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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.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Winter rains...

As we near the middle of November, some days are filled with treasured sunshine  (like Thursday), and then it is dreary, overcast, foggy, rainy much of the rest of the time.  Here's the view I am seeing right now out our dining room window.
The maples in the foreground are losing the last of their leaves in the winds and rain.  Right before I took this photo, big drifting sheets of fog moved between us and the mountainside...which made me wish I could send you a video (if I knew how).

Grandson Jake and I spent Thursday hauling loads of huge branches (many 20' long) from the woods where we had some thinning done.  He drove the 4-wheeler, we bundled the large branches, pulled two chains around them and off they went to an area where they can be reached when we rent a chipper.  Hard work...but the sun was shining, it was perfectly still and about 55 degrees with a blue sky.

Every couple loads we would lie back to rest in the beds of small branches still covered with needles,  look up at the sky and talk.  It was exquisite.

Wednesday I celebrated granddaughter Gigi's first birthday with her.  Her mommy had bought a mylar balloon for her and we need not have bought other presents. She spent about 30 minutes bouncing the balloon up and down, giggling hysterically the entire time.  There is nothing like a baby's laugh, is there?
                                                       (Daughter Kolya and Gigi)
So, simple pleasures...but the very best kind.

I did some more studio work today, so in a few days, I have some more photos of what is finishing up and what is getting started.

2 comments:

Jackie Gardener said...

I know the sound of baby giggles and the pleasures of the first birthday for a granddaughter, as mine turned 1 on October 19th. Isn't it a wonder to behold? I get to babysit for a few hours once a week, and that is a special, but tiring, time. Enjoy every minute!

Diane Lou said...

Oh, Jackie, I do! My oldest granddaughter is nearly 18, my grandson almost 12, and now Gigi. I have spent endless hours with each one (as they lived nearby) and truly count it as one of the great gifts of my life.

I found it a special relationship...for them and for me. I am more patient and easy-going than I was when my 3 daughters were small (3 kids age 3 and under) when I was frazzled most of the time.

So many adults I talk to still mention the most important relationship of their life as having been with their grandparents.

I'm so glad you have a little one to enjoy too!