This body of work began sometime in the mid 1990's, as an experiment, seeing if I could adhere a dress to a canvas and create a painting over all the textures. "Dress painting" is a term I came up with to explain these when I simply couldn't think of anything better. Over the years they have evolved, with new elements of collage being added. Dress patterns, photographs, and embroidery all appear from time to time, as well as lino block prints, rubber stamps and gold leaf. I will use this space to explore the beginnings of this series, as well as showing my latest work. If the piece is available for sale you'll find the price at the bottom. Free shipping in the U.S. Contact me at kallencole@aol.com to purchase.

Would you like to see my full website? Head over to KathrineAllenColeman.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Nest is a new, and already sold, addition to my "Bird in the Hand" series. The star is a female cardinal, so unremarkable next to her crimson counterpart. Yet when placed alone on a neutral background, her colors start to sing. Mossy greens, touches of brick red, the same bright red beak as the boys. I placed her on a background of vintage patterns, underscoring the instinctive need to build, create, and fluff up our homes, both for the birds, and us. The polka dot pattern on the glove is actually a scattering of egg shapes, a sign of hope, and faith in the future. You go girl! Nest is 12" square.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


As often as I have a painting that I struggle with, I have one like this that just falls together before my eyes. The bulls eye begins where her mouth would be, sort of an epicenter for all the noise. All the collaged bits of type came from vintage magazines. I use acrylic transfers, rather than collaging the old papers for conservation reasons, collaged papers disintegrate quickly, and the acid released in the process can "burn" other parts of the painting. So I transfer the ink into acrylic paint, and wash the paper away. Chatterbox was stitched with a running stitch, and then painted, there is a bit of pearlescent paint in there, to tie to the mother of pearl buttons.
There aren't many ways I can get away with using pink that doesn't come across as super sweet and girly, but a strong element such as a bulls eye seems to be the answer in this case!
I showed this piece for the first time in Tampa, and spoke with many people about the process. The question posed as often as others is "where do you get all your ideas?" I guess the simple answer is I am always, always, always, looking for them. They arrive most often as I am about to fall asleep, or in the car, very rarely when I am sitting at the drawing board searching for one. Often times the answer to one problem comes when I am working on another. And sometimes they come from you. A fellow walked through my booth, saw this piece and said, "ya oughta do one called motormouth..." And he was gone, I don't even remember what he looked like, my head just instantly filled with the possibilities for a "motormouth" painting. It's not quite on the drawing board yet, but I am gathering the elements, look out world!
This "Chatterbox" has sold (yay!)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Good Egg

Good Egg was a greedy, greedy painting. One of those you have to wrestle into submission. It took days longer than I had anticipated, all the while Scott is shaking his head. Why do I make it so difficult?

This piece is 36" square, the dress sits to the left, so what to do with the right side? Well, I knew she was to be "Good Egg." So I began collecting anything egg related. The first thing was to find egg related literature in a 50's vintage farmers almanac. These pages were made into acrylic transfers, a multi step process that transfers the printing ink into layers of acrylic medium. These transfers are applied to the primed canvas. Over this, I used text from a cookbook and painted the words using a negative painting technique, essentially painting around the letters, letting the first layer come through. The outline of the word "good" is lightly drawn on the canvas with pencil, and the stitching begins...

Once the stitching was finished it needed more, it just wasn't visible enough, so I painted the insides of the letters a similar yellow, just for definition. Buttons were sewn through the canvas to make this retro oval shape which helped tie all the different elements together.

This is a detail of the stitched egg cup, you can see the layers showing through. I used transparent and semi transparent layers of paint to add definition.

This is the finished result, the eggcups are transparent, allowing the original pattern of the dress to show through. This is the first time I've done this, and in this case I like the result. The eggs themselves have a wash of white over top. The new pattern of yellow dots is painted over the dress. And the deviled egg was painted in the top right hand side.

So why "Good Egg?" I guess this is really a painting about my relationship with my Grandmother. "You're a good egg" is one of her higher compliments, and boiled eggs in egg cups were one of her breakfast specialties when we stayed at her house... Strawberry shortcake was another, but that's a whole new story! My Grandma is weeks away from her 90th birthday, she will celebrate with my Grandpa who passed that landmark a couple of years ago.

Good Egg is available at $3000