Dale Payson


still life

small paintings

Other Works


Dale Payson’s still lifes are larger than life—she literally paints fruit and flowers larger than they are in real life. By subtly flattening perspective, she brings the background forward to create a powerful statement. Her use of color is unbridled, bold and refreshing.

Payson studied extensively at the School of Visual Arts in New York and eventually taught at this prestigious institution. Before painting became her sole ambition, she was a freelance book illustrator and has more than 25 books to her credit. Dale Payson also studied under Robert Kulick, one of the most innovative and influential picture frame designers in the United States. She was most impressed with his small still lifes that would showcase his frames and were displayed regularly- a single pear, flowers, dollar bills. Payson continues to consider him as one of her greatest influences.

After a 16 year stint of living in Manhattan, Payson moved to Columbia County and eventually had a small studio built across from her house. Without the cacophony of city life to distract her, Payson plunged into painting the beauty that surrounded her country home. Flowers, fruits, cows and houses became her new comforts, as well as the subjects of her paintings. Having experimented with watercolors, pastel and even hooking rugs, Dale Payson eventually settled on the palette knife as her preferred tool and oil as her chosen medium. She manipulates the knife, creating texture and layering that allow her vibrant, yet whimsical colors to dance on linen.

Twenty years ago, you would have discovered an entirely different body of work by Dale Payson at Frank Peseckis’ Five Points Gallery located in Old Chatham, NY. In those days, Payson explored trompe l’oeil as her genre; a technique focusing on a kind of realism so lifelike that an optical illusion becomes part of the viewer’s experience. One subject she returned to was the frame of a larder, well stocked with freshly hunted game. When fruit and flowers entered her sphere of influence, she continued to pursue exactness with the palette knife – bold colors and realistic images dominated the space. Recently, however, her work has taken on a more ethereal quality. Flowers and pears live in the environment and become the subject of their own gravity. Dale Payson claims that a recent abstract painting workshop with Jenny Nelson, who also exhibits with Carrie Haddad Gallery, has expanded her interest in this kind of personal expression. While she continues to paint from still lifes, it appears that now she is more able to interpret it.

Dale has won numerous awards from many shows and exhibitions, among them the Greenwich Art Society and the renowned Salmagundi Club in New York. Her work hangs in many corporate and museum collections including Nabisco Foods, Dunkin Donuts and the University of Minnesota’s Kerlan Collection. After showing her paintings for many years, Carrie Haddad Gallery is most pleased to exhibit this latest body of work that demonstrates a whole new dynamic of Payson’s personal expression.