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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, July 19, 2010


Today was a bit of a studio clean and rearrange day. It seems I finish 3-5 pieces that have been in progress at the same time, then I need to reassess what I have. organize a bit, start pulling out boxes and "stuff" that appeals to me, paint a few things, rust a few things, then it all starts to come back together for the next creative round.

These days my time is divided between the yard, garden and studio, and re-doing the blurb book of my art that was lost when my hard drive crashed about a month ago. It was nearly finished at that time, so I am starting from scratch again. I finally have nearly all the art re-photographed, except for some that is at galleries...and those pieces that have sold. The garden is finally thriving with the warmer weather, and the newly finished greenhouse is amazing! It will be a jungle in there in 3 weeks! Should have made it bigger (of course).

I had 3 pieces accepted for the Fur, Fin and Feathers show at River Gallery (opening August 7). Right up my alley, I'd say, with all the bones, eggs and feathers I like to use in my art.

We've been enjoying Nils's time off from school, seeing friends (which we haven't done for a while because family needs called), spending easy and relaxing days together. Grandson Jake was here this past week, so it was golf, studio and 4-wheeler time. What a great kid!

(Albion Joseph (Indenture), copyright Diane Lou 2010. )

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