• Karen Payton

An old gray sheet....

Updated: Aug 8

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.

Jerry's face is made from cotton canvas with colored pencils. One of the most common mis understandings about my works is that the face is painted. It is actually just plain colored pencils. I came across this method by accident. I used to only embroider and I used the thick duck cotton canvas stretched onto a frame to complete all the stitching. I always used colored pencil under the stitches so I had a guide.

All the years of stitching and holding the needle tightly resulted in terrible hand pain. I realized I could just use the part I had under the stitches and just worked hard to improve my drawing skills. The hair, clothing and background are also fabric but I use textile dyes to embellish and change the colors.

If you have any questions about my process, please get in touch. I love to chat about art!

Stay Groovy,


Karen Payton Art      Ventura County, California