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

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, new thoughts, new work

There is something about this time of year that pushes me to change.  To try again, reinvent, give it another go.  It is probably a simple question of timing, and schedule.  Generally from the first of Feburary through mid November, shows come and go at a pretty even clip.  A show every other weekend, sometimes every weekend, doesn't leave much time in between to just think.  But winter time does, and this winter is no different. 
Linoleum block prints are something that I learned how to do sometime in the 9th or 10th grade, I would have been around 15.  I have come back around to them more times than I can count.  An image is carved into a sheet of what's called battleship linoleum.  It is grey, sort of a hard rubbery surface about the thickness of cardboard.  A reductive printmaking method, everything carved away with a razor sharp gouge stays white and clean, and what is left behind picks up the ink and transfers to paper.  The image needs to be carved in a mirror image of what you want. 
For a few years, this was my main squeeze, printing small multiple color editions.  Following the rules, (and there are many) of a good print.  Throwing away all the mistakes, the missteps in color, the misses in proper registration, and the "doinks."  Doink is a word I invented for the the little blemishes, the bits of dust, the parts that didn't take ink evenly.  This is the perfect medium for a perfectionist to revel in, to find fault in, to discard mistakes.
But this past year, I have found a way to enjoy the carving, enjoy the printing, and find a lot of joy in the imperfections.  The carving is still tight, and slow, but I love that part, and the printing is a joy.  Rather than expensive cotton rag paper from France, I print on wadded up wrinkled dress patterns.  I change colors mid stream, I look for lap marks and wrinkles, and doinks.  This is what I get...

And they look rather pretty drying in the window...

I have been using them to create repeating patterns in my dress pieces for the past year or so.  But this winter I have started working without the dress.  Just enjoying the combination of paint and print.  Collaging, and painting over with layers of transparent washes, and opaque paint.  This is the most recent piece to come off the easel...
Now it is time to pull the pieces together, to work on a dress, to find the story.  All I can say for sure at this point is there is a piece in the studio incorporating all these things.  It is still in the beginning, and as with all of my pieces, I'm sot exactly sure what it will be when it is finished, I'm not even sure I will be able to make it work.  But I am trying, I am giving it another go...
And you'll all be the first to know if I pull it off.  Until then, if you are enjoying the process, take a look at my newest blog, www.elleements.blogspot.com  I am posting a new little piece every day.  Y'know just to kill a little time waiting for the next big piece.

1 comment:

  1. While this is not something my patience allows me to do, I so appreciate reading your process, trial and error and the joy in that process. It inspires me and encourages me to see my processes with new eyes.