batman and robin for web


Batman & Robin…sold…12x7.75 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012… Growing up in the 1970’s we had 7 channels. That’s it. Sometimes, many times, the only thing on was “Batman & Robin”. I liked it but it wasn’t my favorite show.





My 1970’s American Childhood

a solo exhibit by Katherine Michael

Eve N Odd Gallery

645 Central Ave. #11 St. Petersburg, FL

opening reception Friday, July 13, 2012 5-8pm

This show ends August 3, 2012



sonny and cher for web

Sonny & Cher…sold…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012 …My parents got divorced in 1970. I was six years old. I’d watch Sonny & Cher every week on t v.  I loved it especially at the end when they would sometimes bring out little Chastity and sing “I Got You Babe”. I thought, “How perfect…I wish they were my family”. When I heard Sonny and Cher were getting divorced (1974ish), I was in shock.  It’s funny how sad I was after hearing the news of Sonny & Cher’s break-up.



sock monkey for web


Sock Monkey…SOLD…7.5x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012 …I just like them. My Aunt Sally had a sock monkey. She collected antique everything. Her house was fun and had a lot of cool stuff. I liked when she would let me play with all of her old costume jewelry. I would put on her long gloves and borrow one of her antique purses and hats. We used to make beeswax candles together.




sandwich fair for web


Sandwich Fair…sold…12x7.75 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012 …Every September the Sandwich Fair would come around for a couple of weeks. I lived in Plano, Illinois and Sandwich was the next town (5 miles away). Everyone went to the fair. The best part, for me, was the food….foot-long corn dogs, cotton candy, elephant ears and lemon shake-ups…yum!



paper moon for web

Paper Moon…sold…12x7.5 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…On weekends, I would stay with my dad. He would take me to movies and we would go to Ponderosa Steak House for dinner. We saw a lot of movies and I think Paper Moon was my all time favorite.  

operation game for web


Operation Game…sold…7.75x11.75 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012… my favorite game. I always thought I would grow up and be a real surgeon if I played well and didn’t let the red buzzer go off.

michael jackson for web

Young Michael Jackson…sold…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012… I grew up with Michael. I thought he was the most talented boy ever.



hot lunch girl for web


Hot Lunch Girl…sold…11.75x7.75 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012… I was a hot lunch girl. My mom worked and didn’t have time to make a sack lunch for me. I always wanted a sack lunch…a sack lunch with all those wonderful little packages of pretzels, cookies, sandwiches. Once I decided to make my own sack lunch. I used a big brown paper grocery bag (that’s all I could find) and threw in some mayo and saltine cracker sandwiches. We didn’t have sandwich baggies or plastic wrap. As I was walking up the steps to school my big sister Beth noticed the big sack I was carrying. She grabbed it from me and looked inside. Then she threw it promptly in the garbage...a sad day for me…ha!


dippity do for web

Dippity-do…sold…10x8 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…On Saturday nights my Grandma Darnell would sometimes put big gobs of Dippity-do in my short, straight hair and roll it in little pin-curls.  Dippity-do styling gel came in two colors, pink or green.  I always wished she would buy the pink jar but I only remember having the green jar.  On Sunday mornings she would take out the clips and I would have curls galore! I liked going to Sunday school. My Aunt Louise was my teacher one year. After Sunday school I would join my grandma and grandpa for the big church service. Grandma kept rolls of mints in her purse and I would eat them when I got bored. 




herman munster for web

Herman Munster…sold…7.5x11.75 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…  Yeah…I watched The Munster’s….very silly. I liked Lily and grandpa.


flinestones for web

Betty & Wilma…sold…7.75x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012 …The Flintstones….my favorite cartoon!


fire prevention poster winner for web

Fire Prevention Poster Winner…sold…7.5x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…I was the kindergarten winner for the Fire Prevention Poster Contest in Rockford Illinois. My picture was of a building that caught on fire because someone was burning things in a garbage can that was too close to the building. They recognized all of the grade level winners at a local mall. We each got prizes. I won a little clown doll and a check for five dollars.  A photographer took a photo of me on stage and the caption read “An itch to scratch”. The photo won some award even though it wasn’t really an itch. My knee socks were too short and I kept trying to pull them up all night. One cool part of the evening was that we got to go out into the mall parking lot where some firemen had set up a tent. They lit it on fire and we got to help hold the big water hoses and put out the fire.  


tv dinner for web 

TV Dinner…sold…12x8 inches…acrylic on recycled board

…June 2012…I ate a lot of  t.v. dinners!



cracker jack for web

Cracker Jack…sold…7.5x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…I didn’t really like Cracker Jack. The caramel corn was always stale and it had yucky peanuts in it. But, I always wanted to get a box of Cracker Jack because of the prize inside.




