A blog about my thoughts and my love of artwork as it develops. It reflects some of the basic steps that I go through to achieve the artwork which is eventually presented to Spicher and Co, an innovative design firm that manufactures artwork for the trade. The why, what, how, and where are a few of the questions that I attempt to answer as I blog away! This is a tiny window into the life of a painter, and my hope is that my love for life shines through in the objects that I work to create.
If you have never been to Nantucket the first weekend in December, you should go before the island loses all its quaint charm. This is one place that has remained untouched. There is no McDonalds or Walmarts or Starbucks (but there should be a Starbucks). This painting was done for Nantucket Country. Every Christmas season, the local stores set up trees outside their walkways and carolers stroll the streets sharing the sidewalks with all the wonderful customers that come to Nantucket for this festive event. My painting is supposed to be fun. Everything from "raining berries," to the "clean snow" for the snow cones makes it fun. Don't eat the tree was also funny to me. Ha!
To really appreciate these floral inkblot paintings, I think you may have needed to be present when I painted them. They were some of the funnest pictures I have painted in a good while. I had a large book of 19th century journal entries laying around and thought, "What can I do with this that would be different." This is what I came up with.
Actually, it was more difficult than you might think to do this. In fact, for every one completed, there were two I threw away. The composition was just "off" or the ink didn't bleed properly when I folded the paper in half. To clarify, I painted 1/2 of the paper (Folded it first), and then bent the other half over it and pressed with my finger so that the image would transfer. That's about it! Hope you enjoy it. If you are interested in the prints, go to www.spicherandco.com and hit the "what's new" button, go to inkblots. Thanks for looking!
Both of these were completed especially for Tin Rabbit in St. Louis, MO I wish that you could see the finish up close. I have been using my new technique that enables the paper to have a crackled patina that is reminiscent of long ago. Enjoy!
Here is an example of a portrait that I just finished that will be shipped to Tin Rabbit in St. Louis, MO. I had a time photographing it because there was such a glare. Portraits like this were frequently done in the 19th century because everyone wanted to remember their loved child the way they were. There was no such thing as the 'camera' back then so likenesses were preserved by
watercolor painters, like myself!
This is just my style or way of painting, many of them were painted much more realistic, but the prized folk art piece commands big money today. My portraits are a way to have that look without spending huge dollars. Enjoy.
These pictures are some examples of a style of painting that I call 'Retreived Wallpaper'. It was designed to look as if it were pulled from an old plaster wall. These paintings are originals and are available for purchase. They are framed in a simple black frame with the image floating, we call it museum mounted.
This lower image comes complete with a tiny distress hole in the center that was deliberately made and intended to look like it was damaged as it was pulled from a wall. I know that some of you won't get this, but if you love history and antiques, you will understand the logic behind this. It's sort of like today's hole-y jeans! The reason I frame it in a newly constructed frame and not an antique frame is because I want it to blend with today's modern furnishings. Have you ever seen an antique piece framed this way and hanging in a modern contemporary home complete with concrete floors and big windows? Well, I have and it looks amazing!
This is a simple tree study landscape. I love the colors. The ship is so sweet, too.
The colors were deliberate and selected to have that very primitive 18th Century look. I hope you enjoy!
Retreived wallpaper ARTWORK in Primitive 1830's Style
This is a new (semi-new) style for me. In this piece, if you look closely, you can see the tiny cracks and torn edges that one would expect from something from an earlier time that has a 'retrieved' feel to it. I am having so much fun painting in this style. In many ways, I have come full circle, as this was the style that I painted in when I started back in 1992. Enjoy! This piece will be on show in November at the Hershey Medical Center waiting room. It is a fundraiser of sorts for the medical center and is happening to promote a little happiness to patients in their cancer ward! Let me know if you are interested. There will be five primitive pieces on display.
I don't know how you would classify this type of Artwork....primitive reproduction, perhaps??
As you look at these pieces up closely, you can see a lot of tears and folds and spots. Let me assure you, these are deliberate. It was just me having fun one day trying to make something look really old--like ancient. I love to paint birds, etc. The one on top is my favorite of the two because it is called LOVE BIRDS. The glass is wonderfully wavy and bubbly on the above piece too. The bottom one is unusual for me because I sewed it to the back drop. Yes you read that right, sew. I don't sew, so you can imagine how frustrating it was for me to attach it in that manner. Both of these are available on my new ETSY account under Kolenespicher. I hope that you enjoy looking! Don't forget to check out Spicher and Co., too, for the new things that are going to the High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina--the furniture capital of the World!
I have found some connection to nearly everything that I have ever painted. I have three boys. When I look at this painting and the mother carefully watching her ducklings (swan-lings??), I can't help but think of my own children who are now grown up (almost). I find myself painting birds a lot for some reason. I think it's because they don't toil or worry. They just know everything is going to be okay. They trust their creator to provide for them... This particular painting hangs in what I call my "Seashell" room. If you like it and want a print of it, let me know... Kolene
This painting took twice as long because I insisted on having lots and lots of cracks. I wanted it to look like it was a preserved and loved piece of antique art. This artwork was executed in acrylic and museum mounted in a simple black frame. The design is my own and was created out of years and years of the study of my favorite antique artists of the 19th century.
