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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.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving week...

(Me with our driftwood pterodactyl on the treehouse.)
Thanksgiving week begins and most will be spent with my grandchildren, children and my family...as it should be.

There is much to be thankful for...a loving husband, 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren nearby, good friends.  But truly most of all, I am thankful that my health is holding and I feel great and have good energy.  I have goals for months and years ahead, and I plan to be here to fulfill them.

Grandson Jake and I planted 120 spring-blooming bulbs yesterday...an exercise in optimism, is it not?  And if you ever want an 11-year-old to help you get lots of bulbs planted in short order, get an bulb-planting attachment for an cordless electric drill.  It is like an auger and makes quick work of dozens of holes while fulfilling a boy's joys of using tools, digging holes and getting messy.

We also cleaned out the guest room closet which tends to be the catch-all in the house.  I can actually walk into it now!  There we found boxes of photos which need sorted and something done with....as well as many years' worth of my diaries, from the years when I lived in the backwoods of MT, homeschooling the kids, growing the food, hauling the water, tending the fires, cooking on a woodstove.  I think there is another book in there.  Also years' worth of saved letters to review.  Good work for some wintery day when little else holds appeal.

May your holiday be filled with gratefulness and joy!


2 comments:

rebeca trevino said...

Nicely stated! we all have a lot to be thankful for. i spent the day in the studio, and i am very thankful that i have a studio, and can work as an artist full-time (except for the days i have to do laundry, etc.) making fun and enjoyable s art with objects that were destined for the land fill. (yey1)

i hope you too have a terrific holiday.

thank you for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment.
cheers
rebeca

Diane Lou said...

So true, Rebeca. It is a great gift, after working very, very hard my whole life, to be able to spend my time in the studio!

Have a lovely holiday, my dear...
xoxo