Edgar Payne was a chiefly self-taught artist who left home at the age of 14 to travel through the Ozarks to Mexico, painting houses, stage sets and signs. He later became well known for his landscape paintings of the Sierra Mountains, Arizona and New Mexico. In 1912 Paxton settled in Laguna Beach. He developed his own painting technique by adding dark tones to all the colors he mixed, therefore achieving a unified harmony throughout the entire composition. Paxton also used bold brushwork by painting with a bristle brush and palette knife. Paxton painted a giant mural for the Congress Hotel in Chicago, 26,000 square feet of canvas for 11 floors. After traveling through Europe, he returned and published a book titled "Composition of Outdoor Painting" and also produced a color motion picture "Sierra Journey". Beside his many personal endeavors, Payne also founded and was first president of the Laguna Beach Art Association and established a leading art colony on the West Coast.