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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, April 25, 2012

Giant garage sale and health news...

Hi all, I don't know if anyone is still reading or not, but a few weeks ago, I developed jaundice and after the Drs tried to put a stent in, they discovered the liver was pretty much devoured by the spreading cancer.  They told me to go home, get my affairs in order, spend time with my family, and enjoy what time I have left. (weeks to a few months)

I am fortunate I have no pain and am still able to eat, walk, do all my personal stuff...just have severely reduced energy.  So my legal stuff is pretty much in order,  details worked out with my children and grandchildren and husband, and now just to enjoy the time.

Friend Jennifer is still planning a garage sale at her home in Tigard for the 12th of May.  She and another friend came Sunday and we packed up two carloads of stuff (and I had already taken a big load up before.....and Nils will take a load up Friday and Monday). Does this give you any clue how much stuff there is???  And there is still more....

This life has been a very crazy run, with lots of challenges along the way...but I am grateful for all the many and varied experiences I have had, and all the friends I have made along the way, as is especially evident now.  My family has always meant the world to 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren.  What joy...

So dear friends, I don't know how much more often I will post, but if you are in Tigard on the 12th, email me and I'll give you the address.

Hugs to all and thank you for your support!


JK said...

I've been following your blogs for a while....I too use elements like your chosen materials in my art....I hoard and sort until a pattern or relationship occurs, I love your Muse's Storage Box, just beautiful.
My new find is a butlers bell box....the thought of investigating how it works just makes me smile and how I can adapt and re-create.
Take care and keep blogging....I definitely am still reading and enjoying your ramblings.

Anonymous said...

Dear Diane- I am so sorry to hear of this latest development in your health, but you have made references to it in the past, so it is not a complete surprise. But it is sad. You have been such a wonderful, vibrant voice for your art and your life, and I am glad to know that you found a special joy with Nils about the time I found my Tom, so we have that late-in-life love in common. I wish you a peaceful and meaningful continuation of your journey, with your eyes open wide, and a smile on your face, and a secret stash of things that aren't going to the garage sales, just to look at and think how you might assemble them.
love to you and yours,

Diane Lou said...

JK...oh a butler's bell box. That sounds irresistable. I know you'll think of something wonderful. Thank you for continuing to follow along,


Diane Lou said...

Jackie, you know me so well! As we cleaned out the studio, I kept one shelf in reserve for things I was not ready to get rid of. I kept thinking, what if I live another 2 or 3 months? I am doing to want to make something really special

We never spent a lot of time together, but I always enjoyed you so much. And then of course, like you said, we both had the wonderful later-in-life love experience to share.

I am in no pain and I am at peace, so no worries there. I am well taken care of.
Love to you Jackie.


Rebeca Trevino said...

i am incredibly saddened to hear the latest news.
although i have never met you, i feel like i know you and i know we would would be great friends, had we been give half a chance.
i know your art - from afar, i stumbled upon it in san francisco once a few years ago, at an obscure gallery . . . and although i didn't know your or your art then, i was thrilled!
at that time, i was just starting my own art journey i was mystified and charmed by your work, and i was moved forward, inspired by what i saw in your work.
i am delighted we have become blog friends, you have been very kind and thoughtful to me with your comments and help with my own work. i am always inspired by you, and your work and your stories. thank you for all of that.
keep blogging and sharing your creative spirit with us, but first, take care of yourself.
know that my thoughts and good wishes are with you and your sweet Nils.

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

Diane, I am so very sorry to read this....I've not been keeping up with blogs due to Blogger randomly inserting updates. Obviously I have missed the other posts.
I am fighting my cancer battle~~surgery soon, then perhaps more chemo. Am hoping it all works.
All I can say is I am so thankful I got to *meet* you through MDMs class, and regret the time is short. You are a gem.
No regrets.
My prayers coming to you ♥♥♥


Diane Lou said...

It has been a delight getting to know you through the blog and seeing your work evolve. And yes, I'm sure we would have become friends given half a chance.

Keep creating and enjoying art and inspiring others to do the same. One of the great joys in life!

Enjoy every day!

Diane Lou said...

Anne, I'm sorry to hear about your own struggles with cancer again. Take very good care of yourself, and live each day to the' really all anyone has.

I am at peace, Anne, things are in order, so now it is just time with friends and family.

My prayers and good wishes to you, Anne.

Ruth Armitage said...

Yes, I'm still reading and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you peace and joy on the journey....

Diane Lou said...

Thank you, Ruth. Prayers and thoughts appreciated.