after the fire destroyed, Art, Artist, Cricket House Studios, cricketdiane, design, designer, disabilities, disability rights, homeless, homelessness, Inventing, new art, new design, new york city, NYC, poverty, Real-life, sculpture, Staten Island, studio
This was the first post made on the new blog for CricketDiane and Cricket House Studios but I’m moving it over to this blog instead because the new blog is going to have other kinds of information on it and this is more personal.
What I wrote a few days ago –
Real life is crazy – that is what is crazy. I’m sleeping on a neighbor’s living room floor. Nobody will take a Section 8 voucher which I have and is still good for about four more weeks and they probably wouldn’t rent to me anyway because I found out yesterday, my credit score is now 74 (since the fire.) Utilities continued charging me after the fire until the final fire incident report could be given to them that only came about a week and a half ago.
My daughters had a GoFundMe campaign which included only them after they lived in my house for nearly three years with my paying all the bills from my limited money and supported them and their children along with doing most of the housework and watching their children far too much of the time. The Senators office in Staten Island that was supposed to reimburse us for staying extra days in the hotel room after the fire while they were supposedly trying to get reasonable accommodation for me – didn’t reimburse us and didn’t get any reasonable accommodation for me from HPD either.
All the resources from HPD (Housing Preservation and Development) that should be available to me aren’t – because they won’t make any reasonable accommodation to me so that I can be where I know and am familiar with the physical space and people and environment. One neighbor put me out of her house after three weeks to keep from me having any rights as a “tenant” in housing court just in case that ever might be something I would do which meant I slept outside in the yard of the abandoned house next door to hers one night and half of the things donated to us are ruined still sitting there at that yard next door to her house.
Another neighbor up the hill is charging me $150 a month plus $20 for electric to sleep on her living room floor with some of my things lining one wall in tubs and crates (things people have donated or I’ve bought since the fire because nothing was recoverable from the fire. ArtLab gave me a scholarship to take a clay class plus sponsored a bag of clay for me to use and each Monday, I’ve been going there to create in clay and have made four pieces – three pretty good ones and one ugly one that probably needs to be thrown away.
My daughters have scattered and are not here “helping” me although I’m not sure how much help they would be anyway since things are so confusing and extremely expensive from bus fare to having to run all over the place and get things done including replacing IDs and trying to find a place to live and getting something to eat. And, getting the final fire incident report to all the utilities and cable service so they’ll stop charging us for a house that is burned down.
The problem is, that because of head injury and PTSD from domestic violence years ago, if I don’t stay where I already know, especially after this extreme traumatic event, I could very likely lose most or even, all of my ability to function. Being able to walk, talk, know my name, understand where I am, write, find my own ass with both hands, know to wipe it myself, understand what I’m hearing and seeing, know where I’m waking up and why I’m there – are freedoms I don’t want to lose on top of losing my home and everything I’ve worked on for the last 32 years that were destroyed by the fire.
It isn’t very likely that I will ever make lots of money because I never remember what all I know and what all I can do. That is a definite drawback of head injury. People around me will say how long they’ve been in business or been doing something – I know somewhere in my mind that it has been a very long time that I’ve been doing whatever it is – but unless I really sit down and take a couple hours to figure it out – I don’t know. I was doing it yesterday – so it has been a while. And, I had always thought that if I’m good at it, then it doesn’t matter how long I’ve been doing it – whether it is forty-five years or two. But, there isn’t a practical way for me to tell anyone as I’m standing there with them, that there are good reasons that I know what I’m doing in art or sculpture or the business of product design or inventing things or writing or computer stuff or anything.
When one of my clay pieces that I sculpted was being brought from ArtLab to where I’m staying, I stopped off at a little book cafe where a lot of people know me. One of the men saw the piece and tapped it with his keys – an extraordinary clay pottery piece with beautiful glazes and sculpted with leaves on one side of it, a large bowl-like vase for a table centerpiece to hold fall and Christmas flowers. But no, it couldn’t be real art because he knows I’m homeless and has never seen my art. This is ridiculous to an extreme.
I travel up and down the hill of Benziger Ave. where my house burned down with a thirty-lb. plus backpack on my back pulling a small rolling suitcase with my computer in it and my purse slung across its top by the handle every day going to these places. For the past month and a half, every time I’m going out – that is how I look because I can’t leave the computer here and if I was going to use the internet, up until a few days ago, I had to go somewhere else to use it – the ferry terminal or the cafe book store.
