The Scenic Journey

Edgar Payne at the Crocker Museum

The Edgar Payne exhibit “The Scenic Journey” at the Crocker Art Museum is outstanding! I made the drive to Sacramento today (unfortunately it is not a scenic journey) to see the work of the poet-painter of the California Sierra.  I had been familiar with some of his work since relocating to California, but I wasn’t prepared to be totally impressed by Payne’s vision, balance of values,  and complete mastery of composition. What did I expect from the author of “Composition of Outdoor Painting“!? 

 It was Payne who is quoted as saying, “Mix Brains with Paint”. And he did just that.  I naturally loved the dramatic light and composition of  the signature piece, “Sunset, Canyon de Chelly” (1916).  But, I was equally in awe of his mastery of composition in the  arrangement of the sails in his work done on the coast of Brittany in Concarneau.  In addition to the impressive American and European landscapes in oil by Payne, the exhibit also included photographs, sketches, ship models, furniture, film, and the Model T that he used to get to the backcountry of the Sierra.  I look forward to studying the exhibition catalog, so that I can glean more from this gifted artist, Edgar Payne (1883-1947).

Exhibition Catalog

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