Walter Gropius Master Artist Series Presents: C.F. Payne

March 2 - May 5, 2013

Public Presentation takes place at 7 p.m. March 22, 2013. Admission is free.

WorkshopStep-by-Step Process for Effective Illustration takes place 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 22-24, 2013. Call (304) 529-2701 for workshop fee information.

One of America’s foremost contemporary artist-illustrators, Chris “C.F.” Payne received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, in 1976 and further honed his skills at the Illustrators Workshop in Tarrytown, N.Y. Payne began his freelance career in 1980 and is currently based in his hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he settled after sojourns to studios in Akron, Chicago and Dallas. Payne’s illustrations have been featured on the covers of Readers Digest, Time Magazine, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News and World Report, Sports Illustrated, Boys Life, MAD Magazineand der Spiegel. He has been commissioned to paint countless politicians, authors and entertainers, and has illustrated 10 children’s picture books, including The Remarkable Farkle McBride and Micawber, written by John Lithgow. Payne is a Professor of Illustration and Chair of Graduate Studies at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

Over the course of his prolific career, Payne has received national recognition from distinguished organizations such as the Society of Illustrators, the Society of Publication Designers, Communication Arts, and publications such as Print Magazine, How Magazine and Illustration Magazine. His work garnered Gold and Silver awards from the Society of Illustrators of both New York and Los Angeles, and he received the Hamilton King Award – one of the industry’s most prestigious – from the Society of Illustrators of New York. Payne has exhibited work in the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, D.C.), the National Academy Museum (New York, N.Y.), the Norman Rockwell Museum (Stockbridge, MA), Cincinnati Art Museum (Cincinnati, OH) and numerous college and university galleries such as the Selby Gallery at the Ringling College of Art and Design (Sarasota, FL).

Often compared to legendary illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), Payne’s wide-ranging ability enables him to cover a range of subjects in multiple markets, seriously as well as irreverently. Much of Payne’s commercial work depicts everyday life and references collective American experiences. Like Rockwell, he displays a keen emotional sensitivity conveyed through subtleties of gesture and expression. Although naturally inclined to humor and caricature, his highly realistic renditions make the exaggerations convincingly real. Despite the increasing role of digital technology in the field, Payne works with traditional media using time-honored drawing and painting techniques. His approach is unusual, though, as he applies layers of acrylic paint and Prismacolor pencil over an oil-based wash. While the wash is still wet, Payne begins establishing value and loosely articulating the figures by wiping away areas with a rag. The initial oil underpainting gives the work a uniform tone and is sealed with photographer’s varnish before proceeding to successive layers.

The Walter Gropius Master Artists Series is funded through the generosity of the Estate of Roxanna Y. Booth, who wished to assist in the development of an art education program in accordance with the proposals of Walter Gropius, who designed the Museum’s Gropius Addition as well as the Gropius Studios. The Museum is indebted to Roxanna Y. Booth’s son, Alex Booth, for his participation in the concept development of the Gropius Master Artists Workshops.

Walter Gropius Master Artist Series Presents: C.F. Payne

C.F. Payne, Orange Juice Ad #2, 1997. Mixed Media, 11” x 12 1/2”. Image courtesy of the artist.