Tag Archives: creativity

10 More Great Tips for Artists

10 More Great Tips For Artists – 2
©Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008

1. Go through the house, office and studio – sharpen every pencil – make sure anywhere with a writing surface has a cup of pencils, pens and an old-fashioned hand held kid’s pencil sharpener. Place some sheets of clean, un-lined paper nearby, plus posty notes and 4×6 sheets of unlined paper to make thumbnails and notes.

2. When paint tubes are near their end, cut them open and use the last of the paint directly from the casing or scape out with palette knife and use from the palette. Save the lid, cause sooner or later . . .

3. Place paint cloths, paper towels and cloths filled with thinners or turpentine into old metal coffee cans with lids. Keep out of reach of children and away from foodstuff until ready for disposal. Be sure and mark can with red electrical or paint tape and label with marker what it is.

4. A piece of rubberized, textured shelf liner cut 4″ square is good for opening paints, paint jars and tubes, jars of medium and varnishes. Pliers, if used, must be held firm but with gentleness or they can rip the paint tube and press the lid and tube lip beyond recognition.

5. Baby wipes will take almost any paint off hands including oil paints, acrylics, alkyds (which are very nasty) and acrylic mediums – as well as some glues. Masking fluid can be cleaned up with dawn dish soap and a baby wipe. Brushes dipped in dawn dish soap and water before use in masking fluids will allow the masking fluid to be removed after use.

6. Dawn dish soap will take oil paints and other paints, except alkyds, off hands and out of brushes. Xylene and toluene based enamels must have their own thinners to be removed from anything. Do not use dawn dish soap or toluene based thinners on natural bristle brushes because the natural oils in the hairs are also removed and the bristles will eventually disintegrate. Do not leave brushes in water, turpentine or thinners for any extended length of time. Glues that hold bristles can dissolve and are compromised. The bristles will then release in the painted surface as it is being created. The bristles can also give way entirely from the metal casing that holds them to the handle..

7. Old brushes with dried paint make perfect tools to create certain special effects in painting surfaces. Don’t yell at the kids and don’t throw them out. Set them aside in a cup or box with similar tools for special effects when painting and sculpting.

8. When stores go out of business – there is a lot of unusual shelving they also sell – make them an offer. Also, hair salons’ shelving and store displays make good additions for studio  storage. Cabinets from kitchen remodeling can be acquired and cleaned, resurfaced, painted or glued with new formica pieces. Countertops can be added pre-made from the hardware store or from cabinet shop remakes. Any solid door or old table top can be placed on top of several cabinets for a worktable.

9. Some design markers (professional grade like ad agencies and illustrators use) can be reconstituted by placing alcohol or acetone (nail polish remover) into a shallow dish and placing the tip into it to absorb the carrier. Some art markers can be reconstituted with water, alcohol (or mineral spirits and/or painting mediums). Use of pigments are available in a new form with the latter and are no longer appropriate for children to use.

10. As new work is being created or experimental ideas are being explored, take digital photos or scans throughout the process at different stages. Viewing them on the computer gives a better view and a different understanding of what is being conveyed in the paint. Then, the process can continue with the additional information during the creation of the work.

Happy Painting!

(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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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!

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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What is the Difference Between Art and Illustration

The difference between art and illustration –
©2008 Cricket Diane C Phillips, Cricket House Studios

In an illustration, there is little, if anything, for the viewer to do. All the information is there available for the viewer to see. It can be powerful. It can be mundane. There can be several themes at once but it precisely includes all the visual information the audience is expected to use upon viewing it. An illustration is a visual approach to a verbal story. Illustration is easily given words to express it that are appropriate to it.

The fact is, art is something else and represents a more interactive form of visual communication. It does require something from the viewer in order to be recognized. Art is not intended as a verbal communication represented in a visual format. Then, what else could it be? What other options are there, if it is not that?

Most art, even representational art, defies the use of words to interpret it. While its communication is often clearly evident, words pale in comparison. Art speaks in a language that exceeds the capacity of words. It is a direct link between the mind of each viewer and an intangible idea in a specific moment of an artist’s life.