The libraries would not let me in because of the rolling cart I had to begin with and then because of the rolling bag that has my computer in it because they decided not to let those things in the library to keep homeless people from coming into the library. Anyway, it has meant that I couldn’t use the internet at the library or the resources at the library during this entire time. About two weeks ago, I hid my computer in this living room space and walked the half-mile to the library without it so I could check out some videos. There was no way to stay the forty-five minutes that the library lets me use their laptops and get online because my computer couldn’t be safe that long where I stay so I had to go back with a few videos in hand to watch.
At the ferry terminal where there is free wifi, it requires spreading my computer and extra keyboard and file folders on the floor over by the windows to do it, because it has been too cold and windy to do it outside where there are seating areas to spread it out. I don’t think the ferry terminal was intended to be any real place to use the wifi they offer, it isn’t practical in any sense of using it except for a quick phone thing which is probably what they meant for it. But I did it anyway a few times, with my things spread across the floor by the windows out of the way of where people were waiting for or getting on the ferry. That was interesting.
I’ve also made a couple trips down to the HackManhattan makers space over the past couple months because the Makers Space in Staten Island charges $250 a month and refused to allow me to trade any time with my skills helping them for time in the makers space. They also weren’t interested in the list of classes that I said I could teach which could have been a bit of money to me for this time that has been so impossible financially and in every other way. The same was true for the nearby Temple of the Arts, where they let me stuff envelopes for a few dollars but have no interest in the classes that I could teach from sewing to piano to art to computer skills. As much as it would help people in these areas and in Staten Island to have what I know how to do available to them, it downright doesn’t matter because the resources that could make it possible are very closed to me by the people who have them.
Since the internet service finally got sorted out and they let me have it here, I’ve been able to create a few products over on Zazzle which are now the only remaining archive of my work since all the digital files, photographs of them, hard drives with the files of them and computers were destroyed by the fire. I’ve also worked on this new blog a little but it has been really hard to gather any thoughts about what to put on it and finally I have given up and put this for lack of a better idea. I really want to add the structural materials libraries that I love and things more in line with creating and inventing – but no, the confusing things around me are too much to get focused and there is no chance I’ll have a home out of all this or an office or a studio or in fact, have any money to do anything at all with from my efforts.
There are also six new video clips that I loaded onto my YouTube channels a couple days ago. They aren’t wonderful, but they are appropriate to the current situation. And, hopefully, I can add some content soon that isn’t about my personal difficulties butt is instead something about painting, creating, making, inventing, doing business online, materials, resourcing, or any number of other nifty things I know a lot about – including some great valuable content among all of it.
That’s it – I’m tired of talking about it now except for this – among the fifty million things that are wrong right now, I am thankful and have great admiration for the many, many people who have helped me, are helping me, have extended the hand of friendship to me, have let me lay my head in their homes, have given me a computer and shoes for my feet, sent me a bit of money to buy food, taken a moment to say hello and give me hugs. Despite everything that has happened, I can say I’ve survived it thus far because of these things and they have kept me going and kept me demanding of myself that I not quit even when things seem so terrible and they are. It is amazing to see that I can write after all this and as that is not something small in my world – for that I’m also very grateful.
“The most magic thing I own is a pencil. A welcome to the infinite possibilities is ever present in it.” – quote by Cricket Diane C Phillips, 2007
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How To Paint Ocean Waves 3 –
By Cricket Diane C. Phillips
Do you remember standing still at the ocean trying to capture every sound and every nuance of light and color dancing on the waves?
Can you feel the spray that lightly touched your face when you walked in the shallow surf where the waves were bouncing with foam nearby?
Have you thought about the feelings of what you were seeing when the ocean waves pulled into the sand near you and tugged their way back out again?
Are you reminded of the vastness of the ocean as you had looked at the horizon with its light haze and depth of surface color in the sea?
When you remember what it was like at the ocean – can you recall its colors, its feeling, the color of the sky and the ways it changed moment by moment?
These are the things you need to know in order to paint ocean waves and capture the feeling of the scenes you remember. The ideas of time and change are all in you – they are in your memories and you can recall them. Every moment at the sea, there is change – there is motion – there is a feeling, an essence and an idea that is captured in your memories. It isn’t only what you felt at the time, or your thoughts, or what was happening in your life at that time. There is something of the sea and the ocean’s spirit and power that is there too.
