• TITLE: Horses in Autumn Trees
  • SIZE: 30″ X 40″
  • MEDIUM: Oil on Canvas
  • SIGNED: Lower Right

Monterey Bay

Tabal Hotel

Seaside View

S.C. Yuan, is considered one of the finest painters to come out of the Monterey Peninsula.  A “painter’s painter”, he did work which was favored by contemporary painters who marvel at his effortless technique. “Yuan’s strength as an artist was his ability to communicate a wealth of visual information with swift and concise markings,” says Kathleen Moodie, Curator at the Museum of Art and History in Santa Cruz. “Yuan fused an Eastern elegance of economic line with the robust energy of Western abstraction,” she added in the catalogue for an upcoming show of Yuan’s works.

Yuan said that “Color is like pouring Tabasco sauce over one’s dinner.  Color ruins painting.” A friend explained how Yuan tamed colors:  “After he finished a painting, he would scoop the remainder of the wet paint off the palette into a quart jar. This was the gold, precious stuff. He would start his new paintings from this jar of old paint. “Turp” was added to the mixture from time to time.” Some tabasco!

Yuan was a Western-style painter who happened to grow up in China and made an important contribution to the art of Carmel.  As he becomes better known, much will be made, unnecessarily, about his Eastern origin.  He squinted, didn’t clean his brushes too well, and used paint sludge to produce a subdued palette that reflected the moodiness of his heart.

His training was classical French via Xu Beihong, one of China’s greatest 20th Century painters.  A thoughtful friend and fellow painter, Keith Lindberg, said that the Chinese line and Armin Hansen were the two greatest influences in Yuan’s work. Yuan also admired William Ritschel.

Cutting his life short to match his father’s time on earth, Yuan worked feverishly during the 25 years he lived on the Monterey peninsula.  He was born in 1911 in the southern Chinese province of Chikiang to a Kuomintang colonel.  Although a first-born son, he was shunted aside by his mother who favored the second born, a daughter.  She sent him to live 40 miles away with his grandparents. Yuan did not have to imagine rejection; it was real.

He grew up, then, not only without his family, but also in a country where East and West were clashing, leaving no middle ground for observers. He must have been affected by the struggle between the moderate, bourgeois Chiang Kai-Shek and the radical dictator of the proletariat, as they staggered across China struggling to replace feudalism.  But, in America, he never spoke publicly about either misfortune.

But, artists don’t need social upheaval to struggle.  Painting and eating are demanding appetites. Yuan’s first job in the Peninsula,1952, was at the Highlands Inn.  His first show was at the Monterey Defense Language Institute, 1953, where he worked as an instructor.  By 1955, his wife Jen-Chi became, and remained, the principal financial support of their family.  That same year, he opened a gallery on Alvarado Street in Monterey and joined the Carmel Art Association.  Throughout his marriage, he astonished Jen-Chi, buying Porsches, secretly borrowing from the banks, taking extravagant trips, and making friends with women visiting Carmel who were often surprised to discover a Mrs. Yuan.

He signed his early paintings “Wellington Yuan,” honoring the last Kuomintang Ambassador to the U.S.  Throughout his career, he occasionally signed his works with the chop symbol for “no name.” And on one occasion he even used the name “Zambini” to disguise his entry of an abstract work in an art competition, fearing that judges would not fairly evaluate the painting since it was such a departure from his regular work.  He won the competition – Best of Show, Monterey County Fair.

Throughout the 1950’s, he entered many shows, won many awards, and showed both Eastern and Western styles.  In 1957, he moved to Carmel.  In 1958, his second-born child died, and he stopped painting for months.  He opened a restaurant on Cannery Row, which failed because his non-egg roll menu was too sophisticated for the times.  By the end of the year, he had his first one-man show, at the Carmel Art Association.  One review noted that his painting was loosening up, letting go of the cameras view of nature.

During the 1960’s, he began traveling, often lavishly, to Europe.  Most of his time he took pictures instead of painting, and told his friends that it gave him material for the scenes people liked to buy.  He was generous with his disdain to both collectors and gallery owners.  Once, when he overheard prospective clients deciding that only one part of his painting worked, he tore out the studied section and offered it for sale, as is.  On other occasions he was known to barge into galleries and sabotage sales in progress.

