Payne, C.F. 1956- (Chris Fox Payne)

views updated

Payne, C.F. 1956- (Chris Fox Payne)

Personal

Born 1956, in Cincinnati, OH; married; wife's name Paula; children: Trevor, Evan. Education: Miami University (OH), B.F.A., 1976; postgraduate study at Illustrators Workshop.

Addresses

Home—Cincinnati, OH. E-mail—[email protected]

Career

Artist and illustrator. Worked for design studios in Akron, OH, and Chicago, IL, c. late 1970s; freelance illustrator, 1980—. Instructor at East Texas State University, Miami University, OH, and Syracuse University; Columbus College of Art and Design, Columbus, OH, chair of illustration department. Illustrators Partnership of America, founding member and member of board. Exhibitions: Work has been exhibited in numerous galleries, including National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, MA; and Cincinnati Art Museum (solo show), Cincinnati, OH.

Member

Society of Illustrators (museum committee chair), Art Directors Club of Cincinnati (president, 1996).

Awards, Honors

Hamilton King Award, Gold Funny Bone, and gold and silver medals, all from Society of Illustrators; awards from Communication Arts, Step-by-Step Graphics, Print, and How magazines, and from Society of Publication Designers.

Writings

ILLUSTRATOR

Wayne W. Martin, The Gospel of Mark: A New Translation for Children, Upper Room (Nashville, TN), 1984.

Valerie Tripp, Meet Molly: An American Girl, Pleasant Company (Madison, WI), 1986.

Valerie Tripp, Molly's Surprise: A Christmas Story, Pleasant Company (Madison, WI), 1986.

Valerie Tripp, Molly Learns a Lesson: A School Story, Pleasant Company (Madison, WI), 1986.

Marissa Moss, True Heart, Silver Whistle (San Diego, CA), 1999.

John Lithgow, The Remarkable Farkle McBride, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2000.

Marissa Moss, Brave Harriet: The First Woman to Fly the English Channel, Silver Whistle (San Diego, CA), 2001.

Ernest L. Thayer, Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888, Winslow House (Delray, FL), 2001.

John Lithgow, Micawber, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.

Phil Bildner, Shoeless Joe and Black Betsy, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2002.

Marissa Moss, Mighty Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2004.

Dan Shaughnessy, The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.

Phil Bildner, The Shot Heard 'round the World, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2005.

Eve Bunting, Pop's Bridge, Harcourt (Orlando, FL), 2006.

Phil Bildner, Turkey Bowl, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 2006.

Illustrations have appeared in numerous periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, Esquire, Gentleman's Quarterly, Time, New Yorker, and Reader's Digest.

Sidelights

C.F. Payne is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in Time, Esquire, Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, and other national magazines. Payne's art "celebrates a slice of modern American life with provocative, relevant images of our culture," noted a contributor for the Reader's Digest Web site. "His work is reminiscent of the art of Norman Rockwell—contemporary and classic, timely and timeless." Payne has also illustrated a number of critically acclaimed children's books by such authors as Marissa Moss, John Lithgow, and Phil Bildner. His work has "made him one of the most admired and successful illustrators in the country," according to American Artist contributor M. Stephen Doherty.

Payne first teamed with Moss on True Heart, a work of historical fiction about a young woman's efforts to become a train engineer. "With extraordinary depth, Payne's brown-tone, full-page paintings combine realism and romance," observed Booklist reviewer Hazel Rochman. The pair have also collaborated on Brave Harriet: The First Woman to Fly the English Channel, the tale of pioneering female aviator Harriet Quimby. Payne's "mixed media artwork combines paints and pastels in a series of beautiful scenes," remarked Carolyn Phelan in Booklist, and a critic in Publishers Weekly wrote that the illustrations "resemble period photographs." In Mighty Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen, Moss looks at the legendary performance of Jackie Mitchell, a seventeen-year-old hurler who struck out New York Yankee superstars Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in a 1931 exhibition baseball game. "Payne's pictures mirror the text's immediacy," wrote a Publishers Weekly critic. "Close-ups show Ruth's face as he awaits Jackie's first pitch, then later his expression of dismay and outrage" after he is called out. Writing in School Library Journal, Grace Oliff noted that the artist's "mixed-media illustrations with their judicious use of sepia increase the nostalgic feel."

Payne combined his talents with Lithgow, an Emmy Award-winning actor, on The Remarkable Farkle McBride, a humorous verse tale about a musical prodigy who searches for the perfect musical instrument. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly complimented the artist's "outrageously droll … illustrations, with their blend of caricature and realism," and School Library Journal contributor Carol Ann Wilson remarked that Payne's compositions not only "contain whimsical details and lots of musical innuendoes," they also "deliver a visual punch." In Micawber, Lithgow introduces an art-loving squirrel who scampers around New York City's Central Park by day and, using his tail as a brush, creates his own masterpieces by night. Payne's "varying perspectives and occasionally paint-splattered backgrounds embrace all the exhilaration of Lithgow's words," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor.