Sometimes, when I create – there is nothing but a request to my mind for a memory, a feeling or an essence of a time at the ocean. There is a sunset that comes to my mind with a looming storm beyond the horizon whose clouds are catching the last rays of the sun in brilliant colors against a lavender sky. There is a time when I was afraid to stand on the shore because the power of the waves crashing into the sand were so much greater than me and the winds drove the salty spray of the waves into my skin stinging as it came. But the colors – ooh the colors of that moment drove me to distraction to understand their shades and hues and subtleties. The sand felt different, the sea felt distant, though I stood right beside her, and the sky was filled with unusual textures and colors that I would love to describe in paint.
There are intricacies to painting which are like nothing else because from the mind of the artist directly to the mind of the viewer there is no boundary – no wall – no caption or remark to make. It is a direct route of communication without limitation in an immediate, encompassing sense. The best way to describe this is for you to choose a moment to capture in paint, let go of all your pre-conceived notions of how to go about it, let go and paint it. Make it so. Let the paint describe all of what you saw, all of what you experienced and all of what you felt in that moment. Push all the judgements about how it should be done or how it should look – out of your mind and let the paint be an extension of what you know. Then let someone see it and see what they see. There is nothing you can say that will add to their experience with it. The moment they have seen it, something has passed between your mind and theirs directly. Infinitely, genuinely and honestly – they have been given some part of that experience as you remembered it. If you want words for what they have seen – ask them, but often words fail to accurately describe experiences like this and many people fall back on whether they like it or not and try to get you to talk more about it.
Do you remember the sky, the day you stood at the ocean on a summer day? Can you feel the warmth of the sand under your feet and the clean smell of the gentle breeze that brought the sounds of people drifting on it?
Did you ever walk on the beach at night or wade in the water as the sun was sinking below the horizon? Do you remember the sparkly little foam that you kicked halfway across to the moon as you walked in the cool water with the wet sand tugging under your feet at each step? Can you recall what the sky looked like as the moon and stars lit the sea like thousands of tiny diamonds bobbing up and down with each little crest of a wave?
There are thousands of moments in each day and as we stand in the realm of the ocean’s power – her force is evident in seemingly infinite changes within each of those moments to everything surrounding her. The sky isn’t the same from one moment to the next – the colors fade toward the horizon one moment and some other time – the hue is deeper there. The foam on the sand ebbs and flows with the surf, but the reflections in it are never the same. Wet sand, dry sand are definitely different colors – yet, warm sand is many shades and cold sand seems grey whether it is or not.
Set up a horizon on the surface to paint.
Remember a moment to capture.
Define the sky with colors, swirls, textures, clouds and reflected light.
Play in the paint to achieve effects that describe details to include.
Stop touching it – the moment any part of it looks right.
Don’t fix it. Just do another one and each one will get better.
Enhance waves, shadows, contours and specific elements carefully – because it will change what you already have right.
And, last of all – remember – it is perfect because you did it this way today, this time and in capturing this one moment this way. Let it go and do another one.
May 2011 –
CricketDiane’s New Zazzle Store with products that have original cricketdiane artwork on them – ocean, flowers, paintings, photography, surrealism, weird and unusual, ugly mens’ ties, iPad covers and skateboard decks
The new CricketDiane website where rights to use the ocean paintings and other artwork, writing and Got No Money Guides can be arranged –
Wander by and see them sometime –
Happy painting and creating wonderful things.
(added to this post 05-03-11)
Cricket D. Says – “Grow a Green Thing – Save The Sea”
If everyone plants as many leafy plants as they can inside and out – we could save our oceans.
Plants are the original nano-material for converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and safe, usable nutrients.
We may not be able to put back trees as fast as they are being torn down in our communities – but we can make a difference by planting as many green things as we can – hostas, ferns, flowers, evergreens, vines like philodendrons, morning glories and ivys, vegies and treelings.
Plant five Green Things a week in your yard. If we all do that throughout the summer and fall across America, we can start lowering the carbon dioxide levels that are affecting our oceans. It will improve our air quality, too.
Add plants indoors, on porches, in windows, and in offices and businesses, too. It could buy the time our scientists, inventors and engineers need to implement the green solutions they’ve created.
Clip your plants and start new ones from them. Plant seeds and nursery seedlings. Add mulch for fertilizer. Plant roses and shrubs. Divide plants and make two or three from each. Its easy and fun. Children might help but its time for the grown-ups to lead the way.
Grow a Green Thing (or two) and Save The Seas.
Written by Cricket Diane C Phillips
Cricket House Studios – 2008
Feel free to forward this and please let’s help each other to get some stuff planted. Thanks!
