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

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


  1. I love this piece Kathrine. I love it even more when you tell the history behind it. Also, thanks for telling about your process. I'm finding that writing about the process is becoming important to the process and I sense that you are too. Man you have some great shows lined up! Good luck at all of them. I applied with the new body of work to a bunch of shows and am anxious to see if I do any better than I have in the past... It seems like Gasparilla must have been good if you were selling pieces out of the back of your van at the hotel! My show last weekend in Ft. Lauderdale SUCKED. I think people hate my new framing... uuugh, it's always somethin

  2. I love seeing the art in process!! So cool how it all comes together.
    I'm inspired by the dress - going to try to make one for my little Kate in yellow.

  3. i don't believe i have ever just broken down and cried while viewing a piece of art....until now. i very recently lost my 92 year old grandmother whom i adored and was adored by........... she was an outstanding seamstress so i immediately thought of her and my treasured dresses she made for me when i saw your work. i adore your work and look so forward to meeting you in ft. worth in a few weeks. your work is amazing. enjoy the celebration with your grandparents!