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Phantom Of The Plains

Artwork Inquiry

Ken Payne

( b. 1938  -  d. 2012 )
Bronze 32/50

This is the late Ken Payne's famous bronze - maybe his best - depicting a Comanche warrior firing his Winchester from under his pony's neck while at full gallop. The Comanche, known as The Lords of the Plains, were the greatest mounted warriors the world had ever seen.

Artist Bio

Ken Payne's story was as unique a story as there ever was. His inquisitive mind led to a passion for his chosen pursuits. He often told stories of his life and experiences fascinating his listeners . A close friend summed it up well, "I've never seen a man with such diversified interests in life." He was a loving husband, a compassionate father, "a brother that is born for when there is distress". (Proverbs 17:17)

Ken was respected in the art world as a talented sculptor, painter and businessman, establishing bronze casting foundries here in Lincoln County, as well as Arizona and Colorado. Ken also was the founder of Mountain Trails Gallery, Inc. where he established fine art galleries in Santa Fe, NM and Sedona, AZ. People came from all over the country and the world to hear him tell his stories as he sculpted into bronze the history of the disappearing American west. He touched the hearts of many with his spirited tales of a time he lived in books as a child and from then on. He collected an extensive library, well worn and stained with paint and clay as he strived to portray with accuracy the fading ways of the cowboys, mountain men, pioneers, and the beloved Native Americans.

Before Ken Payne's art career was his flying career, where he became a legend in the flying world.

Ken's busy life was never overshadowed by his love for Jehovah God and His son, Jesus Christ. As anyone who spoke with him for any amount of time knew, the subject of a better world through God's arrangement was the dearest thing on his mind. With his family they were privileged to move to the Navajo Reservation to help establish a local congregation. Life with the native Americans gave Ken even more inspiration for his art work, though much less interest for the business aspects of it.

Ken is survived by his wife Karen, his children Victor Payne, Paula Morgan, Chris Payne, Jason Reynolds, Jonathan Payne, and Phillip Payne. He is also survived by his brother John Payne, uncle U.S. Belcher, two aunts Billie Elle and Judy Forrester. He was preceded in death by his beloved son Ben Payne. He also has 11 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren.

The Shelton Smith Collection | Gallery viewings by appointment only
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