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In 2001 C.F. Payne was featured in Walt Reed’s third edition of The Illustrator in America: 1860-2000. The recently updated publication represents 140 years of outstanding illustrators in America, and says of Payne: “A major contemporary talent, C.F. Payne has a wide-ranging ability to cover subjects seriously as well as irreverently. His natural inclination is to humor and caricature, but with a highly realistic rendition which makes his exaggeration convincingly real.” Payne is based in his hometown, Cincinnati, where he settled after sojourns to studios in Akron, Chicago, and Dallas. With a BFA from Miami University and post-graduate study with the famous Illustrators Group, composed of legends like Alan Cober, Mark English, Bernie Fuchs, Fred Otnes, and Bob Heindel, he launched a successful freelance career in 1980. His clients have included Time, Boys’ Life, Mad, Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Esquire, Penthouse, Yankee, Rolling Stone, Money, The New Yorker, and regular features for Reader’s Digest.

Payne has received national recognition from Communication Arts, Step-by-Step Graphics, Print, How, the Society of Publication Designers, and the Societies of Illustrators in New York and Los Angeles, which have both awarded him numerous Gold and Silver medals. Recently his peers at the Society of Illustrators in New York honored him with the prestigious Hamilton King Award. He has exhibited in numerous galleries and was included, with five other illustrators, in a show at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts, as well as a one-man show at the Cincinnati Art Museum. His work was also shown as part of an exhibition of Times covers at the National Portrait Gallery, where he now has work in their permanent collection.

In addition, Payne also juries various exhibitions, and lectures extensively. He taught at the college level for over ten years, and was recently appointed Chair of the Illustration Department at Columbus College of Art and Design. In 1996 he was President of the Art Directors Club of Cincinnati, and Chairman of the 38th Society of Illustrators Annual Competition. He recently served as Museum Committee Chairman of the Society of Illustrators in New York. In addition, Payne is an active member of the Illustrators Partnership of America, and was on the founding board of the Illustrator’s Conference in Santa Fe.

Payne’s Children’s books include Casey at the Bat, Mighty Jackie, The Remarkable Farkle McBride, Micawber, Shoeless Joe & Black Betsy, True Heart, Pop’s Bridge, and The Shot Heard Round the World.

In 1999 he completed a mural project for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. The mural is 14 feet at its highest point, and about 95 feet wide. It features many playwrights and actors whose works have been featured at the playhouse. Payne currently resides in Cincinnati with his wife Paula and sons Trevor and Evan.
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