For current posts, scroll down past artist's statement.

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.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


When I signed into Blogger, I noticed that I have had 99 posts. This 100th post is a hard one to write.

In February my son-in-law, Bill, was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer. During the months that followed, we who loved and cared for him watched him lose over 50 pounds and watched him suffer more than anyone should. I should add, he is the father of my two grandchildren, Abbie who is 16 and Jake who is 10.

Watching those who watched was just as hard. Different kinds of suffering and pain affected each person, and different kinds of growth occurred. My daughter poured her heart into keeping the children safe and living life, all while being completely honest about what the outcome of this event would be. She lead them through an experience that was new to her as well. Now, I hope she has time to rest, reflect and renew as a widow at 38.

Wednesday night Bill was finally released from his suffering, and the initial response for me at least was relief. Now the sadness starts to settle in.

On Tuesday we celebrate his life and on Wednesday we start to put one foot in front of the other, moving forward.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

New things...finally

Here I am finally back. I am aghast when I look at the date of the last posting. As I looked at the calendar yesterday I realized it has now been 3 months that I have been running back and forth to Portland helping with the family health issues. It seems it has made me pull inward.

In between all that, I have actually done lots of art. It has been my salvation when I come home after being gone for several days.
So, honestly I'll try to post new work in the upcoming days as we get it photographed. Above is one new piece, done in an old sewing machine drawer. The fellow is a plastic anatomical man which I "rusted".

Sun is finally forecast for the weekend, and I know that will improve my mood. The month of May was one of the wettest and coldest on record, and we surpassed our usual June rainfall in the first 3 1/2 days of the month! I'm sure you get the picture! My garden, other than lettuce and peas and cabbage, has been standing still during the cold nights and rainy, dreary days. This weekend should set some growth in motion, and will hopefully make for an elevated frame of mind.

My art is now in Current Gallery in McMinnville OR and in River Gallery in Independence. Thanks to those galleries for representing my work.