Life Is Precious

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

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Dream Garden II

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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 14, 2013

Laughter and Surprises



"Goin' to the Party", Eleatta Diver, acrylic on repurposed paper towels 
Continuing my new approach to painting, conversing with paper towels, I recently opened a surprise package of laughs!

As I peered into the smears of paint stains, looking for hints of shapes, suggestions of lines and, in general, subjects of delight, I 'saw' this hilarious little fellow. When his form came into focus, I chuckled out loud. He was the perfect reminder  to keep smiling and looking on the brighter side of life!

Laughter and humor are cheap medicines, with a time worn record. It's no wonder that the wisdom of the ancient sage, Solomon, still holds true.

"A cheerful heart is a good medicine...." Prov. 17:22

 A smile can change an entire day's outcome and laughter can help  transform our physical state. (No Joke: Humor Therapy Helps Patients Heal | Fox News)

Here's an amazing list of ways laughter helps us humans:

Physical Health Benefits:
  • Boosts immunity
  • Lowers stress hormones
  • Decreases pain
  • Relaxes your muscles
  • Prevents heart disease
Mental Health Benefits:
  • Adds joy and zest to life
  • Eases anxiety and fear
  • Relieves stress
  • Improves mood
  • Enhances resilience
Social Benefits:
  • Strengthens relationships
  • Attracts others to us
  • Enhances teamwork
  • Helps defuse conflict
  • Promotes group bonding



So.....with all these benefits, I wonder why we laugh as seldom as we do!

I love to laugh, but sometimes I just get stuck in life's trenches. Do you? This little painting is a 'note to self:' Smile more.LAUGH more! How do you remind yourself to have some laughs?

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May 06, 2013

Imagination and Dreams



"In My Dream", 16 x 20 acrylic NFS 
Am I the only one?

I take myself way too serious sometimes. Surely I am not the only one! I'll twist and turn my brain into a knotted pretzel. Just when my thoughts are gagging for breath, I often remember that profound prodding made by Jesus "...unless you become like a little child..." This one simple thought is usually all I need to squirt some WD-40 into my crusty thinking. 


Child's play!
Being imaginative is child's play, you could say. It comes naturally. Sadly, we hit an age when we’re presented with a scantron of bubble-in options, a template for a CV that we need to create, and Excel.  At that point, our learning has to fit into certain parameters: within that little bubble, within the one page limit, and within a tiny digital graph.
  

Stow always
Even for those creative souls who stow away through the stormy years of educational seas, and navigate the choppy waters of creative endeavor, often find their stash of inspration leaking and disapating with the passing of time. The "wall" inevitably appears. The "blockage" descends. 


Revisit the neighborhood
Though there are countless resources available to out-smart these foes, what I love best, is when an exit ramp appears from an unlikely source. For me it came most recntly in the form of  Conversations with Paper Towels. Finding and unlocking the images hiding away in the paint stained paper towels has fueled my creativity and emboldened a passion to create a body of work that will, hopefully, inspire the viewer to revisit that childhood neigborhood called, 'imagination.'


Wake up the brain!
I love this quote by Dr. Seuss

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”


Potent potential:
In considering the definition of imagination, and catching a glimpse of it's potent potential  for children's education, I scratch my head over the decline of Art Education. But that's for another post.....




 Imagination:

  1. The faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses: "a vivid imagination".
  2. The ability of the mind to be creative or resourceful.
The painting above, appeared in the glue drenched, paint dabbed paper towels and I knew immediately what I should name it. I love the way children retell their dreams with a sparkle in their eyes and wistful hope in their voices.

How have you found ways to stir up your own creative juices? I'd love to hear!




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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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