Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dress Art

I discovered the art of Katherine Allen-Coleman at an art fair a few years back.  She displayed canvases with actual clothing glued to them.  She painted over, around, and even on top of the clothing.  For me, nothing in the entire fair compared to her work.  I could not stop thinking about it.  I contacted her and asked her a few questions about the process and she was very gracious with her answers.

You are getting the idea.  I just had to try this.  And so I did.  I had this little dress from my childhood and, really, what was I going to do with it?  Why not have some fun with it.  I stretched it out on a canvas and....

this is how it looked glued to the canvas.  I then painted the background.

It stayed like this for a very long time.  Somewhere along the way I painted the dress white.  Then I got busy and it just sat there.  I needed time to sit with it and let it tell me what to do next. But I never seemed to have that time.  Well, now I do. So I pulled that canvas from the back burner.

It didn't get to this stage without a few tries.  It evolved over a few days and the colors changed as it evolved.  I wish I would have taken pictures of the process but I didn't and it's too late now.

This is the part I added today.  I'm thinking it is finished but maybe I will think differently tomorrow. 

There is one more dress canvas I want do that involves a grown-up dress.  I still have my wedding dress from 40 years ago.  I shortened it years ago to wear to a formal dinner/dance which means it could fit on a canvas.  Why not?

While you are waiting for that post you might want to check out my inspiration for this project.  You can see Katherine Allen-Coleman's dress paintings here.

I am linking to:



  1. This is darling~ I love old dresses too- what a beautiful way to display them. Would love for you to come share this at Feathered Nest Friday! :)

  2. Love it A great way to preserve the past.