Deanne Lawrence McKeown
“My early childhood home was in the Pinal Mountains of central Arizona. Even though I later lived in Missouri, the memories of those years made an indelible impression. The deserts and canyons of Arizona have always formed my sense of home. The landscapes and denizens of the high desert have been the inspiration for my work during my forty years in Sedona.
“I never know entirely what will happen when I begin a sculpture. It is something of a negotiation with ideas, materials, and chance. It grows into what it wants to be. The inspiration for an idea may spring from any number of directions. It could come about through observation, reading/poetry, a dream, or simply stimulated by the dialogue presented by a previous work. It’s just important to be present, open to any stimulus. Each idea is a challenge to be met—a struggle to bring an incomplete and intangible thought process to a visible form that satisfies my mind, and at the time, meets my expectations as a form of communication with others.
“In the end, it’s all about the making. It’s wonderful if a piece connects with others but if not, I’d still do it anyway. However, it is with a sense of wonder and pleasure that I realize my work finds homes with people that I may never meet, who will live intimately and connect with, some part of the process and thought I experienced while creating each piece.
“I often incorporate found objects in my work. Sometimes they are the beginning of an idea, sometimes they find their way into a work during the process of creation. I am drawn to interesting associations. The animal characters in my work (frequently ravens) are often metaphors for human thought and behavior, and I love utilizing puns and whimsy in my titles.”