Because the quality of the photograph is not so great (I do not have a proper lighting studio for taking quality pictures), I am going to include a closeup.
Please contact me if you are interested in this piece. Thanks!
Hanging nautical flags to the right of my cabinet along the doorway ended up having terrific impact. As you sight down the hallway, you can see more ships, mermaids, etc. on the wall at the back side (I will post a picture later). It has a neat stacking effect. These were a few flags left over from my recent show. Let me know if you are interested in the pricing, etc. by leaving a message on this blog. Thanks for looking :)
What a great time I had painting this family. All the children are grown, but this loving mother wanted to remember her children as they were when they were young. What a neat family. I enjoyed meeting the mother, whose name is "CAROL. " She was so much fun to talk to on the phone, and I felt like I knew the kids till I was done with the picture. The only unfortunate part was that it took me a 1 1/2 years to compete it, which is too long. :(
I am truly sorry that the resolution is not a little better for this piece, but I was thankful for the photograph. This lady has an amazing kitchen!
Here are some pencil drawings that I did for RESTORATION HARDWARE
I LOVE TO DRAW AND PAINT! Here are a few pencil drawings that I executed for Restoration Hardware. These are a little different than what I have been posting, but it shows the diversity of my artwork. I can't take any credit for the idea, though, as the idea was created in the mind of one of their very talented directors. I really love their store and am amazed at their furnishings. I think their products work well with genuine antiques. Their furnishings have an authenticity about them that is very deliberate and not by accident. It was my privilege to illustrate for them.
This little baby is literally 5x8". I picked the frame up long ago at an antique gallery. I love to use tramp art (the type of frame that this is classified) any time that I can. People don't always 'get' it but it is something that was made many years ago out of cigar boxes. They are sort of like 'outsider art' and were lovingly made between 1870-1890. It was a widespread form of folk-art in its day and popular in America. Sometimes they were even made out of old produce boxes. These chip covered and layered pieces were fashioned into frames, jewelry boxes, little containers for all sorts of knick-knacks, and even furniture. Although, the term implies that they were made by hobos, they were actually believed to be constructed by skilled itinerant German immigrants who traveled the country selling their wares (not much different than what I am doing, I suppose. :) This frame is a genuine antique--unlike the painting for which I am responsible. If you think you would like to purchase this painting, you can reach me by leaving a message on this blog. Thanks for looking.
Here is the Cat painting that I sold a little while ago. What made this whole picture, I thought, was the mouse. It really is all about the mouse. I promised to post it and it took me a while to find the correct photo! So glad I found it!
Can you tell that I love the ocean? I have decorated more beach homes than I can shake a stick at! Unfortunately, none of them are mine! Most of the time, the customer buys an nautical print (www. spicherandco.com).
I love sailors.
Here's a few sailors that I have painted. Both of these are available to buy.
The boy is my favorite. I love the frame on it, too. I bought it in Ocean City, NJ. That makes it even better, in my humble opinion. The guy to the right (actually a ship captain) was inspired by a painting that I looked at a while back at a little museum in Carlisle, PA called the Carlisle Historical Society. They have a neat gift shop, too. Anyways, they had a painting on display and her name was Martha Stewart (Stuart). She wore dark blue sunglasses, and yes, she was painted a century or more ago. The sun was out then, too. I call him Captain Stuart. HA. If you are interested in either of these, leave a message!
ANCHORS A-WAY JUST LISTED ON ETSY
I like anything that makes me feel encouraged. I try to work hope into every painting that I execute. If it looks nice and makes you feel good, well...that's more than half the battle. I found this neat old frame that reminded me of an old sailor's art and thought it might be neat to illustrate an anchor. I really am loving anchors at the moment.
Like the last post mentioned, I am showing what is available for purchase. This photo could be better but I don't have access to the piece at the moment. I will need to rely on what I have on my IPhone, and this is it!! The fancy scroll frame has a ship painted in it (also available for purchase.)
The tramp art piece in the front, I sold.
Now everyone will want that one and(that's how it works) it has gone to a man in California. You can leave a message on this blog. If you are interested in other examples of my artwork go to www.Spicherandco.com ENJOY!! There's a lot there, I have been painting for 22 years!
I want to talk about this painting. I love to paint children and have a particular fondness for boys because I have 3 of them. This particular piece is museum mounted and floating on a solid black background. I am moving away, somewhat, from antique frames because artwork must be able to be enjoyed with new furniture. I think the old frames just don't blend like they need to. Placing a new frame on something that looks very old and "mounting" it causes this painting to meld into my furnishings in a way that is current. It highlights it and elevates it and makes it look important in a method that an antique frame fails to accomplish. I call it my retrieved wallpaper look because the edges are slightly turned up and is deliberately distressed to appear as if someone removed it from another century, place, and time to bring it to the present and preserve it.
The second photo shows a closeup of the "floating" technique. This painting is available for purchase. Please leave a message on this blog if you are interested. I have a few paintings currently that are for sale. I will post them as I have the opportunity and time. Thanks for looking!