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Greater Egret

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Edgar Alwin Payne

I recently found and am now selling one of the better paintings I have had in the gallery in a while.

The painting is a 14 x 9" oil on canvasboard depicting Navajo riders in Canyon de Chelly.

The painting is by the master impressionist Edgar Payne (1883-1937.)

Payne was a seminal titan of western impressionism.

Hailing originally from Missouri, he left home at the tender age of fourteen and found work painting signs and houses, doing odd jobs along the way.

He eventually made his way to Chicago and became a set painter and muralist.

He enrolled in some classes at the Art Institute of Chicago but quickly realized that it was not his bag. And he had the wanderlust.

He started traveling around the country and by 1909 found himself in Laguna Beach.

He moved there permanently with his new wife Elsie Palmer, also an accomplished artist in her own right.

Payne received a commission from the Santa Fe Railroad in 1917 and started to explore the southwest, arguably the scene of his greatest creations. He loved the vast expanses and light of the region and developed a whole new color palette.

This painting is an excellent representation of his work and the bold color of that time. Look at how he splays the gray paint that becomes a rain squall in the bottom cloud strata and captures the dynamic atmosphere of the Arizona sky.

Perhaps you will stop by the gallery one day and take a minute to enjoy it with me. Just call.

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