He financed his first trip to Europe from a $6,000 commission he received for painting a fruit and vegetable mural in the Monte Mart Market in Salinas.  In Europe, he ordered a Mercedes, bought fine Italian suits for himself and dresses for Jen-Chi (which were inexplicably grossly oversized), and quickly ran out of money.  On another trip he sailed with his Cadillac, which he had to send back after finding that he could not pass through the narrow streets of Europe.

He won “Best of Show” at the Monterey Peninsula Museum of Art in 1967, which led to a one-man show there in 1968.  In 1969, he was back in the restaurant business, opening up the Merry Peach in Carmel Valley, which he filled to the ceiling with his paintings.

Paintings he didn’t like, he stored under his house; the favorites were piled everywhere else.  He saved his “chickens” (the best of his paintings) for his daughter Rae, so she would never have to work; and he tried to sell only the “eggs” (copies of the chickens).  When Sheila Shepard, his last student, helped him move, he became frustrated and angry because she tried to evade his questions about which paintings to save.  He started a bonfire in his backyard and began burning some of his paintings, including one that he told her was a “$10,000.00 Hansen.”

His last one-man show was at the Pacific Grove Art Center in 1972.  Thereafter, Jen-Chi finally left him – perhaps exasperated with his moodiness, flippancy, and self-indulgence.  His grief over the lost marriage dove-tailed neatly, however, with his occasionally shared prediction that he would not outlive his fathers age; and in his last two years he painted furiously, producing some of his finest work.

On September 4, 1974, he hung his last show at the Carmel Art Association.  Two days later he killed himself.  After three days of shock and mourning, his fellow members bought out almost the entire show.

Yuan said that “Art should have something to say to the viewer, and only then is it honest art, which has permanent value.”  His moodiness is the most honest trait in his paintings and in his life.  And the skill with which he expressed that moodiness places him with the best of the Monterey school. He fits easily between Hansen’s bold and colorful exaltation of the majestic sea and Fortunes exquisite overview of the Peninsula. Yuan’s still lives will appear in a traveling museum show beginning in June.

Submitted by Sarah Bessera

S.C. Yuan
, 1994, by the Carmel Art Association
Sarah Bessera, The Plein Air Scene: Featured Historic Artist S.C. Yuan 1911-1974


Source: www.askart.com

  • TITLE: Sierra Logging
  • SIZE: 15.5″ X 27.5″
  • MEDIUM: Watercolor on Paper
  • SIGNED: Lower Right
  • DATED: 1889

Born in England in 1837.  White was a member of the British Army and a corporal in the Royal Engineers when posted to British Columbia in 1859.  He took over as artist of Waddington’s expedition after the departure of Frederick Whymper and was official artist of the Union Telegraph Expedition in 1865.  While in this capacity, he was active the San Francisco Bay area in 1864 to 1873.  Exh:  Mechanics’ Inst. (SF), 1864.

Edan Hughes, author of the book “Artists in California, 1786-1940”
Early Painters & Engravers in Canada (Harper); Census.


Source: www.askart.com

  • TITLE: Golden Glow
  • SIZE: 29″ X 21″
  • MEDIUM: Oil on Board
  • SIGNED: Lower Right

Born in Brooklyn, New York on Nov. 27, 1897, Donald Teague studied at the Art Students League in NYC under George Bridgman, Dean Cornwell, and Frank DuMond and, after serving in WWI, with Norman Wilkinson in England.

He moved to California in 1938 and lived in Encino until 1949 when he settled in Carmel.  Teague was elected to the National Academy in 1948 and soon gained national renown.

For 35 years he was one of the nation’s top magazine illustrators; his work appeared in Saturday Evening Post, Colliers, McCall’s, Woman’s Home Companion and others under the pseudonym Edwin Dawes (not to be confused with the landscape painter Edwin Dawes (1875-1945).

In 1958, he gave up commercial work to concentrate on fine art.  His paintings and illustrations are primarily of the Old West.