barbie 2012 for web

Barbie…7.5x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012...sold


My cousin, Nancy, had a case of Barbie dolls that I liked to play with when I went to visit her. She was 5 years older than me and didn’t care if I played with her stuff. She had Barbie dolls and Barbie clothes that someone older had given her…hand-me-down Barbies. They were the real old Barbies from the 1950’s and their legs were unbendable. The Barbie dresses were soooooo beautiful…lots of sequins and netting. I’ll never forget how much I loved those Barbies.



bootsie the cat for web


Bootsie…sold…7.5x12 inches  …acrylic on recycled board…June 2012 One snowy day, we were out driving in the country and my sister Beth and I saw some kittens on the side of the road. We begged and cried and pleaded for my dad to stop and rescue those poor kittens. He finally turned back and opened the trunk. The story I was told was that as soon as he’d get one kitten in the trunk…another would jump out. We ended up with one kitten. I named him Bootsie as he had 4 white paws. I think we only had Bootsie for a year or two.


captain fantastic for web

Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy…sold…7.75x11.75 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…The very first album that I memorized word for word…every song. I played it on the stereo in the living room while laying on the faux leather loveseat. This was at my dad’s duplex on 409 E. Lee Street, Plano, Illinois. The record came out in 1975 so I was 10 or 11 years old. I would put on the big headphones and read the album’s lyric page while dad was watching t v. I think I still know every song on that album…word for word.


barney fife for web.jpg

Barney Fife…sold…8x11.75 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…He was a silly guy. I liked the Andy Griffith show. I liked Aunt Bea the most. She was like my Grandma Darnell…always cleaning…cooking…crocheting… doing something nurturing.

cat women for web

Cat Woman…7.75x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…Forget  the Penguin…forget The Joker…Cat Woman ruled!...sold





coca cola for web

Coca Cola…sold…7.5x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…My dad used to put bottles of coke in the freezer to get cold fast. He’d fall asleep in his chair and forget about them. In the morning we would find broken coke bottles and we would have to defrost the freezer and clean everything out.

dorothy from the wizard of oz for web

Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz…$30…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012… The Wizard of Oz…well, …just the best movie ever. They would show it once a year on t v. (this was before video tapes and VCR’s). That wicked witch scared the heck out of me. I could barely look at her and covered my eyes whenever she made an appearance. 

florida evans for web

Florida Evans…sold…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…Good Times…I just loved her and this show.  I liked how she was no nonsense but very loving. I like how she was not too skinny.  JJ cracked me up and I thought it was so cool that he was a painter living in the ghetto. I liked how he and Michael would sleep on the pull-out sofa in the living room…. Just like me and my dad when I was little and I would come and visit him on the weekends.


drowsy doll for web

 Drowsy Doll…sold…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012… I had a Drowsy Doll. When you pulled her string she would say “Mommy, I’m sleepy” or “I want another drink of water”. She was an okay doll but she was stuffed and you couldn’t put her in the bathtub.

jeannie for web 

Jeannie…7.75x12 inches…sold…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…I watched Jeannie. I liked her bottle. I wanted to live in that bottle with the purple sofa and all of those pillows.

Mrs Beasley for web

Mrs. Beasley…$30…7.75x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…My cousin, Nancy Morel, had a Mrs. Beasley doll and a Thumbelina doll. Oh, how I wanted those dolls to be mine. Nancy let me play with them when I would visit. I did have a Drowsy Doll. I named her Stephanie. I named all of my dolls Stephanie. That was going to be the name of my little girl when I grew up…Stephanie.

raggedy ann for web


Raggedy Ann…sold…7.75x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…Aunt Louise “Weezy” had a Raggedy Ann doll that she kept in her living room. I loved that doll. I remember I made her a little book with pictures in it that I colored and this is what it said…”There is beauty in everything I see…in birds…the sky…and in the trees…and in the eyes of Aunt Louise”. After her death, I was given that Raggedy Ann doll.

spaghettios for web

Spaghettios…sold…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…My Grandma, Marguerite Darnell, always kept a supply of spaghettios and fudgesicles at her house….just for me. I remember running down the basement steps and opening the LOUD creaky door. The basement was a large concrete room. Grandpa had a woodworking table and tools in the corner. In the other corner was a lot of shelves where my grandparents kept toys from my dad and my Uncle Bobby …jars of marbles, jacks, board games, etc. My grandma had her sewing machine and a large craft table in the basement. She made several crafts all year long to sell at the annual Methodist Church Bazaar. She made things like angels out of dish detergent bottles and wreaths made out of the plastic handles that held 6 packs of soda pop together. There was a pool table in the basement and behind it was a tiny little room that was where she kept all her canning goods. She had shelves with big mason jars filled with tomatoes and beans and pickles and jams. And there was one shelf dedicated to cans of spaghettios. It was a real creepy little room that scared me to death every time I went in it. You had to pull the string that was hanging in the middle of the room to turn on the light bulb.

