Papaw's Portrait

“Papaw, get a canvas; I just won!” My grandfather, Wayne Allen, has been a professional artist for the past 50 years. He graduated from Harris School of Advertising Art, majoring in fiction illustration. He has painted over 100 portraits, including famed guitarist Chet Atkins and his wife Leona, as well as President Kennedy on a Specialty Worker magazine cover. He has also prepared over 500 magazine covers for Union Trade journals, many brochures, institutional advertising pieces and Christmas Cards, etc. As you can see, he is extremely talented!

Before competing in Chicago my papaw told me, “Honey, there are 16 of you grandchildren and I can’t paint portraits of all of you, but if you bring home the crown of Miss Teen International, I will paint a portrait of you.” Immediately after my crowning, the first thing I did was give papaw a call!

Prior to sketching, he took hundreds of photos of me standing in different positions so that he could get the exact model he wanted. After 3 weeks of secrecy, he finally unveiled the portrait!

The painting in charcoal.

It took 3 days to paint the beads!

This was also the feature article on the front page of the Hawkins Today newspaper!

He usually signs his portraits at the bottom "Wayne Allen" but on this portrait he signed “Papaw Allen, 143.”


My papaw always adds a special touch to his portraits: he hides my granny’s name somewhere! See if you can find “Peg”!

Although this is a portrait of the outside, he said that this was the exact replica of what he saw in me. I cannot be more thankful to be honored in this way. He is one incredible artist with a heart bigger than a canvas! This treasured heirloom is a captured moment in time through my papaw's eyes that I will forever cherish.

Jurnee Carr


  1. Jurnee, this is so special! What an amazing talent he has and what a priceless gift! You will cherish this forever, and one day your own children will too! Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family. See you soon!



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