Karen Payton Art      Ventura County, California

November 5, 2019

⚡️💀⚡️Dear John,⠀
Thank you for keeping The Dead alive⠀

for singing sweet songs to fill the air⠀

for keeping us dancing in the streets⠀

for playing in the band⠀

may the music never stop ⚡️❤️⠀

This fabric portrait is made from an old bed sheet, cotton canvas with colored pencils, cloth pieces that have been dyed with fabric paint, stitches and lots of love.

November 5, 2019

Like it was written in my soul
From me to you
Tangled up in blue

Bob Dylan, Tangled Up in Blue

The first time I heard these lyrics was through the foam padding of my headphones attached to a bright yellow walkman.  I loved having music in my ears as I trudged through the snow in college. 

This was "back in the day" no computer, no cell phone, so my only vision of Bob Dylan was seeing him on a stage in concert.  There is no denying the power and beauty of his lyrics.  It ignites a creative spirit in me.  He is daring and poetic and an artist to the core - something I admire deeply.

This portrait is made entirely from fabric including - cotton canvas with colored pencil, an old bed sheet and cloth scraps that have been dyed and stitched together wit...

September 19, 2019

Take a moment with me away from your "thinking" mind and into a state of peace.  Ram Dass teaches us to do this with a simple manta....





Imagine if we all went around repeating this to ourselves..... I am loving awareness, I am loving awareness, I am loving awareness. What a peaceful world it would be!  

Since peace starts within, I have been using the manta along with a daily practice of Open Heart Meditation.  But for me, the other tool I use to get out of my thinking mind is to create art.  It's one of the only times I don't need a manta.  I am present in the now, lost in the colors or textures or the song playing in the background.  I created this piece as a gift for the Love, Serve, Remember Ram Dass Foundation.  I am so...

May 7, 2019

The sky was yellow and the sun was blue....

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to experience an entire weekend of Grateful Dead cover bands just a short drive from home.  While I was home during a break from the shows, I noticed the sheet on my son's bed had a huge unrepairable rip in it.  I often look for "signs" when I get an idea in my head and want evidence that I should run with it.  The gray torn sheet turned out to be the perfect excuse to make a portrait of Jerry.  

The portrait is made from 2 old bed sheets, cotton canvas, colored pencil, fabric dye, stitches and love.  

April 24, 2019

Sometimes a piece of art can help us stay grounded the same way a meditation can. Everything delightful is all about connecting our bodies and breath back....

January 9, 2019

Make your space sacred, let art be your guru!

July 7, 2018

Hello baby I'm gone goodbye....

A few weeks ago I had an amazing evening seeing Dark Star Orchestra in the beautiful city of Ojai.  

During the second half of the show, they played one of my favorite songs - Mississippi Half Step.  I have no idea why I love this song. I've never been to Mississippi and I can't relate to the lyrics.  But, I feel it in every bone of my body.  During the show, as the wind was lightly blowing and my bare feet were dancing on the earth the melody of the song just seemed to pour into my soul.  I love this music.  It fills my being in a way nothing else does.  And when all the elements are there...its just nirvana.  This is what connects us as sisters.

I just want to take a tiny bit of the...

June 3, 2018

I love creating portraits with fabric but I've always been a bit jealous of painters who finish a piece on canvas, put a wire hanger on the back and call it done!

With fiber art there is always a dilemma on how to finish a piece.  Frame, no frame, glass, no glass, etc. For over a decade, I stretched each piece, then had it framed with spacers and uv glass.  This process was time consuming, expensive, and puts a distance between the work itself and the viewer.  I was at an art show and saw resin for the first time.  I immediately started to do research.  Unfortunately, I could find little to no information on using it with textiles.  So, I hope to share as many details as possible here.

I settled on ArtResin because it's non t...

December 23, 2017

Tips and tricks of applique from a fiber artist.

December 10, 2017

Whenever I talk about my art, I always get asked, "how long does it take?", "Is it a quilt?"  "What do you call it?"  

I call my work fiber art.  I am hoping the universe will bestow a more clever, easy to interpret name, but for now, that's it.  It's not a quilt, there is no batting, and you can't snuggle up with one of my pieces.  As for how long each piece takes....a very, long time.  But, its all joy and worth every minute!

Here's a sneak peak into my process:

Inspired visions turn into tiny sketches.   After a few attempts, I sketch the image to the actual size of my finished product and then outline with a fat, black Sharpie.  This becomes the sewing pattern.

Next, I take the face of the image and using a lightbox, trace my sketch...

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