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The Muse's Storage Box

The Muse's Storage Box
Copyright Diane Lou.

Alchemical Dreams and Disparate Realities

Rust and bones, broken toys and old text, game boards, gears and nests. Even as a child such odd, unwanted items evoked a pit-of-the-stomach response that bordered on exhilaration.
While I make no attempt to conjure up specific feelings in the viewer, the ambiguous juxtapositioning of familiar materials creates art that evokes half-forgotten, dream-like visions that beg to be interpreted by the viewer. There is a sense of deja vu (the already seen) tempered by a sense of jamais vu ( the never seen, or the illusion that the familiar does not seem familiar), and this contradiction asks the viewer to dig deeply, to look inside her own repository of wisdom, intuition and experience to find her own meaning in the familiar objects she sees.
The once-private discards of people's material lives that I collect for my art seem to carry universal memories with them, memories that can engage and mystify the viewer. Their beauty lies within the rust, the erosion, the wear, and the mere fact that they were once possessions.
I play with abandon and with no forethought. Each piece of detritus seems to suggest to me a relationship with some other piece, and I begin to put them together and wait for the mental "buzz" that lets me know I am proceeding as I should. Even at this point, I continue to remain in the play state and will not allow myself to direct the outcome of the piece, a process that requires complete trust. The outcome often mystifies me as much as it might any viewer.
Remember when, as a child, whatever was in reach became the instrument of your creative exploration? That is my life. A rusty, flattened piece of metal on the street, a gnawed bone by the roadside, a unique twisted branch from a tree, a fallen nest, a broken egg, a snake's skin, a dead butterfly...all will be added to my collection and eventually have their beauty honored in one of my pieces. The resulting art creates a new story with its own imagined history, one that invites the viewers to lay some claim on it by allowing themselves to be enveloped by the sight, the history, and the ambiguity of the realities before them.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Art and Soul Workshops not instead.

Crisp, sunny days with cool nights, cool enough enough to warrant flannel sheets again.  Going into my favorite time of year (if it just didn't lead into winter), I'm sorry to say I have had to cancel out of my Art and Soul workshops for this year.   I found out I have to have major surgery on October 16th, and so in order to stay healthy for this 12 hour surgery I have to avoid things like being in a hotel with about 500 people in various stages of wellness and illness. 

My sincerest apologies to those I have disappointed by not being there to teach you.  But honestly, all of my life I have put the needs of others first, and this time I have to think of me first and concentrate on being well so I can be there next year...and create a DVD of my class...and write a screenplay...and a book...and do more art...and learn to play golf (even though I'm not sure life is long enough to do that)...and enjoy my wonderful husband, kids and grandkids...and garden...and get better at yoga...and...and...and...  I just can't wait to have this surgery and recovery behind me so I can get back at all the things I love to do.

Many have sent their prayers/good wishes/healing thoughts/entreaties to the Universe.  Thank you, I'll take all of them in any form and use them to energize my time of healing.  I'm using this time to listen to my guided visualization pre-surgery CD, to rest, to enjoy a few more weeks of being outside before the long recuperation and to mentally prepare for what is ahead.  My dear husband Nils is my rock.  He is supportive, encouraging and completely here for me, and keeps me grounded on the days I soar into the realm of worry and panic.  Thanks, dear!

Thanks to everyone for being understanding.   I'll be back, better than ever!


Teri said...

Beautiful scenery. Beautiful, strong woman. I'm so sorry to hear that you can't follow through with your original plans. (Although I can't wait for the DVD.) I'm attending a yoga / hiking / cooking / mediation retreat this weekend and you will be on my mind and in my prayers. Stay strong for us. Teri

Diane Lou said...

I love that I'll be in your meditations this weekend. Thank you, my dear. All will be will just take a little time.
Hugs to you!