Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

December 19, 2015

KSE Visual Art Spotlight #1: DAVID PAYNE

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 7:07 pm

Welcome to our new series, KSE VISUAL ART SPOTLIGHT, which offers a selection of recent works from a number of artists whose work I’ve gotten to know and want to champion and share with you. I have worked with many of these artists on KSE projects, I’ve commissioned covers for poetry chapbooks and albums from them, and/or I have their works hanging in my home. KSE is a multi-disciplinary operation—-the recent “Casual Luddites” album from Mike Barrett and Tom Crean was inspired by the film Apocalypse Now, while many of my poetry creations are inspired as much by, say, Cy Twombly paintings as they are by poets such as Wieners or Eigner or Kyger. This series will over the next 6-8 months feature a number of visual artists whose works are threads in the KSE quilt. Hope you enjoy them.

First up is David Payne, well-known as a core member of the FOSSILS sound-art collective from Hamilton, Ontario, but also a man who is equally involved in the visual art world. David is always finding new areas to explore in the MAKING of his art, taking techniques one associates with, say, watercolors or woodcuts and then using those techniques in conjunction with other diverse techniques to create striking and original images. David and I did a joint chapbook a year or two ago called BLUES WITH A BRIDGE (pictured at the bottom of this post), juxtaposing his paintings and my poetry, and the joint work we did on that project really gave me a window into his fascinating explorations in visual art. Here is a sampling of recent work, along with the artist’s statement on the work, and Daniel Farr (his partner-in-crime in Fossils, and fellow art person)’s observations on David’s work.

Payne and Farr are also very much involved with a fascinating and important project which involves highlighting and re-discovering the work of the Canadian “Painters Eleven” group of abstract artists from 1950’s Ontario. I’ll let Payne and Farr explain that project:

Painters Eleven were a group of Canadian abstract artist operating in the 1950s.  Though operating collectively – specifically within the province of Ontario where all of the members were living during the period – each member possessed unique talents and explored abstract art in different manners.  

Payne and Farr have been researching and documenting the activities of P11 for over a year. They have been visiting museum archives, historical sites of interest, attending exhibits and where possible photographing the art.  They have developed a website which now provides the most extensive collection of works by P11 available online.  You can check out the site here:

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Now, however, let’s jump into the work of DAVID PAYNE….


Artists’s statement: David James Payne born 1977 Gander Newfoundland; currently residing in Hamilton Ontario. With no formal training I have been creating works of visual art (painting and collage) my entire life.  These works of art represent the discovery of a new technique of paint application I have been experimenting with for the past 6 months.   I have attempted to act as unconsciously as possible rather than learning or developing the technique. All of these pieces are acrylic paint on 8.5×11 inch paper and each piece is stamped with the date of composition.
See more artwork and purchase here:




…Daniel Farr on David Payne’s work:

David Payne creates hundreds of abstract paintings per month. He relentlessly pursues experimental techniques and processes. Payne always claims that he doesn’t know what he’s doing – he’s just a channel or manager of painterly application. But he knows exactly what he’s doing. The paintings are demonstrations of aesthetically informed knowledge and they’re impressive! It’s no accident that each new variation is fascinating and viscerally compelling as the last. Payne once asked me to help edit a selection of hundreds of paintings down to 10. I couldn’t do it: each one speaks to me at different times, in different moods, and what may speak to me at one moment changes as time passes.

This collection of Payne’s work focuses on a particular series – or perhaps it’s better to say a particular technique. The paintings are simple in colour, but offer an endless variety of textures and shapes. These works delight in muted features and plumb the depths of a mind’s ability to interpret forms. Any resemblance to reality is purely coincidental and an amusing observation in Payne’s opinion. Amongst the diffused abstraction, the balance of paint and whitespace is masterful. The result is a psychedelic manifestation, which opens up a place for the homecoming of fun and compelling abstract art.







Our second KSE Visual Art Spotlight will follow in a few weeks, right before New Year. Stay tuned….

blues with a bridge




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