Teague was active as an artist until his demise in Carmel on Dec. 13, 1991.

Carmel Art Association; American Watercolor Society; Salmagundi Club; Bohemian Club; National Academy of Western Art; Cowboy Artists of America.

National Academy of Design, 1948 (gold medal); American Water Color Society, 1953 (grand prize), 1964 (gold medal); Franklin Mint, 1973-75 (gold medals).

Cowboy Hall of Fame (Oklahoma City); Frye Museum (Seattle); Oakland Museum; U.S. Air Force Collection; Monterey Peninsula Museum; Pepperdine College (Malibu); Mills College (Oakland).

Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”
Interview with the artist or his/her family; American Art Annual 1933; Who’s Who in AmericaWho’s Who in American Art 1936-70; Who’s Who in California 1942; Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs (Bénézit, E); American Western Art (Harmsen); Artists of the American West (Samuels); Art of California , Sept 1992.


Source www.askart.com

  • TITLE: Cow Country, Loyalton, CA
  • SIZE: 22″ X 28″
  • MEDIUM: Oil on Board
  • SIGNED: Lower Right


China Camp San Rafael

Landscape painter and muralist, Ray Strong was born in Corvallis, Oregon on January 2, 1905.  He began painting at age eight, and during his highschool years, spent Sundays with painter Clyde Keller working from the Columbia slough to Mt Hood.

Upon moving to San Francisco in 1924, he enrolled at the California School of Fine Art, and from there went to New York City where he continued his studies at the Art Students League under Frank DuMond.

Returning to San Francisco in 1931, Strong taught at the local Art Students League with Maynard Dixon, Frank Van Sloun, and George Post.  Taking over the old Beaux Arts Galleries on Maiden Lane, they formed an Artists Cooperative Gallery from 1934-39.

He did dioramas for both the San Diego Expo of 1935 and the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939.  Strong was a diorama painter for the U.S. Forest Service from 1935-38 and did similar work for the National Park Service during 1940-41.

Still active as an artist in his later years, from 1960, he has been a resident of Santa Barbara.  He was artist-in-residence at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History (1960-63) and co-founder of the Santa Barbara Art Institute. Ray Strong died on July 3, 2006

Oregon Society of Artists
Society of Western Artists
Palo Alto Art Club
California Society of Mural Painters
Santa Barbara Art Association
Mann Society of Artists

National Museum of American Art
Lassen, Rainier, and White Sands National Parks
Daly City High School
College of Mann
Society of California Pioneers

Murals: Santa Barbara Museum
Morro Bay State Park Museum
Keene Valley (NY) Congregational Church
Post Offices in San Gabriel, CA and Decatur, TX
Bacon Hall, UC Berkeley
Academy of Sciences (SF); Roosevelt Jr. High School (San Jose)
Santa Fe Railway Station in LA (done with Edith Hamlin and Buck Weaver)

Sources include:
American Art Annual, 1933; Who Was Who in American Art 1936-41; Interview

Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”
Source: www.askart.com

  • TITLE: Sierra Mountain Lake
  • SIZE: 12.5″ X 9.5″
  • MEDIUM: Oil on Board
  • SIGNED: Lower Left

Donna Schuster was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1883. She attended the Art Institute of Chicago and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School studying with Edmund C. Tarbell and Frank W. Benson. She continued her education in art by accompanying William Merritt Chase on a painting tour of Belgium in the summer of 1912.

Schuster relocated to Southern California in 1913 and during the following year, she was studying again with William Merritt Chase, the two of them taking a class in Carmel, California. She ended up staying in San Francisco during the Fall of 1914 where she worked on a series of watercolor sketches of the construction of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. She earned a silver medal for watercolor there, which was shown at the Los Angeles Museum of History, Science and Art in 1914.

In the early 1920’s she moved to Los Angeles where she taught at the Otis Art Institute. She built a studio home in Griffith Park, in the Los Angeles area where she remained for the rest of her life. Her wonderful Impressionistic style was most emphasized in her paintings of people, landscapes, still-lifes and cityscapes.

Most of her works displayed her recognizable brushwork but after studying with Stanton MacDonald-Wright later in her career, her work took on more Cubist and Abstract Expressionist with his influence.

