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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.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Omaha....and another giveaway!

I love it when I get on this creative roll!  On Thursday I finished 5 pieces, yesterday two more, and I hope to spend all afternoon in the studio again today.  The times of "flow" or "the zone" are just the closest to heaven on earth that there is!  The world and worries all vanish and I tunnel-vision into the 3-5 pieces I am working on, and nothing else exists.
"Omaha" is another new piece that came out this week.  Like most, it is rather detailed and maybe not that easy to see.  There is a detail shot below.

I rather like the break away from working just inside a box, and enjoy the complexity of the multiple containers stacked on top of one another.  So, you may see more of these.

The photo on silk is my mother at a young age, a photo I especially like of her.  She appears to be standing in front of a greenhouse, in her very best dress...perhaps Easter or her confirmation or something.  But even though the photo was marked as her being 11, she definitely has the air of someone more mature than that age.

One of the fun parts of the piece is the octagonal piece near the top, another bins find.  It has what looks like hand-printed lettering on it, disconnected just enough so you cannot know what it is saying, but with phrases that are evocative as if we were reading pieces of a torn up letter full of personal details.  The old tiny box of matches below my mother created the name for the piece as they are from a business in Omaha.

OH, and I did mention a new giveaway, did I not?  I've decided to do one a month! Say, why not?  I have sooo much stuff.  Some may not be pieces of art, but may be bits and pieces you might like to use in your art (like game pieces, ephemera, and who-knows-what), so if you don't do found object art, some of these drawings may not appeal, but again, each time you post a comment, your name goes in the hat, so to speak.  This drawing will end at the end of the month again.  Makes it easy for me to keep track of!
Good luck!


matters that matter said...

I srill have a piece I made for you when you were in the hospital. thought we would cross paths. so sorry we haven't. love your work and that you are creating again. hope you and nils are well

Diane Lou said...

We are well, Kristine. I think of you so often and love reading your thoughts as I see them on FB. Perhaps we can make ourselves cross paths soon. I know you are busy, but are you ever free to come out?...or I am in Portland fairly frequently as all 3 grandchildren are there. Lunch?? And, I'd be honored to have what you made for me. Hugs!

Carol said...

I've just found you via Michael deMeng's Art Lab (I'm doing the course too) and I must say, I love your blog. I've just spent an hour reading way back and I'm enjoying seeing your work, and particularly the generous way you explain how you achieve your results. Best wishes from Sydney, Australia.

Diane Lou said...

Carol, I love how the internet connects the world. It's fun imagining you in Sydney reading my blog! When I look at my stats on the blog, I am floored to see that people in Russia, Latvia, Italy and many other countries read it.
Thank you for your lovely comments.

Denny1600 said...

I just found your blog from Tom Ashman's website. I love your work. So creative and fun. And . . . I always love stuff to use in art.

Diane Lou said...

Welcome! Thanks for coming by and for your comments. I'll put your name in the hat with all the rest....