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, April 25, 2012

Little Bird

"Little Bird" found a home in Texas this past weekend.  She is one of those pieces that I've hardly had a chance to get to know, so to speak.  Finished and framed the day before we left, and sold at the first show.  Sold to a sweet family, with two children and another "little bird on the way." 

The Pine Warbler, top left was painted, the next canvas down features a linoleum block print in the background and a great child's glove.  (I had the pair, it's match will surface in a later painting, I am sure.)  The bottom left is a nest made from pattern pieces.  The right hand side has a repeating lino block bird behind the dress which was painted with yellow dots under the blue.

I guess it's time for me to quit talkin' and get workin' as my next show is in about 10 days.  If you are from "around here" I'll see you at our little local festival on May 5th.  The Jackson Fine Arts Festival, just off the square in Jackson, GA.  Saturday only from 10am-3pm!

Friday, April 20, 2012


"Birdbrain" is the latest big piece I've finished.  Like "Black Betty" and "Queen Bee" she is just over 72" tall by 24" wide.  The top canvas has her name cross stitched through the canvas, with birds on wires over top.  The next three canvases are birds nests made with sewing patterns, laid out like a slot machine.  I was trying to explain my thinking on this to Scott, and the best I can do is to say it's like the only options "Birdbrain" has are to nest.  She can keep pulling the handle, but no other choices come up.  The background on the main canvas is scattered with subtle sunflower seeds, and the birdcage is one that hangs in my studio.  The dress has a repeat pattern of Carolina Wrens, with tails crossed.  Behind the birds you can just see hints of sewing patterns coming through.  The canvas with the glove has a beautiful damask pattern in the background, and a scattering of just slightly larger than life size sunflower seeds in the shell.

Although "Birdbrain" is typically thought of as an insult, I prefer to think of her as someone who has birds on the brain.  Someone with a need to care for others.  This is represented by the seeds, (feeding) and the need to build, and decorate.  She is perhaps a little trapped by this, as seen in the birdcage, and the lack of choices with only the option to nest.  But I think she is happy, or at least content.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On the road again.

Ah, the glamorous life of an artist!  Scott and I left home yesterday morning, promising all three cats and Freda that we would be back.  "One week, we promise, you'll sleep through most of it!"  The van was literally packed to the gills, no looking out the back window, and be careful opening the doors so an avalanche of "Creatively Required Assorted Props" aka "CRAP" doesn't come crashing out.  We programed our first stop into our GPS and we were on our way, like a herd of turtles. 

We don't do a lot of sight seeing during our travels, in fact I try to spend as much of the time on the road checking my eyelids for light leaks.  As we said tonight to our dinner companions, the first day on the road is like a day off, a decompression day.  We just drive, usually no radio, not much talking, whoever is not driving is usually sleeping, and we just keep going.  Occasionally the van, with over 275,000 miles on it, hiccups, and I flip back and forth between quietly saying a little prayer to the god of vans, and silently swearing at it and threatening to take a sledgehammer to it if it leaves us stranded in the middle of nowhere.  So far this plan has worked fairly well, we drove past the spot where the alternator crapped out last time we were making this journey, feeling more hopeful by the minute.  Food is whatever is in the cooler between us, and we just watch the miles tick by.  725 miles yesterday, and another couple hundred today.  Yes, in case I have you worried, I did renew my triple A membership before we left.

So here we are, Fort Worth, Texas.  So far, so good, a simple load in.  The tent went up, under the main tent.  Fort Worth is known for crazy winds, and they deal with this by putting up large tents that are roped to the pavement.  Artists squeak their 10' square tents into a 10' square spot, we are wedged in there so tight the wind would have to take all six tents, plus the main tent at the same time.  And we have good neighbors, that is important, nice neighbors.

Then panels, and weights, and paintings.  Lights, chairs, table, portfolio bin, more boxes, storage bins.  It's all set up, the van has gained several inches of height with the unloading of it all.  And we checked into the hotel, a charming hotel.  If your idea of charming is a cinder block building with saggy little beds.  But the sleepier I get, the better the bed looks, and trust me, we have been in far worse.  The good thing about this place is unlike most shows, we are within walking distance to the hotel.  And we found several good bars and restaurants between here and there. 

So we'll see you on Main Street in the morning!  I think I have the best looking show I have ever put together Ft. Worth, so come on down and take a look!