cool whip for web

Cool Whip…sold…10x8 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…Each birthday for all of her grandchildren…Grandma Stephens would let you pick out a sugar bowl. She kept several cool whip containers in the bottom drawer of her dresser. Each time she would come home from a shopping trip she would collect her spare change and throw some into these containers. This was the best birthday present for me because I would pick out a sugar bowl and spend the afternoon counting the change….wondering what I could buy.

schwinn the pink fair lady for web

Schwinn…the pink Fair Lady…sold…12x7.75 inches… acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…My Uncle Doug taught me how to ride a bike. He pushed me down a little grassy hill at his house out in the country. I still can picture that moment when he let go. I think I was about 10 or 11 years old…kind of late to be learning to ride a 2 wheeler. My Aunt Marilyn taught me how to swim in her pool in the backyard. I was twelve when that happened.


the partridge family for web The Partridge Family Bus…sold…12x7.5 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…Keith Partridge (David Cassidy) was my boyfriend (in my head) for a few years. On Friday nights, I would rush to Grandma Darnell’s basement to watch “The Partridge Family” on her black and white t v while the rest of the group was upstairs watching “All in the Family”. I made a fort out of an old cardboard dryer box. I filled it with Tiger Beat magazine pictures of “Keith”…my first true love.

all in the family 6-2012 for web

 All in the Family…sold…12x8 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…@ my Grandma & Grandpa Darnell’s house, “All in the Family” was their favorite show. A lot of my aunts and uncles would come over to Grandma Darnell’s house on Friday night to watch “All in the Family”…while I was downstairs watching my boyfriend, Keith Partridge.


tin man for web


 Tin Man…sold…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012… I think he was my favorite character in the Wizard of Oz. I loved that big red heart that the Wizard gave him. I liked that when he cried, someone had to oil him.

self portrait for web.jpg 

Self portrait…sold…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…This is me. I think it’s my 3rd grade school photo. I was really wearing a white dress with little pink flowers…but decided to paint a blue dress instead. I remember trying not to smile too big because I have a crooked smile and it always showed up in photos….and…homemade bang trim, always present in my school pictures!

peggy fleming and prince charming for web.jpg

Prince Charming & Peggy Fleming…sold…8x12 inches… acrylic on recycled board…June, 2012…My Uncle Bob Morel would flood his backyard to make an ice skating pond. My older cousin David would let me dress up in my Aunt Marilyn’s old wedding dress and take me out skating. He said I was Peggy Fleming and I said he was Prince Charming. This is one of my favorite memories. David and I grew up to be best friends.



blue moon ice cream for web.jpg

Blue Moon Ice Cream sold …8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June, 2012…I remember walking with my sister Beth a few blocks away from our duplex in Rockford, IL…we would go to a little corner grocery store. The shop owner had only a few flavors of ice cream for sale in his little freezer case and Blue Moon was one of them. Beth said the ice cream cones cost 10 cents. It’s hard to believe but this was 1970.  Blue Moon is an ice cream flavor with bright blue coloring available almost exclusively in the Upper Midwest.

salt and bird for web.jpg 

Salt & Bird…sold…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June, 2012…When I was very young and visiting my Grandma, Helen Stephens, she would sometimes hand me the salt shaker. She would say “go catch the birds, Kathi Jeanne” and I would go outside and sprinkle salt everywhere to try and catch the birds. When the salt shaker was empty, I would come inside and she would ask if I caught any. My answer was always “no” and she would say, “maybe next time!”

kool aid for web.jpg

Kool-Aid…sold…8x12 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June, 2012…My Aunt Tootsie bought me my first bra. It was the summer before 6th grade and she took me to Sears and bought me a new outfit for school and some socks and underwear and a little stretchy pull-over your head bra. I loved that bra.  She had 3 kids (Jeff, Kim & Kelly) and she would send us outside after breakfast in the morning. We were meant to stay out until lunch and then stay outside after lunch until almost dinner. She didn’t believe in kids being inside on a nice summer’s day. She would come out every now and then with a pitcher of Kool-Aid. Aunt Tootsie died from a condition called aplastic anemia. She was only 30 years old. She made me a stuffed doll w/ yellow yarn hair. She made 2 dresses for the doll…one was green and the other was blue. I still have the blue doll dress. It is the only thing from my childhood that has survived.

turkey hands for web.jpg

Turkey Hands…sold…12x7.5 inches…acrylic on recycled board…June 2012…So, all kids made turkey hands in school around Thanksgiving time, right? I remember making turkey hands placemats and little boy and girl pilgrims out of toilet paper rolls.