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.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Shows and snows....

The first signs of spring...intrepid crocuses (croci???) still there after a 15 degree night and a pile of snow!  I love these little harbingers of spring.

Amid the snows, it is time for show applications to go out for jurying, and time to create more new work.  Lately I've found myself doing a lot of networking via Facebook, Yahoo! groups, my website and all of that.... and while I used to shun anything that vaguely looked like self-promotion, I've realized that these things are how we now do it, and unless I want to have my children dig through a studio full of art up to the ceiling when I die, I need to do it.  Marketing is just another part of the process, and it takes time.

Off to do applications....or at least start on them....or go to the studio and play and later do applications.

Oh, you'll notice a new button off in the left sidebar. I just took an online class from Michael deMeng, and now that the class is over, many students want to stay in touch.  Since I still had my Instant Inspiration Yahoo! group which had been inactive, I volunteered to use it for the group members who wanted to continue with a forum for exchange of ideas, art and support, as well for other artists who want to join.  All mixed media/collage/paper/assemblage artists are welcome!  Just click to join....


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

And we THANK YOU for putting the group up....and the photo of those brave little crocus too!
There is hope for Spring yet!


Diane Lou said...

Oh, you are most welcome, Anne. It literally just took minutes to get it set up and I was happy I was able to do it so easily.

Carol said...

Thank you, Diane, it really is great to have this opportunity to keep the group together. Good luck with your applications and I hope your little crocuses survive and are just the start of a wonderful spring.

Diane Lou said...

Thanks, Carol...especially on the good luck on the applications part. At least I've gotten past taking any of it personally. I've judged art before and know that it is very subjective and also very hard to do.

Ah, yes, spring....and you are heading towards fall???

About forming the yahoo! I told Anne, it was super easy so I was pleased to do it.

audrey said...

Thank you for setting up the new Yahoo Group for us. Who knew the DeMeng class would be instrumental in forming new friendships with other lovers of art? I look forward to future contact in the group.
Sweet crocus, Diane. There is hope for Spring.
♥ audrey

Diane Lou said...

You are so sweet, Audrey. I hope everyone continues to share their work, their ideas and support with the group. The Instant Inspiration group back in 2004-07 was a big group, and we did challenges and swaps, and it was all very motivating. I hope it does that again.
Happy spring to you too! I'm putting all names in the drawing for the March free giveaway.

CindyPT said...

I really liked your introduction. So explicit and gets straight to the point.

Diane Lou said...

And I really appreciate your input, Cindy, as I have been debating about moving to the sidebar! But I feel it is an important preface to the work, especially for new visitors, and regulars know to just scroll past it. Thanks!