Karen Payton Art      Ventura County, California

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Fabric, Stitches and Love for The Grateful Dead

January 28, 2017


Like so many deadheads know, seeing the Grateful Dead just one time changed my world.  I always loved fabric, drawing, sewing and music.    But the band altered my artistic vision to include the people, the parking lot scene, the Guatemalan textiles, beads, friendships bracelets and tie-dye shirts.


This heavily influenced my decision to minor in fiber art in college where I learned how to dye fabric, how to embroider and how to express myself with these elements.  I also minored in traveling to dead shows....gathering colorful friends, selling t-shirts, ankle bracelets with bells and veggie stir fry.  

As any dead head knows, there is nothing like the parking lot scene.  "Tune-In" was influenced by the fun we had sitting in the back of a car, waiting for the show to start.  I based this piece on an old photo of myself, and a picture from one of my favorite photography book based on the culture of the 1960's.




Over the years I have developed a unique process of combining all the elements I love;  drawing colorful people, hand stitching and using fabric paint to embellish old clothing or fabric remnants.   The fabric is part of a story...there might a skirt that was too stained to donate, toddler jeans with too many holes to be a hand-me-down, fabric scraps from friends, or art projects gone wrong.


When I create, I am in my peaceful place.  This is where my magic happens.  When you hang these pieces on your walls, my hope is they bring joy to your home.










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