Spring Flowers Inspire the Hunger to Paint and Create

In New York City where I live, there are flowers everywhere when Spring comes. The opportunity to run around and get photographs of the flowers makes my pocket bulge with a point and shoot camera with its 20 megapixels and great macro option.

Nearly every other day, it rains or is cold and windy that makes drawing or painting outside not practical to do, but on the other days, the flowers call me to come paint.

Inspiring touches of sunlight brighten the petals and leaves with a sparkle that I’m constantly enticed to try and capture in paint and in photographs. The colors are so beautiful.

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Several Things I’ve Been Creating This Week

Some of the things I’ve designed in the last week –

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CricketDiane 2018 Princess Beading Designs Opals DSC03948-1
Opals – Beading Design with a beautiful princess look for a necklace – Designed by CricketDiane 2018 and Cricket House Studios Art and Design.

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CricketDiane 2018 Oil Painting Spring Floral Still Life with Bunny DSC03982 - 2
CricketDiane 2018 Oil Painting Spring Floral Still Life with Bunny that I’ve been painting from a drawing I did last week.

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)

 

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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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!

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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