ARTIST’S STATEMENT: As my work has developed over the years I find increasingly that I identify with and respond to the sensuality of nature and landscape in all its aspects. These concerns were first evidenced in my aerial landscape paintings which were a direct result of my lifelong interest in flying and viewing the unique elegance of the earth from above. Although this viewpoint is still of some artistic concern, for the past five years my efforts have gravitated more towards exploring pure abstract painting with a concentration on the pure aesthetic without the hinderance of subject matter. I feel these often relate back to my earlier representational work in that they definitely recall forms influenced by nature.
Woodward Payne was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1935. He is a painter and photographer by profession. His paintings have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States, and are included in distinguished private and public collections.
Following completion of undergraduate school at Arizona State University and graduate school at Indiana University he spent four years in Germany, during which period he traveled extensively throughout Europe. His paintings of this period were primarily landscapes and cityscapes, which were ultimately exhibited in one-man shows in Munich and Berlin.
In 1966, he returned to Arizona where he spent the next fifteen years teaching at Mesa Community College and Arizona State University. His work as an artist began to be influenced and, to a significant degree, shaped by his experiences as an aviator (he learned to fly when he was 13) as well as his love of travel. During the past fifty years he has taken thousands of slides and digital photographs of which many have served as idea sources for his paintings. His subject matter includes aerial landscapes, landscapes, dynamic florals, seascapes and abstracts.
Mr. Payne was highly honored by an award, in April 1986, of First Prize in
the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum Earth Views competiton in Washington D.C. The competition was open to artists throughout the United States, and over 2000 paintings were entered. One of these was selected for the First Prize purchase award, adding Woodward Payne's “Morning Mist” to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
Since 1985 the artist has lived, with his wife Beverly, in Northern California. His studio is located in their home on Mt.Tamalpais above Mill Valley, just North of San Francisco.
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