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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.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I'm back.... finally

After another little complication that put me back in the hospital the week of Thanksgiving, I think I am finally on my way.  I'm getting more energetic each day and feeling better.  Eating is becoming less of challenge, so all is going as it should.

We've had chilly days and nights with a rather brisk wind added into the mix, so just being outside isn't much fun.  But, I did get the last of tulips planted for spring bloom (over 375 bulbs will be showing off in a few months), cleaned out some of the garden, and have tried to spend a couple hours a day in the studio sorting and organizing.

Nils asked me how everything got so disorganized.  Well, I've been working in there for nearly 2 years now without a real complete cleaning....and I continue to bring things home that never quite get where they are supposed to.

It's rewarding though, to see those little 24-drawer units filling up things in one drawer and a label that actually reflects what is inside!  The best part is that all this scrounging and moving of things reminds me of all the great stuff I have to work with.  Currently I am only working with really small things, but soon I'll empty off the big shelf units and start from scratch there too.  

Today our tiny holiday tree tried to go up, but the tree stand was too big for it.  So tomorrow I'll get a smaller one when I head to Portland to spend the day with my twin daughters who will be 35 this week.

In 1968 my first husband and I married.   For some reason we took slides instead doing prints, and for all these 41 years, I have carried slides around with me.  A couple years ago I threw away a thousand or so....and today I did the rest, cutting it down to 250 which I will have put on a DVD for all family members.   And so will end the era of the slide.  Now for Nils's 1000's of slides....

I promise to get back to some posting and some new pictures now.

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