Life Is Precious

"Life is Precious" by Eleatta 2012 (c) acrylic 18x24



Dream Garden II




July 29, 2013

Angels Among Us

Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.--Anonymous

I am no theologian but I know there are angels among us. They are not the floating, hovering sort, but rather the close -by and in - your - face kind. They appear in our lives just when we need their smile, their wisdom, their encouragement.

The painting below, extracted from my conversations with paper towels, toys with imagery of these unlikely angels, called friends, that captured my imagination.

July 23, 2013

Babies, Royalty and Resevoirs

Baby Gabey with Mimi
   The safe arrival of England's Royal Baby, has brought smiles and well wishes from around the world. Surrounding the birth of every baby, regardless of the financial crib in which it's head will lay, is a swirl of life and hope and comfort.  A baby is the glimpse of a promise for tomorrow.

  Have you ever noticed the way babies are like little magnets when taken out into public? They extract grins, knowing nods and gushes from even the most hurried shoppers. There seems to be a holy aura of pure love about their little faces.

  The bond between babe and Mom is a reciprocal equation in which love and nourishment freely flow and fill a deep reservoir


  This painting, below, is my most recent  Conversation with Paper Towels . In the paint stained paper towels, I caught glimpses of these two figures and pulled them out so they might remain in their sweet moment of quiet embrace forever. This is every Mom-of -a-busy- toddler's dream!

"Comfort Me" Acrylic on repurposed paper towel, 16x20' NFS
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May 01, 2013

Listening to Cold Shoulders

"Cold Shoulders" Acrylic on repurposed materials 24x36 NFS
Well, so far, I've been spared from being taken away by the authorities for claiming to have  Conversations with Paper Towels! I think I'm safe as long as I keep it a one way kinda' relationship: they talk to me but I don't talk to them; I just paint them. 

Since begining this series, "Towel Talks, I have had a real shift take place. Not only have I transitioned from wanting to impose my thoughts onto my canvases, I've found myself wanting to take time to listen to others more and talk less. Listening is such a powerful way to communicate human kindness. I love this saying:

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” 
 Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Recently while leading a marriage seminar with my hubby, I was reminded of this interesting, yet aphauling fact:

The average person listens for only 17 seconds before interrupting. 
"The 5 Love Languages", Dr. Gary Chapman

Wow! That's really something!

I'm treating these paintings as 'mediations'. Each time I spread the glue soaked, paint-soiled, paper towels onto my canvas, I practice the art of  slowing down and 'listening'.
As I do so, each one 'speaks' to me a story that seems to yearn to be told. I try to listen.

Paint-stained paper towels before being soaked in glue and stretched onto canvases.

My most recent, "Cold Shoulders' came as a surprise reminder to deeply care about others and how they might feel in my presence. I think everyone knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of a 'cold shoulder!" I don't want to be the giver of such a message.

While painting it, having seen the hints of it's story in the soiled paper towels, my heart ached for so many adolescents who daily feel alienated in their schools by their peers.....
I also remembered my own painful days of awkward longings in the dark valley called "Middle School."

What do you think about when you see this piece? I'd love to hear your thoughts?

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April 11, 2013

Interpreting health

Last year, MaryAnn Black, one of the participants of Durham Dreams, invited me to be a graphic (visual recorder for the annual Durham Health Summit with approximately 600 in attendance.

Translating dozens of ideas on ways to create health in Durham filled six flip charts! (Doodling for a whole day is my idea of a fun! ) The Summit concluded with my next assignment intact. I was commissioned to "interpret the jest of the conference" into a piece of fine art which could be publicly displayed. 

Graphic Recording during the 11th Annual Duke Health Summit

This was quite a challenge!
Syncing the multitude of topics discussed at the Summit into a cohesive and "readable" painting took someincubating! After pages of sketchbook entries, the final succinct concept was this:

Express a happy, healthy community benefiting from the monumental contributions of Duke University Health System.

The visual translation was to be doctors, nurses and patients joyously celebrating health. My goal was to convey this simple message: health enables possibilites.

The Summit's theme, "Weaving Durham’s Tapestries, Moving the Needle on Health"  was to be portrayed by placing the happy, raucous group delightedly jumping on a parchwork "Duke Blue quilt (complete with Duke logos, of course!)

Here are a few pics of the development of the painting. I'm almost finished....I'll add face detail, shadows, highlights along with quilt logos. The blue I've used here is just the "under painting". I will, of course, add the mandatory Duke blue!!!!

As I complete facial features, great consideration will be given to represent the wide variety of ethnicities to reflect Durham's diverse population.

Stay tuned. I'll share more photos soon.  I expect to be completed with the painting within a week!

Those of you who either email me or message me on Facebook, thanks so much for your continued encouragement! And...if you are not yet following The Art of Eleatta Diver, you're heartily invited!

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April 09, 2013

Conversations with Paper Towels

  Have you missed me? I've been 'away' on a playful adventure, of late. It's one that has led me to whole new horizons whithout even leaving home! I 've brought along photos to show you some of the landmarks!

  The 'adventure' was this: exploring possibilites in paper towels. OK. I can hear you thinking, "Wow,"she's really lost her marbles this time!" But wait, hear me out..... 

  About a year ago, I began 'recycling' the paper towels I used to clean my brushes by immersing them in bonding adhesives and priming them onto canvas, then painting. The results gave intriguing textures and rich depths, like this one:

"Wild Poppies' 18x24 Acrylic on repurposed materials SOLD
One day, while creating one of these pieces with my 'paint rag' paper towels. I noticed the subtle lines and suggestions of form that the towels made. A thought crossed my mind: 'What if...?"

Instead of imposing what I want the image to become on the surface, why not allow the bumps, lumps and crevices to whisper their input and thoughts? Like finding dinosaurs and puppy dogs in cloud formations, I began to 'see' images in the the paper towels' landscapes. A clear horizon of potential spread out before me.

I detemined to step back and 'listen'to what the images sugested, instead of rushing forward to paint my pre determined ideas for composition. I decided to take a different approach to my 'conversation' with the painting, offering it respect rather than control.

Ever the lover of allegory and symbolism, I was struck with the similarity between creating a painting and having a conversation. They are both interactive call and responses. I reflected on the fact that just as when I often approach a conversation with a clear intention and a predetermined agenda, it expires quickly into a certain stale quality. Conversely, conversations I enter that are allowed to be open, organic and fluid are far more interesting, adventuresome and colorful.

As I 'listened', my paintings became filled with intriguing and delightfully surprising imagery. Indeed, upon beginning each new one, I felt as though I was meeting someone for the very first time and became delighted in conversing,
finding out just who they were.

The first one I 'discovered' was a poignant image of a woman in mourning.

This is how they begin; smeared, dried, paint stained paper towels unfurl into visual story line.
"They Were All Waiting" in its initial beginging stage

'They Were All Waiting' first washes of color
"They Were All Waiting" completed

This one reminds me of my many friends whose commitment to adopting children often requires patient waiting.

This one appeared as quite a surprise! As it developed, it's imagery reminded me of those with a 'different' spirit, who are doggedly determinded to volunteer for causes they passionately believe in and refuse to take 'No" for an answer.!

This one below, won my heart at first glance. It's humble beginings grew into a 'magical' delight for the imagination.

Well, thanks for letting me share the tales from this journey! More will follow!

 For locals, these new pieces will be displayed in my monthly Open Studios at Golden Belt in downtown Durham. The next one is scheduled for April 19. I'm in studio #3-114 in Building 3 of the Golden Belt campus.When completed, this body of work will contain aproximately 25 pieces and be featured in a local solo exhibit. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for being a part of my world.