Category Archives: about art

How to Paint Ocean Waves

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How To Paint Ocean Waves
By Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008, 2007

When I start to paint, the memories of times when I’ve stood at the ocean come to mind. There are swirls of color and ever-changing patterns of light captured in the water that fascinate me when I am watching the waves. Ocean waves undulate in infinite contrasts, highlights and shadows. To me, there is a feeling captured in each moment of time standing at the ocean.

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In a painting, I want to convey those captured moments of feeling with all its motion, color and light. The first thing I do is to remind myself of something I’ve seen in the water that I would like to create. Strangely, this isn’t always found in a photograph of the ocean or even of water. These rarely capture the intertwining motions of light and color found in the ocean waves.

CricketDiane 2017 (re-post from 2008)

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What it is to Create and Invent

Re-post from the CricketDiane Weblog 2008

Standing At The Threshold About To Create –
By Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008

When I stand on the threshold about to create – entire universes stretch out before me.

Behind me is everything I’ve ever created or wanted to create. Before me is everything that could be created. To either side is everything that exists which has been created by someone already both historically and currently.

Above me are all the things and ideas that have existed only as possibilities and have yet to be created. And, below the edge of the threshold is everything that exists now somewhere.

From the vantage point of this moment in time standing on the threshold about to create, any combination can be made from what is beyond it. Sometimes I choose a goal before entering this threshold because I intend to create something for a particular person or situation and want it to suit that.

To me, the threshold of about to create is like an open door frame standing in the midst of infinity. It is an infinity that moves out in all directions and is filled with possibilities, knowledge, skills, ideas and tangible things already created somewhere, sometime by God, nature or someone. It is all available for me to utilize or create or combine into something new, or rework, refine and modulate into my own creation.

I do usually start with a purpose but not always. And, where some may go timidly over that threshold, I love to stand on the threshold encompassing it all then fling myself into it. I take a leap of flight into that place and soar through its realms.

I love flying through the elements that are there, choosing from them, considering elements that catch my attention and weaving what is being created as I go. I don’t forcibly keep my goal in mind but it is there and I don’t exclude anything. It is all available regardless of my mind’s constraints of limitations and resources.

This means that whether I have the means to acquire something or not doesn’t matter – it is still available for me to use in the creative process. I don’t exclude things because of limitations currently in my life. Anything can be acquired if its really needed to accomplish creating something.

Some people strive within their limitations to accomplish and to create. They exclude what is beyond this threshold that cannot be accommodated by their current means to acquire it. Usually that is whole worlds of things and believe me, it is an unnecessary constraint. I ignore my limitations of known quantities that are currently in my life and offer everything to the creative process without limitation.

Truth is, I can probably get my hands on it if I need it to work with anyway. There is no project too big, too complex or too out of reach to consider. I don’t feel I have to make and original and unique creation of my own exclusively. Mostly I do, but it is not limited to that and it isn’t a requirement of the process.

What I do is to fly through these infinite worlds beyond the threshold and test, play, choose, combine, study, consider and add together like things and unlike things until I’ve created something that suits my purpose. So, the purpose that brought me to the threshold does define what is being created but it isn’t required to have that definition. It can be done without form or definition set ahead of time. I love doing this too when I have no purpose in mind and want to free-form create. What is done in this process may become a painting, an idea, a writing, a musical composition, an invention, a situation or a project but it does beome an end result that is tangible.

I can set parameters and conditions if I want like, “I want something that will do this,” or “I want some things that will suit this or this person.” The process will use that variable to compare and work with everything beyond the threshold as I create. When I happen upon something that doesn’t fit that parameter, if it has taken my notice – I grab it too and bring it with me. I don’t try to figure out how it fits or whether it belongs to some other project or need I have. Later, it usually becomes obvious without me setting my mind on figuring it out or sorting it out to where it belongs.

CricketDiane 01-17-17

Please visit my store on Zazzle sometime –

CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios Art and Design

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The Dance of Creating

Reposted from 2008 –

On Creating –
There is a dance that happens when I create. In this moment of dance spiritually all things are changed. It is a dance of fire and light and water and power that surges through me and what I am creating – back and forth – dancing together with all of creation in the heart of the universe.

There is nothing else except the song of creation being woven into this beautiful intense dance as it is happening. The dances of this song send ripples out through every living thing and into every spark of an atom in the world and beyond. It flows between time and space surpassing now.

The creativity of that moment in creation influences every moment in my life and every life touched by it that follows. It enlivens, it inspires, it awakens, it enthuses and infuses power into everything the song gently nudges with life.

How much more worthwhile could something be?

For me, it doesn’t matter what form the creating takes – the dance happens when I paint, make music, write, invent, sing, sew, cook or create anything. It is possible to create without giving in to that essence but what it creates isn’t nearly as good. Like comparing a light bulb to the sun.

