Lawson

    May 18, 2009 at 10:24 am

  9. Hi Eleanor. It’s been a long time. Last night some guests were admiring the two beautiful line drawings from Genesis which we have displayed prominently in our living room. Would love to see what you’re doing currently. Anything in NY? We’ll be there next week. Very best wishes.

    Carol and Bob Hausman

    Carol Hausman

    November 13, 2009 at 6:42 am

  10. If i rote ur name in d sky wind wood blow it away.if i rote ur name in d sea waves wood wash it away.But ur name is engravd in my heart where nothin can touch it!

    Gillespie Savanah

    November 22, 2009 at 4:41 pm

  11. In both figure and landscape I want to get to the point where people say of my work: that man feels deeply, that man feels keenly. Van Gogh

    oil painting supplies

    January 11, 2010 at 1:59 am

  12. Congratulations on the sale of the LOVERS!
    We love all of your work. Have a great new year and keep drawing!


    January 13, 2010 at 11:03 am

  13. I am Gail Giffen. I have a wonderful piece of yours in my collection ( I have been on the Oakland Muesum Art Guild tour). We have recently bought several pieces and are having an installation get together the afternoon of December 11th. I would so enjoy meeting you. Please be in touch, my fingers are crossed

    Gail Giffen

    November 17, 2010 at 11:08 am

  14. You look great!

    Kingsbury Parker

    May 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm

  15. Am interested in correwsponding with Eleanor Dickinson regarding the book she is writing on Elkmont.

    Daniel L. Paulin

    February 3, 2012 at 7:57 pm

  16. Hi Eleanor. Where are you and how can I call you. Please let me know what has happened to you. Are you still doing Tuesday mornings? Please call me. Robert Dvorak or email me at robert@youcreate.com. Thanks

    Robert Dvorak

    May 17, 2012 at 8:07 pm

  17. Eleanor, how can I find you. The cell number you gave me is for the photo works. I am at 916.391.5051. And my email is robert@youcreate.com. I don’t have an address or phone for Riko’s. Please help.

    Robert Dvorak

    May 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

  18. My Dad has one of your works so began researching you…and found something familiar about you – Did you teach a beginning drawing class at the Arts and Crafts college in summer of ’79? I remember you as having an intriguing omnicience.


    September 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm

  19. dear ms. dickinson,
    first saw your work at a union street gallery in 1966 or 67 i think. if i remember correctly the show was called “the loves of isodora” ?????? it was, to say the least, a real turn on. i’ve followed your career ever since. i am now writing you to ask if it might be possible to purchase a drawing from the union street show or print if any still exist.
    robbie leeds

    robbie leeds

    November 16, 2012 at 2:53 pm

  20. I just came a cross a drawing signed Creekmore of me, Jerry David Madden [davidmadden.net] done c. 1951 at UT, maybe in that old house which was the art department. It’s a fine drawing. Do you think that was you as Eleanore Creekmore. I knew Betsy and Pollyana fairly well. I am 80 this month, publishing books right and left even so.

    Jerry David Madden

    August 9, 2013 at 7:50 am

  21. Thanks for all the comments! I’ll try to get in touch with those who left an address. I will have an exhibition at the Peninsula Museum in Burlingame, CA in Jan., Feb., and part of March, 2014, which I hope you can see. It is titled “Elderly Lovers”, Curated by Robert Flynn Johnson and the exhibition was chosen by Ruth Waters, Museum Director. (peninsulamuseum.org) 650-692-2101.
    Eleanor Dickinson

    Eleanor Dickinson

    October 22, 2013 at 12:15 am

  22. Glad to see I can contact you via your web and blog as the e-mail I have for you is wrong. Please contact me – Ann ash@pitt.edu. Nice news . . .

    Ann S. Harris

    August 14, 2014 at 11:18 am

  23. Is Eleanor Dickinson still working? She curated some shows in the ’80s or ’90s for San Francisco Women Artists when I was there.

    Cathey R. Bayless

    March 24, 2016 at 4:52 am

  24. Hello Eleanor! Was just reading a book on creativity by Twyla Tharpe and happened to think of you. So off to the internet … and what a lovely surprise to see you standing there next to “Lillian” … She is still with me and I have resisted your suggestion to add flowers or other adornments. She is purely Lillian and Eleanor. Hope you are well and wonder if there are any shows in your future? Would love to know what you are doing. Lucille Nichols (formerly Morch)

    Lucille Nichols (formerly Morch)

    July 17, 2016 at 1:20 pm

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