In addition to Mighty Jackie, Payne has illustrated several other works about the sport of baseball. Using a mix of acrylics, watercolor, oil, ink, and colored pencil, he provided the artwork for Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888, a version of Ernest L. Thayer's classic poem. According to a critic in Kirkus Reviews, "every detail is both larger than life, and painted with crystal clarity." In The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino, Dan Shaughnessy examines the eighty-year string of bad luck that befell the Boston Red Sox after the team sold its star player, Babe Ruth, to the Yankees. "Payne visualizes a genial, mischievous Ruth impeding fielders and blowing on pop-ups to turn them into unexpected home runs," Marilyn Taniguchi remarked in School Library Journal. In Shoeless Joe and Black Betsy, Bildner looks at the career of early-twentieth-century ballplayer Joseph "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, who was aided by his cherished hickory-wood bat, Black Betsy. "Payne's portraits take on a tall-tale quality suffused with nostalgia; his strong-featured characters offer a riveting blend of humor and gravity," a Publishers Weekly reviewer commented. Bobby Thomson's home run, which awarded the New York Giants the 1951 National League pennant over their arch rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, is the subject of Bildner's The Shot Heard 'round the World. Payne's compositions "are bathed in attractive autumnal colors, suggesting

[Image not available for copyright reasons]

the October setting as well as the melancholy of the Dodgers' defeat," wrote Bill Ott in Booklist.

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Reed, Walt, The Illustrator in America: 1860-2000, Watson-Guptill (New York, NY), 2001.

PERIODICALS

American Artist, M. Stephen Doherty, "Using Mediums to Their Best Advantage," p. 32.

Booklist, April 1, 1999, Hazel Rochman, review of True Heart, p. 1424; July 1, 2001, Carolyn Phelan, review of Brave Harriet: The First Woman to Fly the English Channel, p. 2009; February 15, 2002, Bill Ott, review of Shoeless Joe and Black Betsy, p. 1014; February 1, 2003, Linda Perkins, review of Casey at the Bat: A Ballad of the Republic Sung in the Year 1888, p. 993; January 1, 2004, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Mighty Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen, p. 868; March 1, 2005, Bill Ott, review of The Shot Heard 'round the World, p. 1199; March 15, 2005, Todd Morning, review of The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino, p. 1298.

Communication Arts, March-April, 1991, Rhodes Patterson, "C.F. Payne," p. 54.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2001, review of Shoeless Joe and Black Betsy, p. 1754; August 1, 2002, review of Micawber, p. 1135; December 15, 2002, review of Casey at the Bat, p. 1858; January 15, 2004, review of Mighty Jackie, p. 87; February 15, 2005, review of The Shot Heard 'round the World, p. 226; review of March 15, 2005, review of The Legend of Curse of the Bambino, p. 357; April 15, 2006, review of Pop's Bridge, p. 402.

Publishers Weekly, July 24, 2000, review of The Remarkable Farkle McBride, p. 93; July 16, 2001, review of Brave Harriet, p. 180; January 7, 2002, review of Shoeless Joe and Black Betsy, p. 64; June 24, 2002, review of Micawber, p. 56; January 6, 2003, review of Casey at the Bat, p. 59; January 19, 2004, review of Mighty Jackie, p. 76; February 7, 2005, reviews of The Shot Heard 'round the World and The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino, p. 59.

School Library Journal, September, 2000, Carol Ann Wilson, review of The Remarkable Farkle McBride, p. 204; September, 2001, Ann Chapman Callaghan, review of Brave Harriet, p. 220; April, 2002, Wendy Lukehart, review of Shoeless Joe and Black Betsy, p. 100; September, 2002, Wendy Lukehart, review of Micawber, p. 198; March, 2003, Wendy Lukehart, review of Casey at the Bat, p. 224; February, 2004, Grace Oliff, review of Mighty Jackie, p. 134; May, 2005, Marilyn Taniguchi, reviews of The Shot Heard 'round the World, p. 77, and The Legend of the Curse of the Bambino, p. 97; March, 2006, John Peters, review of Mighty Jackie, p. 88; May, 2006, Marilyn Taniguchi, review of Mighty Jackie, p. 60; June, 2006, Marianne Saccardi, review of Pop's Bridge, p. 108.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), April 6, 2003, review of Casey at the Bat, p. 5.

ONLINE

Reader's Digest Web site,http://www.rd.com/ (May 10, 2007), "Meet C.F. Payne."

Richard Solomon Web site,http://www.richardsolomon.com/ (May 10, 2007), "C.F. Payne."