In her early years her art was exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1914, 1917, 1920, 1927 and 1929. Later, in the 1930’s, she had shows at the San Francisco Art Association, the New York Academy of Fine Art and the New York Water Color Society. She was a founding member of the California Watercolor Society and was involved with their exhibitions from 1921 until the mid 1940’s.

In 1953, Schuster died, trapped inside her home as it was destroyed in a brush-fire.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Phil and Marian Kovinick, An Encyclopedia of Artists of the American West


Source: www.askart.com

  • TITLE: Lavender by the Water
  • SIZE: 10.25″ X 13.25″
  • MEDIUM: Oil on Board
  • SIGNED: On Verso

Born in San Francisco, Mary Herrick became known primarily for her floral still lifes, which are difficult to find. She learned to draw from her father, William Herrick, and when the San Francisco School of Design opened in 1874, she was the first student to enroll.

She married Colin Ross and the lived in San Francisco until 1914 and then moved across the Bay to Piedmont where she is buried in the Mountain View cemetery.
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  • TITLE: Horse and Cart
  • SIZE: 18″ X 22″
  • MEDIUM: Oil on Canvas
  • SIGNED: Lower Left


Born in Nuremberg, Germany on July 11, 1864. Ritschel was educated at the Latin and Industrial School in Nuremberg. As a youth he worked as a sailor and it was during this time that he began sketching marine subjects. He studied art at the Royal Academy in Munich under Raupp and Kaulbach before immigrating to NYC in 1895. In 1911 he settled in Carmel, CA while continuing to exhibit on the East Coast and in Europe. His paintings of the sea earned him international acclaim and in 1914 he was elected a member of the National Academy. In 1918 he began construction on his ocean view studio-home in the Carmel Highlands. This castle-like stone structure was to remain his home for the rest of his life except for trips throughout the world, especially the South Seas where he frequently visited. Oldtimers on the Monterey Peninsula remember him garbed in a flowered sarong and perched on a cypress-covered cliff with brushes and easel. Ritschel died at his Carmel home on March 11, 1949. Member: NY WC Club; American WC Society; Carmel AA; Bohemian Club; Société Internationale des Beaux Arts et des Lettres (Paris); Academy of Western Painters (LA); Allied AA; NAC. Exh: SFAA, 1911; NAD, 1913 (prize), 1921 (prize), 1926; NAC, 1914 (gold medal); PPIE, 1915 (gold medal); Calif. State Fair, 1916 (gold medal), 1926 (1st prize); Philadelphia Arts Club, 1918 (gold medal); Calif. WC Society, 1921-23; Salmagundi Club, 1923 (Isador prize), 1930; AIC, 1923 (prize); Royal Academy, 1924; Paris Salon, 1926; Stendahl Gallery (LA), 1929; Santa Cruz Art League, 1937; GGIE, 1939; Biltmore Salon (LA), 1944. In: NAC; NMAA; Monterey Peninsula Museum; PAFA; Oakland Museum; Fort Worth Museum; St Louis Museum; Bowers Museum (Santa Ana); Detroit Art Club; AIC; LACMA; Minneapolis Museum; Crocker Museum (Sacramento); Irvine (CA) Museum; Orange Co. (CA) Museum.

Edan Hughes, “Artists in California, 1786-1940”
American Art Annual 1919-33; Who’s Who in American Art 1936-47; NY Times, 3-13-1949 (obituary).


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  • TITLE: Poppies and Lupine
  • SIZE: 14″ X 20″
  • MEDIUM: Oil on Canvas
  • SIGNED: Lower Right

Carmel Beach

Sand Dunes

One of California’s most notable Impressionist* painters and considered the first resident Impressionist of that state, Granville Redmond is known for his landscapes, many of them floral with poppies and lupines.  He was also one of the first Tonalist* painters of California, a subdued monochromatic* style of haze, fog and moonlight that reportedly “he was more drawn to”. . .(Gerdts 27).   Redmond was also a popular personality and held friendships with many celebrities in the arts, despite certain physical handicaps of his own most especially deafness.