While an illustration could be repeated, recreated, reinterpreted or done again, art can only be done once. Each time, art is different and each time, there is only one. While art may tell a story, its use of communication is different than that used in an illustration. Art may very well tell the viewer the entire story in one moment of time as a whole experience. Illustration will construct that story logically such that words could be used to describe each element and why it was included.

Both art and illustration have value in our world. Art is necessary to our lives and so too, is illustration, written communication and design. If a quick view is taken anywhere, there is art, illustration, design and written communications on nearly every item in some form or another.

Art is interactive to a greater degree than other forms of visual work because it is created from a different place. It isn’t pure, yet neither is it diluted. Art is a captured instant from the artist’s psych. Does it matter if anyone likes it or not? Probably, not. Does it matter if anyone “gets it,” or not? Probably, not. Those things belong to a part of the viewer’s identity and the logical mind, respectively. Art by its nature, goes beyond what can be logically defined and is neither an expression of identity nor intended to be, although influenced by it. Nor is art a reflection of the personality of the artist, although that also influences it.

CricketDiane Art 2016
Ball in circle that looks like a mouth and tongue sticking out – graphic design created by CricketDiane 2016

Art encompasses more than that and different than that. It is impossible for any two people to see the same rainbow even standing side by side at the same moment in time. Art is like that and when it is created, even more so. Its as if the whole world has melted away and only that one moment exists. All the information of that moment flows into the artwork at once, not logically, not progressively, but completely. It is true of great art and true of all other art, as well. Two people sitting side by side creating from the same moment along the same theme would never be able to produce the same thing. That is art. It is original and unique each time. It can be copied, reproduced, printed, repainted to a precise rendition but they are no more than copies. To sit down and recreate the original from scratch, so to speak, will never yield the same thing, ever. No matter how similar, it can’t be made the same as the first. An artist that tries to do that usually ends up with two originals along a similar theme – not two of the same.

Why does it matter to own an original of anything? I don’t know that. Why is it important to own something there is only one of or is the first of its kind in the world? I don’t know that, either. Those are questions the audience or the individual viewer must answer for themselves. It may be important for art to be purchased and owned by someone beyond th artist who originated it, but probably not.

An illustration after all, demands an audience to be effective. Art draws the audience into an interaction effectively whether it is sitting in the studio or on public display or owned by someone somewhere. Once art has a tangible form, it is in existence and is part of all that has been created from that moment forward. Even when it is destroyed, its tangible form still exists in the mind of its creator and any who experienced it.

Artist's Shadow - illustrative and fine art photograph simultaneously both by CricketDiane 2016
Illustrative Art and Fine Art Photography by CricketDiane 2016 and Cricket House Studios Art and Design – in this photograph, this is my shadow broken by the lines of the pavement, curb and grass beyond it – CricketDiane 2017

Art is powerful because it forms its interaction with the viewer the moment it is seen. The communication it carries is conveyed in its entirety across all barriers of language, time, circumstance and culture. Its effects are not limited by the status of the viewer nor where it is found and experienced by viewers. A diamond in a shoebox is still a diamond.

  • cricketdiane 2008 (02-20-2008)

Original post titled –

The Difference Between Illustration and Art – Cricket Diane C Phillips – Cricket House Studios – 2008

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Why I Paint, Sculpt, Create and Make Art

I paint to communicate because I know this –

Art is a dialogue between the artist and each person that will ever see that artwork. It is immediate and without limitation or boundary. There is no hindrance in the interpretation of words, meanings of ideas or expectation of rewards. It is appropriate to time, place, nationality and culture because art is a clear, direct communication. It is not silence. It is not static. Art is the communication of change and of presence here and now between the viewer and the artist.

Art is more than emotion. It moves something primal in each of us. It is the comfort of knowing we are not alone and that another has stood where we stand in our mind’s landscape and in our lives. Art is not because I told you something today through my art. It is because we chose to have this moment of dialogue today in the course of our lives with all their complexities. That is why it is important. And, that is what makes it special.

Art is a choice between two unlike minds to gather for a moment and consummate a dialogue and to compare notes on the experience of living. There may never be words for it.

Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008
February 14, 2008

Original post was entitled –

I paint to communicate – by Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2008

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Statue of Liberty painting by CricketDiane 2015 - 2016
Statue of Liberty painting by CricketDiane 2015 – 2016