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Art & Life with Karen Payton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Payton.

Karen, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I have a funny memory of being an awkward, too tall 4th grader starting the sewing unit in home economics class. I was like a demon. I wanted to sew everything. Mrs. Frenchie gave me a B because my quality was poor. I was in too much of a rush to create as much as possible during the unit.

In the 80’s I attended my first Grateful Dead concert the tie-dyes, textiles, and flowing fabrics filled my soul as much as the music. This greatly influenced my aesthetic. I decided to major in Textiles and Clothing in college with a minor in Fiber Art. One assignment was to hand embroider a self-portrait. Using embroidery floss as paint and a needle as a brush, I found my bliss. After graduating I began working in the clothing industry but always kept stitching.

Galleries turned me down due to the small size of my work. My hands began to cramp and ache from all the stitching. I poured through Fiber Arts magazine (there was no internet then) to seek alternatives to just hand stitching. From there, I began to add fabric applique. It looks many years to get a process together. I am an artist who loves to stitch. I am deeply influenced by the beauty of hippies and the need for our lives to be driven by joy.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
Welcome to a world where peace and love prevail. Hippies are celebrated with colorful stitches and textiles. Old clothing and fabric scraps get a second life when they are dyed, painted and stitched together. All of my work is created from a place of joy in the hope of spreading joy.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
Success is when someone tells me they saw my post on Instagram and it made them happy! If I can bring just a few moments of joy and wonder to a viewer, my art has fulfilled its purpose.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work is currently on display (through June 9) in the windows of Community Memorial Cancer Center in Ventura, CA.
Instagram @karenpaytonart

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Karen Payton

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