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, December 29, 2011

f i n a l l y !

It doesn't matter what you call it, painter's block, a creative slump, dragging yourself around in that personal pity party, it is an irritating place to be. So I say this, knocking on wood with my fingers crossed and all that, I think I am on the other side of it.

I have been busying myself, getting the odd piece done, preparing for that mental thaw. And finally, it came. It was almost like a damn bursting. Ideas would pop like lightning. One night I just kept scratching them down so they wouldn't evaporate the next day.

What changed? Well, I told myself that the time I spend in the studio is not called "working" anymore. Working is saying "Welcome to Walmart." Working is getting up before dawn, walking to the bus stop, and not getting home until it's dark again. Hanging in a warm studio in a robe, drinking tea, and painting, although not always easy, is what I have always wanted to do. I should be thanking my lucky stars that I can manage to do this. So now, I'll be in the studio painting, not working.

And one more thing, I have convinced myself to trust my hand again. For some reason I was getting tighter and tighter. At one point I looked down and realized I was working on a 2'x3' canvas with a tiny brush that had all of 10 hairs in it. Clinging to a photograph. It was like I had lost my damn mind. The first painting that I worked on after that I had to coach myself through. It was like having a little cheerleader in my head. "You can paint, make a mark, just do it. Loose, Fresh. Rahrahrah! Well it wasn't really like that, but sort of. And amazingly enough it did work.

So just like that, a rush of ideas. Three pieces in various stages of completion, and another on the way. The first one, below will be a new version of Wallflower. Still a long way to go, but she is coming along nicely...

And this one is a close up of a new "Plain Jane" This one is pretty much done, just a little "Assembly Required".

And this is a section of a piece called "Four Eyes" There are three other canvases that hang with it. Perhaps her name will make more sense when you see the whole group. But I love how the dress in this piece pretty much disappears. And it felt so good to paint this.

So now my plan is to finish these up and let you see them all in a few days. My only question to myself is why am I taking cool snowy blue paintings to Florida? Perhaps I have lost my mind! Come back in a few days and see what I'll be taking to Coconut Grove!

Friday, December 2, 2011

A night's work

I've been a little quiet lately. The dessert blog takes more energy than you'd expect, and I have a thousand excuses just like that one if you have time. But the thing is, I've had a lot of time off between shows, and I'm working towards building a new body of work. Nothing like that is simple. I've been sketching, and scribbling, making models. Having brilliant ideas and hating them the next day. And a for few days I've just settled down and done a little work. Tonight I carved a funky damask pattern into linoleum so I can use it stamp-like in an upcoming painting. Assembling the elements, getting ready for a big push. And I don't think I will know I can do it until it's done.