Denise E. Allen

Folk Art that tells a story…

Artwork for Sale


Size: 34h X 14 1/2w PRICE:  $3,000.00

Description:  An original 1-of-a-kind Folkart Story Board Collage made using wood, cardboard, paper dolls, real hair, lace, various fabrics, tin, plastic, acrylic and watercolor paints, crayons, markers, pen and pencils and other embellishments.

Telling a story about what it was like growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y. among families of different cultures and races living in tenement housing where everyone got along together.  Although I lived in a beautiful 4 story brownstone in Brooklyn, New York; our family was surround by old tenement buildings that had so much character to them   When I would go visit my friends who lived in tenements I could smell the various cooking flavors coming from the different apartments; i.e., African American, Puerto Rican, and Jewish food aromas. Boy-oh-boy am I getting hungry.
#61. Miss. Jones Going Shopping. Original 1-of-a-kind Cardboard Paperdoll

Size: 22 inches high by 6 1/2 wide Price:  $850.00

Details:  This paper doll is painted with acrylic paint and partially dressed using some old calico fabric, lace and ribbon.  I used my own african american hair on her head.  She is carrying a black basket and a round metal basin she’s taking to old-farmer brown’s general store to barter for some fresh brown hen eggs. This dolls also comes with 3 other small paper dolls that are not in the picture. It also comes with a painted cardboard sign describing the details and my signature.  This doll is suited for framing.

When I was a little girl I use to love to play with paper dolls.  I’m not sure if little girls still do that today.  Making these dolls take me back to a pleasant childhood I had and brings back wonderful memories of my both my father and mother.

Limited Edition Giclee Watercolor Print.  Edition Of 300

Title:  Negro Shakers Knitting and Sewing In The Attic Size:  14 1/2 inches h by 34 inches wide Price: $750.00

I did this painting over 19 years ago.  It is an example of some of what my early paintings look like.  Thankfully I still have the original.  I was living in Woodside, N.Y. when I did this piece. I completed it at my little tiny kitchen table.  My first love in life, besides my wonderful husband Richard Allen, is Needlework.  I dream about it a lot and am always rummaging around antique stores looking for a good piece of fabric or linens to use for my needlework story quilts and embellished story board collages.  Today I still do paintings of old-fashioned women doing various types of needlework.  Hopefully, within the next few weeks I’ll have my latest original painting up of a piece about a farmer women airing her patchwork quilt.

AN EARLY AMERIAN 19TH C. SEWING AND NEEDLEWORK BEE. SIZE; 20 x 30. Signed Lt. Ed. unframed Watercolor Print, Number 1/300. This print is embellished with curtain lace, paper dolls,
wood, calico fabrics, yarn, sewing thread, felt, pieces of cardboard. Price $1,700.00

Every fall season – during the month of October, the three negro spinster sisters have
their old-timey sewing and needlework bee. What an event. Almost every woman in town and the
neighboring villages come with their children and friends; they even bring along their husbands. (the only reason the husbands come along is because of the spinster sister’s homemade cooking, especially their baked chicken). All the women bring their yarns, knitting and crocheing needles, patchwork quilt tops that have to be quilted and even their needlework books to read when they get tired of sewing. The handiwork they create is to beautify their homes, their church and give away as gifts to the needy families in their community.

FARMER BROWN’S GENERAL STORE -unframed embellished watercolor print-
SIZE; 22 x 30 PRICE; $1,500.00

It’s always very busy at farmer Brown’s 19th c. General Store; especially on Thursdays;
that’s the day the farmers in town have sold most of their produce; eggs, vegetables, grass fed
beef and chickens. Lot’s of womeh are their with their homespun calicao dreses and hand spun wool to barter for Mr. Brown’s wife’s delicicous homemade apple pies. This print has been embellished with lace, wood, paper dolls, a key, rick rack, calico fabrics, needles and tatting.

THE VISIT. Unframed Lt. Ed. Watercolor print. Number 1/250. SIZE; 20 x 30. PRICE; $800.00

These two woman have been friends for years. They live deep n the woods and do not get much time to spend together as good friends should. Sometimes it’s so lonley living so isolated from friends you love; that’s why when they get the chance to visit each other; it’s like a joy in the house.

THE COOKING LESSON. Unframed Watercolor print. Un-numbered. SIZE; 20x 30.
Price; $1,000.00.

This picture was painted in memory of my lovely beautiful mother, Bernice E. Butler; A woman of valour; who can find – for her price is far above rubies. It represents a true story about my mother who was a wonderful mother who loved and took care of her nine children. She and my father worked night and day to provide a home enviornment that was filled with love, patience and lots of good cooking. This particular piece is extra special as The U.S. Department of State selected it -the original, not the print – to hang in the American Embassy in Tiblise, Georgia-Russia. My mother, although now deceased, would have been very proud to know that the United States Government selected this painting about her to hang in an American Embassy in Russia.

