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

Friday, June 8, 2012

Surly Girl

 Surly Girl was just that.  A surly, difficult painting, with numerous re-dos and fiddles.  I could give a handful of excuses as to why this one was such a pain, all of them legit in my mind, but I'll save you from all that.  Let's just say, I love the way she turned out, and there are some beautiful things that happened in this piece that wouldn't have happened had I nailed it the first time round. 

The title came from a night at The Surly Girl Saloon after a show in Columbus, OH last year.  The name just stuck in my head, which is a rarity these days, for anything to stick that is.  In fact I just had to check with Scott to find out just where we were, but the name was a winner.  And certainly worthy of stealing for a painting.

Starting at the top and working down, the lemons signify that this girl isn't making lemonade out of a damn thing thank you very much.  She is a little bitter, so deal with it.  The crow is there simply for the sound of his voice, although the patterns in his plumage are quite attractive.

The dress itself is painted with a knotted up tree.  I took and developed this photo about 25 years ago in art school.  It finally came in handy!  The pattern around the dress was one of the things that was done twice, and because of this has a lot of beautiful color shining through.  You'll have to trust me on that one though, as it needs it's own close up to show that off.

And the bottom, the tornado, is my favorite.  Built with linoprints on pattern paper, and not much else, it is a vast improvement over the first version.  The first version is currently facing the wall in the studio, it is nicely painted and would stand well on its own if you have a hankering for a tornado painting.  But man, did it fight with the rest of the painting.  It had to be separated from the rest like a cranky sibling.  And if you've ever known a surly girl, you know what kind of damage they can do, a tornado seemed like a good metaphor.

Yesterday, as I was finishing up the piece I knew it needed one more thing.  Although I don't always stitch the name of the piece into the canvas it is becoming a favorite thing for me to do.  So I spent another couple hours last night coming up with a little crosstitch pattern, poking holes through the canvas and stitching in a yellow so subtle that pretty much no one will see it, ever.  It won't show up in the shots I send in to get juried into shows, but it's there.  Hopefully to be discovered by someone as they hang it on their wall!  "Girl" is stitched on the other lemon.

Now to get back out there and see how "Chatterbox" is coming along.  Thanks for checking in!

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