He was born in Philadelphia with the name Grenville Richard Seymour Redmond. At the age of two and a half, he became totally deaf due to scarlet fever, and lived his whole life without hearing or speech.  In 1874, the family moved to San Jose, and from 1879 to 1890, he attended the California School of the Deaf in Berkeley.  There his art teacher, Theophilus D’Estrella, who was also deaf, was a major influence, and Redmond decided to continue art studies at the San Francisco School of Design*.  His teachers included Arthur Mathews and Amedee Joullion.

Redmond distinguished himself, winning the W.E. Brown medal of excellence, and in 1893 was awarded funds from the California School of the Deaf, which made it possible for him to study in Paris at the Academie Julian* under Jean Paul Laurens and Benjamin Constant.  At the Academie Julian, he roomed with sculptor Douglas Tilden, another graduate of the California School for the Deaf.  While in Paris, Redmond distinguished himself once again, when in 1895 his large canvas, Matin d’Hiver, was accepted for the Paris Salon*.

At the California School of Design, he had become acquainted with many other artists including Tonalists* Gottardo Piazzoni, with whom Redmond made several painting trips around California, and Giuseppe Cadenasso, to whom he gave encouragement.  Piazzoni learned sign language, and he and Redmond were lifelong friends.  They roomed together in Parkfield, California, and also in Tiburon.  At that time, it was difficult for artists and would-be artists in San Francisco and in the West to find ways to practice their fine art.  Opportunities in commercial illustration were a little brighter, and Redmond and many other artists were drawn to newspapers and local magazines such as the Overland Monthly as sources of revenue.

In 1898, he returned to California, changed his first name to Granville, and settled in Los Angeles, where he painted many scenes of Laguna Beach, Catalina Island, and San Pedro.  He was married in 1899 to Carrie Ann Jean, a graduate of the Illinois School for the Deaf.  Together they had three children.  While living in Los Angeles, he became friends with Charlie Chaplin, whom he helped in perfecting his pantomime techniques.  Chaplin gave Redmond a studio on the movie lot, collected many of his paintings, and sponsored him in silent acting roles including playing the sculptor in City Lights, and a feature part in You’d Be Surprised.  He also got to know Los Angeles neighbor artists Elmer Wachtel and Norman St. Clair.  All three exhibited paintings with Laguna Beach titles at the annual Spring Exhibition held in San Francisco in 1904.   By 1905 Redmond was receiving considerable recognition as a leading landscape painter and bold colorist.

Redmond’s early works in Los Angeles were mostly moody Tonal landscapes, scenes of farmers and their animals, and nocturnes similar to those by John Bond Francisco and other scenic painters in Northern California.  Redmond also sought subjects throughout the state’s coastal regions, such as Silver and Gold (oil on canvas, Laguna Art Museum), and often summered in Monterey County, where he later settled in 1908.  In 1910, he moved farther north to San Mateo, becoming a member of San Francisco’s art establishment, but he continued to exhibit in Los Angeles and to associate with that city’s artists, returning to live there in 1918.

From 1910 to 1917, he spent time in various Northern California locations, studying and painting.  About the time he moved north, Redmond turned to rendering sweeping terrains covered with highly colorful wildflowers, especially the purple lupine and California’s state flower, the golden poppy.  He developed a colorist method and brushwork linked to Impressionism, though he was motivated more by his subjects than by aesthetic theory.  West Coast critics at that time noted his use of Pointillism* and likened his art to that of Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro.  Although Redmond recognized the public’s preference for his brightly colored poppy pictures, he generally preferred to paint darker, more poetic scenes.  Some of his finest paintings are of Catalina Island in Southern California, and of the oaks of Monterey County in Northern California.

His work is held in many collections including: Laguna Beach Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Stanford University Museum, the De Young Museum, the Bancroft Library at the University of California in Berkeley, The California School for the Deaf, the New York City Museum, and the Oakland Museum, where in 1989, a retrospective of his work was shown. He was also a member of numerous clubs, including The Bohemian Club of San Francisco, the California Art Club, The Laguna Beach Art Association, and the San Francisco Art Association.

