Edgar Payne

High Sierra Lake


He kept this painting for his private use as a rich, harmonious color study. He would use this and a few others to guide his color themes.

Biography provided in part by Edan Hughes. Edgar Payne was born in Washburn, Missouri on March 1, 1883. Payne left home at age 14 and found work painting houses, stage sets 

and signs. Except for a brief period at the Art Institute of Chicago, Payne remained a 

self-taught artist. On his first visit to California in 1909 he spent several months 

painting Laguna Beach before visiting Catalina Island, Santa Barbara and San 

Francisco. In 1918 the Payne’s established a home and studio in Laguna Beach where he 

organized and became the first president of the Laguna Beach Art Association.


Edgar Payne continued painting and exhibiting in Los Angeles and Laguna until 1922 when he took 

a two-year painting trip of Europe. During the next eight years winters were mainly 

spent in New York City. The Payne’s traveled from coast to coast in the United States 

until 1932 when they returned to Hollywood. Edgar Payne is internationally renowned for his 

depictions of the High Sierras, Indians riding through desert canyons, landscapes 

of the Sierra Nevada and French and Italian boats scenes as well as authoring a book 

titled Composition of Outdoor Painting, which is now in its fifth printing and used by 

artists, teachers and collectors around the world. He died in Hollywood on April 8, 1947

A Plein Air Painting he used to ensure color correctness and it's rich harmonies on larger canvases.

Give customers a reason rare plain air color record for future larger paintings. He didn't sell these paintings, only kept them for his own study.

Edgar Payne


High Sierra Lake

6"x8" Oil on linen.  A beautiful painting for his own uses to give his larger canvases accurate color harmonies. 


Drawings of Bird houses

8.5"x11" paper Signed  near the bottom.


Edgar Payne in his studio.

Showing how he painted large studio canvases from black and white photos and colored studies.