For me to create something, each time I had to believe it was important to do it or I wouldn’t have done it. A part of me knows there is a lot of art in the world, a great amount of wonderful design too and it isn’t that I ignore it, but I have to believe what is created by my hands and mind is important too or nothing happens. At the same time, it is obvious that creating art and design is not thought to be as valuable as building some wondrous technological marvel or selling financial products on Wall Street, yet if there is no sense that endeavoring to create art and design means something, I would not have ever done any of it. Every now and then, I wish I hadn’t.
There always seem to be people close to me that demand a return on my art and design be realized that is quickly, easily and massively profitable. A profitable income from my art looks like a problem I’m never going to have, so I do end up with very belligerent and obnoxious people close to me a lot of the time demanding, demeaning me and mostly, not very helpful. That does seem to confront anyone creating things though, to some extent. I’m rather tired of it.
There is something to be said about saying, “the hell with it” and never creating anything again unless someone wants to pay some grand amount for it right this minute. But, there is also something to be said for continuing on and giving no satisfaction to the assholes who said it wasn’t worth anything. I think I’m going to do that for this time. And, besides I painted today – it wasn’t fun, but I have something to show for it whether anyone ever buys it or not.
Sometimes I think of all the songs that wouldn’t have been written if someone had to have been buying it before anyone was willing to create it or before doing any of the multitude of efforts it took to get to the creation of that song. How much music, art, literature, inventions and just about everything else wouldn’t exist at all, if no one had been willing to fiddle with it long before any money came for any of it.
Speaking of which, I made the most beautiful picture tonight which got totally mucked up when I went to take the masking fluid off – it was so pretty and then the paper ripped when taking the masking gum from it. It is still beautiful but it will never be shown or sold or anything because of that mess on its sailboat. It is thumbtacked to the wall by the front door now, so it will remind me of how those beautiful parts were made in the paint so i can put them into another picture. There were some other paintings I did today, plus some products from floral watercolors made over on my zazzle store.
If I knew how to license the designs, if I were better at this as a business, if my work was better, if the efforts I’ve made would be profitable already, if I had better everything whatever it is, if I looked better, if – if – if – if. That describes it all – IF.
Then, I’m absolutely sickened watching shows like “American Greed” where people gave their money to invest in absolutely nothing but a bunch of made up numbers on fancy looking investment crook props. I’ve got to stop watching those shows.
This is one from today – it is not very big, 15 in x 22 in – not the sailboat one that tore through the sailboat. I haven’t photographed it yet.
Here is another outfit that is wonderful
I Design the above out fit for Polyvore, under the name Cricketdiane
Black and white are always a classic type of color. they typically go well together and above you can tell they still do. By adding the corset inspired top you can bump this look from demure to sexy. A Simple necklace, And black pumps round this look out and into an instantly classy look.
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Cricket House Studios is a Creative Artist Design Studio. We Offer Licensing of our images On products produced with a print on demand platform. BE offer our images on Zazzle because it helps reduce our carbon print foot by offering customizable print on demand products that limits waste.
We have also paired with Etsy to start offering more handcrafted products and paintings. Please visit our ETSY Store or our Zazzle Store for more products and images.
Why I hate Creating?
I hate creating because the payoff is long and frustrating. Most of the time I am screaming and pulling my hair out. No Lie,Many time I have woken up my household from a full on meltdown of screaming I hate you at a painting or art project
Its not that I don’t enjoy seeing the final Project light people’s faces up or the payout, but getting there is a lot of blood, sweat, tears and screams. Sometimes its because you can’t get it to do what you want when you want it how you want it. sometimes it’s the simple inspirational that escapes me
. Still One must be crazy to be an artist. Not because the payout can be less than the pain put into it. But because you are then expected to turn around and Do it all over again and makes some WONDERFUL. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Still pluck away at what you need to create and make. Because as an Artist you are expected to make something that is thought provoking, pleasing, inspirational, or space changing. As An Artist you want to bring the viewer into what you were or are feeling when you made the piece. Usually without the screaming of course. But not always.
Still in the dead of night while I lay awake, obsessing over my latest project. One must wonder – WHY AM I AN ARTIST? I Hate it most days, and other days I enjoy it so much I have paint on my nose and in my hair. Maybe because I am better at art then I was anything else. Maybe I am an artist because who else can take the UGLY from everyday, and make it inspirational. Maybe I am an artist because I am a glutton for pain and punishment. I don’t know, Honestly. But I am an Artist and today I am making something wonderful – Once I am done screaming out my frustration. Come check out some of my things today.