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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.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The studio is full!

I thought I'd give you a peek into the current status in the studio.  Having the "working wall" so full makes creating new pieces a challenge as I normally do a bit of work, hang the piece up to gaze at it, work some, and so on.  Besides these, I think we have 11 pieces of mine in the house, plus some out at galleries.

For me, my art is almost entirely about the process of creating, so there is little attachment to any of the pieces once they are done.  I experience a great "high" during the creative process, then look at them for a bit, then am done with them.  My next "high" is when someone else loves them enough to take them home.

I have some new works to show you in detail in the upcoming days. Working in 3's (three at a time) works best for me.  No block that way...just move on to the next one if you don't know what to do.  It seems to keep the creative flow going for me.

The Goodwill bins have provided some new things this week too... not a lot, not like the "old days" when I would leave pushing two carts full of goodie, but  I did find some wonderful old books, a treadle sewing machine drawer, some games, beads, and all the unusual little things I always pick up.

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