It all started when...
Developing her technique has been, and probably will always be, an ongoing and delightful pursuit. The most difficult part early on was reigning in her impulse to try everything at least once. When she finally developed a look that was all hers, it happened because she kept what she liked about her work, and gradually let the rest slip away.
Eckels says she is influenced by everything she sees. For instance, she'll see a painting, or flower garden, or photograph that contains a certain combination of colors and will try to use that in her next painting. She explains that she really has no major influences that relate to specific artists, but she's sure that she subconsciously uses ideas from every artist whose work she has looked at or admired. She says, "I have always had the idea in my head that I did not want to be like anyone else. I did not want to be average,and I did not want my work to look like anyone else's work. I remember my artist aunt visiting me in my art booth during a show years ago and mentioning that she had been looking at the work of my neighbor artist. She told me that she could tell who that artist had studied with because the work was similar to the work of the teacher, I thought that was the worst thing I would ever want to be told...that my work looked like someone else's."