GET THE HELL OUT MY KITCHEN. Original Acrylic Painting on White Primed Linen Paper lightly embellished wit bits of lace and cardboard paper. SIZE; 16 4 20. PRICE; $900.00.

Mrs. Essie Mae Jones was the deacon’s wife from the Holiness Baptist Church in Chicken Foot Road, KY. The Church was deep in the woods about 12 miles from where the Jones lived. Mrs. Jones was a faithful God-fearing woman who attended the Church for more than 50 years. She
was also the churck cook. Everyone loved Mrs. Jones cookin and sometimes they’d come to her house to ask for some of her good cookin to take home for their own selves. It was a real big mistake coming to Mrs. Jones house un-announced lookin to get free food from her kitchen. Curse words would start commin out Mrs. Jones Mouth like a sailor on a boat. OMG, Lawd have mercy, if in I was you, I’d high tail my you know what out of her kitchen before you get a black skillet knowked upside yo head.

THE RAGMAN IS COMIN. 3D Original unframed folkart story quilt on Medium weight cotton canvas. Embellished with curtain lace, plastic, wood, cardboard paper dolls, watercolor paint, a stocking, a key machine and handstitching. SIZE 21 x 29. PRICE; $3,500.

Every Friday, like clockwork, Mr. Hezekiah Jones would come to our poor neighborhood yelling at the top of his lungs ”The Ragman’s in Town.” Although he knew most folks in our neck of the woods was as broks as a joke, he’d come anyway lookng for the folks with a couple of dollars
to spare and for those who were hiding out because they knew they still owed him money from last
mont’s rags they’d brought from him. I ain’t got no money this week, but it don’t hurt to look.

The Gullah People. Acrylic water color and crayon painting on canvas embellished with cardboard and lace. SIZE 20 x 16. PRICE; $1,800.

The Gullah people were old fashioned folks who lived a lifestyle like their 18th century Ancestors. They lived deep in the woods and didn’t have electric in their homes; they were very religious people who farmed the land. This Gullah family is on their way to church and are taking a shortcut through the cornfields so they won’t be late.

The Babysitter. Acrylic water color painting on canvas. SIZE 20 x 24. PRICE; $5,000.

Mother Anna butler was the mother everyone looked to in their close knit town of less than 300 people everyone loved Mrs. Butler because she took care of all the babies and children, when the mothers in the community needed a break from the all-consuming job of raising children. It would be wonderful if there were more women like Mrs. Butler in the world.

Beans and Corn Bread. 3d embellished folk art story quilt. Embellished with real beans, straw, woman’s stocking, kitchen utensils, human hair, dish cloths, paper dolls, lace, stuffed cotton bags, and wire. SIZE 36 x 28 (framed). PRICE; $7,000.

A womens work is never done cooking cleaning washing so on, and taking care of children and that’s just the beginning believe it or not. I love being a housewife and my husband loves it even more than I do. That’s BECAUSE he don’t have to do nutin, but come home to a hot cooked meal of hamhocks beans and corn bread. You can see the image of this story quilt in a wonderful book titled “APPLE FOR THE TEACHER” by author Jane Yolen and her son Adam Simple.

Preserving our Heritage. Acrylic painting on canvas. SIZE 31 x 24 (framed). NOT FOR SALE.

My daughter was nine years old when I asked her to give me the title for this painting. The title she gave me was perfect. This painting is about a young girl that loves to make delicious preserves, bake pies and make bread. She uses her grandmothers 18th century wood burning stove to bake the bread pies and cakes and also to cook up the fruit and vegetables for the preserves. Although the painting is not for sale you can purchase signed posters of this painting for 50 dollars.

The Spinster Sisters. Acrylic painting on board. SIZE 16 x 20. PRICE; $800.

These two spinster sisters live in an isolated community where they keep quietly to themselves and grow organic herbs. Year after year they grow wonderful herb crops where people come from near and far to buy their herbs for use in flavoring their vegetables meats and fruits. Their herbs are even good for medicinal use.

Special note: I respect the way the shaker community lived and worked. Like the Amish of today they were a close knit community that thrived and prospered because they loved and helped each other for the good of the community. I now live among the old order Amish and enjoy my community very much.

African American Community in Brooklyn.

Not for sale, work in progress, keep watching for the completion of this work at the end of 2012

This is a 3d wood and cardboard embellished collage telling the many stories of the African American family in Brooklyn. This collage is embellished with wood and cardboard paper dolls, fabric, a wooden door, a wire fence, photographs, lace, metal, a patchwork quilt, brass and more.