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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.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Firing over...and ebooks!

Twice a year when we fire the big anagama kiln (a wood-fired, 8th century kiln replica), I think it really won't take up most of the month....but pretty much it does.  Saturday we had massive amounts of wood to stack for future firings besides the unloading.

(You gotta love the green moss on this guy's head)
We've hired someone to thin out our forests a little and open it up giving us more light, and lots of that wood was bucked up, split and awaiting stacking in the shed by the kiln.  Thank goodness there were lots of people there...but even so, the unloading, stacking and clean up took us 6 hours.  By that time, we were just tired out.

Oh yes!...Recent news is that where I have created the books you see on the left sidebar is now making all the books available as ebooks!   So if you have an iPad or such, you can download these books for a fraction of the cost of the print version.  Please note:  Only the East Creek Anagama book is available today.  After tomorrow, all should be.  Just click on the photo on the left which will take you to the site, then look for the ebook option to download your book.

The sun looks like it might shine today which would be lovely.  We've had tastes of the gray and wet of winter already, but I am just not quite ready for it to settle in permanently yet (am I ever?)

Time to clean out most of the garden beds, except carrots, which will stay in the ground until they are needed for fresh juice.  I did plant some mixed greens both outdoors and in the greenhouse as they thrive in the cool days of fall and winter and provide us with fresh salads almost year around.

This Saturday night is the gala/fundraiser at the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg OR where my Day of the Dead pieces, along with those of a few other artists, are shown with the work of other artists. The silent auction ends that night, and hopefully supporters of the new Cultural Center will show up en masse to bid and raise money for this vibrant facility for the arts.

Ah, yes, the sun is shining, so it is time to seize the day!  Enjoy.... One of these days some more will get done.  It seems that after a big burst of creativity some clean up and reorganization are just what are needed to restart the creative spark which is what I will do today.

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