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

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Ragamuffin has finally declared herself finished! Like most of my paintings, I don't begin with a solid plan on what the finished piece will look like. I start with a few elements, and work from there. Adding more, and tweaking this or that as time goes on. (This process makes my artist husband more than a little mental I might add, as we work in very different ways!)

This piece began as a collision between the name, something my mother said to my sister and I on more than one occasion, "You look like a couple of ragamuffins!" And a photo I found in a second hand shop in Atlanta. The bare feet and wild hair connected with me immediately. These elements paired perfectly with a dress I'd had on the back burner for quite some time.

The dandelion relates back to another phrase I often heard as a child, "You're growing like a weed!" I assume it was always meant as a complement? But I was never sure...

The dress itself is adorned with dots made with glazes of color altering the purple base, which makes for a related, fairly neutral, yet interesting palette. Several more layers of paint, and stitching the name in with embroidery floss, and she finally made me smile.

You should see all the things I do in the studio, trying to see a painting "fresh" after working on it for several days. Hang it in a different spot, whirl around and look at it quickly after taking a break, squinting...it probably looks quite comical from the outside!

Well, enough chatter, deadlines are calling. Today I start on a new "smarty pants" and I'm quite excited about her, she should be up by next week!

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