Granville Redmond died on May 24, 1935 in Los Angeles.

Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Michael David Zellman, 300 Years of American Art
William Gerdts, “American Tonalism: An Artistic Overview”, Essay in The Poetic Vision: American Tonalism, pp. 15-27, Spanierman Galleries, LLC. 2005
Source: www.askart.com

  • TITLE: Hillside Landscape
  • SIZE: 6″ X 7.5″
  • MEDIUM: Oil on Board
  • SIGNED: Initialed

A painter, etcher, muralist, and sculptor, Gottardo Piazzoni was a highly prominent, active figure in the Northern California art world in the early 20th Century. Many of his paintings were plein-air, impressionist style California landscapes that were simple in composition and quiet in tone, reflective of his search for refuge from an increasingly mechanized society. He also created a number of paintings in the Symbolist style that expressed an ideal, dreamlike world of muted, restful colors.

Piazzoni was a teacher at the California School of Fine Art in San Francisco from 1919 to 1935, and established in that city the Piazzoni Atelier d’Art on Sacramento Street. One of his major public accomplishments was the painting of fourteen large murals on the grand staircase of the downtown San Francisco Public Library. Completed in 1932, five of them depicted the “sea”, and five the “land”.

He was born in Intragna, Switzerland to Swiss-Italian parents and got his early schooling in Locarno, Italy, where he was much impressed by local mural artists who decorated the churches of that city. In 1887, he emigrated to California with his mother to join his father who had established a dairy farm in Carmel Valley. He persuaded his parents to let him go to San Francisco to get art training, and from 1891 to 1893, he took art studies at the San Francisco School of Design under Arthur Mathews and Raymond Yelland, and won a Gold Medal for drawing.

He then went to Paris for three years to study at the Academie Julian with Benjamin Constant, Henri Martin, and Jean-Paul Laurens and from 1896 to 1898, studied with Jean-Leon Gerome at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In Paris, he shared studios with Douglas Tilden and Granville Raymond, with whom he would remain life-long friends in California.

Returning to San Francisco, he shared a studio for ten years with Arthur Putnam and was a member of numerous organizations including the Bohemian Club and the San Francisco Society of Etchers. His first major solo exhibition was in April 1905 at the Mechanics Institute Pavilion, and he made enough money to return to Europe, this time with his bride, Beatrice Del Mue, and Arthur Putnam and his wife. The couples traveled for the next two years through Italy, France, and Switzerland.

In 1907, the Piazzoni’s returned to San Francisco to deal with his studio that had been destroyed by fire. Relocating from Sacramento Street to Presidio Avenue, he began the first of his many mural commissions that reflected his commitment to the integration of art and architecture. He also gave studio classes, conducted plein-air painting excursions, traveled extensively in California for landscape subjects, began a series of monotypes, and took on teaching responsibilities at CSFA.

Piazzoni died at his home in Carmel Valley, and in 1959, the California Historical Society held a retrospective of his work.

Source: www.askart.com

  • TITLE: Brittany Boats
  • SIZE: 12″ X 16″
  • MEDIUM: Oil on Board
  • SIGNED: Lower Right

Brittany Boats

Born in Washburn, Missouri, Edgar Payne became one of the foremost plein-air landscape painters of California in the early 20th century. He is best known for his majestic Sierra Nevada Mountain scenes, and depicted so many Indians on horseback riding through the Sierra Nevada Mountains that a mountain lake, Lake Payne, was named for him. He painted many works “en plein air” and also did numerous sketches from which he later did studio paintings. He worked quickly and completed about one painting per day. He depicted many other locations as well including the coast of Laguna Beach, the Canadian Rockies, the French and Swiss Alps, the Italian and French Riviera, fishing scenes of Italy and France, and landscapes in the Southwest including the Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelly in Arizona.

Payne was active in Chicago early in his career and there had a distinguished reputation for painting stage scenery for famous actresses and for mural painting.

He left home at age 14 because his father objected so strongly to his son’s dedication to an art career. He earned money painting houses, stage sets and murals, and traveled through the Ozarks, Texas, Mexico and Chicago where he received a major commission from the Congress Hotel for an 11,000 foot mural of Italian gardens. (Since destroyed). In Chicago, he was active with the Chicago Society of Artists and the Alumni Association of the Art Institute.

