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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.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

King's crowns

After I posted that I would LOVE to find more of these (found the first one at a church rummage sale), blog-reader Su found a source for them for me (, so naturally I ordered a dozen.

I love the design of them...and "rusted" they are just perfect for borders on pieces.  So perfect, in fact, that I have used them many times.  See "B-4" below.  Just an example of how almost anything can be transformed by the Modern Options rusting solutions.  (Sometimes sold under the name Sophisticated Finishes).  I use their primer first, then paint on the paint containing the iron filings, then when it is dry, I paint on the rusting solution.

On another note,  I finally finished planting the garden today, inspired by the first truly warm day we have had.  The greenhouse is now filled with 6 varieties of tomatoes and as many basil as I could squeeze in.  All of that means that possibly/maybe I'll have more time to make art and blog about it. 

Nils had a great opening of a 3-man show on Friday night.  Fresh new work full of color and energy!

I hope you are having and enjoying spring!


Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Love what the rusting solution did to the crown piece....I might have to check that link. *big sigh*
Very nice piece BTW.


Diane Lou said...

Thanks,'s quite transformative. And thanks to Su for finding these for me.

Pam McKnight said...

very nice! I have never seen those crown pieces before. I'll have to try the rusting solution.

Diane Lou said...

I think the crowns have such a strong shape and pattern to them. Irresistible!

Diane Lou said...

Pam, you are this month's giveaway winner. Please contact me with your mailing info. dianelou at earthlink dot net Congratulations!