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, January 10, 2013

Make do.

I was puttering away in the studio last night, thinking.  I often work late at night, until midnight or later.  I find there are fewer distractions, no phone calls, it's too dark to see what needs weeding.  And one thing struck me, what I would have told myself as a 20 year old who wanted to be an artist.  Aside from the obvious, "just paint, you need to paint at least 100 bad paintings before they start getting good" was the other thought...make do.

Early in my "career" I worked in an art supply store.  It was the perfect place for me to be.  It opened doors to other artists, classes, supplies, information on framing.  A thousand good things came from that job.  But one thing that it also did was surround me with bright shiny arty things.  Bundles of pencil crayons in pretty boxes, beautiful hand rolled pastels from France, x-acto knives in stylish containers.  I had an employee discount and I used it.  But now, 25 years later, I have learned to make do. 

If I were starting again, I would still buy a few good things, that expensive aluminum ruler they made me buy in college?  Still have it.  Paint?  Even to the chagrin to some artist friends I still buy top of the line paints, papers, and canvas.  But the other stuff?  Meh.

Now I buy packs of cheap brushes that cost about the same as one gleaming russet colored beauty.  I have dropped the x-acto knife for a hardware store knife, and when I've lost that, a single edged razor blade works perfectly well, and you can buy them by the hundreds.  Rather than buying expensive pre-printed papers to collage with, I make my own with tissue from old dress patterns, for free.  The pencil you found in the back of the drawer works about as well as the sparkly new one at the art supply store.  A palette? A chunk of tempered glass from a yard sale and old yogurt cups.

Make do, make it part of the process.  It's a sure fire way to avoid the "sameness" so common in the art world.  Let the creative part start from the beginning.

1 comment:

  1. Bravo to the make do attitude! I am feeling the same way too.