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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 15, 2011

Weekend of Michael deMeng...

The weekend in Portland was a delight!  Laughter, learning, art, old friends and new friends...what could be better?
(Photo by Maria Raleigh of Collage in Portland)
Above is what I made in Sunday's workshop with Michael DeMeng.  Although I have long taught classes using transparencies, I learned some new tricks from Michael that I am now just itching to use in some of my art!  I especially loved the curved transparency look (upper woman) that looks almost like curved glass, and the mica trick on the woman below.

To backtrack, on Saturday I took a workshop called Pretty Vial Things from Michael.  I have to run take a picture for you right now. ( Music playing........)

There were about 18 in the class, and oh, I wish you could see all the marvelous bottles that came out of it! Basically we used bottles of our choice, and applied Aves Apoxy, an air dry clay with almost endless possibilities to create a new surface....or as a way to attach things....or to create decorative elements.  After seeing its potential, I quickly ran and bought a big container of it.  Among other things, it will be a great way to attack (and attach) some of the really tricky issues we as assemblage artists often come across when trying to connect drastically dissimilar items.
This little one is my favorite of the 3.....about 5-6" tall.

I stayed with dear friend Jennifer, and we had a fantastic time as always.  Catching up, lots of laughing, good food, and solving the problems of the Universe and life.

I came home so refreshed and inspired and invigorated!  I quickly attacked the over-the-line mess in the studio by moving another metal shelf unit in.  Shelf units are like magic really....you have an entire floor covered in stuff (and you can't find anything), then in goes the shelf which you quickly fill with everything (and often even have room to spare)....and it is organized and you can see what you have and the floor is cleaned up.  It's a wondrous thing!

Dave from Illinois, whom I know from one of Michael's online classes, is stopping by today during his trip west, so I'm off to put some brownies in the oven.

The garden is finally growing wildly and beautifully.

7 comments:

Diane said...

Oh I love coming here so much--I just love your work!!

Diane Lou said...

Thank you so much, Diane! I love receiving feedback (and just knowing someone is reading)!

Textile Queenie said...

fab work, really enjoyed looking through these!

Diane Lou said...

Thanks! Your name, and all the rest of the commenters names will go in the hat for the drawing for a free copy of my book, Transfers and Transparencies.

rebeca trevino said...

you learned new techniques AND you made all this great art work!

what a great weekend you had!

Diane Lou said...

Thanks, Rebeca. It was a terrific weekend and, if you ever get the chance, do take from Michael. What a generous and fun teacher!...as well as being a marvelous artist.

Carol said...

You've obviously had a great time at Michael's classes, and have some wonderful results. I'm not sure which piece I like best - I just know I'd be thrilled to bits to have made any of them.