Class of 1921

Edgar Alwin Payne
b. Washburn, Missouri, 1883
d. Hollywood, California, 1947
Rockbound, c. 1921
Oil on canvas
31 x 40 inches

Edgar Payne achieved great fame during his lifetime despite being essentially self-taught. Much of his knowledge about plein-air painting and its vivid portrayal of color and light came from his work as a scene painter for early Hollywood films. Payne was the founding president of the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918, and was intimately associated with the art colony. Rockbound, one of very few extant seascapes by the artist, was most likely based on plein-air sketches he made at Coward’s Cove in North Laguna and completed in the studio. In Rockbound, water pools in and glistens over the tide pools lit by the bright midday sun. The dynamic composition leads our eye from the glistening rocks on the lower right, to the vibrant waves and spray on the left, and finally to the open sea.

GIFTED: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School, 1919-1956 is organized by the GHS Art Collection, Inc, in association with the Gardena High School Student Body and curated by Susan M. Anderson.