– Cricket Diane
CricketHouseStudios, 2008

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Painting and Creating Ocean Waves in Art

Re-post from 2008 CricketDiane Blog – Painting
The Ocean As A Subject of Art – 2 – Cricket Diane C Phillips – 2008

  1. Make it candid, genuine and real.
  2. Pushing color into wave foam (to strengthen contrast and bring out definition in curl of the wave)
  3. Soften or crisp horizon line
  4. Add detail cautiously and as least ( minimum) as possible
  5. Have palette of techniques for effects
  6. How to paint ocean waves from as many sources as possible
  7. Form the wave, form the play of foam nearest the viewer, soften the horizon for misty look / sharpen horizon for clear or cool weather; add distant crests
  8. Give visual texture to the sky, smoother is more distant; use swirls, feathered effects, light behind or light above / below clouds for definition
  9. Each color choice carries an emotional character when combined and contrasted
  10. Try – then stop – set it aside – leave it and do another.
  • Scan or photo and look at with computer –
  1. did it do what you wanted?
  2. are there areas that you see an effect you could use in another piece or enhance?
  3. what did you do to get that effect?
  4. overall – what does it say to you / remind you of / feel like? how could it do that better or more so?
Happy Painting!
Cricket’s Sea - by Cricket Diane C Phillips - Cricket House Studios - 2008

Artist Tips and Tricks – repost

Tips and Tricks for Artists –
© Cricket Diane C. Phillips, 2008

Ten art tips and tricks for artists-

* place a sign on the bathroom mirror that says, “Paint first – Do music – Create. And leave the mundane to do later, it can wait.”

* the best palettes for oils and acrylics are glass, old pyrex casserole dishes, thick glass cutting boards – smooth side only, microwave browning plates for watercolors and thick plate glass can be used for oils or acrylics and gouache.

* a wonderful brush cleaner can be made by cutting a circle from rubberized open-weave shelf liner in the same size as the bottom of a washed applesauce cup, small bottle or container.

* using a wet paper towel folded over beneath acrylic paints will keep them ready to use for several weeks with plastic wrap covering the palette. Edges of wrap need to be snug.

* point guards for brushes, bamboos, calligraphy pens, styluses, djanti and specialty tools can be made with small pieces of cardboard or plastic boxes cut to fit from a fold and taped together.

* strong tea makes a sepia toned dye for paper and made strong enough, can serve as a watercolor paint to do under-painting work or as the basic wash and paint for a vintage look artwork.

* one way to organize thumbnails and small composition sketches is to cut them into the size for a 4×6 photo album. Also, it’s possible to use the inner papers from these albums for thumbnails and then store them in the albums by subject to locate later.

* most vegetable based and India inks are not waterproof. Many fixative sprays made for pastels, watercolors and pencil drawings will set the surface and allow the ink to become permanent.

* when fixative sprays, spray finishes and glazes, spray varnishes and any other aerosol product gets near the end of the can, any type of artwork can be destroyed by the spitting drops of spray. This can also happen during very cold or very moist, humid weather.

* horizon lines, building edges and other straight-edged elements can be created with pieces of painters’ tape for a smooth, straight line. Make sure the tape is pushed into the surface to paint at the edge where paint will be.

Check back. More tips and tricks for artists are coming soon including easel ideas and designs. Take a look at my Ebay store sometime, I’d love for you to see my work!

Strong Trees Aren’t Grown in Sweet Soil – Same for People and Character

(Re-posted from the CricketDiane Weblog)

You Can’t Grow a Sugar Tree With Sugar –
©2008 Cricket Diane C Phillips, Kasha Phillips-Lewis, 2-23-08

Its true, you can’t grow a sugar tree with sugar or grow even a great tree with sugar. When my daughters were younger, they would ask, “why does shit happen?” I would answer, “because a good strong tree doesn’t grow from sugar. Sweet soil would kill it and rot it from the inside.” It does take a lot of shit to grow a good tree of strength that lasts through years and years. A tree that has grown through hardship in good, rich soil full of manure, will withstand nature’s fury, her droughts, her onslaughts of moisture and deprivation of nutrients, but a tree grown in sweet soil will die in short order. “Good” is a term of judgment that must be given context. You can’t grow a sugar tree with sugar.

  • My comment today – It is still true.
  • cricketdiane, 01-05-2017

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Why Bother To Paint, to Create, to Invent, to Innovate, to Sculpt, to Design, to Write?

(re-posted blog entry from 2008)

Once upon a time, there was a world that was filled with so many things of so many kinds that there was no longer a reason to create anything. The people of that world fought each other over the most petty things. They were forever trying to find escape from the doldrums of everyday living. They found little worthwhile to do even while they were running and running and doing and doing all the time.

Whenever confronted with a new idea, a new thing, or a new way of doing something, the people of this world flocked to it as though they were starved and dying of thirst for any touch of life that might come to them. The hunger and thirst were unsatisfied, though, and with each new thing they would flock again to have it.

No one realized in this world of such abundance, why their level of satisfaction and contentment seemed so elusive and fleeting. No one knew why the smallest things annoyed them nor why their resentment and discontent seemed to grow. It seems our world is that way now. In some ways, it seems there would be no reason to create even one more thing to add to this world. And yet . . .

When I create, the pettiness I can be inclined to let run my life, disappears. When I paint or write, I feel part of instead of isolated from the bigger world. Feeling a part of this bigger world gives me a sense of purpose and belonging. The discontentment and resentments seem to melt away in light of this sense of purpose.

As I strive to write with a bit of humor, my mind is forced to a level of honesty and candidness that I might otherwise try to hide. Getting to that honesty reminds me that the abundance in the world is not necessarily everything that is needed in the world nor all that could be. That is why I paint and am driven to create. . .

Because there is more to do yet.

Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips 2008

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