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, August 11, 2010

Paper dolls

I've been enjoying using collaged papers in these new little dress pieces, and I thought I'd show a few of them off. This one has an old map of Paris as the dress, the lines are stitched with bright pink embroidery floss, and two buttons are sewn on with the same thread. The background, as with all of these, is a collage of Simplicity sewing patterns from the '50's and '60's. **sold**

This one has more of a '70's feel to it. The paper in the dress is a bit of rice paper that I marbled years ago, and tucked away in a flat file until I found a good use for it. The embroidery floss is green. The little green glass and iridescent shell beads are stitched along one side. Reminiscent of a beaded curtain!

The paper in this spring green dress has just a bit of sparkle to it, in the form of silver glitter no less! The glass button on the left has a little diamond shape of silver in it also, and mimics the notch shape just above on the pattern piece in the background.

And last but certainly not least is this transparent dress! The text that you see is an acrylic transfer from an etiquette book from 1910. Matched up with two crystal clear glass buttons, I think this one is stunning. The stitching is black, to keep it very neutral.

All of these dresses are the same size, the image size of the artwork is 5" square, they are matted in a bit of a shadowbox style to make room for the buttons. The mat is a double thick cotton (acid free) mat in off white. The overall size is 9" square. They are all shrink wrapped and ready for framing. $145 each.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dream Sweet

"Dream Sweet" is my newest experiment with linoleum block printing in the background. Damask and floral patterns were carved into two different blocks, then "inked" and "printed" in the checkerboard pattern. I use quotation marks, because I used acrylic paint for the whole process, not the old oil based printing ink I used to use in my lino prints on paper. I did apply the paint with a roller, but the printing process was more like a stamp, or even a potato print. Kinda loose, rubbed down with fingertips rather than the trusty wooden spoon.

The dress was a donation from an artist friend, thanks Joan! A beautiful turn of the century cotton baby dress, or perhaps nightgown. It has beautiful details, netting, and embroidery, tiny little pleats. It needed little work from me, as it was lovely to begin with.

The "stars" are little freshwater pearls, individually stitched through the canvas. Dream Sweet is also stitched through with a dusty blue embroidery floss. I chose a primitive childlike hand for the words this time, if I do it again I may try a type that looks a little more formal. Such is my life, already trying to figure out how to make the next one better before this one is even good and dry.

I am sure this will hang in a baby room somewhere, and hopefully become a treasured memory. One of the fun things about making little baby dresses is knowing that my piece is the beginning of a new art collection! And I'm all for nurturing new art collectors!

24" square $695