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, April 13, 2011

Workshop and giveaway...

While spring still drags its heavy little feet about arriving full time, and we lag about 10 degrees below normal most days and nights, we have had more sun and less rain....enough to lift my spirits a bit and get me outdoors more.  Now for things to just dry out a bit....

For those in the area, I'll be posting the details of a found object assemblage workshop I'll be co-teaching at the Keizer Art Association (in Keizer, near Salem) on May 28th.  My co-teacher is Catherine Alexander who will teach the first half of the class, while I teach the second.  Because our approaches vary, you will learn two different ways to approach the project.  Catherine will be mainly leading students step-by-step through a nature collage/assemblage, while my approach is less guided and utilizes more varied materials and more varied forms of attachment.  I also emphasize creating a sense of mystery in the work that will intrigue viewers.  The class cost is a very modest $40, and Catherine and I will provide most everything you will need, unless you have special treasures you wish to incorporate.  Class is from 9-2...or 3 if needed.
I'll post a link soon.

The April giveaway:  I've giving away another goodie bag of at least 50 pieces this month, so be sure to post a comment or two to get your name in the hat for the drawing.  Each comment enters your name again.  I'll pull the goodies and photo them in the next few days so you can see what "treasures" are at stake!

I've been a little under the weather with a virus, thus few posts.  Am on the mend, so will be back with you more often now.
(Evolution copyright by Diane Lou)


Pollyfusia said...

Your class is the day after my birthday! I wish I lived closer or didn't have my pesky day job so I could travel down to take it. :)

Diane Lou said...

I wish you did too! I'd love to have you in class! I will be scheduling some weekend ones here at the studio...need to put that as a priority on my to-do list....that will be weekend classes.

You are in the drawing!

Ruth Armitage said...

Sorry to hear you've been feeling under the weather :( The class sounds wonderful... I may have to join you :)

Ruth Armitage said...

Ack... that is the same weekend I am offering a class here at my studio :( I will watch for the one you have at your studio :)

Diane Lou said...

Thanks, Ruth, I'm gradually pulling out of it. Now if we just have some sunshine!

The class should be fun....two very different approaches!

Diane Lou said...

Bummer....guess that means I need to get that studio class here scheduled ;)!

Carol said...

Hope you're feeling better now Diane, get those spirits lifted! I received my lovely print yesterday, which was my winning gift from last month's giveaway. Thank you so much, I really love it - and it is a treasure. Carol xx

Diane Lou said...

Carol, I'm pleased your print arrived safely and that you like it.
A little sunshine would go a longgggg way!...and a little less rain. An inch in the rain gauge every couple days gets a little overwhelming....but it's why it is so green and beautiful here! I'll live through it, I'm sure.