He was self-taught except for a brief period at the Art Institute of Chicago. Of his art education, his daughter said: “My father never studied with anyone. He tried the Chicago Art Institute for a little while, but he didn’t like it. He considered himself to be completely self-taught.” (“Plein Air” 26)

In 1909, he first visited California and painted scenes of Laguna Beach and San Francisco. During this time he discovered the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains, where he returned continually throughout his career for the inspiration that led to his signature paintings and a turning from murals and stage sets to landscape painting.

He married artist Elsie Palmer in 1912, and the couple with their daughter, Evelyn, born in 1914, moved to Laguna Beach. They rented a beach-side cottage while Edgar built a home, which was the only one the family ever owned. They lived in it for three years, and it was a uniquely stable time for the family that traveled frequently in search of painting subjects.

Payne decided he wanted to have an art gallery for exhibiting artists, and in 1920 he became the founder and first president of the Laguna Beach Art Association and the Gallery of Laguna Beach. The first meeting was held in his studio. The Paynes later moved to Los Angeles so they could be closer to the Stendahl Galleries, which was in the Ambassador Hotel and represented his work.

In 1916, the Santa Fe Railroad commissioned him to paint the Southwest, and the couple spent four months in Canyon de Chelly. They also traveled and sketched the Grand Canyon and scenes of New Mexico and spent several years, 1922 to 1924, in Europe. Payne had a commercial artist friend, George Evans, who visited them in Europe, and according to Payne’s daughter, Evans and the Paynes spent much time looking at artwork in museum. In the 1923 Paris Salon, Payne won an Honorable Mention, which was significant recognition because more than 7000 paintings were exhibited.

During the Depression, Payne took teaching jobs to earn money for him and his family, and he also wrote his book, “Composition of Outdoor Painting”, which, with many printings, has been a popular guide to landscape painting. He and his wife continued to spend much time in New York City and had planned to build a house there, but did not start the project because of the economy.

The couple separated in 1932, but Elsie, who subsequently had a very successful career, returned to live with him towards the end of his life when he was ill. A major problem between them was his dominant personality and her resentment that her own considerable talents were submerged by his demands. Apparently he felt remorse. Their daughter wrote that “the last words her father spoke to her on his last day of life in 1947 were that ‘he was sorry he had been so selfish and that everything had been for his art.’ ” (“Plein Air” 26)

Salmagundi Club
Allied Art Association
International Society Art League
California Art Club (President 1926)
Laguna Beach Art Association
Ten Painters of Los Angeles
Palette & Chisel Club, 1913
Chicago Society of Artists
American Artists Professional League
Carmel Art Association

California State Fairs, 1917 (prize),1918 (prize)
Sacramento State Fair, 1918 (gold)
Sacramento, 1919 (medal)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1919 (solo), 1926 (gold medal)
Art Institute of Chicago, 1920 (prize)
Southwest Museum, 1921 (prize)
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Annual,1921,22,25
Paris Salon, 1923
National Academy of Design, 1929 (prize)
Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939
California Art Club, 1947 (prize).

Empress Theatre & American Theatre, Chicago
Clay County Court House, Brazil, IN
Hendricks County Court House, Danville, IN
Queen Theatre, Houston

Nebraska Art Association, Lincoln
Peoria Society of Allied Artists
Herron Art Institute
Municipal Art Commission
Janesville (WI) Art Association
Indianapolis Museum
Laguna Art Museum
Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley
National Academy of Design
National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C.
Pasadena Art Institute
Pasadena Art Museum
Southwest Museum of Los Angeles
Springville (UT) Museum of Art
University of Nebraska Galleries
Art Institute of Chicago
Oakland Museum; Irvine Museum, CA
Fleischer Museum, Scottsdale, AZ

Evelyn Payne Hatcher, Plein Air Magazine, June 2004
Donald Hagerty, Leading the West
Edan Hughes, Artists in California, 1786-1940
Redfern Gallery, Laguna Beach


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