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, September 21, 2011

Just Blabbing

The flecks of red breaking up the sea of green trees surrounding the studio suggests a change of seasons. And the fiddling, procrastinating, pacing, and wandering inside the studio suggests changes as well.

Quick changes are difficult for me as an artist. Once I get into the groove of process, knowing what colors work well together, and I have a stack of ideas to work with, things move along smoothly. Occasionally someone tries to reel me in, asking me to paint a still life, or a landscape, "like you do so well." Then I hear the grinding of gears. I have a couple of these commissions staring at me right now. But they just seem so far off the path of me moving forward that I can't quite bring myself to do them. I feel awkward, like I have to learn "how to" all over again.

Other times, like now, it is me trying to push my work in a new direction. So here I am. wandering off the beaten path. I feel like I need a carrot and a stick just to keep moving. And to make things a little more complicated I have two different bodies of work I am trying to cough up.

One is reasonably simple, Scott and I want to share a new blog much like his cupcake blog that was so successful last year. We will be posting a new sweet painting each day, and the theme will be "Just Desserts." I have a handful of these little babies done, and they are coming along nicely. Although very slowly, I think I've spent enough time on one tiny painting of cookies that I may make minimum wage on it by the time all is said and done.

But the other work is about to drive me around the bend. There will be dresses, there will be multiple canvases, my pallet will change, I will use more lino block prints and less photos. I have built a model, I have sketched out the layout, I have ordered the canvases. Ready, set, go!

Instead I sit staring at the pile of canvases, carve a possible linoleum block, fiddle on Facebook. I know what the answer is. Just do it. (Thanks Nike.) Just walk in the door and get to work. And I will I suppose. Once I get over whatever this is. Until then I guess I will fiddle, and poke at ideas, and quietly bitch at myself for watching the sun go down again with very little new work to show. Perhaps the biggest babies are hardest to birth. Maybe I'm just a big chicken. But I sure can understand why so many artists keep on doing the same thing for years. There is a lot of comfort there.

So now I'm going to post this, and walk back into the studio and try again.

Because we all know, if at first you don't succeed...