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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 9, 2010

Book finished...mural up

Actually the mural we put together a year ago this summer has been installed for quite a while, but it took a friend visiting to finally get a picture of it for us. It was fired in the spring firing of East Creek Anagama, here on our property. All the color comes from the wood ash of the firing which creates its own glazes.

Beyond that, I finished my book on Transfers and Transparencies and should have copy #1 next week to do a final proof before ordering lots of copies. They'll be available from me or at Art and Soul or from I'll post when it is ready.

Fall's cooler, damper, shorter days are upon us (even though it isn't fall) and it has put me in housecleaning mode, wood stove mode, and getting ready for fall workshops mode. The calendar is filling and I can see Xmas here before I realize what hit me.
Oh, and a new granddaughter is due on Halloween, so that is an extra-special fall thing to look forward to.

There is always that bittersweet quality when the weather starts to change. I love the weather, but there is the reality that a rainy winter lies ahead, with short, dark days. If I stay as busy this winter as I have the rest of the year, I'm not sure I'll notice.


Anonymous said...

Hi Diane-
You look healthy and vibrant in your photo of The Wall, and it is good to see. The Wall is quite spectacular. Maybe some closeups of the fabulous texture would make great paper? I am looking forward to your book on Transparencies and Transfers, so put me down for a copy!

Diane Lou said...

Oh, hi Jackie. So good to hear from you! That's a great idea about closeups of the wall for background paper.

I hope all is well in your life, and that the fulfillment we both found at this stage of life continues for you. I feel so fortunate to have found Nils and to have time to do my art full-time (and garden and do yoga and write).

I visit your blog periodically and love seeing what you are up to.

Hugs to you!