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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.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tulips, gardens, and ....

The red tulips I planted a year and half ago multiplied beautifully and put on quite a show this year, as you can see.  A few (and I do mean few) warm days pushed them to full open bloom quickly after sitting in bud stage for 2 or 3 weeks.  Even though they are transient, I do love them!
                                   As you can see, they surround the fenced garden area, which is right beside the garden and greenhouse.  Perfect for multi-tasking.
The lack of posts on my part demonstrates that time has been spent helping daughter Kolya settle into her new digs here on the property, having grandson Jake and little granddaughter Gigi here, and digging out the bad garden soil we got to replace it with new.  Not much studio time, I'm afraid...although I do have several pieces started in the process of discovering where they are going.  I'll be showing you some of them within a few days.  

The weekend is packed with me having to run to Portland tomorrow to pick up grandson Jake for the weekend, and from there to Salem for Nils's art opening at Bush Barn, then home for a full weekend of entering into the world of an 11 year old boy!  It's always rejuvenating and fun to be around him.  Such energy, creativity, and interesting thinking to observe.

I hope all of you are having more of a spring than we are!  Still chilly with not a lot of sun, but gradually improving.

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