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, May 25, 2010

Smarty Pants

This isn't the first "smarty pants" I've done, and it won't be the last, but this one sure does make me smile. Rather than explain the process of this one from start to finish, I'll just run through some of the elements.

Front and center is a piece of cherry pie, cherry pie a la mode actually, just paint, nothing tricky. Her little apron has these funny little pac man shapes on it, circles with little pie chunks cut away. Her cherry red dress relates back to the color of the pie, and is covered in little polka dots. And finally the background. What's up with the numbers anyway?

Here's the back story on Smarty Pants. I was at a show a few weeks ago, and a jeweler was next to me, Amy Pfaffman, we've been neighbors before. She is very sweet and I have a few of her pieces. You can see her work here http://amyjewelry.com/ Her jewelry is made of all kinds of bits and pieces, scrabble tiles, watch faces, just cool stuff.

So during the show I occasionally hear people asking her what the numbers mean? I eventually peek in when she isn't busy, and see a few pieces with 3.14159 in them. SO of course I have to ask too. "It's PI" she says exasperated, "I wanted to use numbers, and I thought everyone would know what pi was!"

I just can't resist a good pun.

And maybe with all the extra clues there will be the occasional "Smarty Pants" who will figure out pi=pie all on their own! Smarty Pants is 24" square and is sold.

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!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I got in Old Town!

I applied to The Old Town Art Fair in Chicago again this year, even though it is an extremely difficult show to get into. Then a minor miracle happened, I made it on the wait list. Now for a full body slam in the miracle department, I got a phone call a couple of days ago. A spot opened up, and I was invited. Can you say tickled!?

I haven't even made the change to my schedule yet, but I said you'd be first to know. I'll see you in Chicago on June 12 & 13!