Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Developing my Inkblots

Ink Blot Images

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 and hit the "what's new" button, go to inkblots.  Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Portraits for Tin Rabbit

A few more portraits for Tin Rabbit! 

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!

A portrait of a young Girl

Portrait of a young Girl 1810

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.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Federal Style Primitives - Retrieved Wallpaper

Federal Style Primitives

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! 

Ice Skating in the Country

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.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bird Flowers

 Primitive Bird Flower Artwork

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!  

Thanks for looking!  


Friday, October 4, 2013

Swan Babies

My Baby Swans


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

A True Gentleman - more Retrieved Wallpaper

He was a true gentleman

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! 


The Decorative Impact of Nautical Flags


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 :) 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Spaghetti Night

This painting is called SPAGHETTI NIGHT

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!  

Pencil Drawings for Restoration Hardware

 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.

Tramp Art Ship

 I love tramp art...

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.