Edgar Payne Exhibit in Tulsa, OK

The Rendevous by Edgar Payne
(Santa Cruz Island, CA)
Oil on canvas • 33" x 42" • 1915
On Saturday, Andrea and I made a four-hour journey southwest to the renowned Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Missouri Valley Impressionist Society, a painting group we belong to, had planned an outing there to see an exhibit of nearly 100 works by landscape painter Edgar Payne (1883–1947). Previously in two Californian locations, this is as far east as the exhibit will come before ending March 24. Andrea and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity while we could, and it was absolutely worth the trip!

Payne was born in Washburn, Missouri, but eventually settled in California. He painted extensively along the coast and helped found the Laguna Beach Art Association. He also traveled to and painted some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes on earth, including the American Southwest, the Swiss Alps, Italy and France. Each section of the exhibit displayed work from a particular time and locale.

Hills of Altadena by Edgar Payne
Oil on canvas • 36" x 45" • 1917–19
The hills in this painting have a fascinating
velvety texture. This was Andrea's favorite piece.
It was evident that Payne had a passion for the grand and epic, and his brushwork was typically bold and very thick. But much of the strength of his work comes from the simple-but-strong compositional designs that support his scenes. I was awakened to the importance of creating stronger value patterns in my own work. I was also stunned by the incredible illusion of depth Payne established. By reserving the darkest values for foreground elements and painting mid-ground and distant elements with progressively lighter values, Payne infused his work with an amazing sense of atmosphere. This was especially evident in his paintings of the Sierras, which were Andrea's and my favorites. It seemed like we were not looking into frames, but rather through windows.

Matterhorn, Late Afternoon by Edgar Payne
Oil on canvas • 53" x 53" • 1923

Sierra Peaks by Edgar Payne
Oil on canvas • 42" x 42" • 1919

Below is a short video trailer for the exhibit.

Andrea and I also loved exploring the Gilcrease's permanent western art collection, which includes works by Frederic Remington, C.M. Russell, Frank Tenney Johnson and Thomas Moran, among many others. When we returned home to Kansas City around 11pm, we were tired, but after a full day of absorbing such incredible works of art, we also felt revitalized and truly inspired!

The Stampede by Frederic Remington
Oil on canvas • 27" x 40" • 1908

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