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

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A case of the uglies.

Not only did my work take a little shift early this year, but my way of working did also.  Gone are the days of being quite so deadline dependant.  I used to work on the final piece, pushing it through and finishing it up just in time to load it into the van and head off to a show.  The downside to this was not only that I'd leave for a show physically exhausted, but I would also return home to a messy studio, with nothing but blank canvases to look at.

Now when I return home I find a handful of paintings in mid stream, ready to be be picked up and carried through to completion.  This is more comfortable for me because I am not trying to start from scratch, trying to find the magic right out of the gate.  I am inspired by what is in front of me, and can build on it.  When I walked into the studio for the first time in a week, this is what greeted me...

Yes, "Chatterbox" has miles and miles to go, but it has good bones.  And I was glad it was there, not only to jump start my painting, but as a bit of relief to it's sister in the studio.  "Surly Girl" is also in progress, and is currently living up to her namesake.  As much as "Chatterbox" is inspiring, "Surly Girl" is not.  "Surly" is in fact going through a eye gouging ugly stage.  The uglies are not always a bad thing, in fact they are practically expected, much like awkward teenage pimples.  Sometimes I court the uglies, building on them on purpose.  The uglies can be used to balance out a painting that has become too saccharine sweet, or you can surround a nice bit with something muddy, or squishy, and the contrast makes it shine. 

But right now "Surly" is just ugly, muddy, patchy, and just difficult in general.  And a sure fire way to be sure she stays that way is to sit here and continue to write about it.  So off I go, let's see if I can get her back on the rails.  If I do, I'll post about her, if I don't...well, try to forget I ever mentioned her.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Sugar is fresh off the easel, and ready for her first show.  The dress itself was a gift, someone came to see me at the show in Fort Worth with a shopping bag with this little gem tucked inside.  She thought it was a perfect piece for a painting, and she was right. 

The chemical formula for sucrose is in a pretty script in grey on pink in the background.  The right side of the diptych is pure contrast with deep smoke and charcoal grey.  A sugar bowl (which happens to be my china pattern) is painted at the bottom.  Three perfect duck shaped mother of pearl buttons drop through the middle of the composition. 

And, by the way, "Sugar" is Scott's nickname for me (not always deserved, but that's another conversation.)  Did you know that I consider all of these pieces self portraits?  Even sweet ones like this that began as a generous thought.

 "All the girls" will be heading to Seaside FL for her first show this weekend, maybe I'll see you there.  Sugar is about 20" x 22"   $925