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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, June 8, 2011

A new bins find and more...

On the latest trip to Portland to pick up my grandson Jake for the weekend, I did my usual stop at the bins, even though, as of late, they have been rather disappointing as far as a source for art-inspiring "stuff".  But one item on that trip did make the stop worthwhile.
 It appears to be a part (unfortunately the only part there) of a very old loom, with little reeds (or something?) creating the spaces that would have kept the threads in line.  I'm sure some weaver out there is cringing right now at my lack of correct terminology. The whole thing is about 4' wide, and I can't wait to figure out what I am going to do with it, though a quick thought is to create below it, working from the bottom board.
 A current shot of part of one wall in the studio.  There are so many pieces there and on other walls, as well as about 15 in the house too.  I never thought I would run out of room!
And, a parting garden shot.  A few (although very few) warm days brought some of the perennials into the lupine in the foreground, with purple catnip lavender (catmint) in the background.


rebeca trevino said...

you use a lot of 'wings' in your work . . . interesting to see them all together like that.

someone came to my house the other day, and asked 'where is your art work?', and i had to stop and think for a second as i realized i don't have any of my art work on my walls! what is that? i have it all at the studio on shelve or at one of the 2 galleries i currently show out of . . . your post reminds me i need to hang some of MY art here at home . . . interesting, huh?

Diane Lou said...

I completely understand, Rebeca. It was only about a year ago that I finally brought some of my art in the house. Then, we redid a wall...kind of gallery wall...repainted and all, and it is now filled with my art.

Being married to a man who has been an artist for 50 years, our house gets full to overflowing with art, our own and other artists' work....but what a nice thing to overflow with.

Just do it, Rebeca!

Pam McKnight said...

My art was all in boxes and or in my studio and in some shops and galleries and then one day my husband said, you know we need to take your art out and display it in the living room. Now I have my own mini gallery at home. I love it.

Diane Lou said...

Good for you, Pam! We need to give our art a place of importance. And, it's fun for people visiting your home too, to see it in a natural setting.

Carol said...

I'm so envious hearing about the bins you search through. Lovely piece of the loom, I'm sure you'll do something wonderful with it. I love the view of your gallery wall, just stunning. I'm not entering your giveaway because I already have this excellent book, so good luck to others out there.

Diane Lou said...

Thank you, Carol! I always enjoy hearing from you.

Today I met a friend of a friend who has a studio full of goodies for sale, so that will be my next shopping stop!