art

Valentine Shmalentine

I have never been much for Valentine's Day. I'm actually not crazy about many holidays but Valentine's Day just seems especially unnecessary. However, when Kristian and I first started dating I can't say I wasn't excited to have someone to celebrate this otherwise lame holiday with.On our first Valentine's Day together, Kristian went all out. He told me to get dressed but there were no specific instructions, just don't wear heels. I waited in anticipation the entire day wondering what he had up his sleeve. I bought him a few gifts that I knew he would enjoy, new shoes and a book about art techniques, since at the time he was very into art. I also gave him a journal full of things I had written that I thought would help him get to know me better. When he finally picked me up I was in a new dress and flats. We drove to a place I had never been before, a park just 15 minutes from my house! He handed me a rose and walked me into the woods where he set up a tent and was making dinner inside. Oh my gosh, how romantic! We ate dinner and exchanged gifts and with this being the first Valentine's Day I ever really cared about, everything seemed perfect.

The next year we moved to Florida and spent Valentine's Day riding around on scooters and discovering our new city. This was its own kind of romantic. We were on a new adventure and so excited to be doing life together. To be honest I can't really remember what we did the year after that. I'm sure it involved flowers and dinner though. And this year, well, we both have to work so our Valentine's Day will probably be spent with a quick chat over the phone.

Now this isn't to depress anyone or to say that we get any less romantic as time passes. In fact, I don't think we need one day to show someone we love them or expect to be spoiled by our significant others. I can only hope that as Kristian and I get older and things continue to change, we still remind each other everyday how much we love each other. As cheesy as it may sound, I hope that we don't ever need Valentine's Day to celebrate each other. Don't get me wrong, its nice to have one day where you can say "Okay, we're going on a date, no work, no wedding planning, no chaos, just a normal dinner", but that day won't be tomorrow... and that's okay! Maybe you have lots going on, wedding plans, work, maybe kids, but whatever the busy circumstance take a minute each day and let the people you love know that. Life is too short to wait for one day a year to make someone feel special. Surprise your husband with a new watch (or new lingerie) any old day! Give your boyfriend that x-box game he's been asking for... I know it'll take away from your "quality time" together, but lets be honest, he stops listening after the first 10 minutes of your story anyway. Splurge on any random day of the week and just see how it changes the mood of the relationship. Even if you are a roses and chocolates kind of girl, the more time you spend figuring out nice things for your man, the more he'll actually think about getting things you like. Not that that's the point... but hey, it doesn't hurt.

Dreams Do Come True, pt. 1

As Eleatta makes others' dreams come true, her own dreams unfold.

On the third Friday of each month, Eleatta Diver can be found at Goldenbelt Art Studios in Durham, North Carolina on "open studio" night. You might witness the unveiling of her newest painting and if you want to chat with the artist, you can count on her asking,"What is your dream?"

Eleatta and her husband of twenty-nine years, Brian,  have five children. The older ones are  making their  mark in society while the youngest is in middle school. A home-schooling  mom,she made her family's needs the priority for twenty-three years.

Shift

Six years ago,  Eleatta's  art moved from the back burner of her life to the front. She began to create  from a new medium, trash. Soon after,  a series of events occurred that would make it clear  that her artwork was a catalyst for change .  King's Park International , the Diver's local church set a goal to purchase a home for the African Children's Choir , a troupe of  singing orphans  who perform concerts throughout the world.It was the desire of the church to provide them a home base  while they are in America, where they can rest, play and focus on their studies. Hence, the fund-raising began.

Eleatta saw the correlation between her medium of trash and these children,orphaned by AIDS and viewed by their countries' as disposable.  Discarded items  and the orphans could all be considered without value,but her creative eye saw what the founders of the choir saw.  Just like her trash was transformed into art she realized what  the children needed for transformation was for someone to look at them with a different eye. Eleatta chose to look beyond the obvious and into the potential. From that experience, the Redemption series was birthed.

"Redemption is a word that is pregnant with hope...it carries with it the idea of re-purposing or redefining...the assurance that something that is wrong can be made right.

Sales from the Redemption series were applied to the purchase of the Mirembe House, where the African Children's Choir enjoys rest on six acres when they are touring in the area. Eleatta's life as a working artist began when she availed her giftings to better the lives of others.

Look for Part 2  of Eleatta's journey on Thursday, Sept. 30th.

Eleatta's blog is an oasis of inspiration offering insights into her latest pieces, surprise offers, as well as links to purchase prints.
To view a more thorough tour of Eleatta's painted parables, you may visit www.eleatta.com.

To learn more about the Mirembe Capital Campaign, go to: http://www.kpic.org/ministries/missions/acc.html

Images may not be copied or printed without permission from the artist.