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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.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Introducing my warrior cuckoo/crow.  Thursday a whole day spent in the studio allowed me to finish up 5 pieces, and here is one of them.  This one was not started prior to that, but the bird, the clock case and #12 had been around forever!!  The bird happened to be sitting next to the spiked helmet, and suddenly they seemed to suggest something to me, and I put them together.  I knew, for some reason, that I wanted the bird peeking out of a off to the clock case.  On that I added the round wooden foundry mold, figured out how to attach the bird inside, put in a background, glued on moss from outside the studio door, attached a cuckoo clock sound piece (what would you call one of these things) on the left, and the number 12 on the top.  The spikey wings were from a Lego set, I think.

I'll show you the rest of the art of the day in upcoming posts.  

I'm going to start working on an honest-to-goodness website this week, I hope.  About time....

I hope everyone is staying warm and inside with all the crazy weather going on.  Good time to do art....


rebeca trevino said...

At about 3 am today, i was on line visiting my blogger friends. and I came across this piece and loved it. I thought I had left a comment but, I must have dozed off, cause it's not here.

Anyway, what I wanted to say earlier is this: I so admire how you think, how your mind puts things together, and how terrific everything looks when you are done.

Diane Lou said...

Whoa!...3 a.m.? Thanks for checking in, and for your comments. We all need some positive reinforcement at times. I'm so glad you like this one. It makes me smile.

New drawing...and in your name goes... Thanks again, Rebeca!

rebeca trevino said...


Diane Lou said...

Thanks, Rebeca! Off to the studio to see what other madness I can come up with:)