Monday, November 06, 2017

INSPIRING WORDS FROM CF PAYNE

CF Payne has long been renowned for his beautifully crafted pictures.




A generation of adoring art students studied his technique.  But more important than technique,  a new documentary about Payne's life gives us insight into the attitude responsible for motivating such work.  The film is available on vimeo on demand and is well worth seeing.
 



In the film, Payne is quite candid about his early "tough times," describing how he had to scrounge for quarters because he didn't have enough money in his bank account to buy his son a happy meal at McDonald's. Yet, Payne persevered because of his love of art.  (He claims he originally wanted to become a professional ball player but watching this film, it's clear Payne was a born artist). Payne drew all the time, and continues to draw obsessively today.




He urges in the film, "Every day get better. Get better. You never get good enough." He talks about how he adapted his style so he could continue drawing on long bumpy bus rides, using quick, jotting lines instead of long, smooth strokes.




This is not an "art technique" film in the usual sense of the word, unless you consider footage of Payne mowing the lawn of his studio with a push mower a lesson in art technique  (which, if you think about it, it is).



The documentary helps to reveal what distinguishes Payne from a thousand other technically skillful artists.  He was never content with a mere likeness: "By the time I got to college my drawings were pretty good... but they didn't come from any place of meaning or understanding, they were just drawings by a mind that was pretty blank."


I found Payne's dedication to continued growth uplifting.




I also found it interesting that someone who is known for his paintings rather than his drawings had the proper perspective on drawing:
That's the thing that stands out in who you are as an artist: the way you draw.  The purity of who you are as an artist comes through most in your drawings. 

3 comments:

MORAN said...

I love Payne's work. He used to be on the Readers Digest cover but I lost track of him. I'll check this out.

Mohammad Tayyab Khan said...

good artisan and good designing for your page i m very happy and your best of luck

Kristopher Battles said...

I had the privilege and joy to study under him briefly during my MFA studies at the University of Hartford. He now directs that program.
He is not only talented, but self-effacing, fun, engaging, and a really nice guy.